Life Post The Iron Yard
My front-end development crew and I are a few weeks out of school now. Initially, it was very strange for me to adjust to life not on a schedule (as it always is when I have downtime.) I have tried to create my own routine as much as possible, and mostly I've been good about following it. I am one of those OCD people who likes to be busy all the time. I think that's the nature of being an artist–constantly feeling the need work on a "project".
First, What I Have Been Up To
Equally motivated by shear terror of losing my shiny new code skills and long-time curiosity, I have started learning Swift and working in Xcode to create iOS apps. Thus far, I have only made a few apps, but I was delighted to find that picking up Swift was simple because my programming foundation is strong.
None of these are MIND BLOWING, but they are great practice for becoming familiar with Xcode and writing Swift. From left to right, an app that allows a user to input a number and tells the user if it's a prime number or not, a Stopwatch app that counts seconds and can be converted to minutes or hours (also practice in creating navigation bars with controls), and an app that converts human years to cat years. There are fantastic online tutorials out there, plus I picked up a very juicy read, Beginning iOS Development, because...books. (Yeah, remember those?) 📘📗📙
I have also been frequently
obsessively refactoring code and tightening up the features on my final project. I got a lot of great feedback about it on demo day and great ideas from developers senior to myself that I wanted to implement. Thanks for all the handy ways to visualize my productivity, Github.
Lastly, I have been on the job hunt. I've been meeting with a lot of friends and recent connections in the dev community. Most important for me is to land somewhere that 1. Doesn't suck, 2. Allows me to learn from developer(s) senior to me, 3. Is a relatively small team.
All of the Feels
Disclaimer: There are a few things I want to say that are my personal opinions based on my experience.
Overall, I had a fucking awesome time during the twelve weeks of school. I cannot thank my teacher, the staff, and my classmates enough for their enthusiasm and support. Did I have moments when I wanted to throw my MacBook out the window? Yes. Did I have moments when I felt triumphant in my knowledge? Yes. We had one guest lecturer who I think put it best, "coding is an emotional experience." That was something I didn't expect entering the program.
I did expect, at least hope, to leave with real programming chops. I am not naive enough to think I have the skills of a senior-level dev, but I'm confident I could keep hacking away at new languages and projects and get there. Writing code is addictive.
Plus, shout out to the women getting into code! Not only was my program here in Houston a diverse bunch, but we were the first TIY class to have an equal ratio of men and women. 🙋