With a background in hardware assembly and operating systems, David Pham has a curiosity for how things work. Undoubtedly, this led him to DigitalCrafts, a 16-week web immersive bootcamp at the Atlanta Tech Village. Prior to code, he also taught urban youth and led field trips to Georgia Tech and General Assembly hackathons. Now, he is ready to sync up his new full stack skills and community credentials with his experience in computer hardware to wow employers with his problem-solving skills. You don’t want to miss out on this charismatic coder.
What program are you currently enrolled in?
I am currently enrolled in the 16-week Immersive Bootcamp at DigitalCrafts where I’ve attained the skills and tools necessary to pursue a career as a full-stack web developer. My demo day is on August 19.
What is your previous education?
I graduated from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.
What was your work experience before aspiring to become a web developer?
Before I joined DigitalCrafts, I worked as a hardware instructor to close opportunity divides for urban youth at Year Up. I taught three modules for every session, which involved hardware assembly, operating systems, and either network infrastructure or project management. Outside of the classroom, I felt a strong need to collaborate with the community in order to enrich the experiences of my students. Whether taking my students on field trips to Georgia Tech’s Invention Studio or having students participate in hackathons at General Assembly, I felt it was my responsibility to provide real-world exposure to my students.
What are your best technical or creative skills?
I think my best creative and technical skill would be my ability to improvise quickly. I’ve experienced a lot of “worst-case scenarios” where I’ve managed to keep calm and find creative alternatives that are as good as the planned solutions. An example would be when the microphone on a laptop died, and I had two minutes to figure out another way to record sound. Thankfully, my curiosity took over, and I stuck old earbuds in to the “audio-input” slot and it worked! I attribute my improvisation to being able to see the bigger picture of things and understanding how everything fits together — even the seemingly incompatible things, they still fit together with enough imagination!
What technology and tools are essential to you as a developer?
Atom text editor for coding, Github for documenting and live-hosting my projects, pythontutor.com if I need to build a “behind-the-scenes” understanding of my code, and a bunch of npm modules when I want to push my projects for the community to use.How do you stay informed & on top of emerging trends?
To name a few: medium.com for articles from other coding students or developers, hongkiat.com for styling examples or techniques, theverge.com for mainstream tech news, and of course Hypepotamus for local tech news.
After DigitalCrafts, what’s next on your list to learn?
I’d like to focus some time for civic-hackathons as I believe they’re a great way to cement what I learned from DigitalCrafts. I find a lot of fulfillment in being able to build stuff to help the community. With Meetup events, like Code for America Brigade for example, there are so many learning opportunities at our disposal. My goal is to take full advantage of these unique opportunities to gain better insight from experienced developers on how I can polish my code. Whether if it’s to make it more readable, enhanced for performance optimization, or even security sanitization, there’s a lot of new stuff I need to experience. It’s like what my high school history teacher would say, “make things happen don’t wait for things to happen for you.”
Are you interested in working for a startup, agency, mid-sized company, or a corporate giant?
Throughout my work experiences I found myself to be a pretty flexible team-player despite the size of my environment. Ideally, prerequisites for companies I’m looking for would include: awesome mentorship, growth opportunities, and funds for professional development.