What I’m working on & Summer Plans

It’s the beginning of the last week of my batch at The Recurse Center.  It’s incredible and I can’t believe that it’s almost over.  When I got here, I entered with a pretty narrow scope: I was interested in Game Development & working in Python & wanted to go deeper into the internals/mechanics of that while solidifying my knowledge of it.  I’ve done all of those things to varying degrees, but my time at The Recurse Center has made it clear that the programming world is so much more vast than I ever imagined (which considering my imagination, is actually pretty impressive).  I’ve often found myself thinking of The Lion King’s “Circle of Life” – I’m really at the beginning of this journey, and I know enough to know a little, but “There is more to see than can ever be seen.  More to do than can ever be done!!”.  So as much as I’m going to intensely miss Recurse Center (I’ll still be back for alumni times), I’m really looking forward to a new beginning.  I’ve kind of gotten a head start on that actually.

For the summer, I’m working on the following:

-Web Design: I’m possibly doing a Web Design project collaboratively with a good friend for the summer.  It’s essentially an interactive Visual Choose Your Own Adventure with Videos & Visualizations & such
-Javascript: I’m learning Javascript.  Right now, I’m starting with Games (b/c I already know how those work), but that’s just a launch point.
-PHP: It comes up pretty often on job listings
-HTML/CSS: Brushing Up on these
-SQL: ALso comes up on job stuff – my rudimentary understanding of Databases is based on my work with WordPress so far
-Design: Reading lots of Design Books, analyzing every graphic & website I encounter
-Color Theory: Goes hand in hand with Design.  It’s something I’ve meant to do for years, and starting it now has been really exciting & helpful!!

On top of that, I’m in a sort of weird place with applying to jobs.  I’ve learned Tons at RC – both python specific, and lots of assumed technical/cultural knowledge that goes along with being a programmer.  But I’ve largely done that by reading & copying/analyzing other peoples’ code.  I haven’t necessarily written a lot.  So it’s time to write some more programs – Finish that BitTorrent Client I started, write some interesting Python/Javascript programs, maybe get things up on GitHub, revise the few things I have written/worked on so far so that they’re more presentable.  But basically, the plan is to develop all the skills I need in order to be at Entry Level for Web Dev who has strong knowledge of Python.

Once I’ve developed a bit more of a portfolio, my goal is to start looking out at Internships.  There’s two that have caught my attention in particular: Outreachy & Google’s IT Residency Program.  Outreachy pairs Women & other tech minority developers with Free Open Source Software projects (while giving them Grant Money).  Google’s program is 18 months & broken up in 6 blocks.  Block 1: IT Support/Help Desk Work; Block 2: Development Work; Block 3: ?? Unknown at time of writing.  Google’s program would be great because it appeals to 2 things I’m deeply interested in (I love fixing things/helping people … and obviously love coding!!).  There’s also other companies I want to talk to on a Junior/Internship level when the time is right.

So there’s a lot of unknown right now & creating new structure will be a challenge, but there’s a lot of optimism & adventure & I’m looking forward to growing immensely from all this learning.

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