12 Weeks of Code. week 12: Epic Finish

12 Weeks of Code. Week 12

I can’t believe. In just a few hours I’ll be getting in my car to make the long trip home. And it’s raining.

Of course it is.

Reminds me of the drive up 12 weeks ago. Only now I’m more prepared for the journey. I can’t tell you how glad I am that I’m done with the course. It was very rewarding but also incredibly difficult. This past week we finished up our final project that shows Instagrams of a neighborhood to give you a feel for the kind of community nearby. I would love for you to check it out and let me know what you think, but just know it only has homes from Greenville, SC right now > http://www.neighborgoodapp.com. We also demonstrated the application (video here) on Saturday morning of Greenville Grok in front of about 200 people including people from Facebook, Etsy, and Unmatched Style. To say I was nervous leading up to it would be an understatement. I was sweating profusely despite it being a cool 72 degrees (I know it was 72 degrees because of a real-time weather application¬†built by one of my classmates).

This was one of the hardest experiences of my life. Really hard. I mean, ‘stare-deep-into-your-soul-and-come-to-Jesus’ hard. The promise of The Iron Yard is to take anyone, no matter how little knowledge they may have concerning web development and in 12 weeks turn them into a JavaScript hacker. It should be obvious that that is not an easy thing to accomplish. It’s quite painful, actually. But I’m happy to say that I did it and it’s true. I’m a hacker.

Last night, at our graduation party, we were all asked to share our highest point and lowest point in the semester. There was such a commonality in the things we shared. Our darkest points were all basically different moments throughout the course in which we asked ourselves a question to which we didn’t know the answer: ‘Can I really do this?’ That’s a scary place to be. After you have already committed, paid the tuition, moved here, said goodbye to family… getting through all that but doubting whether you have the mental/emotional capacity to finish what you started can be terrifying, even paralyzing. But I was sitting at the table with 14 other people who, like me, swallowed the fear and kept on chugging. We did it.

And that was our collective high point: We. did. it.

I would also say having 14 other really great friends who I’ve been in the trenches with is another high point for me. My fellow classmates are amazing people. The leadership are pretty awesome people, too. They say when you’re done with the program you are part of ‘The Iron Yard Family’ – they don’t just cut ties and say “sayonara”. They really care about you here – so much so that it’s written into their job descriptions (‘Above all, students are first’). I came into this knowing that the leadership of The Iron Yard were so incredibly talented. But now I have such a deep respect for them (and my classmates). They’ve changed my life. Sounds cheesy, but it’s true.

Now what? Well, to be honest I’m not sure. Wherever I end up I want to keep learning. I love working with the UX/UI problem solving side of things so I want to continue sharpening my skills in that area. I have some freelance stuff to work on in the meantime while I finish up my portfolio. But for now, it’s time to get on the road.

P.S. I want to say thanks to everybody who has been reading this blog. The notes of encouragement have meant a lot.

Photo courtesy of Janeandd.