Leaena

I Need to Stop Apologizing (subtitle: Objective-C and ME)

Aug
21

…And start just actually updating this thing. I could tell you about my life changes – finally got my California drivers license! I lost 5 lbs! Or my work changes – Imma try to be an iOS Engineer! Udacity did a short blog article on me to hype up one of our classes! I’m mentoring cool women at Hackbright! Or just daily life – I stopped biting my finger nails!

I think for this update I’ll stick to the code related though. Lemme take a moment to sound like an idiot – I have tried my damnest (not consciously) to forget my Java/C college days and I’m getting ALL the flashbacks while I try to teach myself Obj-C. It took a very long time for me to even be OK enough to actually read Objective-C. But now that the brackets everywhere don’t scare me. I’m starting to enjoy it.

I’ve written all of two or three lines for our actual Udacity app but I’m learning on my own and with the support of our mobile team! In a bit of return I’m working on integrations with them to hook them up to our web backend better. So see kids! You don’t have to know Objective-C to be considered part of the mobile team! I’ve transitioned over and still get to stay in my comfort zone of Python a lot.

I think the most important thing I’ve learned so far is that it’s not the language that is difficult to learn, it’s that iOS development is a completely different mind-set, especially coming from a backend heavy few months. I like crafting functional APIs that do what they’re told and I’ve learned to find map reduces fun. But now I have to think about user experience? And does the button need to be orange? Should the robot picture be above or below the text? Should the background be white or black? Should we AB test this on boarding screen? It’s nuts, but in a good way.

I know backend engineering has had my heart but I never wanted to get stuck there. I wanted to be able to have options. To learn ALL THE THINGS. And my awesome coworkers at Udacity have been nothing if not supportive of that goal. One week I’m learning how to write map reduces, another I’m researching video transcodings for mobile video streaming (and playing with PBS open source software!), and just this week I got to play a mini round of tech support as our Georgia Tech Masters students started their term on Monday. It’s a hell of a ride so far and I’m just getting started. Hopefully now that I’m settling a bit on what I want to learn next (iOS) I’ll get back to a more consistent blogging schedule.

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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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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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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