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!

I Got Laid Off

It was all going well and then I got the surprise that I could have not expected…

My company had to let me go – I was called in the office with my two managers and was told I was being laid off and I wasn’t the only one. I honestly felt crushed especially since I had just signed a new lease to an apartment a few days before, the timing couldn’t have been worse but it was out of my hands.

I knew once I saw the message that read ‘Tiffany, can you speak to me in my office for a second’ that things wouldn’t go well. They weren’t happy about me leaving and would have liked me to stay but their hands were tied. They told me that this had nothing to do with my performance. They even stated they were proud and surprised at me coming in and getting to work so quickly on the code base. I appreciated the kind words and was relieved this had nothing to do with the work I was doing. After thanking them for the opportunity, I gathered my things, spoke with my other co worker and headed out the door one last time.

Once I got home, I decided not to do anything the rest of the day and gather my thoughts to prepare myself for the next stage in my life. That evening, I then decided to update my resume and LinkedIN. Later on that evening I made a call to the apartment complex letting them know I was unable to lease with them since I had just got laid off. I was told I would still have to pay but that didn’t seem right with me so the individual said he would relay this info to the manager. I asked for the manager’s email as well so we could discuss it further. That night I emailed the manager.

The following morning I received a call from the manager that stated that the lease agreement is contingent on my income and since I no longer am employed that they would go ahead and let me out of it. What a relief!

I also was removed from the github repo from work and my part time job as well. Everything seemed so final – Plus, it looks like I haven’t been working in git since I was no longer apart of the repo at work. I told myself that I have to start over and continue to build up my github again with personal projects. I’m still trying to get over the dizziness of being told I no longer have a job.

Nevertheless, I learned a lot from the work I did while I was there and am forever grateful for the people who gave me my first Web Developer position. It’s back to the daily grind of finding a job for me which is going to be a tough one since its around the holidays but I will make it through. I’m also utilizing this time to brush up on my skills in PHP and Laravel.

Finding Time to Code

Juggling a full time job, possibly school, family and friends is tough as it is but when you add in trying to learn to code – It may seems unrealistic to find the time. Here’s some helpful tips so you continue to learn to code throughout the day and maintain a healthy work/life balance.

  1. Code before work – I know, who wants to wake up that early? However, if you are truly passionate about changing careers into a developer then this may be a good option for you. I recommend gradually waking up a earlier until you fall into a routine. You can get in a good 30mins-1hr coding done in the morning so that when you are actually at work you can focus.
  2. Utilize your lunch break/Work breaks – Even if you only have 30 mins, you can practice if/else statements, algorithms, or read a blog about coding to keep exercising that muscle. I recommend knowing exactly what you wan to focus on before lunch so you can be prepared.
  3. Evenings – This is another tough one for some because after a full days work you just want to relax however, spending about an hour firing up Team Treehouse/CodeCademy/FreeCodeCamp or whatever resource you use for learning will be helpful to keep your mind fixed on coding.
  4. Weekends – This is a great time to really buckle down on your learning! Spend a few hours during the weekend building a website or application or learning a new language. It’s important to note that you may want to get the bulk of your coding done during this time because you have larger chunks of time to finish solving majority of your coding problems 😉

Try out some of these techniques and let me know which works best for you!

Check out the Vid on YouTube: