my career | virtual book

my career

#journal #career #work #software Mentioned in my career #2, what I'm doing now

My path into software engineering.

Choosing a major – summer 2014

After graduating high school, I started at UVic as a Computer Science and Music combined major. I didn’t know anything about Computer Science, and it sounded eye-dryingly boring. My plan was to learn to record music so I could start posting more than beats on SoundCloud.

Year 1: Learning to program – 2014-2015

Fundamentals of Programming 1 seemed like it was going to be very tedious. I had to install something called Java on my laptop. For some reason, I couldn’t just use my iPad.

For our first assignment, we had to print out an ASCII picture of a cow.

 _____________________
/ Mooooooo            \
\ Welcome to CSC 110! /
 ---------------------
        \   ^__^
         \  (oo)\_______
            (__)\       )\/\
                ||----w |
                ||     ||

Not particularly inspiring. But somewhere between the second and third assignment, it started getting interesting. Two of my favorite subjects in high school had been English and Math, and programming was like writing and doing algebra at the same time. Plus, you could make the computer do stuff. It got even more intriguing when I started learning about algorithms and data structures in Fundamentals of Programming 2.

By the end of the year, I was hooked. I switched from the combined major into Computer Science.

Year 2: Getting my foot in the door – 2015-2016

Looking ahead to my second year, I had one goal: get a co-op job. If I got a co-op, not only could I write code for good wage, but finally stop working in retail and food service.

The most obvious place to start was web development. So I spent time in the evenings learning the basics of HTML and CSS on CodeAcademy, reading Eloquent Javascript, and attending meetings of the UVic Web Dev club.

There was a good chance I’d be able to find a co-op without leaving the city for the summer. Despite its size, Victoria, BC has a strong tech industry. My first encounter with the local startup scene had been in high school, when I found out a fellow twelfth grader was working for Metalab, a local company. At the time, I didn’t have the slightest idea of what programming was, nor did it interest me. A couple years later, however, I was very interested.

It turned out that one of the students who started the UVic Web Dev club was the brother-in-law of Metalab’s founder, Andrew Wilkinson. Andrew posted on the web dev club’s Facebook page about a free tech event happening in the city:

Hey guys. We’re hosting the folks from Webflow (www.webflow.com) who are coming up to demo their product. Event is on Thursday afternoon. Details here if you want to join. Should be awesome.

If Metalab hired high school students, surely they’d hire university co-ops. I tried registering for the event, but it didn’t work. So I emailed Andrew and he got VIATEC to open the event registration because “a bunch of kids from UVIC” wanted to join. At the end of the event, I introduced myself to Andrew and told him I was looking for co-ops in the summer. He was very nice and told me he would put me in contact with People Ops.

I went home and sent a follow-up email:

Hi Andrew,

I wanted to say thanks again for today, I really enjoyed the demo and simply being in a room full of professionals who love building good-looking products; now looking forward to MetaLab’s React workshop in January!

Additionally, I would be happy to further speak about possible co-op opportunities, whether it is with you or Elexa or Tim (I think those are the name you mentioned).

Looking forward to speaking again,

Juan Carlos Gallegos

He referred me to People Ops as promised. It was all going according to plan.

But then I got this email from them:

Hey Juan Carlos,

Nice to meet you! Do you have any code samples or a Github account you could send our way to check out?

Thanks

Gulp.

I’d been warned about this. Companies wanted to see “personal projects.” Proof that you could write code. I didn’t have much proof.

I do have a GitHub account: https://github.com/okjuan. Currently its content is limited, but I will be uploading more work in the next month or so, particularly when I am done with this semester’s final exams.

Attached is my resume, in which I give a brief overview of my current skills and others I am working on developing (e.g. JavaScript, HTML & CSS, Git). Please let me know if you have any questions; I’ll make sure to send you an email after I’ve uploaded more code samples in the near future.

Currently its content is limited. Bless my heart.

It was still too daunting to start my own programming project. Where to begin? I posed this question to a peer of mine who I’d seen showing off his iOS app at the job fair. He said nothing and showed me his laptop, on which he typed “how to build an app” into Google search.

I asked a similar question at a meeting of the UVic Game Development club and the guy leading the meeting explained that you should start with sketches of what the game would look like and go from there. I was too embarrassed to clarify what my question actually meant.

So I directed my energies into my resume. Since I had no personal projects to include, I wrote a section describing my traits:

Personal Attributes

Problem-solver at heart

  • With the support of my creativity, interpersonal skills & technical abilities, I engage with challenges proactively; I value neatness, reusability, and rigour in my solutions.

Passionate

  • I am driven by my aspiration to develop practical solutions that elevate the user’s performance.

Team-centered

  • The essence of my professional experience is in collaborating with coworkers in a dynamic environment to provide high quality, personalized customer service.

Multi-cultural background

  • Born and raised in Mexico City, I have since lived in NY, USA (’07 – ‘10) & BC, Canada (’10 – present): native proficiency in English & Spanish, conversational French.

Doing my best to make my work experience relevant:

The essence of my work experience is in collaborating with coworkers in a dynamic environment.

Probably referring to my time working in the drive-through at Tim Hortons. Dynamic indeed.

Despite my lack of relevant work experience – or because of it – I filled one and a half pages, doing what I could to sell myself. At the end of my resume, I had a section about my hobbies:

Personal Interests

Soccer

  • Playing a team-based sport competitively for the last 15+ years has stimulated my development as a disciplined team member with strong communication skills.
  • Currently playing for JDF U21 Graduate team.

Music

  • An avid listener, I also like to play guitar, sing, & make beats during my free time. (Please feel free to check out some of my music! see: https://soundcloud.com/baba-guano)
  • I am formally trained in theory and musicianship; in fact, during my first year at UVic, I was in the Computer Science & Music Combined Major program, before I decided to focus on Computer Science.

Continued

here

my career

#journal #career #work #software Mentioned in my career #2, what I'm doing now

My path into software engineering.

Choosing a major – summer 2014

After graduating high school, I started at UVic as a Computer Science and Music combined major. I didn’t know anything about Computer Science, and it sounded eye-dryingly boring. My plan was to learn to record music so I could start posting more than beats on SoundCloud.

Year 1: Learning to program – 2014-2015

Fundamentals of Programming 1 seemed like it was going to be very tedious. I had to install something called Java on my laptop. For some reason, I couldn’t just use my iPad.

For our first assignment, we had to print out an ASCII picture of a cow.

 _____________________
/ Mooooooo            \
\ Welcome to CSC 110! /
 ---------------------
        \   ^__^
         \  (oo)\_______
            (__)\       )\/\
                ||----w |
                ||     ||

Not particularly inspiring. But somewhere between the second and third assignment, it started getting interesting. Two of my favorite subjects in high school had been English and Math, and programming was like writing and doing algebra at the same time. Plus, you could make the computer do stuff. It got even more intriguing when I started learning about algorithms and data structures in Fundamentals of Programming 2.

By the end of the year, I was hooked. I switched from the combined major into Computer Science.

Year 2: Getting my foot in the door – 2015-2016

Looking ahead to my second year, I had one goal: get a co-op job. If I got a co-op, not only could I write code for good wage, but finally stop working in retail and food service.

The most obvious place to start was web development. So I spent time in the evenings learning the basics of HTML and CSS on CodeAcademy, reading Eloquent Javascript, and attending meetings of the UVic Web Dev club.

There was a good chance I’d be able to find a co-op without leaving the city for the summer. Despite its size, Victoria, BC has a strong tech industry. My first encounter with the local startup scene had been in high school, when I found out a fellow twelfth grader was working for Metalab, a local company. At the time, I didn’t have the slightest idea of what programming was, nor did it interest me. A couple years later, however, I was very interested.

It turned out that one of the students who started the UVic Web Dev club was the brother-in-law of Metalab’s founder, Andrew Wilkinson. Andrew posted on the web dev club’s Facebook page about a free tech event happening in the city:

Hey guys. We’re hosting the folks from Webflow (www.webflow.com) who are coming up to demo their product. Event is on Thursday afternoon. Details here if you want to join. Should be awesome.

If Metalab hired high school students, surely they’d hire university co-ops. I tried registering for the event, but it didn’t work. So I emailed Andrew and he got VIATEC to open the event registration because “a bunch of kids from UVIC” wanted to join. At the end of the event, I introduced myself to Andrew and told him I was looking for co-ops in the summer. He was very nice and told me he would put me in contact with People Ops.

I went home and sent a follow-up email:

Hi Andrew,

I wanted to say thanks again for today, I really enjoyed the demo and simply being in a room full of professionals who love building good-looking products; now looking forward to MetaLab’s React workshop in January!

Additionally, I would be happy to further speak about possible co-op opportunities, whether it is with you or Elexa or Tim (I think those are the name you mentioned).

Looking forward to speaking again,

Juan Carlos Gallegos

He referred me to People Ops as promised. It was all going according to plan.

But then I got this email from them:

Hey Juan Carlos,

Nice to meet you! Do you have any code samples or a Github account you could send our way to check out?

Thanks

Gulp.

I’d been warned about this. Companies wanted to see “personal projects.” Proof that you could write code. I didn’t have much proof.

I do have a GitHub account: https://github.com/okjuan. Currently its content is limited, but I will be uploading more work in the next month or so, particularly when I am done with this semester’s final exams.

Attached is my resume, in which I give a brief overview of my current skills and others I am working on developing (e.g. JavaScript, HTML & CSS, Git). Please let me know if you have any questions; I’ll make sure to send you an email after I’ve uploaded more code samples in the near future.

Currently its content is limited. Bless my heart.

It was still too daunting to start my own programming project. Where to begin? I posed this question to a peer of mine who I’d seen showing off his iOS app at the job fair. He said nothing and showed me his laptop, on which he typed “how to build an app” into Google search.

I asked a similar question at a meeting of the UVic Game Development club and the guy leading the meeting explained that you should start with sketches of what the game would look like and go from there. I was too embarrassed to clarify what my question actually meant.

So I directed my energies into my resume. Since I had no personal projects to include, I wrote a section describing my traits:

Personal Attributes

Problem-solver at heart

  • With the support of my creativity, interpersonal skills & technical abilities, I engage with challenges proactively; I value neatness, reusability, and rigour in my solutions.

Passionate

  • I am driven by my aspiration to develop practical solutions that elevate the user’s performance.

Team-centered

  • The essence of my professional experience is in collaborating with coworkers in a dynamic environment to provide high quality, personalized customer service.

Multi-cultural background

  • Born and raised in Mexico City, I have since lived in NY, USA (’07 – ‘10) & BC, Canada (’10 – present): native proficiency in English & Spanish, conversational French.

Doing my best to make my work experience relevant:

The essence of my work experience is in collaborating with coworkers in a dynamic environment.

Probably referring to my time working in the drive-through at Tim Hortons. Dynamic indeed.

Despite my lack of relevant work experience – or because of it – I filled one and a half pages, doing what I could to sell myself. At the end of my resume, I had a section about my hobbies:

Personal Interests

Soccer

  • Playing a team-based sport competitively for the last 15+ years has stimulated my development as a disciplined team member with strong communication skills.
  • Currently playing for JDF U21 Graduate team.

Music

  • An avid listener, I also like to play guitar, sing, & make beats during my free time. (Please feel free to check out some of my music! see: https://soundcloud.com/baba-guano)
  • I am formally trained in theory and musicianship; in fact, during my first year at UVic, I was in the Computer Science & Music Combined Major program, before I decided to focus on Computer Science.

Continued here.

.