Tag Archives: self-directed learning

Reigning in expectations

Back again! Yanno, just practicing when the spirit moves me.

If the last few years have taught me anything, it’s that nothing is going to happen overnight. I can have my feelings about how I should have been a developer by now but I haven’t stuck to any kind of a schedule. Over the past two months, this caused me to research a bunch of Bootcamps and AA programs at the local colleges. I finally caved and reached out to a connect I made here and asked him “how did you get to where you are now?” Because he’s a developer and works at a Bootcamp– but I thought that meant that he *attended* that Bootcamp as that usually is the case for instructors but MAN was I wrong. He said over 2 years he worked through the FCC curriculum + node.js + Colt Steele’s class on Udemy and that’s how he was able to transition. DAS IT.

I’m so freaking impressed when I hear about self-directed learners. I mean, I know that basically everyone in the 90s also went that route, but today I personally feel like you need to have a CS degree to really get your fundamentals down. If I’m being honest, I have a bunch of baggage on that topic. I remember when an ex who had just switched from Nursing to a CS degree told me I could never be a CS major because of my bad math skills and because I couldn’t understand how he was explaining classes in Java. I may have taken that to heart for a long time

So I’ve started the Colt class and it’s alright. I’m 3 sections in and I’m happy to know that I already know everything he’s talking about. Sublime 3 is the suggested text editor and OH MAH GAWD is it a godsend! There are so many shortcuts! I don’t have to type out every SINGLE tag! It’s really changing the coding experience for me–well at least in the realm of HTML/CSS.

That’s all for now. We’ll see how the rest of the course goes.




FCC Tribute Page Revisited – part 1

This was written on 03-25-19 @ 11pm-ish

As I mentioned to the IE-SD Slack chat, I *finally* got back to the project page. I got there years ago, and made it on my teenage crush Brandon Boyd. That embarrassing little nugget lives on codepen.io.

But I experienced some legit panic when I looked at the project on Sunday, cuz real talk… I forgot ALL OF THE BASICS. It’s been so long since I’ve even had to set up a page!!
There’s a part of me that was going to start reaching out to people but someone in the FCC Slack chat posted this and it made me pause for a bit because I’ve been dealing with this… funk a lot lately.

Lately, I’ve been having a hard time with being wrong– or uninformed or not being able to make good inferences, or whatever. Since leaving Chicago, I’ve had to learn two jobs —at the same time–that have very precise directions. There are usually immediate consequences involved when you don’t follow the directions at work and one way or another the customer suffers because they’re not being serviced accurately and efficiently. I’ve had both of these jobs for a year now so there’s been a good deal of note taking, workflow forming, and flat out crying when I feel dumb. To be honest, you’d think that I would be better at dealing with these feelings, but really, I’m not. It’s taken a lot of tools to reign in runaway emotions and straight up panic attacks to be where I’m at right now.

So after some breathing and talking out loud about the things I forgot, I told my husband that this is likely going to keep happening. At some point in my development career, someone is going to ask me to do something that I’ve done before, but cannot remember. The better I get at understanding how to code, the more I’ll need to learn how to dig around for solutions.

So that’s what I did. I went on W3school and one by one knocked out the *minimum* requirements for the tribute project. Just going one by one until the test script climbed up and read 10/10– and YAY, it fucking worked.

I’m going to call it a night. Tomorrow, I can focus on making it pretty.


code on,


Every day I’m dabbling

After talking to the co-owner at the MITS company, I’ve decided to dabble again. This time, I’m going through some free CompTIA A+ certification prep materials to see if I could transition into the MITS side of the house. Whenever I stumble across things like this I always wish I could go back in time and tell younger me to change my intended major to Computer Science or something.

I’m happy to say that I feel super supported at my job. Some of my coworkers think that me preparing before even being approved to take on extra tasks at work is overkill. That I’ll be great because half of it is googling/following procedure and the other half is just knowing how to talk to people— the obvious joke being that the techs are not very good at the latter, but TBH the people here are no more awkward than any other workplace I’ve been in.  I’m going to keep studying either way. I want to be great at this and have zero personal or professional experience… aside from using a steak knife to disassemble my old HP ProBook to unplug/replug the keyboard ribbon–SO to ease my own anxieties, I need to know that I know what I’m talking about. There are so many articles out there about sexism in STEM and at the moment, I don’t think that that will be a problem in my current workplace but when I eventually move on, I need to know that I’m just as qualified as anyone else to be in these spaces.

Anyway, I’ve gotten some good PC parts from recycling days and managed to score a Dell Optiplex 9010. The processor is a few years old, but it’ll still run faster than my laptop. I was so excited I put a blank HHD in and hooked it up to a few peripherals to make it into the BIOS and then used a Linux USB to watch it boot up. Today I’m going to install windows and hopefully begin moving things over to make it my main workstation. Then I can finally refresh my laptop. It’s been YEARS. The laptop doesn’t have an optical drive which is a first to me in addition to Dell’s UEFI method of reformatting your PC.

I’m gonna hug her extra tight cuz she’s been through the tail end of my BA with me and all of my dalliances into coding meet-ups. Let’s hope for the best.