After spending 11 years in the restaurant industry, working his way from dishwasher to management, David Colon became less satisfied with his career and decided to join the world of programming. He only had one problem: He wasn’t sure that path was meant for him at first.
“It was always something I was interested in,” Colon says, “but I thought only geniuses or people who hold computer science degrees can do this stuff.”
He’s since proven himself wrong. From the moment he started his first HTML tutorial, he found himself “geeking out,” and says he can’t get enough of the tech community. He now believes he’s found a career that will never feel like work, and feeds the geek within by working through endless bugs, and coming out on the other side. He admits that when such outcomes happen, he’s prone to shouting “YATTA!!” like Hiro from TV show “Heroes.”
And while Colon wishes he pursued a career in programming sooner, he also believes he’s been preparing for this all along, and uses curiosity and “endless” patience to persevere. “The longer I struggle on a solution, the more satisfying it is to make it work,” he says.
Learn more about David Colon below.
What program are you graduating from?
I am proudly graduating from the DigitalCrafts August 2019 cohort.
What is your previous education (and work experience)?
I have an associate’s degree from Georgia Military College. I often found myself in front of my computer reading the newest tech and science-related articles. After working through tutorials on freeCodeCamp and Codeacademy, I was hooked.
What startup/tech projects have you worked on?
During my time at DigitalCrafts, I have worked on several group projects and have a running list of side projects and stretch goals for the group projects in my queue. I love that there will always be something to work on and refactor when you learn something new. I can’t get enough of the power of these languages.
What tech/tools are essential to you as a developer?
Google. I don’t know what I’d do without it. Being able to search bugs and answer the question of “Can I do this?” or “How do I do this?” is the most valuable tool in itself. Its search engine crawlers seem to always know how to grab the best medium, stack overflow, or Github page to help me work on my projects.
Chrome’s developer tools have been the biggest help when working out bugs and rendering issues as I make more complicated websites. For React, it is invaluable to track states and properties that are being passed around.
How do you stay informed & on-top of emerging trends?
There are so many resources out there to keep up. Medium articles, TechCrunch, and just following the new and old tech companies on LinkedIn provide me with so many good reads that I can’t even keep up.
What are your best technical or creative skills?
I think one of the most underrated skills in this field is pure curiosity. I am constantly looking at my code and asking myself, “Can I do it this way? No? Why not?” Asking myself questions has honestly made me a better programmer as I work through issues and figure out ways to do it that may or may not be someone else’s solution.
What’s next on your list to learn?
This was the hardest question to answer as of right now I want to learn everything. I fell in love with React the second I started to pick it up. I see why it is one of the most popular libraries out there. I do want to dive into other frameworks like Angular and Vue to see what makes them tick.
Why the interest in the technology field?
The culture of lifting up those under you, while always staying on top of new and emerging technologies, is probably the biggest lure. I will never be satisfied with what I know and seek to learn more.
Are you interested in working for a startup, mid-sized company, or a corporate giant?
I honestly have no preference here. As long as I get to code, learn, and feel like I am contributing to a project, the size of the company is of little importance to me. As a junior developer entering into this new career, I would love to work with those that are more experienced than myself, so I can absorb as much as I can from their experiences. I eventually would love to work for a project that pushes the limit of what these technologies can do.