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Marie Antons
Marie Antons

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My Journey Into The World Of Software Development!

Hello! My name is Marie and I am currently a Junior Developer for STRATAFOLIO, a small startup based out of Cedar Rapids, Iowa that specializes in real estate asset management and analytics. My background on the other hand is in the culinary industry.

I started my developer journey just over a year ago after I moved back to the United States from the tiny island of Bermuda. While in Bermuda I had a small internship with a resort then I did not work for the next three and a half years. What made me fall in love and switch careers completely to software development one may ask? Well, it all started when I was dreaming about starting my own pasta business. I had the idea of selling fresh pasta at the farmer’s market. I am someone who loves to plan so I thought if someone likes my pasta I need a website for them to at least find more information about me and the types of pasta I would be selling. So with this big dream, I set out to figure out my game plan. First things first I thought I should get a website up and going then do the rest. This led me to find out websites cost a lot of a lot of money! This was shocking to me, so with this in mind I did some research on how to build my own website.

Programming, Is this for Me?

All of this research led me to DeltaV Code School which is a small school based out of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I started slowly, especially since at this time I was not really familiar with using computers for anything other than social media and the occasional recipe search. DeltaV offered two introductory courses, Code 101 and 102. They introduced the very basics of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. I believe the patience and guidance of the instructors’ was definitely key to demystifying these languages that were foreign to me.

Fast-forwarding to February 2020 I enrolled in the full-time Software Development path which encompassed a 20-week time span. These twenty weeks were broken into three different courses, some of the hardest and most rewarding learning experiences I have had to date. These courses were rapid-paced and the topics were vast.

Some aspects of DeltaV that I really enjoyed were daily code challenges and career Fridays where we would have different speakers discussing topics like:
Resume Building
Giving Your Personal Pitch
This one really helped me get comfortable talking about myself and making that introduction.
Mock Interviews: Technical and Behavioral

The most important aspect to finishing this boot camp for me was to build a community with my classmates. I have always been quite shy and nervous around new people but making the career change I thought I should really try to get as involved as I could and build connections with my peers. This was even more important when covid hit at the start of the second course. When we moved fully remote, the bond with my classmates grew and we learned each other’s strengths and weaknesses, collaborated and bounced ideas off of each other, and picked each other up when times were tough. We set up times to work through our daily code challenges and finish some of our labs that were paired.

The second important aspect was to attend various networking events that I found through Meetup. Especially now that most meetups are virtual this can really expand what is available to you. I have attended many topics such as Agile, .Net, SQL, and JavaScript. My very first meetup was at the Iowa JavaScript meetup. My teacher from Code 101 offered to attend as well to give me a familiar face to chat with and this helped immensely. Especially as a beginner, I found it very uncomfortable and overwhelming at the beginning but the more I got to know this group and all of the other groups I have attended, the more I realized people in the tech industry love helping each other. They love hearing about your wins and helping when you are stuck.

What got you into software development?

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