Making the Jump

My name is Mary Katherine – and I am making the jump.  Well, making the jump soon.

The goal is to become a software engineer, or a web developer, or a programmer.  Okay, I don’t have the job title down yet but the point is that I want to code.  I want to make things that do something. I want to feel good about the work that I do, and I want to work with others who are passionate about their work.  That’s the goal.  So, how do I get there?

I’ve always dabbled in HTML – coded my first webpage when I was 10.  It was not pretty and I did not go up on the internet. Thankfully. I spent my teens on the family computer, pushing pixels around on my MySpace page until my theme was just right.  That’s where I discovered inline CSS, although I didn’t know it at the time.  My Environmental Science degree required that I take a scientific programming class – hello, Matlab.  I cobbled together a very clunky interactive dorm room panorama using vanilla JavaScript during a college internship. Post-college, I built a free website on Weebly and landed my first job – which is where I am now.

At my current job, I do graphic design and “lite” front end web development. I code emails from PSD comps that I create.  I design landing pages in the browser using a combination of Dreamweaver and Chrome’s developer tools. I rarely use JavaScript, but when I do, I use jQuery.  On a daily basis I’m updating content on the site via the CMS, sending off issues to our back-end dev team, putting together branding and graphics for events, or tweaking existing branding to send off to various media partners and publications.

Despite having some basics down, I consider myself a newbie.  I’m in the process of learning Ruby / Ruby on Rails and hoping to also pick up some JavaScript frameworks along the way.  In this blog I’ll outline the struggles of the learning curve as a newbie, both the technical and existential obstacles.  Rest assured, there will be plenty. I’m aiming to post a few times a week, although it may be more or less frequent depending on workload.

Follow along if you’re also a newbie, and we can work through issues together. If you have programming experience, I’d love feedback!

Looking forward to making the jump with you.

4 thoughts on “Making the Jump

  1. Pingback: The Path I’m On | emkaydeum

  2. Hi Mary Katherine – I just attended your Ruby on Rails class last night. I really appreciate you taking the time teach others what you have learned. Best of luck and I hope to see you around the upcoming meetup events.


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