What In The World Have I Been Up To?

Some of you might be wondering why my blog has been vacant for the past few weeks. I have a lot of things that happened – dropping my Software Engineering course among them. So, let’s get you guys up to speed on why I’m taking a break from school, and my most recent endeavors.

 So, the biggest thing that’s happened since I last posted is dropping Software Engineering, which probably shocks a lot of you. I have been pretty head strong about my studies, and I actually had a 99 in that course when I decided to drop it. The problem though is that at the time, I didn’t know if my contract with Khan Academy was going to be renewed or not – in fact I had good reason to believe it wasn’t.

For a while, I was trying to achieve high grades in school, work hard at Khan Academy, be a dad, a husband, and I was trying to build a portfolio and resumes for my job search. It was all just too much for me at once, especially when you add sunlight deprivation from these past wintery months into the mix. Not that I want to make excuses, but I really needed the break!

And to be honest it was much needed. I’m really glad I took it! Two major things have happened since I started my break from school. The first is that I ended up getting an extension on my contract after all!! I can’t even explain how happy I was to hear the news! The timing is perfect.

Now I can focus on work, and building a few projects to showcase my current knowledge and skills. Eventually I’m going to have to reach out for other work opportunities so I’m making the most of my time while I can. I’ve been sticking to my goal of one meet up a month so far, and the latest one has been the best yet.

As a few of you already know, I’ve signed up for a website called freecodecamp.com and I’ve also joined a group of free code campers in my local area – London, Ontario.

Until the last meetup, it’s been me and Sean Cambell, the guy who started the FCC London group on Facebook. Sean’s a great guy who has been working hard as an electrical apprentice and learning web development in his spare time. I truly can’t believe how much this guy has learned in about a year of self teaching! I learn new things every time we meet.

This past weekend, a new face arrived at the table, Jake Klassen. Jake’s been in the industry professionally for a while. He has a ton of experience and knowledge on back end technologies in both corporate and start-up settings. He’s interested in Free Code Camp to get more experience on the front end, while keeping himself sharp on the basics.

The three of us, have decided to start making a chat app together. This is amazing, because it’s exactly what I was hoping to gain out of these meetings. A small group of people who want to make something for fun. I really need the group experience and I’m still lacking a lot of confidence in many areas of my expertise. I hope with the help of Sean, Jake and a little mettle, I can really evolve over the next few weeks as a developer.

The three of us are going to be blogging about this experience too. I don’t know if it’s going to be a collaborative effort, or if we’re just all going to post about our experiences from own perspectives. Either way you can see what the others have posted already here, and here.

Many more posts about FCC to come. And as for UoPeople, don’t worry I’m not giving up. I’m just taking break for a while until I find more consistent work. I’m a self teacher by heart, but I also see the value in a structured, formal education. UoPeople has taught me a lot, and I’m proud of being a student. For now though, my formal studies are on hold.



4 thoughts on “What In The World Have I Been Up To?”

  1. Hello Dan. Nice to meet you. I am barely starting off as a UoPeople computer science student. And by that I mean that this week is my first week of Orientation. My first week ever as a university student. I’m taking Orientation very seriously and I found myself agreeing with a lot of what you said in your blog. Most people think how much you learn has to do with you being really “smart”. I disagree. I think it mostly has to do with your attitude and the effort you put into it. It seems like you think the same way. So I would like to ask you: Do you have any pointers for me? What do you wish someone had told you when you were barely starting out? Also, where is the Learning Journal located? I can’t find it and I’m not sure if that’s because it’s still not available to me or if I am just not looking in the right spot. Thanks!

    1. Hi, great to meet you!

      First off – the learning journal assignment wont show until unit one of your course officially starts.

      The one thing I wish I learned when starting my path in this field is Git. This isn’t taught in any of the introductory courses, and as far as I know, it’s not taught at UoPeople at all. It’ll save you so much headache if you set aside 2-4 hours one day and learn Git/Github.

      Once you know Git, use it regularly for all of your programming projects (in or out of school). Very quickly it becomes second nature, and you’ll be so thankful you know it. It’ll also be an asset skill when you go seeking jobs as a developer – if that’s your goal.

      codecademy.com has a great Git tutorial to get you started 🙂

      Thanks for reading my blog, and good luck on your first term!


  2. Hey Dan! I am in the process of applying for UoPeople. I am an expat nearing 30 and actually have been working on FCC off and on for the last couple months. How far along are you in the Front End Certificate? What does your employer at Redding Designs think about a BS from UoPeople vs a portfolio and certificate from FCC? I was so excited about FCC but as a college dropout with friends who actually finished and now work in the industry I wasnt sure about which would benefit me most in the long term.a

    1. Hey Shawn – sorry for the late reply. I recently moved, and lost internet access at home for about a month 🙁

      I’m currently at the last few algorithm challenges and have a couple front-end projects to complete. I’ve been so busy with work/home life, I haven’t really been working at it for a while. I think my boss at Redding Designs cares more about which projects you can complete rather than your education background. Currently at Redding, one of the hires who came before me did about 6 months of Career Foundry. No one other than me has a CS background, and a few of the guys, who help code, learned most of their coding skills on the job.

      In my opinion, following the FCC track will give you enough knowledge to score an entry level position as a web developer, but you have to be prepared to further your education while you work that entry-level job. FCC alone isn’t going to get you into a seniour level position.

      Thanks for your comment!

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