Breaking Through & Never Giving Up Even When You Want To: Life Update

Posted by amandarebecca89 on May 16, 2019

Hi there it’s me, and I’ve been so busy that I’ve dropped the ball in posting these blog posts. I finally have some time to sit down and let you know what’s been going on with me and hopefully you’ll take some time to read this.

I’ve been on this coding journey for 2 years now which seems crazy since it feels like I just began learning every time I sit down at the computer and code. I constantly feel like I’m standing at the beach and the waves are about to drown me with all the anxiety and doubt that one has when trying to break into the tech world. It’s tough to keep motivated and it’s really tough to keep positive at least for me. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t jealous of those who seem like they have their life together especially in regards to coding. I say seem because I know in my rational mind that nobody has their life together and people are doing the best that they can but sometimes I feel like my best is not good enough. Help me out here and let me know I’m not alone in this! But oh, how I digress. I am not letting the imposter syndrome get the best of me and I am going to keep pushing to find my first full time role soon.

Here we go and thank you for reading <3

I had a phone interview two weeks ago which I was not thrilled about the position but I decided to take the call because every phone call is one step closer to my dream role, right? I had a great conversation with the CTO actually and he gave me the code challenge. When I read the code challenge I felt that utter shock that I had no way of doing this complicated Data Science problem and I sat on it for a week (he had told me that there was no time frame to get it done). Yesterday, I wrote him an email stating that I felt this problem was not in my wheelhouse and I hope that found someone for this role soon. I didn’t expect an email back but I was pleasantly surprised. While he did not offer me the role (nor should he have), he told me that he had picked me as a candidate because of my tenacity and my journey into coding was inspiring. I have been told by those close to me that my journey is unique and inspiring but to hear from a person who doesn’t know me personally really made me feel validated if that makes sense. He also was very appreciative that I was honest about my abilities. One door closes and another opens, right?

The next door that opened for me was….

I went to a career fair that my bootcamp put on here in NYC. I met with two companies. One of which I had the best interview of my life because he asked such interesting questions that were NOT related to code and just wanted to get to know me as a person. I got an email a day later from them telling me that they thought I was a great fit and to complete this code challenge. I did two out of the three problems and told them that the last problem was way too computer science for me and that I hope they would still keep me in the running. I of course thought I wouldn’t hear from them….But….I did! They told me that they were now realizing how hard the third problem was and it was their mistake to put that in the challenge. They loved my honesty and I’m still in the running! So hopefully I hear back from them next week with next steps.

The second interview was a live coding session which has terrified me (and still does) since I graduated the bootcamp and knew I would have to do this while trying to get a job. I texted my best friend and boyfriend telling them that I couldn’t possibly do this and I should just tell the company I’m no good for them. The love and support I got from them to tell me to push through and that they knew I could do this was priceless. I got to the live coding session and I told the people that I was very nervous and had bad experiences with this previously. To their credit they were both so supportive and told me that I could do this. With a bit of their guidance and support I actually solved the algorithm - which I wasn’t able to do in my last two on sites. I haven’t heard from that company and probably won’t but I consider this a huge step forward for me because I couldn’t have solved the problem a month ago and here I was able to talk out my process and solve it. So that door may be closed but I am still so proud of myself for doing it.

Way back in February I had applied for an apprenticeship that is part time and remote - I actually had totally forgot about it until a few weeks ago I got an email asking me if I would want to complete a code challenge for them. Because I had an on-site (that I didn’t do well at but I’m at peace with it) I had forgotten to do the challenge. I thought that I blew it and they wouldn’t be in touch. To my surprise they emailed me last week asking if I was still interested in completing it and I said YES! I did the challenge on Monday and I finally felt like I actually knew what I was trying to do with code. My anxiety and my crippling doubt went in the back burner and I said to myself “Wow. I can really do this for a living.” I didn’t expect to hear from them until maybe Friday but they wrote back to me later that night saying I had gotten the role. I jumped up and down in my kitchen and called my parents letting them know - they are 74 bless their heart and technology is confusing for them at best. I told them it wasn’t a full time role but it was something! It is the break I need to get real world experience while being able to look for a full time role here. I actually got my assignment last night and am beginning it today. I get 4 weeks to complete one pull request and I can’t wait to dive deep into this and learn so much.

So to end this very long emotional post (for me) I want to say this: Get people in your corner who support you and lift you up. Write yourself positive affirmations (I know it’s silly) on your phone or wherever telling yourself that YOU CAN DO THIS. Don’t give up and if you do give up on yourself go to the people in your corner to hype you up - I need this pretty regularly, hopefully I’ll need this less and less. Remember that you are not alone. I am always in awe by how many wonderful friends I’ve met on Twitter through the dev community. AND I have a discord server that I created that’s really chill with a bunch of like minded people ranging from code newbies like myself to senior devs. We talk about more than just code which is what I crave from a community – if this sounds like something you would like please reach out to me on twitter (@amandathedevnyc) or on here so I can send you the link.

Thank you for reading and accepting me <3 Signing off for now.