What program are you graduating from?
I graduated at the end of last year from General Assembly’s 12-week web development immersive course. We focused mostly on MEAN stack and did some Rails too.
What were you doing before this program?
Before GA, I worked in operations at a couple different companies. My work was very different then – I was mostly working alone to meet internal needs. At the end of 2013, I decided to learn to program with Ruby/Rails. I liked languages; I’d studied French, Spanish and Portuguese in school, actually, and I definitely liked computers. I have to say programming is every bit as mind-blowing and challenging as I’d hoped.
I’m not surprised I eventually got into tech. I’ve always been riveted by computers and treated by my family as the go-to technical person. As a kid, I guess I fancied myself a tiny sysadmin because I set and forgot a BIOS password (whoops) on my grandma’s computer at age 10. And in my teens, I confidently assured my friend I could separate critical system files from the devious trojans on her computer (TD;LR: I shut the system down).
What startup/tech projects have you worked on?
While I was at GA, I worked on a handful of projects, including a recipe-storing application called RecipeBox (Rails) and a habit-making app with a group called Remode (Node/ExpressJS). Since then, I’ve worked on a few other things. I paired with a senior developer (also my partner) to write a color-mixing algorithm that I thought up one day. It recursively combines colors to make a new one. We’re working together too to create a 2D platformer game. Also, I’m refactoring the RecipeBox app as well as a text-based adventure game I wrote in Ruby. I’ve got loads more projects to come, so check out my Github and stay tuned.
What tech/tools are essential to you?
I’d say my project and product management tools are most critical. Right now, I’m in the habit of writing a paper to-do list, mapping it onto my planner, and creating Trello boards for my projects. I’m using Sublime Text right now, with the intention of moving to Vim. I just enabled Vintage mode, so I’ve got a lot of the same key mappings – super happy about that!
Oh yeah, I don’t know what I would do without Google, though sometimes it blocks me because I’m querying things like “null?” too fast. StackOverflow is great too.
How do you stay informed & on-top of emerging trends?
I make sure to check out the Ruby Weekly newsletter as well as episodes of Ruby Rogues and Developer Tea. I also have a pretty well-developed Twitter feed which I love.
What are your best technical or creative skills?
I’m pretty good at asking questions at this point, which I think is helpful in thinking critically and computationally. I’m also an improviser in training, through Village Theatre’s class program, so I think on my feet.
Creatively speaking, sketching out mockups and thinking about UX/UI design is easy for me. Despite being a backend developer, I’m also an artist. Speaking of which, I’ve got a portfolio full of pixel art that I’ll show anyone willing to look.
What’s next on your list to learn?
Are you interested in working for a startup, mid-sized company, or a corporate giant?
I’m pretty open at this point. I’d love to work with a team that values learning and humbleness for sure.