When I graduated from Western Washington University with a double major in Computer Science and Applied Math, I thought I was good to go. When I started to look for work in my last quarter, I was interviewing for a lot of testing jobs. During my entire academic career, the only testing we worked with was black box testing in Unix. Needless to say, I felt I was missing a lot of skills that industry was expecting developers to have.
I eventually picked up a Software Engineer position with a local Bellingham, WA. The beginning of my career was mainly doing some little side projects and getting acquainted with the development environment. Before my contributions to the company really took off, my life took a major change. My girlfriend and I decided we wanted to be together and move my family out of the country to start a life together.
Before my kid’s and I made the move, I got to help develop a new feature for the companies software product. It definitely took longer than I wanted to, but I was able to finish the initial stages of the feature. My contribution has been a big success and had taken many changes since my departure.
The day finally came, when my children and I moved to Canada to be with my wife in a little rural community of Lillooet, British Columbia. I had picked up a position at Microsoft Azure Content team to review their technical articles. I rather enjoyed that work, because I got to experience so many different technologies day in and day out. This position was unfortunately cut short and I had to figure out what I was going to do for work.
I lived in an area where technology jobs didn’t exist. I had looked for a lot of remote development work, but I felt unqualified with a year of development under my belt. The only significant accomplishment in that short career was adding a new feature to a software product. To gain some more experience, I decided to try some freelance work.
My first opportunity was converting a website from Magento to WooCommerce. This website took me far longer due to my learning style. I will talk about how I am changing my learning style in another blog post. My biggest issue was trying to keep up with technology trends while using a different set of skills to finish the job. I eventually finished the site and felt a great sense of accomplishment. Prior to finishing this website, I had also done a few on-site IT work for some local companies. So at least I getting a good start in establishing a name for myself.
This is my second year in this venture, which I feel is just starting to take off. I was picked up for an Information Management Coordinator back in July. It doesn’t quite use my skills, so I am using them to solve some of my software issues. I also have clients for developing websites. At this point, I just need to work on streamlining my services to have a faster turn around.
For 2018, I felt that I needed to contribute to the software community. I came across the Simple Programmer(http://simpleprogrammer.com) website because I took some of John Somnez’s courses on Pluralsight. I initially was looking for a way to keep up with technology quickly. So I purchased his course “10 Steps to Learn Anything Quickly” course(https://simpleprogrammer.com/products/learn-anything/). I felt that this brought me great value by eliminating all the hours I waste to curate material. Shortly after I purchased this course, I found the email course on How to Create a Blog(https://simpleprogrammer.com/blog-course).
I feel that the Simple Programmer Blog email course helped me get my blog site setup. The first step was to develop a theme on what you will be blogging about. I have been doing a lot of PHP type work. So my theme will be on the development of WordPress, Laravel, Vue.js, and Docker.
The next step was building a site. I already had a website, but I purchased the Thrive Themes subscription and updated my website theme. The Thrive theme adds some additional value because they offer additional courses on landing pages, home pages and creating a funnel. I would definitely recommend giving it a try if you can afford to go that route.
The third step was coming up with topics to write about. It took me about 45 minutes to construct a list of fifty topics for my blog. The majority of my ideas revolved around Laravel development, because I had a couple of sites I was developing with Laravel. This might change because I have four sites that I will be doing WordPress development in. Therefore, I will probably be focusing more on the PHP EcoSystem.
The fourth step involved consistency with a schedule. The idea was to come up with a consistent schedule and frequency of writing. At this point, I started with one post a week on Sunday’s. Once I start developing more consistently, then I might change the frequency depending on what interesting problems I face along the way.
Finally, the last step is to write a post that linked to the blogging course. So I wanted to start with my initial story getting into software development and how I go to this point in my career. I look forward to sharing my experiences along the way and hope that I can give some insight.
I really look forward to 2018 and really getting a good workflow started up. I look forward to showing my learning process along the way and hopefully help other developers along the way. I also to get some help as I learn along the way as well. I look forward to starting contributing next week to my first topic.