I hate excuses, even though I make them all the time. So life happens and for the past three months, I’ve not been a good newbie programmer. I’ve gone to workshops, I’ve gotten excited, I’ve gotten overwhelmed, I’ve started to learn some of what I need, but I’ve not gotten my hands dirty. It’s time to dig in.
This requires some life structure changes. I’m leaving my part-time job in just a few days. My youngest will be entering daycare shortly, and I’m *making* the time to learn. Right this second, I’m attending my first conference (as an attendee rather than a guest) in Madison. I knew this would be a good fit for me partially because there appeared to be a culture of encouragement and acceptance (a RailsBridge workshop was offered as well), but also because I’ve been familiar with this conference in the past (Thanks Madison+Ruby!). So I’m jumping in. I’m also attending Windy City Rails in September, Twin Cities Code Camp in October, and RubyConf in November. My goal at these confs is to learn, absorb, and do a lot more listening than talking.
As I’m considering my options, and working on maintaining my focus without letting life interfere too much, I realize I need structure. I hear so much about boot camps which I think would be a fantastic fit for me…if there were one in my area. I’m exploring other options, but frankly having my youngest kid out of the house for some amount of time during the week is the biggest hurdle/asset to my studies. The next biggest was my job. While I GREATLY appreciate the opportunity I had to renter the paid employment arena, it wasn’t the kind of work that was going get me where I want to be in the future. It was a difficult decision, but if you’ll excuse my language, it was time to stop fucking around and get serious.
I’ve been fortunate to be able to have participated in both ClojureBridge (in May) and RailsBridge (twice, in June and just yesterday). I’ll go into detail on those workshops in my next post, but I’ll just say if you have the opportunity and you are even remotely interested in learning to programs, they are excellent starting points. I’ve found out more specifically what my weaknesses are, thought up all kinds of embarrassingly simple (but mysterious to me) questions, and I’ve learned what’s intuitive and generally clicks for me.
So while I’ve neglected this blog and my studies since May, I’m committed to making progress in the coming months. One of the reasons I decided to start going to confs is that the enthusiasm is contagious. I’m inspired by the speakers. I’m excited to work through my hurdles and settle on making something simple, but improvable as I learn. Working on something knitting or beer related have been the obvious suggestions (if you know me at all, you know I’m extremely passionate about both). Boot camp may not be an option for me right now, but there are other resources that are available to me for face to face guidance. Not unrelated, I’m pretty excited that we have a Girl Develop It chapter *just* getting started in Minneapolis! So I’m back on track!
Coming soon: My Bridge Experiences