Wednesday, December 17, 2014

What happened???

Thank you so much to everyone who emailed me, instant messaged me with support and checked in on me to see how I was doing, I really appreciate it!!!

There is so much to say and write about I don't know where to start.  One thing I will say is that once you get hired and start working for a company you really can't give much insight or say anything about what you are doing or about the place you are working.  I really miss being able to just say it like it is. :-)

In a nutshell, the company I was working for ZipList had financial troubles, that I knew about 6 months ago, but was told we would be okay and to ride it out.  I am a loyal person at heart and decided to stay with ZipList.  Long story short-- the parent company that owned ZipList pulled the plug on us unexpectedly.  Many people from the team was let go besides myself.

I give credit to our CEO and several of the people I worked with for trying to help me out and making the transition smooth to a new job.  In hindsight I probably should have left when things started going downhill, but that's hindsight.  I had a romantic idea in my head about being loyal to the company that gives you your first break.

Somewhere along the way (after I got hired at ZipList) I wrote an article on my blog which was picked up by Hacker News and Reddit.  Soon I was getting emails all the time and being asked for advice on how to be become a great programmer like me.  I enjoy helping people out and seeing many people follow the same path I did.  BUT with all that being said I have turned into a bit of a let down.

People meet me thinking I must have "ninja" coding skills which is absolutely not true.  Now that I am at a new company and can speak a little more freely about the past 16 months, I want to first and foremost clear up this myth that somehow started once my blog post went viral overnight with some 45,000K people learning who I was overnight.  I even met an engineer on Facebook who knew who I was and assumed I must be really talented as a developer ( Boy was he surprised ) :-)

Let's clear this up once and for all, I am very much a JUNIOR developer.  3 years ago I could barely email people and text.  Somehow now I am writing APIs in my sleep.  Full blown developers in France are asking me how to improve the performance of their Ruby code.  Someone in Texas offered me a developer role because I must be that good.  Nope, I am still learning and loving this learning journey as much as ever.  I still feel even stronger than ever that anyone can in fact get hired on an engineering team in 6 months of self study and learning.

I hope you aren't too disappointed when you see that I still write crappy, non perfect code and look things up constantly. Everyday I strive to get better and better.  I do not have any special DNA or secret coding gene.  My secret is to always try my hardest and to never give up, if that means getting to work a little early or staying up a little late at night when the kiddos are in bed. My coding has greatly improved and I am better than ever.

With that being said I am thrilled beyond thrilled to be working at Perfect Sense Digital as a QA Engineer doing testing automation, performance testing, and load testing.  Guess what the best part is?  Ruby is kick butt awesome for testing automation using Selenium!!!  I really didn't know that much about testing before getting hired but I really love learning another aspect of development.  I think it will make me that much better of a developer in the long run.

I had rewritten my book to show people an even better, clearer path to getting hired on an engineering team in the shortest amount of time.  After rewriting 80% of the book, I learned that I was being let go at Ziplist.  Needless to say the book had to be put on hold for the time being, but not forever :-)  I am super busy right now learning so many new skills and trying to stay on top of things in my new role but expect more frequent blog posts, chock full of good insights about what I have learned in the past 16 months which can hopefully help you on your path to learning how to code.

Lastly, I just wanted to say thank you to all the people who read this blog and have emailed me. Your support and encouragement through thick and thin is amazing and very helpful.  Never listen to the dream snatchers, you can learn to code, get hired, and make a good living doing something you love!

Keep coding peeps :-)