One of the great things about being an apprentice is the ability to figure out what you don’t know and being given the time and freedom to fill those knowledge gaps.
I was lucky to have that chance.
As I finish out my apprenticeship here at Haught Codeworks, I’m astounded by how much I’ve learned in the past six months.
When I started in May, I thought I knew Github from school, but rebasing was a mystery to me. Now my fingers have every command memorized.
I had never before worked with Ruby on Rails, Vue.js or Ember.js before coming here and the thought of figuring out a brand new framework scared me. Now I’ve learned how I best learn new frameworks, how to approach new technology and work my way up to squashing bugs and making new features.
Before here, I had never worked on a development team with more than one person who happened to be sitting right beside me most of the time. Now I know how to communicate with a remote team, how project planning works and what my role is to help ensure projects keep moving forward.
At school, I was given the tools and background to become a good developer. Here I was given the chance to get practice in a real-world setting where it was ok if I wasn’t perfect each and every time. What I found most helpful was watching the experts in their jobs.
In some ways, this job reminded me of my former career as a newspaper cops reporter. Instead of working on just one project, developers here often jump from one project to the next from hour to hour to help out wherever they are needed most. Even if they think they’re going to be working on a certain project one day, something may come up that derails that plan. They have to be flexible and capable of switching their focus quickly. I’m lucky I got to learn from such a smart, talented group of developers and see them in action.
I enjoyed the days I was working on projects for our clients, but I found that my favorite days during the apprenticeship were those where I was contributing to the marketing efforts. I loved building the static pages, but more than that, I also embraced the challenge of telling the whole story – through design, through words and development – to get the word out about the great things we are doing here. Paired with my former journalistic skills of analysis and storytelling, marketing turned out to be a great fit with my newfound development skills. Marty saw my passion and encouraged me to keep on learning and studying web development in marketing and learn how it intersects with analytics, SEO and storytelling. He told me about what kinds of positions are out there for developers who have these kinds of interests.
It’s because of my experience here that I’ve recently accepted a new position focused on web development in marketing.
Working at Haught Codeworks has been an amazing experience. I learned how to be a better developer but also figured out the kind of developer I hope to be. I can’t thank this team enough for giving me the chance to learn more and find my path.
I’ve still got a lot to learn, but thanks to being here, I know I’m much closer to my goals.