I set goals with my educational coach each month. I’m going to tell you a secret: I have not met a single one of my goals for my course progress.
At the beginning of July 2018, I started working as a government contractor, writing for the public relations department. The pay was good (not developer good) and I had a lot of time between interviews, phone calls, writing, and sending emails. When I interviewed for the position, I mentioned that I would be working on a programming certificate in my free time at work, and my employer found that agreeable.
I was admitted to Flatiron’s Full-Stack Web Development course soon after I began my new job. I started 15 July 2018. I initially planned to be a part time student and work on the course during my downtime at work.
About six weeks into working, my employer decided they were uncomfortable with me working on self development that would potentially lead to a new job, and I was told it was now inappropriate to work on my course at work. They preferred I spend my unused hours at work staring at a wall or scrolling through Facebook.
Being a mom of a toddler, working 40 hours a week, and commuting almost two hours a day, I didn’t really have another twenty hours lying around to work on my course. My husband and I sat down and discussed our priorities, and decided that we were willing to go without my income for a couple months so I could push through the course more rapidly, and start applying for jobs in tech on a shorter timeline.
I was excited to be a full time student. But even after I quit my job at the beginning of September, we ran into obstacle after obstacle. My mother-in-law who watches our one and a half year old, was out of the state for the entirety of last semester (I say semester, because my husband is a full-time Master’s student and that’s how we frame our time.) so it’s now January and after six months of the course, instead of being complete with the course as I might have hoped, I’m only 40% done.
To be honest, sticking with something this long with so much push back is unlike me. I like being exceptional at things, I like sticking to timelines, and checking off all the boxes. I’m not exceptional at coding, I’ve essentially said “f*** it” to timelines, and I have boxes, but they’re being ticked off very slowly. I think this is part of the process. It’s challenging, and man, do I wish I could have gone to an in-person course for 12-15 weeks at one of the Flatiron campuses, but that wasn’t an option for me due to my timeline, location, and family situation.
Progress is progress. I don’t like making generalizations, but I think working diligently on a skill over a long period of time without seeing much progress is something my generation lacks desperately. We want instant gratification, and that’s a need this class is really breaking me of. At least I can say, I’ll never doubt my self discipline again. (Add that to my resume skills.)
My new goal is to complete this course by the end of March. Wish me luck.