Yep. This isn’t a Dream. I Actually Just Quit My Job.
This time I won’t be spending 6 months hiking miles across the country. Rather, I’ll be spending 6 months learning web development, studying, coding, and building things at Galvanize.
I’m taking the Web Development Immersive (WDI) starting this week. My first day is rapidly approaching – it’s tomorrow – and I’ve already spent days studying to get caught up on prep materials, getting my personal and professional life in order, and mentally getting ready.
Why Coding School Is a Good Fit
Full disclosure – I’ve worked at Galvanize as a Senior Events Coordinator and Community Coordinator close to 2 years. From ordering beer and making coffee to working with other students and companies – this is a transition I’m excited about. I’ve worked closely with the staff and built friendships with people in the community. I started at Galvanize while I was freelancing as a technical writer/designer and was seasonally teaching outdoor ed programs with Avid 4 Adventure in Golden, CO. Before that I earned a BS in Biochemistry in Missouri, worked in Biotech, and I hiked the 2700-mile-long Pacific Crest Trail. Working for Galvanize has been my introduction to entrepreneurship and technology.
I’ve been interested in the full-time immersive style classes Galvanize offers since I saw the first cohorts give their project presentations (then known as the Capstone Showcase). In a 3-hour event, I watched students show off their projects: IoT chemistry tools, games, to-scale virtual reality environments of the mapped galaxy, and useful day-to-day web apps. I saw first-hand the transformative power that an immersive education in web development has to offer. I was interested, but didn’t want to quit my day job.
Since then, I’ve spent many hours learning the basics of web development in my free time, taken workshops, and built some small projects. While I’m confident in all the prep work I’ve done, I’m still nervous about the rigors that come along with 6 months of full-time education.
Making a career change is like a lot things in life-there’s no perfect time for it. So I’ve made time.
Immersive means Immersive
I’m confident that the energy and shared dedication of a class exclusively dedicated to learning web development will help push me to grow faster and learn more than if I were on my own. I’ve seen full stack developers and data scientists get their start on our campus and I’m excited to join their ranks. However, learning doesn’t happen in a vacuum and life doesn’t stop for professional development. Family, friends, personal health and finances – nothing can be left alone, and the Immersive is going to take so much time and energy to get everything out of it. All I can do is be mindful of the challenges to come and be as ready as I can to take them on. Life is a series of adjustments.
How I Prepared to Be a Student Again
Here’s a list of the things that enabled me to gain a basic understanding of web development before I enrolled in the Web Development Immersive.
Codeacademy – great sequential materials to learn basics
FreeCodeCamp – also builds on basics
Code School – specifically the Git Real track
Edx Classes – like going back to college, but no one reminds you to go to class
Empire of Code – graphic web-based game with challenges
Enki – mobile app, daily workouts and challenges
Code Wars – once you’ve nailed some basics, try challenging yourself
Time to get some playlists organized, tune up the bike, get laundry done, and all these different apps updated on my computer. I’ve completed the pre-assigned course materials and now I’m just trying to open my mind and be ready to catch this giant wave of information coming at me.
Read more inspirational articles about people leaving their jobs for more at TechCo