Leaena

Home – For Now

Jun
08

The updates got away from me. Life has just been flowing one day to the next. A mix of sun and California and coding. Days will go by where I forget how I got here. It feels like I’ve always been here and then I see or hear something so stereotypically Bay Area-ish that I have to shake my head and realize I don’t know if I ever want to be completely sucked into this candy coated, rose-colored-glasses kinda world.

Life is pretty amazing now. I’m happy and working and finally have my cats and my car. I could never live in San Francisco proper for the sheer joy I get in sitting in my car, driving on a long stretch of road with my music blaring. I drove from Portland home to Burlingame and the views were breathtaking and I felt so much at peace as I curved around the mountains of Northern California.

Oh yeah, cats:

I was terrified they would hate it here and then I’d be the horrible person who drove them 14 hours away from Oregon. I haven’t lived with my cats for 7 months and it’s been excruciating. Thankfully they seem to be enjoying themselves. There are windows that I can actually keep open all the time and floors to stretch out on in the warm, warm sun. And of course I’m here to know Isaac really likes his head scratched and Jack likes to hold your hand with his paw. So yeah, I’m pretty happy. I do have more nerdery and tech blogging to do (I’m trying to learn Swift! and hopefully tech mentoring! and maybe even public speaking?!) and I plan to get to it, but I first had to get the reintroduction out of the way.

Also, this post (and maybe many posts to come) has a theme song:

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Week 4/5: #FAIL

Apr
20

Life has been awesome, so awesome in fact that I have had no time to put words to “paper”. I’m finishing projects and starting new ones at work. I’m having fun with friends on weekends. I even signed up for online dating, but that’s a hilarious post all by itself.

I also managed to do the age old terror inducing thing that most programmers do at least once in their lifetime. I broke our website. It was fast, over before most people noticed and totally my fault. The silver lining was that I was able to also fix my own mess without much assistance and in less than an hour. Still I felt like an idiot for the rest of the day.

The next day though we were on to the next feature, the next quirk, and I was able to breathe again because I’m slowly realizing that none of this will ever be the end of the world. Just like I don’t believe any one thing can “disrupt” the way we do things (and I hate that most startups think that they will), I believe that we can all help to shape something. That we each contribute our own little parts and my contributions also don’t have to be perfect. We have code reviews and tech leads and lots and lots of awesome mentoring opportunities to fill in our lack of knowledge.

Also, FYI, I’m including my Twitter feed to the right for now because I update it more than it might this blog.

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Week 3: Giving Back

Apr
09

Week 3 ended a few days back (sorry y’all I had a busy weekend) and it was awesome. I’m learning new intricacies of our systems and learning to be more confident in myself when I know I know it (or maybe even think I do! Being wrong isn’t the end of the world!). My favorite part of this week though was the weekend.

On Saturday I got to volunteer at an all girl (10-17) JavaScript intro class with CoderDojo. I was a tech mentor, but I didn’t have to do a lot . I was super impressed with the girls! And I got to teach a couple of them that docs are super helpful! They were all so creative and awesome and I hope a lot of them decide that programming is as awesome as I think it is. For a short write-up (and to see what some of the girls made!) check out the write up for the event here.

Also, as an aside, can I just take a moment to say that I think Pamela Fox is amazeballs? She spoke at Hack Reactor during my time there and I’ve been following her on Twitter for a while, but I fan-girled hard when I realized she was the instructor for the class. She is such a smart, funny presenter and she was amazing with the girls. I aspire to be more like her when I “grow up”.

I could see myself filling my weekends with tech mentoring/hanging out at places like Women Who Code, Girl Develop It, and PyLadies. It’s something that I’m super passionate about (it’s why I wanted to work at Udacity so badly). I think mainly because it’s something I wish I had when I was growing up. I wish I could have seen women being awesome programmers, making a career out of it, and how much fun it could be. I never thought I would be one of those people who didn’t just have a “job” they had a calling, but I’m positive I’ve found me.

 

 

 

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Week 2: Ticking All the Checkboxes

Mar
28

How is it possible that I’ve already been working for Udacity for two weeks?!

I have done real tangible things since last week (I did real, tangible things my first week but nothing I could really point you to). This week, I integrated Github linking!! If you have an account on Udacity, you can now link your Github account to it here. This doesn’t actually do much more at the moment, but it’s all a part of a master plan. If you don’t have a Udacity account (why not?!) or aren’t using Github, here’s an action shot from my account:

My first contribution to Udacity

I’m settling in to my place a little more (I also discovered┬áthe spider I threw outside was not Selma, but Selma is in fact outside now too). I have a new whiteboard that is currently just practical (groceries and upcoming things), but I’m sure it will end up with weird pictures of animals and penises.

The Whiteboard of Doom

My plans this weekend involve groceries and finally getting a San Mateo County library card, so I’m pretty excited!

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How to Git Ignore without .gitignore

Mar
23

So I had this problem at work. I’m running a virtualenv instance on our main git repo for all my python packages. The global .gitignore obviously doesn’t know about it the way it knows to filter out node modules and other fun bits of localization and I sure as heck don’t want to add my own one line fix to the global .gitignore file.

So what’s a girl to do? Does she just ignore that one annoying untracked file line every time she does a git status from the terminal? Nope, she uses git exclude.

$GIT_DIR/info/exclude

So for me this meant I had to create a info folder in my .git folder in the repo. Then I created a file called exclude (no file extension). The syntax in that file is exactly like the .gitignore file, it’s just very very local (to your computer and only for that repo).

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Week 1: I Feel Like I’ve Been Here Before

Mar
23

First week of work is over and it felt a lot like a less intense week of Hack Reactor. I still can’t believe this is what I’m actually doing with my life. I still definitely have lots and lots of impostor syndrome but I also deployed live things my first week! And learned a few of my coworkers names! And did a two minute all staff demonstration on how to knit!

I also got exactly what I wanted. I’m working full stack in JavaScript and Python in non startup-y startup (e.g., we’re not out to make lots and lots of money or making a product we don’t believe in for the money) doing things that I feel are making a tangibly good contribution. We have a gong that gets rung when a person graduates a class. That small bit right there proved that I was exactly where I wanted to be.

And yes, I’m still terrified some days that I’m too slow or too newb or just not cut out for this, but here’s a secret, I don’t think that will ever go away. Maybe it’s a good thing or maybe it’s just human nature, but I just need to learn to live in my own skin I think and take the impostor syndrome as a mark of being human, of caring about my work and wanting to always get better.

And a minor update: Selma is no longer in the house, I got the balls to move her outside finally.

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Not Working is Worse

Mar
16

So first off, mad props to those of my cohort who have jobs now too! And major hearts to those still looking, because y’all are amazing. And a special shout out to my platonic soul mate Ava who starts at SurveyMonkey in a week!

I have had two weeks of quiet reflection (read scrambling to get an apartment, utilities and furniture in my pad) and it sucked. While I definitely don’t want to go back to the terrifying job finding phase anytime soon, at least I felt like I was doing things (and I got to code once in a while). Now I’m just sitting around waiting for utility services to call me back or deliver my stuff or de-spidering my apartment (mostly dead, the one that’s alive I’m naming Selma, because I’m a giant crippling softie who can’t even kill bugs).

I start work on Monday and I’m nervous-excited-terrified-ecstatic. I’m already on the email lists and I love the few random all-staff conversations I’ve read. I think the culture here will be awesome. My zen today though has been putting together IKEA:

Made Bed

RED Couch

Blurry Table

And a super special thank you to Ava for being awesome and watching TV with me and putting together my table:

Ava Puts Together A Table

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Confirm my eccentricities

Mar
03

I have discovered a new sense of zen since I got my job offer. I’ve also discovered amusing things about myself. The biggest and most noticeable change is in my music choices. When I was stressed and scared and about to go to an interview I would want nothing more than to listen to a couple of songs over and over again. Bravado was one, Problem, Wrecking Ball, and Dark Horse were my staples. I needed strong songs sung by women that I knew by heart. I listen to basically nothing else. Now I’m still listening to them, but I’ve added back in old favorites and non-female vocals like We Fought Monsters, I Hear the Bells, and Madness. It feels awesome emotionally and physically. Music is a huge factor in my moods and it’s awesome to be able to experience the full range of it again.

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I Got a Job!

Feb
28

So, that was quick. Here I was whining and freaking out about the job search and instead I find myself settled in a week and a half.

I’m a Full Stack Software Engineer at Udacity! I am so excited. Everyone there seems so awesome and I really believe in online/alternate education and have always wanted to get into that niche.

So no sob stories to read about here for another few months. Instead you’ll get to read about my shenanigans trying to find an apartment, bringing my kitties down from Oregon, and buying everything in IKEA.

Applying for a job at IKEA

…And So It Begins

Feb
24

I definitely plan to keep up with my Sunday/Monday posting schedule but I’m not sure what to call these anymore. When I was in Hack Reactor it was easy to call them “Week #: (insert witty title)” and now I think I just have to continue with my old standby of vaguely overwrought witty/melodramatic titles or it will take all the fun out of my posts.

Any illusions I had of getting some sleep after Hack Reactor was over was complete wishful thinking. I have been moving and doing and emailing and talking and coding and my life is just as crazy as ever… and I love it. That terrified feeling from the last week of Hack Reactor is gone. I mean, obviously there are nerves and ups and downs to this whole process, but there are also the awesome moments. The fun of coding challenges and flexing my brain at a whiteboard. The awesome talks with some really cool engineers and just the constant feeling that I’m still learning and growing as an engineer even when I’m not technically “learning”.

LAUNCH Hack Sign

And just to prove there ain’t no rest for the wicked, over the weekend I attended the Launch hackathon. We weren’t doing it to win any prizes but I attended with a couple of the Hack Reactor ladies and we had a lot of fun putting Marmot Creek together. Also, for my zen like moment of the week, a picture from the wharf this morning:

Staring at the Bay

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