Developer Wonderland

It has been more than two years since I wrote my last blog and if I was going to return to it – I think now is the best time.

The last two years have been spectacular and I’ve grown professionally and personally. YoungCapital gave me the opportunity to really take matters in my own hands and go further than I ever thought I could, in just two years.

Within days I deployed my first code to production. I was trusted with building new features only a few months in and shortly after dive into more difficult logic, to optimize our search system. About a year in, talks began to include me in brand new projects, involving new technologies that were experimental to our department, which quickly morphed into leading my own project team. Last but not least, I was transferred to a team that was integrating a new pay-rolling system, where the deadlines were tight, stakes were high and failure was not an option.

It was a wild ride and one that I am deeply grateful for. I had the most amazing colleagues and seniors, who were always looking out for my best interest and they’ll always be in my heart.

So what’s the goss?

At the end of 2018, as I started wondering about my next steps, I got an unexpected email from the Shopify recruitment team, saying that I was referred to them and we should have a chat. I was quite star-struck and after a few moments of gathering myself, I of course said: “sure, let’s do it”.

From that moment on, the snowball started rolling and everything went so fast. We had a few technical and non-technical chats and all of a sudden I was on a plane, crossing the ocean for the first time in my life, to visit Shopify in Ottawa. Needless to say, the whole experience was mind-blowing.

Canada said “Hi there, welcome!” with the worst snowstorm and cold (I didn’t know your toes can lose all feeling in about 10 minutes – even in woolen socks..). Shopify HQ felt like Developer Wonderland and the people I met were absolutely amazing. I left that day of interviews with a strong sense of “I completely blew it!”..only to hear a few days later that I was wrong and I am about to embark on a journey of a lifetime.

So, here I am, one snowy day before my starting date – feeling as ready as ever to bring it tomorrow.

But this road has not been all rainbows and sunshine. Yes, I do portray the above as smooth sailing, but honestly, there have been very rough patches that required me to take a harsh look at myself with the support of my closest friends and therapy. And while I am ready to start this new stage in my life, I have to be honest, I am absolutely terrified…

Happy Christmas!

It’s almost Christmas Eve and we’re nearing the end of 2016 – it has been a wild ride. I remember everyone (>25 years of age) telling me on my 25th birthday (which closely coincides with new year) that their 25s were amazing. Now that my 25 is almost done, I have to admit that it was indeed an amazing year, involving everything from deep lows to new heights.

I cannot say that 25 was the best year of my life, as the last 6 years have been a crazy, incomparable rollercoaster and have developed me as a person and a professional. However, 25 did match my expectations. In this year, I became an experienced recruiter gaining some serious communication skills, ran into a professional crisis, decided to take a leap and change my career and now here I am – happier than ever, doing what I love.

Every day that I go to work, it doesn’t feel like going to work – it feels like going to a place I enjoy, surrounded by people I like and creating/solving/developing on a daily basis. What more could you ask from a job?

So with all the happiness within me, I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and hope that your 2016 was as dandy as mine. If not, make sure to make 2017 a year to remember! 🙂

 

First days back in the office

It’s end of day two at YoungCapital and so far I am extremely happy with my choice. I am still getting to know the company, the people and the culture, but I have a feeling that I will feel right at home very soon.

They are also very kind to me. Instead of throwing me head first into the ocean, they are easing me into their workflow. I find it a very suitable way of learning and appreciate it.

On a more personal note, in the last two days I noticed that I am very insecure about my code. Every time I have to show what I have done, I stutter. Even though my code works and I know I met the requirements, I am scared of saying something stupid. At this point, I prefer to keep my mouth shut – deliver and exceed expectations with results, rather than putting it in words.

I am also appreciating that my life is getting back to normal rhythm – it will take the rest of the week, or maybe even two weeks to get fully back in the working flow, but I can tell already that my body likes it. It’s nice to go home with a feeling that you have worked hard and just relax.

Tonight, we had a Christmas dinner with my study-mates from Codaisseur. It was great to see them all – we did all “suffer” together, thus I appreciate keeping up-to-date on how they are doing. It was nice to see people being excited about code, interviews and getting hired. Even found out that one of my mates will be my colleague in few weeks!

I feel very calm and happy! 🙂

Hired!

The last 1.5 weeks have been an emotional rollercoaster. Applying for jobs, having phone, Skype and face-to-face interviews. Meeting new people and of course, continuing to improve on my coding skills, helping out here and there..

Yesterday, however, after an awesome half-a-day on site, I got the long awaited phone call that included the words “We would like to make you an offer!“. You cannot imagine my happiness – after plenty of interviews, this was the company I felt most drawn to. They were open-minded and friendly from the first moment we spoke and continued to be so till the end of the application process. That’s the kind of team I wanted to join and luckily, I have the opportunity to!

Now, I am spending my last days of freedom on organising my life. This includes silly things such as embassy and hair-dressers visits, cleaning up and visiting old colleagues. I walked into the office today and it was like I never left (except for some new faces and interior changes). It felt so good to see the people I spent so much time with the past two years, but it also reminded me that I could not have picked a better road to continue my life on than this one.

As for tonight, I think a little celebration is in order – and what better way to celebrate than with SUSHI!

Final demos and a bright new day!

The very last week of Codaisseur was spent finetuning some of the best projects we’ve made. In my case, it was the continuation of EchtVakantie (the real world project). We added a few extra features, improved stability, did some SEO and made it even more beautiful!

The result? Have a look yourself, maybe you’ll even find a holiday:  https://echtvakantie.herokuapp.com/

As the demos finished, I got hit by a big wave of tiredness from the 2 months – I guess my body knew that the course was over. So, I headed home, had a good night’s sleep and as you can imagine, it was wonderful to enjoy some rest after so much learning and crazy emotions.

I decided to spend the day 50:50. The first 50 for myself and the second 50 for my professional-self. This involved applying for jobs, completing challenges for interested companies and fixing tiny bit of code here and there.

There are some super exciting moments coming up next week, such as important job interviews, meetings and events and I want to go into it with a clear mind and body, so I agreed with myself, that it is important that I start exercising and meditating again – which I did and I feel great! Bee also enjoyed the meditation session, lying on top of me and purring. 🙂

By the end of the weekend I’m sure I will be fully regenerated and ready to rock’n’roll!

After the finish line..

..seven crazy weeks later and you are looking at a certified Ester!

I started Codaisseur with minimal knowledge of web development and I finished the two months 5kg lighter and tons-of-knowledge heavier. However, having more knowledge makes you realise how much more there is to know and I am convinced that I have made the right choice of profession. I cannot imagine this ever getting boring, because there is so much to learn and this industry just keeps expanding.

I would like to take a moment to thank the Codaisseur team. The two months, especially the last weeks, have been incredibly tough. There has not been a day of rest from code, there has been a minimal amount of sleep, very dry eyes, lot of emotions and even through all of that, coding has still remained fun and exciting. Thank you Codaisseur for putting us through these tough times and teaching us so much, in such a short time.

Also, thank you for the kind words at the Certificate Ceremony. As this was a private event, the words were the following:

Congratulations!

We are happy to hear that you chose the right path in your life. We see a real backend developer in you, especially ever time you say: “Don’t look at my styling!”. Also, the test coverage in your projects, is quite impressive.

Please keep being awesome at communicating & explaining your ideas, and how things work. This is a golden skill for any developer!

But the road has just begun and I cannot wait to apply what I have learned in a tight team and build great things together!

Evaluated!

I can easily say that the last 2 weeks have officially been the roughest of the course.

As I explained in my previous post, React was quite a slap in the face, but it got better as the PiggyWash! we built, turned out quite nice. I cannot share the game itself at this point, however I did make a video of it so you can see the outcome of our React battle!

Initial version: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByKMF9fz2TRqWWlMZ3hRZjhZZUk/view

Updated: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByKMF9fz2TRqc1ZCckU0Zk11Mmc/view

I’ve noticed that the load of the course is slowly starting to weigh on me. We struggled a lot with the game and prevailed, however the lack of any rest is starting to affect me. We finished our game on Saturday, which left Sunday for rest – but little did we know that we had a surprise-exam waiting in our inbox on Sunday morning.

The exam itself was a great way to write down and formulate everything we have learned in the past 6 weeks – it involved a lot of Googling and picking your brain for words to describe some abstract terms such as Promises in JS and so forth. Still, some rest would have been much appreciated.

Too bad peanut butter! We are going into week 7, which involves a personal project, assigned to us by the teachers grace and the teachers were graceful. I get to go back to back-end and Ruby on Rails. Super happy and super scared, as my project is quite challenging.

On another note, I’ve noticed that my itch to go back to work is growing at a rapid pace. I cannot wait to return to the workforce. Toes crossed for that as well!