Just this past Thursday, my web development bootcamp, Juno College (formerly HackerYou), held a very intimate "group therapy"-like session for our cohort without us being remotely prepared. The session was meant have each individual share their highs, lows, and everything in between that we've felt throughout the intense bootcamp schedule.
As I mentioned earlier, none of us were really emotionally prepared for the talks we were about to have and the openness and vulnerability of each individual. I won't get into detail about anybody's personal narration, as what we shared was something to only be shared and kept between all of us, which I think is actually beautiful. What happened on Thursday December 5th, 2019 stays in Thursday December 5th, 2019.
Although, I do have one story I have permission to share and that would be my own.
My two highs:
- I switched out of a career where I felt so lost and stagnant in, to something that gets me up in the morning and keeps me going at it till bedtime.
- I met the most wonderful people these past two months in my cohort where I feel as if I could continue fostering life-long supportive relationships with in this ever-growing community.
I've found design and creativity to be a bit of a challenge these past few months, but I know I'll eventually find my niche and create a style that works and speaks perfectly for me.
This blog post is dedicated to speaking about my first high I mentioned above
It's no secret that I've struggled finding my path in data science in the past. I remember my role be different in each company I worked for and each company had its own definition of data science. This created a series of months of me having serious anxiety, imposter syndrome, and stress going into work for a very long time. I would come home in the evenings stressed out on why something so simple could not make any sense in my head. I was anxious about how I never received mentorship or guidance in my data career, eventually weighing me down in the confidence scale.
I knew for a fact things would only get better with time. I was aware data would make more sense to me on a larger scale and would be easier to learn and work with overtime and with more practice.
But I practiced. I took courses. I asked questions online and tried to find answers. However, it was rare to apply whatever I was learning online to a real-life scenario at work.
My managers weren't even in the same field I was in, meaning I had almost nobody to turn and ask technical questions to. It was a real struggle finding a way to enjoy work, let alone finishing a task without tearing my hair out and feeling near to worthless.
I could go on for ages about why I couldn't find myself while working in data science, but I'd much rather give you a truth I'm excited about.
I started learning web development earlier in the year as a means of distracting myself from data and my lack of having a forte in it. I guess you could say I did it to rebel against my anxiety and challenge myself in something more... tangible, per se.
I eventually created my first website, my second, third, and eventually my forth. I was on a roll and I genuinely did not want to stop. I didn't find myself crying out in frustration (internally) the way I was at work. In fact, I was gushing each time I changed the style of any element on my website. The look on my face when I center-aligned my text for the first time was the look of pure joy and accomplishment 🥺 #throwback.
I thought "if this isn't what I'm meant to do in tech, I don't know what is"...
After some months struggling to find jobs in data once I moved back to Canada, I ventured into one of Juno's free three-hour courses catered to teaching you how to make a website with HTML and CSS. I honestly went on a whim just hoping to refresh my memory of web development, since I was too busy to code while looking for a job. As you might have guessed, I ended up applying just a week after and got accepted after such a rigorous (but very rewarding) process.
It's been seven weeks, just about to start the eighth, of studying with Juno. I've already got many projects I've created while with Juno ready to go into my portfolio soon. I've learned so much and I know I've excelled in this field opposed to my former one. Many concepts aren't too difficult to grasp, and many of them just come so naturally to me! Do you know how amazing it is to say that about something? Just imagine this: you don't have to wait for data to be cleaned, you don't need to wait for datasets to be analyzed, you don't need to wait on weeks for a report; you just need one thing to show your work: one line of code. You literally have the power to create a website or an application from scratch based on what you type! You know what what best part is, though?
I honestly kind of in a way somehow out of this scope of the conversation possibly found myself again
The best part however, has been the people. I've never been part of a community that isn't competitive, snarky, or just plain old selfish. Each person I've met in the Juno community is so interested in helping others, and seeing others succeed as well. Everybody has something to contribute to the conversation; whether it be how to tackle a coding problem, best tips on readable code, job hunting advice, and project scope advice. The list goes on and on.
This brings me back to the beginning of this blog post: the evening of Thursday December 5th, 2019. The instructors and workers at Juno care so much about each student and what they may be going through. Seeing them create such a great and healthy space for open and vulnerable dialogue has proven that to me.