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).


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 :] ). 


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. 


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. 


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!

Contributing to Open Source

What I Learned After Contributing to Open Source – Hacktoberfest

  1. I recommend starting early in the month, it was the middle of the month and had a difficult time finding stuff to work on
    1. I’d look through the list of of tasks only to find out they had already been done
    2. In that same token, I took a task only to find out someone has already put a PR in for it
  2. Working on codebases that has pretty good documentation – Especially if it’s your first hacktoberfest
    1. I came across the first task I signed myself up for and realized there wasn’t a lot of docs
      1. I asked for some help and couldn’t get things working so I decided to move forward with another project
  3. Work with languages (frameworks) in which you are familiar with (or at least interested in) – Especially if it’s your first hacktoberfest
    1. So that you can get your first couple of tasks out without much effort
    2. Then gradually move on to things you are unfamiliar with
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about what is expected from you for the task
    1. Some folks don’t add good details about what they want/expect to be concluded at the end of the task, ask clarifying questions
      1. Join the slack group if they have one and Ask others questions
  5. Use the search by languages feature to narrow down the tasks within a specific language skill base that you want to complete
    1. This makes it so it’s easy to search for things you want to work on
  6. Pay attention to the labels for each project
    1. Notice labels such as labeled for hacktoberfest and beginner friendly
      1. If they have their own key, pay attention to those rules as well
  7. Contribute multiple times to the same code base
    1. Once you find a good codebase you don’t mind working with, find other issues you can potentially work on
      1. I found a project called directUs – The code was clean and the team was helpful plus everything was well documented…So I started to look for additional issues that hadn’t been worked on yet. It was difficult and I wasn’t successful but I didn’t give up.
  8. Continue to contribute even after hacktoberfest
    1. If you’ve started then keep going, don’t think you have to give up now that they month is over. Projects always need help.
  9. BONUS: I personally work on actual applications instead of projects that are more personal. Actual apps normally have login systems and just aren’t vanilla js/php code which is fine but it wasn’t my preference and not what I wanted to to contribute to.
  10. EXTRA BONUS: Thanks to a friend of mine, Thanks Claire!, I found out that you can make PR’s to your own projects on github – Super awesome if you’re trying to work on a new portfolio or web app.
  11. HONORABLE MENTION: The t-shirts for the ladies ran small, I ordered a size larger, to be on the safe side, but it didn’t fit either…I was bummed out but definitely learned my lesson.

Your Job the First Couple Weeks at a New Job

What are going to be doing the first couple weeks at a new job?

I can’t answer that for you because I have no idea – But I can tell you what you should be doing the first few weeks at a new job.

  1. Asking Questions
    • Everyone always says ask questions but what questions should you be asking when you don’t know much about what’s already going on?
      • Ask about the workflow – How do they get and complete tasks
      • What applications are they using for daily productivity? And if you don’t know them then familiarize yourself with them.
      • Ask what is expected of you during your first 2-3 months so you can better contribute and so you know your goals and what you need to accomplish.
      • Get your first task and start asking about the codebase
  2. Learning about the company and the product
    • The product and/or company are probably a big portion as to why decided to take a job to begin with – Start getting to know them better by reading up on any literature the company has to offer or finding out the right people to talk to about the product
  3. Getting to know your co workers
    • This one really intimidates me but you have to talk to the people you’ll be working with so you can build a work relationship with them
      • Start joining in on office banter, going to team lunches and happy hours
        • It’s not a enough to go but you should also join in the conversations while you’re there – This one is always super difficult for me but it can be done. So don’t feel like this is an easy task for everyone

I hope this was helpful! Best of luck in your new role! What do you do to get acclimated into a new company/position? I’d love to hear your comments below.

Being an Intern at nearly 30 years old

Determining to take the internship

When I was originally contacted about being an intern, I did what I normally would do and did some research about ‘being an intern at 30’. I found a couple articles, one in particular https://www.themuse.com/advice/why-i-took-an-internship-at-age-30, ultimately helped make my decision.

A couple of things stood out to me from that article. 1. This person was a career changer and having an internship was the best way to get a sneak peak into the industry but for me my internship was an opportunity to learn more and become a contributing member of the engineering team. 2. This person also worked an unpaid internship – Mine was paid so I said well I’m already one up from this person so why not?

Starting the Internship

I must admit, I felt a bit silly for joining an organization as an intern. I thought the title was beneath me although nothing else, except for the Web Developer job I had just got laid off from, justified me to a better title. Nevertheless, I went in with an attitude of gratitude – I decided to soak up all the knowledge and learn all of the things! A little seize the opportunity if you would.

Once I was introduced to my teammates and the days grew on I realized they really thought I had just graduated from college recently. I still remember the looks on their faces when I told them I graduated back in 2011. It made me wonder, why do we make assumptions based on titles?

Take Aways

We have to stop assuming things about people when we don’t know their situation or what they are attempting to accomplish.

Try something different – Yes, my family thought I was crazy for being an intern at nearly 30 but I saw it as opportunity for growth.

Which leads me to the final take away – Don’t worry about what others think. Focus on your motive for why you want to move forward with something not what others are thinking about.
When all else fails, be bold, be great, be awesome and be fearless no matter how uncomfortable you feel!

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:

It’s Graduation Day!

Well, I made it! 14 weeks of learning 3 full stacks.

It’s graduation day at the Dojo today. Today started like any normal day. I got to the Dojo at 8am, started looking at job descriptions and tried to my reset my Indeed password. I’ve had an account with them before – I figured that out yesterday when I accessed it on my phone and was surprisingly able to save jobs I was interested in. Apparently their system was having issues because it gave me an error every time I tried to change my password…I ended up using my phone to go through the process of changing my password, which surprisingly didn’t have any issues. I applied for a job I saved and looked through some others.

Afterwards, I looked at the post bootcamp section of the platform – it became available to the graduating cohort today. The first thing was algorithms so I got out pencil, paper and my console and got to work – printing an array of values, printing the reverse of the array of values, finding the average/max/min of the array of values. The most complicated one for me? Inserting a value at an index. Why? Because if there’s a value there you have to make sure you don’t lose it. I struggled with this one for awhile before looking at the video explaining the process –  Add a zero at the end of the array (makes sense because you know you’re going to only add one value), starting at the end of the array – copy the values to the end of the array, then add the value at the index…Makes perfectly good sense now. I was trying all other things such as adding an if check to determine if the index of the current array matched the index of the value given by the user, then set the current value to a temp variable, replace the current value with the value given by user, then push the temp variable (which holds the original value) problem with this is that you can only push to the end of the array which may not always be the case. Not only that, but it just doesn’t work in the console – it results in an error and no output is given.

After looking through the first section of algorithms, which amounted to 18 algorithms, I switched gears and took a look at the job search section. The platform provided me great tips on the search booleans recruiters use to find applicants, what information should be on a resume and how to go about looking for the jobs you want to find. The whole video was an 1 1/2 hours long but after 40 mins it was practically time to start our ‘graduation’ so I decided to finish later on.

The graduation

I’ve been to enough graduations to know the graduation song and you better believe our instructor had it playing at the start of the ‘ceremony’ in a jokingly manner. I put ceremony in quotes because it was just the graduates and some people from other cohorts that stuck around. A few graduates presented projects – some from the MEAN stack others in Rails. The lead instructor said a few kind words and we had pizza and brownies! Afterwards we took these great group photos:

Slack for iOS Upload

And a goofy one for the road:Slack for iOS Upload-1

There is one grad not pictured here – he headed back to Seattle the morning of. The guy in the back facing his computer in the yellow was retaking his belt exam in hopes a perfect score. The guy in the red is not in the graduating cohort but his cohort is pretty nonexistent – There’s only four of them total so we adopted him into our group – He fits in perfectly.

In Conclusion:

All in all, I’d say we had a really good group and I am fully glad I decided to pursue this journey. The journey is not fully over because the next step is to get job ready! Next Tuesday, most of us will return and begin the next chapter – finishing projects, working on algorithms and figuring out how to start a career in this industry. I’m excited and pretty nervous! I’ve no doubt that we’re all capable of finding a fulfilling career of our dreams.

My Decision to Attend a Bootcamp

I’ve been saying for a couple years now that if I just quit my job and work diligently, I would be able to get a job as a Developer. Well, I never had to guts to quit until January 2016.

My journey to attend a bootcamp starts in January 2016 when I got rejected from yet another Entry Level Developer job. I was fed up and believed that I had the experience to get the job considering I went to college and studied some coding (in PHP, MySQL, HTML/CSS) and have been focused on Web Development for a year and half but nonetheless, I was looked over.

At the end of January 2016, I fasted with my church (The Daniel Fast) and focused my fast on finding the direction for my career because the job I was at just wasn’t cutting it for me (there was no creativity being a Data Analyst and my job was tedious and redundant). I was looking on Course Report one day and a bootcamp called Coding Dojo appeared on my screen (it was listed on the site, it stood out to me so I clicked on their website). I believe it was only God that lead me to the site because to this day, I have no idea how or why I was even on coursereport.com.

I liked what I saw on the site, individuals expressing how excited they were about code and how confident they’d become in learning to code and this spoke to me. I applied after a couple days of lingering around their site; I scheduled an interview the very next day with little time to prepare for the coding portion. During the interview, I showed my reservations about my confidence in code and was encouraged by the interviewer to talk it out and surprisingly I was able to come up with conclusions to find the answers in the code. On Monday, I received in an e-mail congratulating me on being accepted into the bootcamp.

WOW! I thought, I have to quit my job now, there’s no turning back. From the time I signed up to the interview, I started putting more of my Faith in God and watching Him work in my life, I mean, I couldn’t forget that He’s the one that brought me this far. I began applying for loans through my banks, through the loan companies provided on their site and received a ‘No’ from every one of them. It was disappointing to say the least but I kept praying for answers. By Friday (5 days after being accepting into the bootcamp), I ran out of places to apply and sent an e-mail to the Dojo explaining to them I was unable to afford the bootcamp. I was answered back with another suggested loan company earnest.com – I applied that day, they needed more information from me by that evening so I responded immediately. From reading their reviews, the process took most 7 -10 business days so I kept checking in with customer service a couple times and finally on the 10th day when my hope was wavering, I received confirmation that my loan had been approved.

I notified the Dojo after the acceptance of the loan terms and began getting excited to learn with like-minded individuals who just want to code!

I am nervous, excited and scared – I’m quitting my job, using my savings (Thanks Dad for teaching me how to save at an early age :] ) and starting a new journey with what I hope to be some awesome people.