What it’s like to be in a Tech Bootcamp, Part 3

What it’s like to be in a Tech Bootcamp, Part 3

My First Impressions with Flatiron School

A bit more than a month ago, I wrote this post to update my status on attending bootcamp for Software Engineering and Web Development. I started at Flatiron School that same week and I loved it. They have you jump right in but provide ample support in case of shell shock. I especially enjoyed that right away we’re developing exclusively in our own environment so not only are we practicing code but we’re utilizing the command line (or CLI) and various other tools. It wasn’t long before things got challenging but they offer support via slack and live pair programming sessions if you’re really stuck, plus there’s always the network of peers at your level and beyond that are willing to help. Resources are plentiful.

For me, personally, it wasn’t long however before I realized that the job I was working to pay for this bootcamp at the tune of $1,200/month was going to interfere with my ability to learn. I was on my feet 9+ hours per day and that was wearing me thin, but on top of that, there was a factor of OT and the start of the fall semester looming in the future. My ability to code consistently at the level of effort I felt necessary was minimal and the stress piled up. I decided the timing wasn’t right for this bootcamp because frankly, I didn’t want to half-ass it and that was starting to happen after my fourth week in the program. So, not for lack of interest, I have withdrawn from the amazing program at Flatiron School.

The decision was made easier by the discovery of a work benefit that was previously unbeknownst to me: free college tuition.

 

College Ahead!

college lecture
Photo by Dom Fou on Unsplash

While a lot of folks insist a degree is not required to get a job in tech, I don’t think anybody would deny they can be beneficial to have. When I got laid off from Project Management in the outsourcing industry I tried without result to break into tech as a PM and, despite my years of experience on technical and tech-adjacent projects, I was told time and again that candidates with a degree were given preference. So, for me, accomplishing a degree in tech is a matter of principle and addressing obstacles head-on.

I’m incredibly grateful to the leadership at Walmart to allow their employees to pursue the acquisition of in-demand skills and schooling for no cost while they are employed with the company. This is something that the outsourcing companies I’ve worked with never offered and I believe it will have a tremendous effect on the lives of those who choose to engage those benefits. I never would’ve expected my summer job to help invest in my future career.

There was very little barrier to entry, I just had to be a U.S. employee (part-time or full-time) and get accepted to a participating school/program.

As of this week, I am officially participating in the SNHU Computer Science program with a concentration in Software Engineering. Anticipated graduation: 2024.

I feel tremendous relief not only about the tuition assistance but the slower pace. I found I was stressing myself out and bringing my mindset to a low point by trying to rush into tech when the pandemic hit and I was laid off. This decision feels right to me, I can code 4–8 hours a week before work and progress in school after work and on my days off and I like that.

laptop and phone on desk

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Two Things I Liked About The Power of Habit

Two Things I Liked About The Power of Habit

Reading is essential for many reasons, but don’t take it from me…

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies… The man who never reads lives only one.”
— George R.R. Martin

or…

“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”
— Ray Bradbury

bookshelves

I’ve found that a habit that rekindled from boredom during the pandemic has blossomed into something which has helped my critical thinking, knowledge retention, and idea generation.

I’ve been reading a minimum of three times per week for periods of 30 minutes or longer since about May 2020. It has become so enjoyable, that I’ve even set a goal to read 26 or more books this year. I’m happy to report that I’m on pace to meet this goal.

To retain what I’ve learned or enjoyed most from my reading, I’ve decided to write an occasional book review for (mostly myself, or) those interested in similar topics.

I’ve been reading mostly technical books, self-help, and some science-fiction, and to start this review series off I decided to look into The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg.

 

Book 1: The Power of Habit (Charles Duhigg)

The Power of Habit

As someone both interested in habits that influence productivity and one that has faced issues with addiction, I’m always interested in reading about the psychology and process of habit formation or change.

This 302-page book by “award-winning, business reporter”, Charles Duhigg, is an entertaining and easy read.

You don’t have to be a scientist or an academic to get something out of it.

Duhigg has researched and explored habits in individuals across various circumstances (athletes, leaders, school dropouts, etc.) and even looked at them from an organizational and societal perspective. He shares his findings in this book.

Each chapter weaves an individual story of a person, organization, or socially impactful event into an overarching analysis of habits: their formation, how they work, and how we can make this process work for us.

There are two parts of this book that I especially liked (though it’s entertaining as a whole):

  1. An expository piece on Michael Phelps, the Olympic swimmer, and his routine for success in the swim lane and out. I won’t spoil the details of the book, but there is a nice piece about how he has habitually taken on this process of visualizing his success in competition. It’s great and, in my opinion, motivating even as a non-athlete.
  2. There is an appendix with a guide/instruction of how the author applied what we’ve learned from the book to form different, more healthy habits. I was grateful to notice this appendix about halfway through, which was around the time I began to wonder how I might apply the lessons from these entertaining stories to my life.

All in all, The Power of Habit is an entertaining and well-researched read that doesn’t come off as preachy or too academic to be accessible for the average reader.

This book was my starter in a series of habit development books that I’ve decided to read to explore my own behaviors.

I certainly recommend it, will likely reread it, and am currently using what I learned to explore my triggers for unhealthy diet cravings and exercise procrastination.

Wish me luck!

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this article…

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What it’s like to be in a Tech Bootcamp, Part 2

What it’s like to be in a Tech Bootcamp, Part 2

My Motivation for Becoming a Software Engineer

Difficult Roads Lead To Beautiful Destinations

5 months ago, I wrote the introduction to this series highlighting my experience with YPracticum Web Developer Boot Camp. I was about to broach the intensive JavaScript sprints that spanned across 6 weeks and I could not have been more excited!

Then…

Imposter Syndrome and life got in the way.

Why am I telling you this?

Because I’d like to start fresh and share my motivation on why I am pursuing Software Engineering.

Shortly after I made that post, I became overwhelmed with my school assignments and lower-than-expected grades. This lead to a feeling of deep impostor syndrome.

Then, I had a challenging health issue pop up. All these factors culminated to prompt me to take an extended hiatus from YPracticum.

During my time away from the console, I spent some time introspectively beating myself up and questioning my dedication. I concluded the following:

  1. I have a passionate interest in technology and computer science that has not gone away. Before my career “diversion” (as I call it) in the BPO space, I was enrolled in a computer science degree fresh out of high school and I loved it.
  2. The creative and analytical sides of me converge on the problem-solving challenges that learning to build with code provides. It’s been all I’ve thought of most days, trying to overcome hurdles in online lessons and brainstorming ideas for sites and solutions of my own.
  3. There seems to be inherent security and a certain lifestyle that a job in tech can offer and that is positively appealing to me. It is not possible without hard work and grit, as to be expected.

My Decision to Leave YPracticum

Goodbye Friends

After my hiatus had run its course and I decided to re-enroll in boot camp, I had lost my scholarship status.

Given that I would be expected to pay installments or upfront for my education experience, I considered the opportunity seriously and decided to evaluate other boot camp offerings for comparison.

Before I had won my scholarship to YPracticum I was going through the enrollment process with Flatiron School and a few other options but I backed out when I found out about the scholarship opportunity.

Now that I would need to consider my investment in material terms other than time, I put all options back on the table and eventually went with what I thought would provide the most value: Flatiron School.

The career services offering from Flatiron School coupled with the results I read in their public jobs reports convinced me the value was there for the price point.

Looking Ahead with Flatiron School

I spent the rest of my Spring focused on college and my health and have completed June with a focus on the prerequisite work for the Software Engineering FLEX program with Flatiron starting July 5th.

There are key milestone projects throughout each of the program’s 5 phases so I will cultivate a portfolio in my learning process. There will be significant networking opportunities and I plan to learn in public through my blog and Twitter platforms.

Men walking through pathway
Photo by Tom Parkes on Unsplash

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this article…

You can expect a post from me at a minimum of every two weeks on topics related to my journey and if you have any questions that I’m not answering please don’t hesitate to reach out to me (comments, DMs, tweets, etc.)

What it’s like to be in a Tech Bootcamp, Part 1

What it’s like to be in a Tech Bootcamp, Part 1

This summer, in August, I won access to a 10-month web development bootcamp through Practicum by Yandex for completely free; thanks to Danny Thompson(@DThompsonDev on Twitter)! This is my humble review of experiences thus far in the program.

First, I should mention that I am technically not at the 6 month mark in the bootcamp. Due to unforeseen life issues I had to defer my official start with YPracticum until their 11th cohort which began in December. They were incredible helpful and supportive of my situation as it was unclear when I’d be able to begin at first. Their program allows for two 1-month long hiatuses as needed in your learning, so I chose to front load my hiatuses as I new once I overcame a few things I could be wholly committed. Again, I can’t emphasize how flexible they were – definite good first impression.

woman in tech bootcamp in front of laptop

How it works…

YPracticum has a structure to their bootcamp that I expect is relatively standard from the research I’ve done. There’s an introductory and free coding prerequisite that showcases the flow of the bootcamp while covering some beginner level topics with HTML and CSS. You get access to a Slack workspace in order to discuss any questions you might have and to address any potential bugs in the system on the web. Their team is supportive and responsive for sure.

Once you complete the intro course you’re prompted to purchase the bootcamp if you wish to proceed. In my circumstance, having one the bootcamp in a giveaway, I was redirected from this prompt once I put in the e-mail I registered with so I can’t speak to ease of use in signup for the payment section. Once you’re assigned to a cohort, a Community Manager (who is responsible for fostering a positive experience and soliciting feedback and organizing community events throughout) will reach out to you via Slack to pull you into your respective cohort’s space. There’s some introductory documentation in a Notion manual that will help you acclimate to the flow you can expect.

man and woman in front of laptop at tech bootcamp

YPracticum applies an Agile methodology approach to the scheduling of the bootcamp activity. This means that the material on their web platform is organized into sections called sprints and you follow a sprint schedule for all your work and projects. It’s generally a two-week period where you’re expected to study the material and begin work on the project by the end of the first week and allowed opportunity to revise and iterate on the project to meet the brief standards in the second week.

I spend 20-25 hours per week working on bootcamp in addition to my own time studying other dev-related topics outside of this along with a full time college student schedule (CS degree 🤓). It’s manageable for sure if you’re working full time as long as there is a reasonable degree of discipline which you possess. My advice is start early so you know you won’t miss the deadline and get it out of the way, 1-2 hours a day goes far!

It’s also worth mentioning that in the code review process you’re allowed four attempts to pass the specifications of the project brief; so, it’s worth taking notes when you’re reviewing the material and completing the examples before you start the project. The reviewers are through but fair in my experience.

Where I’m at…

So far, being 2 months into the actual material and 3 projects completed I feel good about my decision to go with YPracticum over handing out significant cash for some of the other options on the market at the moment. The Community Manager set the stage appropriately for the whole experience and the other staff involved in the learning process are experts in their field, knowledgable and reasonably responsive when they are called upon (some, if not most, are international so you may not get an immediate response but it hasn’t set me back at all). You get access to a tutor that acts as a group guide, doing live coding examples relevant to each project sprint and the two that I’ve met have been US based, so while staff may be across time zones – the ones you interface with most often are US based from what I can tell.

The cohort I’m in is comprised of international students across many timezones so sometimes peer to peer communication is a bit asynchronous but there’s a good blend of folks in my time zone (or working when I’m working, if not local geographically). It’s been an invaluable experience for me to engage with folks at my level of learning and is a pleasant bonus for a remote bootcamp that was intended to be 100% online from the start.

The projects have had an increasing level of difficulty as I’ve progressed through the material, but it’s not been such that I feel they are outside of what should be expected once you’re through studying. It’s reasonably challenging, in a good way. The last project I did was on responsive design, it has a reputation of being a more involved project but I really enjoyed the challenge and review process.

group of people collaborating around their laptops

What’s next…

Sprint 4 starts the 6-weeks of JavaScript study before frameworks and other backend technologies are introduced and I couldn’t be more excited. I plan to begin a series on my experience in this bootcamp and will definitely share another post after the JavaScript immersion has taken place.

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2021: My Year of Coding Productivity

2021: My Year of Coding Productivity

Intro

Over the holidays I got busy with some new free software for productivity and planning and I made this thread post on Twitter:

I decided to expand on it a bit here to start the New Year.

Process with Miro

In my web development bootcamp, right as we got started we had an ice breaker activity collaborating through the whiteboarding tool Miro. I liked how easy it was to use for a group of two dozen people and it seemed like it had the functionality I was looking for (to build a timeline), so I looked it up. It was free!

I downloaded the desktop version for my Mac and signed up; a painless process that took no more than five minutes. Once I was registered I did some looking around at the templates, there’s several that appear helpful in the development/project management space (Kanban, wireframing, User Story Maps, flowcharts etc) but the ones I used for my planning were labeled simply as “Timeline” and “Timeline 2”. They’re quite easy to find; after you begin to create a board you can just start typing “timeline” in the search bare and they’ll pop right up!

I found that the UI was intuitive and I haven’t looked up any tutorials for it as of this post, I’ve done everything by touch and feel and came up with the below for my New Year’s goals in development.

timelines in Miro app

The top chart (with the columns) is the “Timeline” template and my “5 year plan”. The bottom line labeled “2021” on the right is the “Timeline 2” template and my phased approach to this year’s efforts.

Timeline Structure: Why 5 years?

As mentioned in the caption, the approach I took was to break out a “5 year plan” with the “Timeline” template. I’m honestly not sure that I decided to do this consciously, so much as I just had the cliche interview question in my head when I was thinking about goals. In any event, now I can be honest and tell interviewers that I really do have a five year plan! 😎

https://images.unsplash.com/photo-1491336477066-31156b5e4f35?ixlib=rb-1.2.1&q=85&fm=jpg&crop=entropy&cs=srgb

I knew I planned on getting more specific with 2021, just because I had a lot of ambitions I wanted to document and it was the closest in the timeline so the goals were more clear. Before I broke down my 2021 timeline in the “Timeline 2” template, I mapped out the next 5 years across the following sections:

-Goals

-In Progress

-Completed (nothing there yet!) and;

-Stretch Goal

Once I had the high-level view more or less finalized, I decided to color code 2021 with consideration to the following categories:

  1. College
  2. Blogging
  3. Coding Languages
  4. Learning Concepts and Skills
  5. Freelance Projects

When I was building the high-level view I was starting to run out of space in 2021, which is another reason I built out more years. This allowed me to spread out some of the goals as a way to ensure I didn’t take on too much this year. I tried my best to keep 2022 onward limited to about 20-30% less tiles so that I had some breathing room for life’s circumstances, but I’m a bit of an over achiever😅🤷🏻‍♂️

Goal Vision

A big factor I’m trying to incorporate into my process/life/structure is to #LearnInPublic. Because of this, I decided to make a publishing target for my blogging activity.

When it comes to my coding efforts specifically, I started on the self-paced study path then, enrolled in bootcamp right after I started university for Computer Science. You could say I’m taking the “shotgun approach” now! Because of this varied study path, I have many languages I’m going to try and experience.

I chose my core tech stack based on the bootcamp curriculum since that’s more focused to current trends, is ongoing for the next 10 months and has less breaks (than university). We’re studying the MERN stack.

https://images.unsplash.com/photo-1561736778-92e52a7769ef?ixlib=rb-1.2.1&q=85&fm=jpg&crop=entropy&cs=srgb

The extra languages are coming from the courses I know I’m taking this year for university, but I had some personal interests that I’ve incorporated into 2022 and onward as an effort to stay fresh and versatile post-bootcamp.

In terms of blogging, I write personally every day in a journal and I truly enjoy it. That said, I started small for my blog post annual goals just based on what my time commitments look like between university and bootcamp. As those factors layer off, I plan to step up my productivity stretching from a post every 2 weeks at the start, to 1-2 per week near the end of the 5 years. Some of you may find that minimal, but that’s the point. I wanted to be sure I could meet (and maybe exceed) my goals starting out; otherwise, why try?

Workflow and Implementation

Many wise folks have said much more memorable things about the benefit of planning and preparation, so I will spare you my witicisms. Just know, that I agree with the advocates of being prepared. That said, how will it get done?

I use other tools in my workflow to help me break down this year’s goals to a monthly/weekly/daily level. Specifically, I have a card for each month built out on a Trello board (Kanban-style). If you haven’t heard of Trello then check them out here – I’m using the free desktop version just like with Miro.

Now that I have my months fleshed out with weekly goals in a card (checklist feature in the app), every Sunday I break out daily cards to plan my week’s efforts. Each day gets a time deadline to have all the checklist marked complete.

https://images.unsplash.com/photo-1518976024611-28bf4b48222e?ixlib=rb-1.2.1&q=85&fm=jpg&crop=entropy&cs=srgb

For my daily workflow, I’m applying the Pomodoro methodology for deep work targets and doing that in conjunction with my calendar. I have a routine I try to follow each weekday and a routine that is unique to each Saturday and Sunday.

I track my time with a combination of a manual Pomodoro timer on my phone and the use of Toggl to categorize where I’m spending my time. Then I compare it to my planned routine.

I’m not using any tool for these routines other than manual blocking time in my iCalendar, but if you’re interested in other tips/tricks/tools for productivity have a look at this post on Medium. I’m considering building my routines into an app that’s recommended from Ro, the author, who writes about it there.

Toggl Daily Timer

I compare my time per category daily, but Toggl will e-mail you a weekly report as well. There are paid versions, but what I do is all free!

Sunday Calendar Routine

I compare my time per category daily, but Toggl will e-mail you a weekly report as well. There are paid versions, but what I do is all free!

As you can see above, I track my break time in part due to the Pomodoro methodology which emphasizes 25/50 minutes of deep work followed by a 5/10 minute break (depending on preference mostly) and then every 3 or 4 Pomodori (the term for more than one Pomodoro cycle) you take a longer break (maybe 25-30 minutes). The other reason I track my break time per day and plan a rest day is simple: if I didn’t plan it out then it wouldn’t happen! Have I mentioned I like to over achieve?😂

Conclusion

In 2020, I quit my job and decided to make learning to code my new career and the efforts therein have become my new job in the meantime. Have I always been this dedicated and focused? Absolutely not; it’s necessary for me to have livelihood supported by work in tech.

Will this all work out as it’s planned? Also, no; but, that’s not my point in doing all this. Being prepared to reach my goals also means being prepared to make mistakes. If I didn’t plan out what I wanted to accomplish then I wouldn’t know what I can say yes or no to when it comes to the use of my personal time. This process gives me peace of mind and that’s hard to come by.


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Coding Journey: A Year in Review, 2020

Coding Journey: A Year in Review, 2020

2020 has been a year of infamy for many, you know this even if you’ve been living under a rock. Despite the tumultuous current events, I’ve been privileged to have quite a successful year. Today’s post is a reflection and goal setting exercise for me as I’m recently recommitted to the “learning in public” method of self improvement; specifically to learn coding (web/app development), design and earn a Computer Science degree.

https://images.unsplash.com/photo-1604440976912-8cc547001994?ixlib=rb-1.2.1&q=85&fm=jpg&crop=entropy&cs=srgbCrumple this year up and let’s toss it!


 Milestones and Productivity

This year I achieved a significant milestone in my recovery: 3 years sober. I wrote about it here.

This is probably my second greatest achievement, though; my first being that I decided to quit my work from home call center job to pursue a full career change to web development and design. Then, third would be college.

Quitting my job was a scary leap for me to take but I did not do it without support. I had expressed to my closest friends and family that I was interested in going back to school and getting into the tech field for years, as recently as summer 2019. When I told the group chat that I was unhappy in my job and routine and was considering quitting they were receptive and cautionary. Nobody told me not to, but they said a big factor to consider was how I would care for my bipolar diagnosis and medications without health insurance.

Nonetheless, my mind was made up. So I looked into the price of my medications without insurance and was pleasantly surprised. I had some money saved up (albeit minimal) and no housing expenses as I had already moved back in with family, so I decided to set things in motion.

In April of this year I was free from my employment and felt immediately weightless and unburdened. The free time I’ve had since then has been incredible.

https://images.unsplash.com/photo-1503266980949-bd30d04d0b7a?ixlib=rb-1.2.1&q=85&fm=jpg&crop=entropy&cs=srgb Hooray! 🥳
I was already enrolled in college for business and my initial plan was to finish that degree and learn coding on the side so that I could spring board from my management experience in business into the tech field and then land either a Technical Project/Product Manager role or maybe Quality Assurance and Testing.
Then, I decided within the second month that I wanted to have a more active role as a builder and that a Developer/Engineer gig was my goal. So with that, to cover my bases I switched schools and majors to focus on Computer Science.

The feeling was elation. I had originally went to college for CS right out of high school and set that aside for a management position in business. It was comforting to feel like I was literally “back on track” with some of my early adulthood goals.

On top of that feeling, near the end of the summer I actually won a free ride to a 10 month web developer bootcamp! I couldn’t believe it!

https://images.unsplash.com/photo-1533227268428-f9ed0900fb3b?ixlib=rb-1.2.1&q=85&fm=jpg&crop=entropy&cs=srgb

Such satisfaction! 😃

But, my year was not all unicorns and rainbows. After a busy summer focused on my self and coding I had managed to bite off more than I could chew and felt burnt out.

As if that wasn’t bad enough (because I definitely have been there before), the seasons turned to Fall and my Seasonal Affective Disorder started to impact me suddenly and heavily.

There was no motivation. Sleep was disrupted when I got it, and was always at strange times of both night and day. The impostor syndrome from learning to code compounded things.

So I took a break.

I withdrew from the Fall semester at college a month after it started and I went back to basics. I also submitted for a two month hiatus from bootcamp. That last part hurt.

I wish I could say the turnaround was fast, but as others with a mental health diagnosis can attest: that is not always the case. For me it definitely wasn’t this year. 

https://images.unsplash.com/photo-1525227661914-3ed79b83624e?ixlib=rb-1.2.1&q=85&fm=jpg&crop=entropy&cs=srgb

Things turned around eventually, of course.

I began to rebound just before Thanksgiving. Re-enrollment in bootcamp was right around the corner and I was feeling excited for the pumpkin roll (my favorite dessert). Even though it was a much dialed down celebration this year, it was just what I needed.

That was an indication that things were on the right track but probably my biggest motivator was to actually step on the scale and see how much weight I had gained since April. I hadn’t exercised since late July and my eating habits were a mess too, so it should not have been a surprise, but yet, it was.

I had a serious talk with myself, and then eventually my mom. She has become my partner in crime since I’ve been home and I told her how upset I was with letting myself slip and how I wanted to improve my health. She offered to take walks with me and go on a diet together.

That was the momentum shift I needed, and so the day after Thanksgiving we exercised and shopped for healthy foods to stock up on.

It was only a couple more weeks and I was back behind the console coding for bootcamp and side projects alike!

An instrumental factor in my success turning things around was not only the support of my family and friends but the added accountability through the online tech community. I stumbled upon a Twitter/Discord group called Devs Helping Devs and jumped in with both feet. I definitely recommend checking them out!

 

 


 

 My Coding Journey

This year wasn’t my first step into the frontier land of code. As a young teen, a friend and I were responsible for building pages on and maintaining the overall school website. Then, of course, there was Myspace too. So I was no stranger to HTML and CSS.

That said, I wasn’t sure where to start and definitely needed a refresher. So after about a week of research I settled on a Codecademy Pro subscription and got to work on their Web Developer learning track (now reinvented as a Full Stack Engineer track).

I want to say, there are so many resources online to learn to code that it can be overwhelming. Had I not heard of Codecademy first and already bought the subscription then I assuredly would have wound up on FreeCodeCamp, a very worthy (and free) alternative. I am not a paid spokesperson for either and am merely sharing my very personal and customized approach that I took. Everyone is different.

Then, as mentioned before I had won a free ride to web developer bootcamp through YPracticum. I won this a week before I was going to commit to a $15,000 loan for another competitive bootcamp. Talk about luck!

As if that wasn’t enough, I very recently won a grand prize course offering in another online giveaway. I couldn’t believe it.

I would be remiss to not give a heartfelt shout out to Danny Thompson over on Twitter. He does a tremendous amount to support the dev community and make coding feel accessible to people from all walks of life. He’s been a godsend.


Next Steps and Commitment 

Looking ahead, there is still so much to do and sometimes it certainly feels daunting but now that I have found my groove again, I know it’s all gonna come together. I have been tweeting a lot lately about being productive and focused and I just want to say:

Productivity is relative, in my opinion. I make an effort not to compare what I do to what others put out there because not many people are likely to share their struggles. I think that’s a shame as it can create a fierce sense of competition or FOMO or many other feelings. Especially if you’re not working with a solid foundation.

I just try to keep it simple and push myself to only compete with myself.

So far, that philosophy has allowed me to accomplish more per week than I had done this summer!

If I didn’t know myself enough to take a break then who knows what would’ve happened. I doubt it would have been good.

My goals are many for next year and I will not list them all because it would not only be boring, but also who is to say what could happen? I find it important to be flexible.

That said, after making a vision board with the help of two wonderful productivity tools (Miro and Trello), my focus is on learning the basics of design and completing bootcamp and a couple semesters towards my CS degree.

I plan to blog about my experiences and other things throughout the year and will publicly commit to a post per fortnight (14 days).

Stay tuned and, Happy New Year! See you all in 2021 🎊


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Coding Loops: Python && JavaScript

Coding Loops: Python && JavaScript

An earlier version of this article was posted here, on Medium.

Intro

For those of you who need an introduction, you can find one here.

When I decided earlier this year that I was going to blog about my life, I was oblivious to how I might approach it. With that blissful ignorance I began to flesh out a draft of my approach to the task and it resulted in the article above.

Since then, I’ve read more blogs on tech topics, taking notes along the way and decided to switch up the format. I’m going to try and make a weekly series of blog posts about my challenges learning to code and how I overcome them.

This is the first post in that series and I plan to outline a problem I encountered at the end of my second month learning. It’s regarding loops in both Python and JavaScript.

top down view of MacBook Pro screen with code

 

 

Photo by Nate Grant on Unsplash


The Problem

That’s from the Udacity CS101 course, lesson number 5 which I encountered at the start of June. If you’re like me, you think it sounds simple enough…in application to solving a problem, boy, was I wrong.

The lesson (for me) gave adequate but not great detail about the syntax/components of a for loop and no support for problem solving techniques. So when the course asked you to create a function with a loop to give the factorial of a number input(n), I was puzzled to say the least.

I was left to “poke and hope” at the code for the problem. I could fathom that we needed to increment the (n) value down by 1 and reinsert it back into the function I declared but no matter how I wrote it, this happened:

infinite loop result in Python

 

 

 

That’s called an infinite loop result, I would come to find out. It looks like the code does nothing.

I was at a loss. Worse yet, I was beginning to question if I was cut out for programming. The fabled impostor syndrome I read about had begun to set in.

I decided to blame the language and move on with other areas of my studies.

“Stupid Python.” I said as I decided to focus on Codecademy and JavaScript (where I was somehow having a much better time). I thought eventually I’ll encounter something that will give me an idea.


The Solution

Three weeks passed and…nothing.

I had progressed with Codecademy and was enjoying it, but admittedly it was mostly HTML/CSS. I always had that problem in the back of my mind, though.

Then, finally, I made it to the more involved JavaScript lessons. I was excited because I could see that loops were a part of the curriculum.

At this point I had invested many hours into Codecademy and I knew the structure of their lessons and exercises would be detailed enough that I might get somewhere.

I was half right.

After taking the loop lesson and passing their basic exercise, I tried to program a factorial function and lo and behold! …

I got stuck.🤦🏻‍♂️

Now, it’s important that I mention my pride in my ability to learn. I never struggled in school. In fact, often I excelled with ease. Therefore, I was stubbornly insistent on not “cheating” and looking up the answer. I would learn this was misguided.

Besides, I didn’t really know who to ask for help. Or, how to word the question.

I had code in Python and JavaScript that would at least return a result. It was just wrong.

python code
It was returning the input in Python…🤬

JavaScript code
At least in JavaScript it would iterate!🤷🏻‍♂️

I thought hard about what to do and I caved. I watched the Udacity tutorial for Python and revisited the loops lesson on Codecademy. In both cases, the solution felt so obvious once I found it; it did not, however take away from the pride of solving it myself in JavaScript.

Here is what they should look like solved proper:

python code
The Python tells us that 5! = 120, hooray!🤘🏻🤓🤘🏻

JavaScript code
The JavaScript agrees! So, what’s the difference? Did you spot it?🤔

For Python, I remembered after seeing the solution video, that indentation and white space are critical to the syntax of your code and how it executes. So, with return result right under the while loop’s procedural code block it was returning the input. By simply aligning the return result with the while statement itself we get the proper result.

In JavaScript, the buggy results where a matter of where the console.log(result) was placed. When it is before the second to last closing curly bracket (}) then the loops code block includes it as an iterative step in the procedure. Outside of that second to last curly bracket and it returns just the final result!

If I hadn’t had the confidence of solving it in JavaScript after seeing it function in Python, I wouldn’t have had the bravery to ask for help on another problem later on that same day. Here is the start to the thread:

The response was fast and friendly. I thought, “No trolls? Is this really the internet?”

But user [at]domhabersack was helpful in making a suggestion without exactly giving the answer away.

I applied that suggestion and the code worked! I was even able to refine it from my initial solution to something that I thought was more readable/logical.

The imposter syndrome had subsided and I found my “groove” again.


Summary

I’m not sure if there will always be some wholesome meta lesson to wrap up my posts but I think today there is:

  1. It’s okay to not know the answer.
  2. It’s expected that you’ll need help when you’re starting out. So just ask!

Maybe I got lucky, but I’m holding out that this wasn’t a one-off. Faith in humanity restored.


Thanks for reading! If you liked this article…

Feel free to comment, share any open source projects or other suggestions at the bottom or just drop a line to share your thoughts!

If you want to reach me via e-mail and separate from this article, I’m open for freelance opportunities or just a friendly chat on your tech interests, click the button 😎

Coding: A Self-Taught Start

Coding: A Self-Taught Start

A version of this article was first published here, on Medium.

Intro

Earlier this year, I made the decision to better myself by learning a new skill; so, I picked coding/web development and decided about a month in to blog about my life, what got me here and what’s helping me along the way.

For more info on what lead me to pursue self improvement, check out this post.

Once I got clean and invested in myself that way, there was no shortage of ways that I thought of bettering myself and pursuing a job in tech made its way onto the top of my list.

I had an established career in Project Management and I loved it most days, but I was not in love with the BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) industry. I decided to improve my relevancy by learning to code.

He who knows not and knows not that he knows not, is a fool — shun him!

He who knows not and knows that he knows not, is unlearned — teach him!

He who knows and knows not that he knows, is asleep — awaken him!

He who knows and knows that he knows, is enlightened — follow him!

 

— Arab proverb

How I Started:

On May 1st, 2020 I decided to commit myself to coding. I spent the next 8 days trying to figure out how to start.

There’s no shortage of resources if you google “learn to code”…

search results for learn to code
Over 5 billion results!

…and if you use social media as much as me, you might start to notice targeted ads doing their work (I know I did).

targeted facebook ad for coding resources
Hey Siri, are you reading my messages?! 😅

Eventually, I figured out how I would start coding. I settled in on a years subscription to Codecademy Pro, a few other “bootcamp” courses on Udemy and then various free sources.

So far, I’ve been focusing my energy on the Web Development curriculum path in Codecademy and supplementing with frequent visits to YouTube and developer documentation on MDN.


Coding I’ve Accomplished:

Web Development Path Progress: from May to June it was mostly HTML5/CSS and some very basic JavaScript, I made it to 16% complete which equated to about one lesson per day. I also decided to flesh out a very basic prototype of a personal website to show my progress and it allowed me to play with the Codecademy exercises on my local machine.

Udacity CS101: I came across a recommendation for this course on day 1 when I read this article.

It lead me into some mid-level difficulty searching for it, as the first link in Google now points to another course but if you go here you can still access the material.

NOTE: You have to sign into your Udacity account before you paste the link in your browser.

After 5 lessons in, I got stuck on a for loop problem in Python and put it aside. (Keep your eyes peeled for a future article on syntax related to solving this problem)

YouTube: I found this tutorial on Git/GitHub extremely helpful once I had a desire to develop on my local machine.

Gwen Faraday is a wealth of knowledge!

Books: 

Design of Everyday Things (By: Don Norman) — It was an easy read in my opinion and my first look into the science of design, I will definitely read more in the series.

Living by the Code (By: Enrique López Mañas)— Another interesting and easy read, it’s an interview format with other developer talent and so I came away with lots of book/podcast recommendations on top of finding new people to follow.

Apprenticeship Patterns (By: David H. Hoover & Adewale Oshineye)— A relatively short but information packed read. Definitely something I’m going to pick up in again for a re-read.


What’s Next/Summary:

gif of Codecademy learning progress

Yayyyy JavaScript! 🤘🏻🤓🤘🏻

There have been bumps in the road, motivational challenges too, but the community that I’ve Involved myself in on Twitter and some of the forums has been so far from toxic that it’s pleasantly surprising. There’s no shortage of resources or advice if you actively seek it.

I live in an area with low population (<=10k) so there isn’t really a thriving tech community.

I plan to seek out meetups in nearby metropolitan areas to attend occasionally and I’ve gotten active on Twitter and in a few programming discords.

Considering COVID, I might even try and initiate my own virtual meetup.

ABC… Always Be Coding! 🤘🏻🤓🤘🏻


None of the links to products in this article are affiliate, I do not intend to make money off my suggestions made here.

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this article…

Feel free to comment at the bottom, share any open source projects or other suggestions below or just drop a line to share your thoughts!

If you have any freelance opportunities or just want to say hello, outside of the article, then click the button 😎

My Recovery Journey: 5 Things I’ve Learned, so far

My Recovery Journey: 5 Things I’ve Learned, so far

Hi, I’m Eric and I’m an addict. Although alcohol was my drug of choice, I prefer to identify as an addict because my story also involves the use of some drugs and it just makes more sense to me to talk about it altogether. Today I’m 3 years sober; it’s not my first try but it’s my best effort so far and I wanted to share what I’ve learned throughout this recovery journey I’m having, but first, some background: I started using casually as an early teen (mostly pot and alcohol) during summer parties and on the weekends. The use wouldn’t be considered anything abnormal for most middle-America youths, mostly experimental and awkward, but I knew I enjoyed it right away. I never let it interfere with my academics, it was just the stuff you normally hear; I was a “socially lubricated weekend warrior”.

In my late teens and early twenties as I moved on from school and dropped out of college, my use increased as did my independence. First apartment with a friend meant the parties were now on weeknights too when we wanted and by the time we were legal to hit the bars, we already knew our favorite spots. It became the customary event to go down to the corner bar after a long day of work and celebrate our efforts and let loose. Before I knew it, I was drinking 5+ days a week. Growing up in a town where there’s not much to do (pop. approx. 10,000), my habit went unchecked and was basically the social norm for kids my age. For a long time, things were fine and my story overall is not as tragic as it could be or as the stereotype might suggest, but frequent blackouts and tons of cash flowing into the bars were not uncommon.

Things got bumpy for me in 2011 when I went out to celebrate a promotion at work and earned my first DUI. The fallout was minor despite the stigma associated with having a DUI; all in all, I lost my license for 6 months and paid some fines — my cheap lawyer earned me no good graces from the prosecution but, the penalty was still not what one would expect for how serious they drill DUIs in public school health classes. So naturally, I kept drinking…a couple girlfriends came and went who were concerned about my drinking, but I “had it under control”. The partying got more intense and I graduated to harder drugs, though I mostly partook when out of town going to dance clubs and the sort in more metropolitan areas. The drug use for me was always to ensure I could stay up and drink more, so I was no stranger to stimulants for that reason.

man standing alone in alleyway

 

Photo by Warren Wong on Unsplash

In 2013, on a day that I decided “to take it easy” (and not black out), I earned my second DUI. Things were a little more serious this time, where I live in NY state your second (or higher) DUI is automatically a felony charge. This was the first time I thought maybe things were a problem, but I hung on to the fact that I only blew a .09 BAC (and the limit was .08). I told myself: “it can’t be that bad; if I had just waited another hour before driving, this never would’ve happened”. My work ethic had earned me another promotion and a higher income, so this time I did some research and hired a lawyer whose suit actually fit him and we went to work. He earned me a reprieve, in that my felony was reduced to a misdemeanor but the rest of the penalties were non-negotiable: probation for 3 years, steeper fines, an ignition-interlock device (IID) and license revocation nonetheless (and for the foreseeable future). In my mind, though, it was a success; no felony meant no career blow-back should I lose my job or wish to change jobs.

In the grand scheme of things, this should have been the wake up call, but I just wasn’t ready to quit. I took up counseling (voluntarily), participated in outpatient treatment (court ordered) and ultimately succeeded in “white-knuckling” about a year and a half of abstinence from alcohol and drugs: the duration of time my probation officer kept me reporting to the state of New York. Maybe in other posts I’ll expand on my experiences with treatment this first time around or my opinions on the penalty structure in New York state, but for this intro I just want you all to know I’m qualified to call myself an addict.

Within the month after I was let go early from probation (for good behavior and checking all their boxes), I was back to drinking. That was early 2015 and I truly succeeded at keeping it casual for the next maybe… three months? But then, relationship problems came fast and frequent, I had to move twice because of my drinking and eventually wound up leaving the state of NY for the Lehigh Valley. This was to be my perfect escape from all my problems. For a long while it worked. For 2016, I was working a great job (from home), exercising and eating (mostly) healthy and rarely thought about my alcohol consumption, which compared to 2009–2013 was truthfully minimal. Then I got laid off; the career rebound was thankfully quick and before my layoff took effect I had already found another job and actually resigned. Still, the blow to my ego of not “making the cut” with an employer that I had given nearly 10 years of my life to put me in a weird place mentally and emotionally. My habits changed, I overate, overslept, drank to excess more often — it was regression for sure.

I spent the early part of 2017 trying to shape my way with a new employer, but behind the scenes my maternal grandmother had fallen ill with cancer for the second time and that spiraled me into serious self-neglect. The first half of the year flew by with me going through the motions, meeting basic requirements at work, socializing occasionally but drinking to excess any chance I got and that was how, after an awkward blind date, I earned my third DUI driving home. I was alone in the car but had no right to be behind the wheel and I plead guilty after full compliance with the police involved. Thankfully, there was no accident or injury. The fear immediately set in, would this be a felony? would there be jail time? would I lose my job? Thoughts were racing more often than not and everything felt the impact of my self-obsessed misery. I grew distant from family and friends, stopped performing well at work and was a total mess. I only drank once after my last DUI and then decided to quit altogether, cold turkey too. That was on June 25th, 2017. Here is what I’ve learned on the way:


Recovery Lesson 1: Acceptance of Self

In my early sobriety, I had no supports. I wasn’t even open about my attempt to stop until nearly 4 months after I had already stopped. There was a lot of shame and confusion early on coupled with negative self talk and blame. That was natural and mostly a result of the prolonged Pennsylvania justice system. In October 2017, the stress was too much and I was afraid I’d relapse so I opened up to my mom (and other family) about my situation and started to look for help through treatment programs. I was initially pursuing outpatient treatment but decided to fully commit and by mid-October I went into an inpatient dual-diagnosis center outside of Philly. I was there for a few weeks and the experience was mostly horrible. On the scale of addicts, my rock-bottom was pretty high compared to the lows that I saw while hospitalized. Nonetheless, it helped me to realize that maybe the label of addict was for me.

After a few weeks hospitalized, my outpatient treatment plan was established and I was on my way. I began to set my first goals on this path and I’m glad I achieved them. A big focus for me was remaining stable on my medication (my bipolar diagnosis was reemphasized as a risk factor) and to attend self help meetings. I was like a lost puppy in those first few weeks back in “the real world” but I made it to several meetings and I quickly felt stuck. Comparatively by age and the extent (or lack thereof) of my crisis, I felt like I didn’t belong. There was no divorce, no jail time (yet), no injuries or bankruptcy (yet). What did I have in common with these people? I liked to drink and couldn’t avoid driving? I didn’t realize it, but that was the addiction talking and the best thing I ever did was bring it up in a meeting and share my fear of being an impostor with that room full of strangers. To my surprise, nobody booed me out of the room or said “you’re right, you don’t need to be here”. They listened, some faces frowned and others smiled and nodded. After the meeting I was approached by a man that had caught my attention at more than one meeting for his intelligence and interesting shares; he suggested I read the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous (yes, we have a manual)…

assortment of books

 

Photo by Ed Robertson on Unsplash

I was still on the fence about anything new at this time, but I took a leap of faith and downloaded an app version and got to reading. The language in the book can be odd at times given that it’s 81 years old, but the contents are relatively timeless and were immediately relatable. Written by Bill Wilson, it tells the story of Bill Smith and Dr. Bob and their journey through sobriety and the beginnings of Alcoholics Anonymous.

In the second chapter, it describes a true alcoholic as “…a real Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He is seldom mildly intoxicated. He is always more or less insanely drunk…He has a positive genius for getting [drunk] at exactly the wrong moment, particularly when some important decision must be made or engagement kept. He is often perfectly sensible and well balanced concerning everything except liquor”

I immediately thought: this is me! I had excelled over the last 5 or 6 years at getting drunk (and in trouble) “at exactly the wrong moment”, when everything else was going well for me. I decided after reading this description that, if I was going to succeed, I had to have an open mind to the fact that I might fit the definition. So I kept reading. The book opened me up to understanding lots about the nature of the meetings I was going to and the people therein and really helped me to see those who were approaching me for what they were: people willing to help. It really helped me to look at AA as something other than “a cult” and I recommend it to anyone that is facing problems with alcohol and considering self help as a resource.


Recovery Lesson 2:

Realizing Goals

Once I gave the Big Book a reading on my phone, I decided to buy a physical copy and read it again. I began to attend a meeting every Sunday that studied the contents of the book and broke it down. I was immersing myself in the culture of recovery. I was motivated.

With this motivation in hand, I began to set goals. The two most important ones on my list were:

  1. Get a sponsor, and;
  2. Go to more meetings — specifically I decided I would try and attempt a “90 (meetings) in 90 (days)”

My experience with finding a sponsor was awkward to say the least. I had been out of rehab for a month and found a Saturday night group in downtown Bethlehem, PA that was mostly for youth (teens to 30-somethings) but accepted everyone (as most do). I liked that it was the only meeting where I felt like I had peers, although I wound up having more in common with the older crowd it was a warm welcome to see people my age and be social with them. The one thing I liked about this meeting was that every time I went, at the very beginning, they would make a point to emphasize the importance of sponsorship in recovery and ask those meeting participants willing to be a sponsor to raise their hand. I struck out twice trying to draw up the courage to ask someone to sponsor me, when I was going to meetings early on I tended not to stay and talk to people at the end. It was an in/out transaction for me. I’m glad that changed (along with so much else). The third week there, I decided (based on a suggestion from another) to get there early. This allowed me not only to get the (awful) cup of coffee that I so coveted but I began to learn people’s names and someone new came in and sat next to me. He introduced himself. His name was Liam and he didn’t know it but he would become my sponsor that night.

The meeting began and the usual opening ceremony ensued, by the time it got to mentioning sponsorship Liam quickly and confidently raised his hand and made eye contact with me. In that moment, I felt the spine-tingling, skin-crawling, cringe-worthy fear that I was about to put myself out there and before I knew what was happening I felt myself return the eye contact, lean forward and motion him near. I whispered with a cracked and anxious voice “Can we talk sponsorship?” and to my great relief he smiled, nodded and told me to seek him out when the meeting ended. Liam proved to be a great role model with 6 years of sobriety despite his age being 5 years less than mine and the fact that he never could even legally consume alcohol by the time he quit. He knew the ropes, what meetings were constructive, what other books were worth getting into and he kept me social in the recovery scene and my mind off of my pending criminal case. I’m eternally grateful for his guidance.

I told Liam about my 90 in 90 goal and before I knew it, 90 days went by and I had actually been to 120 meetings. I kept track with an app on my phone and that was my first tangible sobriety goal met. My confidence ticked up a notch.

app screenshot

 

Landing Page for Pink Cloud app (Apple App Store). It has a meeting tracker and other useful utilities worth checking out!


Recovery Lesson 3:

Pacing My Recovery

With that initial boost of confidence from making new friends and meeting a key goal, I wanted to soar through my sobriety milestones. Life, of course, had different plans.

Shortly after beginning to work with Liam, I moved back to Central NY to pursue an intensive outpatient program that I felt more comfortable with compared to the setting in the Lehigh Valley that I was currently enrolled in. I was about half way through my 90 in 90 when I moved back, so my first order of business was to seek out all the relatively proximate worthwhile meetings in the area and possibly find an interim sponsor. After the first week back, I got settled into a daily meeting routine and decided to work remotely with Liam, but I had already met a role model or two that I planned on getting close to. I was off work on medical leave so it was easy to immerse myself in reading about recovery as well; I would eat, sleep and breathe it whenever I could. The rehab program I was in was slated to take ten weeks and met every Monday-Thursday. Outside of that, I had my meetings and my reading and I focused the rest of the time on reconnecting with my mom, stopping to write in a journal on occasion as well.

I started accepting monthly coins at the meetings I went to, for each month that ticked by. With every one I received my confidence and enjoyment in the process grew. I was experiencing what other alcoholics refer to as “the Pink Cloud”; basically, things were going so well I felt invincible.

In January of 2018, on a Friday night, about two weeks before I had court for the first time (since my arrest in May 2017) I got into a fender bender. It was minor, but it was still a shock to the “Pink Cloud” ecosystem I was in. Thankfully, there were no injuries and my car was the more damaged one. Insurance would absolutely cover it. After the police officer assessed the scene and established those facts, he ran our licenses. This is when I found out mine was not valid…I was sunk. Completely heartbroken. The officer told me that the DMV had me on record with no insurance, but since he could see my proof of insurance he allowed me to park the car and resolve the paperwork mishap after the weekend ended.

Now, to most people, that sounds simple. To me, it was anxiety inducing and absolutely, positively would fail somehow (or at least that’s how my mind was wired). I obsessed over the “what if” scenarios I constructed in my head for how the DMV may handle my situation, or more horrifyingly to me… how the Pennsylvania courts might react to the NY legal troubles. After an excruciating 48 hours though, it all basically worked out. I wound up having to go to court in NY later that winter to get the waiver of the issue from the Assistant District Attorney directly, but all my ducks were in a row and my initial reaction had worn away. Calmer minds prevailed.

This experience was a lesson in that, not only would sobriety eliminate a fear of the police but reality could sometimes be a challenge. It grounded me in the facts that, although my sobriety had been going swimmingly, life was bound to happen. It reminded me that I was facing consequences in PA and helped prompt me to have some very real conversations with my lawyer. Although it would be a misdemeanor, I was facing a mandatory minimum of a year in jail and hadn’t begun to process that fact until that weekend. It also prompted me to talk with my sober support network about my fears for a lack of meeting availability and support once I was convicted and sentenced. I was near the end of my IOP program and so I collected addresses and numbers to stay in contact and I moved back to the Lehigh Valley to finish out my lease down there and face the judge.


Recovery Lesson 4:

Learning from Failure

In April of 2018 I had my day in court. It would be a year of immediate work release (a lesser degree of incarceration than a jail cell) in Bethlehem and fines and probation. My lawyer was confident and composed throughout the whole process with the courts and he had me well prepared. The week before I got my sentence, I quit my cushy work from home (and sometimes travel) job because I found out the work release authorities would not allow a home office for employment since I had to live in their facility. I took an entry level job at a McDonald’s that was near a bus route that could get me from the facility to work every day and that was that.

Everything was real.

On April 20th, 2018 I was remanded to the custody of the Lehigh County Correctional Center and began my sentence. I could write a whole post about what a humbling hell that was, and I may someday. What I’d like to focus on here, is that within the first two months I was able to see it as the opportunity that it was.

Did it suck sharing a metal bunk bed in a room with 60 other guys? Yup.

Were there worse sentences I could have gotten? Definitely.

It was a fresh start.

I lost my meeting streak, since the jail only offered one meeting a week in the facility and I worked the day it was held. I did, however, learn a self reliance. I journaled a lot and got to read everything on my reading list. In a lot of ways, while I was regaining perspective on my situation, I relearned my independence. All in all, the time “inside”, albeit mind-numbing, went by quickly and 1 year and 3 days later I was released. Given that I left my preferred job on bad terms, I started what turned out to be an uphill job hunt. No respectable employer in the Lehigh Valley was interested in a convict with no license or no college degree and I certainly wasn’t interested in working at McDonald’s any longer than I had to. I began to worry I was getting stuck again.


Recovery Lesson 5:

The Rewards

Eventually, after some talks with probation, my landlord and my family…I was able to move back to my home in NY and land an entry level call center job. Plus I started college again!

When I wasn’t reading or sleeping on the inside, I was journaling and I spent a lot of time in that journal thinking about how I would spend my eventual freedom. I’ve now got a bucket list and passion projects that I’m pursuing and achieving as often as possible. Although, I’m comfortable taking my time with it all and know there will always be more to achieve.

In the Big Book, near the end, it says there will be rewards for the effort of pursuing a life of sobriety. It hasn’t been all tumultuous and haphazard but the rewards precipitate exponentially as time goes on. Now that I’m in school and getting A’s I’m pursuing a career change and learning to code, I still don’t have a license so I’ve gone to less meetings than I’d like but that will come with time. Most importantly, I’m happy that I can have confidence in my sobriety and want others to know that it is possible and there are always folks willing to help you work for it.


Although I don’t discuss it much here, I want to emphasize that when you’re struggling with anything deeply personal such as this, you may be in a dark place. Here are some resources that helped me:

Suicide Hotline: 1–800–273–8255; suicidepreventionlifeline.org

AA Resources:

aa.org

The Big Book, by Bill Wilson

Drop the Rock, by Bill P. , Todd W. and Sara S.

Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions, by Russel Brand

None of these resources are affiliate links, I do not intend to make money off my suggestions made here.

If you enjoyed my story, or have any questions please feel free to comment at the bottom or, you’re welcome to e-mail me by clicking the button below.

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