Category Archives: web development

Participating in gSchool and my goals for 2013

I recently wrote a short set of goals that I wanted to accomplish to become a web developer. The first goal was to secure an internship, apprenticeship, or some type of program where I could fully immerse myself in learning how to become a valuable software developer. Well after a lot of research into different programs, coding challenges, and interviews, I can now happily check that off my list as I’ll be joining gSchool at the end of January 2013!!! gSchool is a 6 month-long training program created by Jumpstart Lab and Galvanize that aims to turn people like me into skilled web developers that can add real value to employers. The program will focus on learning Ruby on Rails as well as other web technologies such as HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript. If you’re not familiar with Jumpstart Lab, check them out. They have experience in training web developers and successfully created Hungry Academy  (a similar program) for LivingSocial last year. This is definitely going to be a life-changing experience for me, I’ll be living in Denver, CO for the next 6 months and working my ass off to learn as much as I can to become a productive web developer. With these new set of challenges 2013 will bring, there are a whole new set of goals that I’d like to accomplish by the end of this year. I decided to write some down.

1)  Become a web developer that can add real value to my employer

  • Be productive with Rails, HTML5, CSS, JS, PostgreSQL, MySQL, and Git.
  • Learn how to work in collaborative projects (Communicate ideas & problems effectively).
  • Actively participate in open-source projects.
  • Improve my problem solving skills by always looking for new & challenging problems to solve.
  • Learn how to read and write docs correctly.
  • Pair-program often.
  • Work for a company that excites me, that I can be proud of and want to evangelize about.

2)  Become an overall better communicator

  • Write more!
    • As you can tell from my blog posts, I suck at writing. The first paragraph of this post took me longer to write than I’d like to admit. Its a little hard for me to express my thoughts verbally and in writing. But just like anything in life, practice makes perfect!
  • Explain one thing I’ve learned verbally.
    • Once a week, I’d like to explain one thing I’ve learned verbally to someone as if I were speaking to a non-technical person. A friend suggested I do podcasts and submit them on my blog. Hmm… still thinking about it.

3) Establish meaningful and lasting relationships 

  •  2012 was a year of self-awareness and self-reflection, where I took a step back to look at who I am, what would make me happy, and who I want to be. 2013 will be a year of action! I want to surround myself with people who are smarter than I am, more ambitious, and harder working, so that I’ll constantly be pushed outside of my comfort zone and become better for yet. 

One of the things that excites me the most about gSchool are the people that I am going to meet and the relationships that will be built. To think that I will be spending most of my time with other like-minded individuals who are also willing to sacrifice 6 months of their lives to accomplish their goals is pretty awesome! I’m gonna kick this new year’s ass!

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My Goals to Become a Web Developer

I’ve been trying to learn how to code by myself since March 2012 and though I now know a hell of a lot more than I did then, I still feel like I don’t know much at all. It isn’t easy learning web development by yourself, especially when you don’t come from a programming background. I’ve gone through almost every tutorial you can think of and I frequently find myself thinking “Damn, it would sure be nice to have someone next to me or that I could e-mail or call whenever I get stuck learning something”. This usually happens when spending hours scouring through StackOverflow and Google when stuck on how to do something or learning a certain concept that could easily be explained in a matter of minutes by someone who’s been down the same road before. I, however, will not let this stop me or slow me down. Now that I’ve decided to become a software developer, there is no safe place code can hide in. I will find it and I will conquer it! I therefore wrote a small list of goals I will accomplish to make this happen, as well as a list of things I need to do to get there. Please feel free to add to this in the comments section  and provide any advice you may have. Any changes, additions, or advice will be greatly appreciated!

What do I want to accomplish?

  1. Get an internship or Apprenticeship with a web developer to learn, grow, and to ultimately get a job as a developer.
  2. Get a mentor that’ll lead me in the right direction, provide constructive criticism, and teach me the stuff you can’t learn through books/tutorials.
  3. Network and meet new interesting and smart people.

What I think I’ll have to do:

  1. Blog *consistently* about what I’m learning (maybe once/twice a week), not sporadically like I’m currently doing.
  2. Write to other people learning to code, as well as experienced developers. Also, try to help other people learning to code if they need help with things I’ve already learned (great learning opportunity).

What I know I’ll have to do:

  1. Reach out to decision makers in tech companies to explain who I am and *why* I’m doing this, the goals I’m trying to accomplish, and the value proposition of hiring me as an apprentice/intern.
  2. Continue to work my ass off everyday learning software development.
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Working hard to become a Rails developer!

Hi! I’m Danny.

I come from a background in finance and as an undergrad I always enjoyed learning about our world economies and how our financial markets worked. But after graduating and beginning a career as a futures broker, I quickly realized that when selling really risky stuff it’s kinda hard to help and add value in peoples lives. That’s when I learned about web development and all the awesome educational resources online; long story short, I’ve finally found something that I’m truly passionate about. It’s hard to describe how exhilarating it is to learn something new and be able to apply what you’ve learned immediately; I’m getting high off of coding!

I’m currently going through Michael Hartl’s Ruby on Rails Tutorial  and building a twitter-like web app. I’m also going through a few tutorials provided by Treehouse and Code school. If you’re looking for great resources to learn web development and more, check these out!

The main reason for this blog is to gather my thoughts on things I’m learning along the way to aid me in my learning process. My goal is to learn how to build things that add value and help people in their everyday lives, or at the very least, to build things that help people’s lives suck a little less!

Come say hi, follow me on twitter!

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