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Hello, my name is Ramon. And I’m 41 months into learning to reinvent myself as a web developer! You can follow my journey of this process at: http://www.projectramon.wordpress.com
It’s my belief that all a person needs to succeed at learning a new
skill-set is a healthy dose of curiosity, a good attitude and the grit or perseverance to give you all at each step along the journey.
What I’ve Done So Far
Here are links to the two projects I’ve completed through AirPair so far. I am in the process of designing my third project as we speak.
Project #1: EventOrchid
Project #2: Sevendaysports
If you're looking for a resolute, good-natured, and hard working junior Ruby on Rails developer. Please check out my profiles!
How I Started
My journey into web development started with a 2,000 mile, one-way trip across the country! My girlfriend and I left warm and beautiful southern California for Michigan with one purpose; I needed to learn to program.
This wasn’t the quickest decision I’d ever made, but I clearly remember justifying to myself how moving back in with my mom and grandma would allow me the free time to focus on studying. There’s also the additionally obvious benefit of having my family close by after having been so far away for some time.
During my first couple of months back in Michigan, I built an office, setup the computer and got started in HTML and CSS. Eventually, I read somewhere that the best way to learn was to have an idea/project in mind and just jump into building it. So that’s what I did.
What I’ve Learned So Far
The first thing would be that I have ALOT to learn.
I remember hearing James Edward Gray II once mention in one of the Ruby Rogue podcasts that programming has a plethora of topics to consider, each one containing an ocean of information in itself. To tell you the truth, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
That being said, here are a few additional lessons I’ve learned over the past 3.5 years.
Learning with others beats solo coding in your mom’s basement.
This one is probably self-explanatory, but to be certain, it’s my opinion that it is much more fun learning from and interacting with other like-minded individuals.
For me personally, I’ve learned that maintaining a student mentality is more important than standing out. Excellence speaks for itself and occurs naturally over time with focused practice and proper attitude.
Writing blog posts will seriously help solidify concepts internally.
I remember the teachers at Dev Bootcamp encouraging us candidates to start and maintain a blog. At the time, it seemed like a lot of work that wasn’t directly related to programming, so I never kept up with one my first time around.
Boy was I completely wrong!
Not only is a blog a good resource to go over personally when attempting to remember implementation details or the like, but I have also received so much enlightenment and encouragement from many people just when I needed it most. I certainly underestimated how powerful interacting with people in this fashion would provide a better well-being overall.
Prioritizing isn’t necessarily the same as limiting yourself.
Lastly is to practice, and have some fun!
Enjoyment of the process will keep you going during those frustrating periods.
Here is a list of resources that I’m still finding invaluable as I continue along this path towards a new career:
The Well Grounded Rubyist by: David A. Black – Takes a scientific approach in covering the ins and outs of the Ruby language.
Eloquent Ruby by: Russ Olsen – Russ demonstrates how to write code like a true Rubyist.
Apprenticeship Patterns by: Dave Hoover & Adewale Oshineye – Is a pattern book that’s focused on a new developer’s motivation and morale when considering the direction of their lives and careers in the software industry.