Looking Back and Starting Over

I looked at my website. I redesigned and coding it back in January this year when I had some time. I scrolled down to see my blogs and realized it had been last year (December 2018) since I posted a blog to it. Shocked and disappointed at myself, I realized I needed to change that. Hence, why I am writing to you today. I’m not going to go back to last year…I don’t remember all of the things that have taken place. I will give you a summary though (of the high points that I recall).

DECEMBER 2018

I started working as a full time back end developer at a company I used to intern at. I remember being excited and very grateful for the opportunity to return to the team as a full time employee – Ready to contribute and make a difference. 

JANUARY 2019 – JULY 2019

It was decided that I would start working on an integration with Salesforce. I didn’t know why I was chosen, I thought to myself Hope I don’t screw this up and lose my job 😅I went through several emotions mentally during the next few weeks – In the end, my final thought was Everything happens for a reason and I believed that to be true. I’m also not a quitter (Unless it’s a life or death matter OR Potentially harmful). 

Let’s fast forward to me working with Salesforce – In a nutshell. It was frustrating and sucked for a bit! Docs were all over the place. I was integrating Laravel with Salesforce API using Forrest (Which was pretty cool!). I remember talking to rep from Salesforce and asking a question about how to go about implementing a process and he said something along the lines of Your organization doesn’t have developer support. The developer that is integrating this should be able to figure it out. I nearly lost it! Instead, I held my composure like I tend to do, like I was taught to do. My response went a little like I am the developer working on this project, I just haven’t ever to implement this process but I’ll figure it out. 

Why does everything cost? I didn’t understand, Salesforce already has tons of monies, the product is gargantuous. I started doing my research to find anyone to answer my questions related directly to implementing things in Salesforce. I found resources such as Stack Exchange (https://salesforce.stackexchange.com/), asking questions on the Salesforce website, watched YouTube videos and a slack group called Good Day Sir (I don’t know why it’s called that – It’s a podcast that I’ve never listened to https://www.gooddaysirpodcast.com/) The slack group has been more than helpful to me. 

Anyways, during these months, I realized I don’t know anything! LOL. Seriously. I struggled a lot with getting things to work but I completed my task of integration with the help of my co workers. At this point, I am pretty much over Salesforce – It’s been a headache and if you want something small done – There’s so many loopholes and obstacles. 

Here’s what we accomplished in a nutshell these past several months: 

  • Syncing our users and organizations over to Salesforce
  • Integrating Salesforce Live Chat to our app
  • Utilizing Opportunities in Salesforce and pairing it with our process on our site

There was more – I don’t remember it all but I do know there was more. Ask the Women Who Code DFW slack group – They know. They’ve heard me talk more than once about Salesforce and express my frustration and I appreciate each and every one of them. 

Currently, I’m fixing bugs in Salesforce every once in awhile. There’s some things that we’ve had to adjust in our app so that it works in Salesforce – I believe that’s what they want though. Salesforce wants you to adjust so they don’t have to keep adjusting on their end as much. 

That’s okay, I’ve learned a lot and even more about myself which I may uncover during another post (considering it took me forever to post about this, I wouldn’t hold my breath :] ). 

WHY DID IT TAKE SO LONG TO POST?

I didn’t want to talk about work because work involved something that I wasn’t particularly excited or passionate about so I thought Why waste more time on it. Also, I felt like there was pressure to get this stuff completed and I didn’t want to let anyone down so I focused on the necessities. Which meant this blog took a back seat. 

I also had a few life things happen – My car (that I just paid off in January 2019) was pronounced totaled at the end of March – I was in an accident on my way to work, the accident was my fault – I couldn’t stop quick enough without hitting the pick up truck in front of me. It was my first big accident where I was behind the wheel – I had anxiety for a bit driving down that same highway on my way to work…It’s better now. Just keep in mind that just because you caused it doesn’t mean that you weren’t affected by it. 

I also moved in March to my own apartment – It was a long time coming but I’m happy I took the leap. I’ve helped celebrate birthdays, I’ve been meeting with my life group from church, I’ve been getting more involved in church in different ministry – I’m now apart of the A/V ministry. I decided to buy a new car (The other one was bought used) and went through a sort of roller coaster with that. I have been to conferences. https://youtu.be/xUDtLGUHoIM

I’ve had ups and downs. I’ve been busy with Women Who Code activities. 

WHAT AM I DOING NOW?

I’ve maneuvered into the world of data. It’s still the early stages of it but so far so good. Of course I don’t know a lot but I’ve been reading up on SQL stuff in Mode Analytics and feel a bit better about it. I’ve spoken with friends about what I’m doing now. I felt the imposter syndrome big time but I am figuring out how to just embrace the fact that I once again don’t know everything about SQL and I’m not a pro. 

THE PLAN FOR BLOGS

I plan to write a bit about a few things I’m proud of and that I was able to solve in Salesforce over the coming weeks – Someone hold me accountable! I’ve got a whiteboard of my ideas. Sitting here just writing down these thoughts feel so great though!

A Year After Coding Bootcamp

Watch the Youtube Video:

It’s hard to believe its been a full year since I graduating Coding Dojo. I remember feeling terrified of leaving my secure corporate job of three years and not knowing what will come about after graduation. I remember applying to multiple jobs and having interviews in hopes that one will give me an opportunity to prove what I already know – That I’m a team player who loves to code and wants to be apart of something that’s bigger than me. I had some set backs along my journey, ran into some interesting people and learned a lot.

If you follow my tech journey at all on Youtube – You’ll know that the first job after graduating the Dojo was not one affiliated with coding at all and therefore did not last long. I later moved into a teaching gig where I taught grade school kids how to code and introduced it to many of them. You can view the full video series here:

Teaching gave me the opportunity to really focus on what I love doing most – coding. Teaching was a part time job – which meant I had some down time which is why I started my Youtube channel. I always wanted to post videos but had a difficult time settling on a topic I’d like my channel to focus on – with my experience teaching code I thought it’d be a great idea to share my story and teach code. I later became a Teaching Assistant at SMU’s Full Stack Coding Bootcamp through a company called Trilogy. I still have to shake myself from reality knowing that individuals reach out to me to help answer their questions – Of course, I don’t know everything and I never claim to but it’s always great when we can research a question and come up with possible solutions together. There’s a great burden and responsibility with helping others – while I’m always up for a challenge, I never forget that others depend on me to always be honest and truthful along the way.

So, here I sit outside my house in a lawn chair enjoying my fourth of July day before starting my very first Web Developer position tomorrow writing down these thoughts to you in hopes that you’re encouraged about your own journey through life. I have to say that although my journey is not like everyone else’s and may not end in some heroic tale of victory – I am proud of how far I’ve come after a year. It’s also important to note that the majority of my decisions I’ve made about my career this past year had nothing to do with code directly – It dealt with people and more often than not, it had much to do with my future.

Although I may not have the most flashy Web Developer position, I know it’s a far cry from where I was a year ago and I know the possibilities that come along with it. The beginning is just starting for me and I’ve a long journey to complete before the ending. If you happen to be looking for work as a developer or any other position where you’ve made a career change – Don’t be afraid to dial back to where you came from to get your start or to take a job that may not be your dream job. What is a dream job anyway? That’s another post for another day 😉

I plan on keeping up with my progress mainly on Youtube that will allow me to make weekly and monthly updates. I do want to add a disclaimer: I’m moving to Full Time employment in the corporate world, still have my TA gig at SMU and plan to still help out when I can with my now former employer with curriculum for students – Needless to say, I’ll be busy but I’ll try to fit in time to record when I can.

Thanks for reading & Keep working on your goals!