In November, I participated in my first Django Girls event. At the time, I was learning Ruby on Rails. I remember being astounded by the differences between Rails’ and Django’s design patterns. Although I didn’t get to write much Python that day, I was hooked. In four hours I was able to write and deploy my first Django blog. I decided to write my capstone project for Ada Developers Academy using Django and React.
Since then, I have become more involved in the coding community. I received the PyLadies scholarship to PyCon. At the last monthly PuPPy event, I gave my first lightning talk about my experience at PyCon this year. I have become friends with the fantastic founder of She’s Coding (Nathalie Steinmetz) and have volunteered at the Tech Women Rising and WIT Regatta.
As my five month internship at Tableau winds down, I have been realizing that I’ve been doing and learning a lot this past year. So far, I have moved across the country, graduated from Ada Developers Academy, learned Python and Ruby, dabbled in AWS, started my career in tech, and run my first marathon. That isn’t even all of it.
When I heard that there would be another Django Girls event. I decided that it was time for me to give back. I promptly told Nathalie from She’s Coding that I was interested in volunteering.
I’m here today and I was able to help a woman named Georgia on her coding journey. With my assistance, she was able to complete her first blog in Django. Congratulations, Georgia! We started with some Python shell calculations and learned about data structures. It’s great that I have been able to come full circle and help someone else learn Django.
Learning and teaching Django
I can’t believe I have been at Ada Developers Academy for over four months. Time is really flying by and I’m astounded daily by how much I have learned. Today is the day that I’ll find out which companies I’ll be interviewing with for possible internships. The past two months, everyone at Ada has been working their mental muscles by practicing whiteboarding and interview questions. I’m so proud of these hard-working people and I know our efforts will be rewarded in the near-ish future. The opportunity for interviewing with Ada’s phenomenal sponsors is an opportunity that I’ve been waiting for since I stepped my timid foot in the door.
Later this afternoon, I’ll attend an event from She Codes Now (Seattle). Here I’ll get an intro to React (which will help with the Udemy course) and eat some pizza. Pizza is key.
Last week was the Thanksgiving holiday and I spent a lot of time with my mentors. I have two of them. There is an industry mentor from the Puget Sound Python Programming group and a previous graduate from Ada Developers Academy. Both of them have been instrumental in shaping my future as a software engineer.
For the past week, I’ve been having fun with HTML and CSS. The week started off slowly with lectures on HTML. HTML is a straightforward, semantic language. If you remember to close the tags, you will survive. CSS on the other hand… well, I was having difficulties at first. After working with Ruby for a while, I forgot that there are artistic options when it comes to coding.
The developer’s tools app for chrome and using the “inspect” option on webpages gave insight into the mind of developers. I was able to see in real time how to change my code so that it adhered the aesthetics that I was striving for.
A fun project that we did in class is called “Meowspace.” We were given a HTML file and had to style it as close as possible to a wireframe. A wireframe is a schematic diagram. Although I didn’t know about it at the time, flexbox for CSS would have made my project a whole lot easier. For our weekend homework, we had to come up with a personal static site. Because of this project, I learned that many filters can be placed on pictures and that you can change the shape of boxes in CSS.
Although it was fun to learn HTML and CSS, I’m excited to announce that I’ve started learning Rails! Many people have told me that frameworks such as rails will teach me to be a coding wizard of sorts. Right now, I’m in over my head, but I trust that my interest in the subject and my awesome teachers will lead me and the class to victory.
I’ve been a bit apprehensive when it comes to writing this announcement. There are some great things on the horizon for me, but I still feel as though it may be a dream. I have been accepted into the Ada Developers Academy. There, I said it. Does that make it any more real to me?
In February, I submitted my application for cohort 8 of the program. It’s a selective program, but I was optimistic. The essays that I had written were read and reread until I was satisfied that they were perfect. Then I got invited for the code challenge of phase II and interview in phase III. My confidence was slowly growing. I found that my biggest obstacle in most things was my overwhelming doubt. By completing the challenges, teaching myself to learn, and utilizing my resources, I could accomplish almost anything. I told a few close friends at work that being accepted into the Ada Developers Academy was a possibility and kept my plans to myself for the most part.
Finally, I got the notification that I had been accepted. I bought the mandatory Apple Macbook and am learning to use it day by day. I’ve got to move to the other coast of the country in a month and I couldn’t be happier.