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System.out.println( “WTF, an 89?” );

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Ugh… I know that I can’t expect to be perfect…

My professor gave me a big fat 89 on my first project.  My spirits were deflated and I immediately started to second guess myself and question my ability to code.  LOL, right?  After I calmed down and kicked myself for being so hard on myself, I convinced myself that an 89 isn’t so bad [I currently have a 4.0 and grades lower than 95 freak me out].  I then took the time to read through my professor’s responses and then I became truly outraged.  The concept that he wanted us to learn I couldn’t find it anywhere, not in the text book, not online, not even good old YouTube. 

So I did what any self-respecting college student would do…

I emailed my professor and asked him for clarification.  He gave me a detailed description of what I SHOULD have done, then he proceeded to explain to me that the concept that he was teaching wouldn’t be found online, wouldn’t be found in our textbook and was a style from his 30 years of personal experience.  Once I understood the concept behind the code he wanted us to learn, I discovered how brilliantly simple it was and how it made the code much cleaner and it made more sense. 

My red hot outrage quickly turned into humble admiration and respect…

I’m here to learn… I’ve changed my life around for my dream.  I have to learn to calm down, slow down [15 years in corporate America can make you sprint so fast even if it’s towards a brick wall], and I must learn to appreciate all failures especially the small ones.  I have to go back to my nerd girl roots and remember that failure is always an option.

89, a failure, really?

This is more than the 89.  It’s about my reaction to it.  I have to learn to strive for perfection but also be happy with learning and any progress I make along the way. 

On a brighter note…

I just submitted my second project.  Wish me luck…

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Success feels WONDERFUL!

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Today I learned a lot about myself.  My day started as any normal day.  I slept in until 11am and met my mom to buy paint and carpet for my new dwelling.  I got my last massage after my major life change and I parked myself in my favorite spot at my local Starbucks. 

My homework went extremely easily — actually too easy.  I kept checking and re-checking to make sure that I completed all parts of my assignments.  After that, I had some time to kill.  I began searching on tumblr, Twitter and good ol’ WordPress to find some stories and blogs from programmers.  I stumbled upon Code.org.  Wow, have I been out of the loop.  This find truly underlined my NEWBIE status and I found myself learning Ruby on Rails in no time. 

Code.org’s website has stories of everyday people who decided they would learn to code.  One story was about a guy that was waiting to get papers to come to the US so in the meantime he decided to learn how to code.  He created a calculator app for the App Store and has been developing changes to it as he goes along.  One word: WOW. 

This story made me think about a game l play (I’m a nerd, no surprise there).  This game has levels and a known glitch that allows you to exceed the max level, one can not take advantage of the glitch after a certain point.  (This glitch is known by the developers and is less a glitch than a finicky aspect of the game).  Anyway, me being the math lover that I am, I’m always asked to help people calculate how much experience they need to get to the point where they can take advantage of the glitch.  I always pull out my calculator and help them figure out what they need to max out their hero. 

EUREKA!

Yes, you got it, the idea hit me like a brick.  I decided to code a program that will do the calculations for me.  I was a bit heartbroken when I discovered an APP in the Play Store that already did what I wanted my app to do.  However, it’s less about being unique and more about giving myself a challenge. 

So, aside from a challenge to build an app that I can actually use for myself, I also realized that my homework went by in a breeze because I’m learning.  I realized that Code.org is a perfect and fun way for me to supplement my learning and to keep me immersed in computer programming I also learned that I get a warm glow when I figure out code.  I get a smile on my face that doesn’t go away.  The feeling of accomplishment fills me so deeply. 

I know that I’ve made the right choice in my life.  My excitement just validates it.

 
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Posted by on September 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Starting Over…

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I made the decision to start over.  I’ve read many stories of people who start over. It may be a new career, new relationship, new anything.  But I’ve always been that person that was afraid to fail, to change and to do something differently.

Ever realize how the people who seem truly happy are the ones with the COURAGE and GUTS to go after what they believe in? Well… I’m doing that right now.  I’ve quit my job and I’m going back to school full time and I’m extremely excited about it.  Here’s an overview of what got me to this point:

What finally changed…

Starting over may seem simple enough.  But it does take a desire to really want to change your life.  I was giving 150% to a corporation that systematically broke down my spirits and will to be an individual.  Every day I allowed my creativity to be silenced, my individuality to be suffocated and sadly, I lost myself and who I was.  I became entangled in buzz words, reports, numbers, and rankings.  It stopped being about people and interactions and became about how much money could be made.  I realized that my destiny did not include sending recaps and attending conference calls. The things that kept me coming to work with a smile (my employees, customers and friends) suddenly were no longer enough to offset the growing desire within to make a big change.

Now, I loved my job. I’m actually going to miss the people who I shared my days with, however there comes a point in life where you have to follow your dreams. Every day, my creative side was screaming at the top of its non existent lungs and begging to be let out. So even though the company that I had worked so hard for was the same, in contrast it seemed so different because I had grown so drastically.

So, you’ve come to your senses, now what?

Just because I finally recognized that I should be doing something with my life, didn’t mean that I had the courage to do something about it.  After medication and a lot of consideration, it came to me that if I continued on the path I was on, I wouldn’t be much further along 4 years from now than I was 1 year ago.  That revelation did not sit well with me.

Following your dream takes commitment and passion, and I could not do that while having commitment and passion to my job.  One had to go.  Either it was my future or the corporation’s future. I finally chose my future.  After months of deliberation, I discovered that my dream will require all of my faculties and all of my focus and I can’t do that while devoting time to anything…

This is where I came up with the brilliant idea of quitting my job, giving up all of the luxuries that I’ve acquired over the years, and going BACK to school full time majoring in Computer Information Science and minoring in Information Systems Security.

“You’re crazy… give it another year… try something different…”

If you’ve ever experienced change, you too know that people will try to keep you where you are, and they will not have the vision to understand what you are doing.  Don’t take advice from miserable people, because misery loves company.  I’m not frivolously quitting my job, I HAVE A PLAN!  It may seem that I’m giving up a lot and making changes without thought, but I’ve saved $$, paid off all of my credit cards, paid off my car and have the means to devote 2+ years following my dreams with 150% vigor.

Don’t be afraid to change your life!  It takes courage to do anything and I am cashing in all of my timid chips in exchange for bold, courage chips!

I’m doing this for me…

I’ve spent my entire life making others happy, whether it was my parents, my bosses, my customers, my company… I’ve always had rules of my life, I had to follow a schedule, wear a uniform, and devote my soul to something that wasn’t in me.  I’ve always felt as though I could be doing something more with my knowledge and experiences.  I’ve always KNOWN that I could do better, I just didn’t have the courage or the means to do better.

BUT NOW…

Now, I can… and I will attack my dreams with so much vigor that I may scare myself…

This journey will be all about my changes and experience.  I will share a co-mingling of my personal experiences with my technical frustrations of learning how to be a computer programmer.

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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