If you ever right clicked someone else’s Neopets profile and viewed the page code as a kid to steal part of their profile layout to add to your own, you probably have a lot in common with a bunch of web developers! (Or maybe just with me, but that’s okay too.)
I used to be very proud of myself for figuring out this hidden secret whenever someone had a background image or theme I liked that I wanted to use for my own profiles. When I was growing up social media was just Neopets, Doll Palace, Piczo, MySpace, etc. (Some of those sites may be real and some of them may have just been fever dreams of mine. )
Coding wasn’t a huge thing when I was in school. Or at least I didn’t notice it was until I had already spent four years pursuing a Science degree and was unsure of what I wanted to do with it. I worked several jobs unrelated to my degree after graduating that left me seeking for something more fulfilling.
While I had thought about pursuing web development as a career for many years after graduating university, it wasn’t until the pandemic hit that I finally got my push. I had posted on Twitter about losing my job and a friend had reached out to me. After I mentioned my interest in web development, she sent me a tweet from Heather Payne, the CEO of Juno College. The tweet said:
“We have 80 Income Share Agreements available in 2020 (and trying to find a way to offer more!) Please share with those who have been laid off — we’ve been helping retail and restaurant workers, musicians and more make the switch to tech since 2014”
I had been hesitant to apply to a coding school for so long because I thought I could try learning on my own through free courses that were available online. But during the months of quarantine I hadn’t been able to find the motivation to consistently keep up a study schedule.
When I first applied for the web development bootcamp, I didn’t pass the initial assessment to get in. But I received some encouraging words from one the recruitment advisors who said he also didn’t get in on his first try. He helped me apply for the precursor courses for bootcamp, which led me to pass the bootcamp assessment on my second try.
The experience of being in a classroom (even a virtual one due to the pandemic) has definitely been a lot more worthwhile than trying to learn on my own. I am surrounded by people that want me to succeed and keep me on track. It feels so good to have the gears in my brain turning as I learn new things and problem solve after what seems like so long. It may have been under extremely unusual circumstances, but I am grateful for the path that I am on right now.