Vanessa Before and After, and After, and After…

Going down coding memory lane and looking back at the first full-fledged web apps I built right before attending the coding bootcamp. What has changed and how much have I learned? And the importance of code that ages well.

Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

I am now in the middle of working on my bootcamp graduation project. A combination of both nostalgia and excitement. On one end because I know I’ll truly miss this time of learning and growing within a community, and the other end because this means I soon have to start looking for a job and see where all these studies and effort take me.

Being a career changer coming from the Restaurant sector and having no experience within tech, this step of going out into the “real tech world” is extra scary. Here’s where imposter syndrome has kicked in its hardest and made me question: “Can I even land a job as a developer?”.

I keep telling myself (and my coaches make sure that I hear this on a bi-weekly basis as well) that the one thing that helps calm down those thoughts is reminding myself of how far I’ve come and how much I’ve learned.

Enter my hobby pre-bootcamp projects…

Before joining the Technigo Bootcamp, I was studying by myself and building some test websites to apply what I was learning.
I started a GitHub Page in which I could showcase these projects, super proud of what I had accomplished.

One of those is this “Food Guessing Game”. I’ve enjoyed super much looking at this “old code”. I have a couple takeaways from this experience which make the whole trip down coding memory lane more wholesome and highlights the importance of writing code that ages well:

  • Create a habit of writing clean, readable code: Not to brag, but I’m surprised at how readable my old code is! Even though I haven’t looked at this code for ages, it was super easy picking up and understanding what was going on. This shows how developing good indentation and cleanliness habits since the beginning are great practice!
  • Comments where and when needed: This is probably more valuable for us, starting devs, since comments can help understand what a certain complex piece of code does, especially for the time future Vanessa returns to it. The amount of comments will probably go down as I gain more experience, but it’s a super handy tool for beginners.
  • I would not shy away from new concepts (and I hope I still have that in me to not be scared of trying out new things). Having that time and freedom to experiment without any stress or pressure is priceless! It almost feels like I dared much more to try out new things when there was not a strict deadline. Time to pick that up again!
  • I also used to include a footer on each project which would have a reflection on what I wanted to learn or accomplish with this project. It’s so nice reading those now, see how I was thinking back then. I’ve been advised by several mentors to keep a journal about my coding progress, even if not publicly, and I can see why.

My biggest pre-bootcamp project has got to be my “Donuts Bar” website. Unfortunately not deployed anywhere, here I wanted to tie up most of my HTML and CSS knowledge.

Donuts Bar screen grab~~

It’s a Restaurant website with different sections and an “Order Online” static form with no functionality implemented.
To think that some months later, I know how to make that form actually do something and POST to a database, wow! I could even rebuild the whole thing in React if I wanted to. Progress!~~

My journey and learning as a Web Developer is just starting, and bootcamp graduation is definitely not the end of it.
Yes, the imposter syndrome kicks in when I have to apply to a position which feels out of my reach, but I do it anyways. Looking at my progress and how much I can do now and how much I enjoy programming reassures me that I can and I will be able to land a job as a dev, when the time is right and things fall into place.

And then you’ll see me celebrate by writing an article titled: Landed My First Dev Job!!! — looking forward to that *fingers crossed*

Former Vegan Chef, now Fullstack Developer | JavaScript lover ~