In Karly’s blog, they talk about their former career in digital media, how they decided to pursue software engineering, why they chose Rithm School, and what their experience has been like so far. To keep up with Karly on their journey, you can visit their blog here.
I’m kicking off this bootcamp blog at a coherent starting point, three weeks from day one, in the midst of hefty pre-work and spending my days building my first projects. But the reality is that this journey started almost a year ago, when I first began exploring computer science by watching CS50X lectures, working my way through free Python resources, and reading Aditya Y. Barghava’s Grokking Algorithms (for fun!).
I had just worked two years full-time as a Digitization Specialist (alongside my ten-year career as a multimedia educator/lecturer, experimental filmmaker, and curator/program director) and found myself in a period of unemployment, at a critical juncture with time to reflect on what I wanted to do with my career and (as anyone who knows me understands) so many passion projects to work on. In this deep reflection, I isolated my strengths, the aspects of work that give my life meaning and fire, and the things I need in order to succeed. I came up with a list of these traits: I am an excellent communicator, an easeful collaborator, a passionate mentor/educator, a creative-minded analyst, a proactive planner, an iterative/ideas-focused teammate, a workflow nerd (work smart!), and someone who works best in hyper-focus bursts and project-oriented timelines. And above all things, I want to see the impact of my work, to make work that helps people connect more deeply with their communities, to move more easefully through the world, and advocates for folks’ needs when current systems actively deny them. In my previous work, I deepened a passion for digital accessibility practices and workflows, and in conversation with a close friend of mine who works as an accessibility engineer, I saw a pathway to a sustainable and now-obvious career pivot that would allow me to use (literally) all of my strengths towards impactful community work.
The first thing I built (ever, actually!) was a personal website using pure HTML and CSS. I had an awesome time flexing my creativity and trying to troubleshoot CSS layout issues (so excited to get feedback on this, honestly), and it was an excellent first project to both humble me and allow me to realize that while it took me a long time to build, I’m so excited for the day when I’ll be able to make something like this in a fraction of the time. My favorite part, unsurprisingly, was experimenting with CSS animation and producing assets to add to the website. This utilized all of my expertise in motion graphics animation and producing assets in the Adobe suite, so it was awesome to get to apply those skills here.
Stay tuned, because I’ll be posting my projects, reflections, and experiences each week throughout the bootcamp. I hope this helps anyone who is beginning their career pivot journey, or who is thinking about or about to start a bootcamp.
Oh, and happy Pride Month 😊
This text was shared with permission from Karly’s blog. Follow along to keep up with their coding bootcamp journey!