I'm new to this site and thought maybe it was worthwhile to give some insight into what it's like to be a truly self-directed aspiring web developer. I'm 28 as of March, 2021. For the last 10 years I've been in an industry I loved and hated; Food & Beverage. In regards to the front of house, I've done it all. I greatly enjoyed it and got into management and event directing. Working with the public can be a trying thing, but the positive experiences far outweighed the negative. Then, of course, COVID hit and I went on a furlough. Myself, being painfully naïve, was looking forward to the nice down time. Things had gotten difficult at work with my director on leave and the mini-vacation was set to be just that. 2 weeks went by, and then a month. Then two months. I started to worry a bit but hindsight into May of 2020 looked like COVID was going to be around for a LONG time. I had unemployment and I was feeling alright.
Then, Las Vegas, like most places, found a way to adapt. Of course myself and my 2nd-in-command are called in to look into SOPs and try to navigate a post-Covid rocked world in F&B. Personally, I was somewhat preoccupied at that particular time. My long-time girlfriend was going through medical struggles and at that moment was going to be getting surgery and was going to need a lot of help at home. Even under normal circumstances I would have probably taken a week or two (if I could get it) to assist her in healing. Unfortunately, due to the downturn in business, only one of the managers could stay on so I differed to my Lead Server and that's the story of how I lost my job.
Information of whether or not I still had a job was very spotty. Things got better, then worse, then MUCH worse and I was in a limbo for literal months. Mentally, I took it in stride. I knew I was good at what I did and that eventually things would get better and I'd either go back to work or find new work. Around October of 2020 I started to think of what would happen if things went REAL bad and how I would make my way in this new pandemic world. I had always wanted to find a job that I could do from home or on the move. I've always had dreams of travelling, and the flexibility of a remote job seemed like the dream. By mid-October the novelty of essentially "playing hooky" had completely worn off. The days were very repetitive and all of life seemed to lose the shine. I felt like I was waiting for nothing. Literally anticipating a change that I knew would never come. It was dark and not fun at all. So, I had to find the spark to bring that light back. While watching some Youtube videos I started seeing people who learned to code in their off time to great success.
So, I got courses from Udemy and I grinded. I lived and breathed code, and continue to. I actually started with a pre-programming course that helped me get into the right mindset and helped me understand how computers and the internet work. From there, I took a small Python course to get my feet wet. That course introduced me to Scratch and IDEs. Then, I did a ton of research on coding jobs and what they entailed and required. From what I found, it appeared as long as I can SHOW people I can code, I have a shot.
As I pressed on, while brainstorming app ideas; I thought of making a deck builder for a card game. It was something I had an interest in and I could think of anything available. After searching, of course it had already been done. However, they were looking for an intern. I had 1 project, I've self coded for all of 4-5 months and I had no confidence in my ability to actually do this. Everything I read and ingested from the dev media said to take your shot when you could though. So I did. It seemed almost perfect. It's a laid back little website and it was coded in the exact things I knew how to use. If there was ever a shot, this was the one to take.
I actually got an interview. Exciting, right? Holy panic. I took my shot and now I had to make the preparations to make sure it wasn't an air ball. I grinded interview questions. The email that was sent to me was very clear that it was going to be a short little interview and there was going to be an easy technical question and that it should take only about 30 minutes. Awesome. I can do that.
To tell you the amount of fear I was experiencing would be impossible. There was some serenity in it, however. I knew I wasn't overselling myself. I knew I could do what I could do. What more can you ask? If I'm not ready, I'm not ready. However, I would be an idiot to not take a chance...
The interview itself is worth an entire post itself and I'll post that next week. Thank you for reading! I hope I can make someone know that in their fear and anxiety of the unknown, they're not alone. Until next time...