journey through web development

Category: summary (Page 1 of 2)

2020: the summary

Another year has gone by and what a year it’s been! Hell of the rollercoaster ๐ŸŽข ride for most of us, right?
As every December, I like to pause for a minute, create a list of things that were awesome that year, and also some resolutions for the year ahead.
It’s really cool to look back in the past and see how we, and everything around has changed, so let’s look into my last year’s resolutions:

Going into resolutions for 2020, I would like to:

  • attend another hackathon or two,
  • still ace at uni and learn new things (maybe another programming language?),
  • read at least a book a month,
  • travel a little
    and
  • keep on posting here about my dev journey

For obvious reasons I only managed to travel a tiny bit in January and unfortunately didn’t attend any more hackathons, but overall I think I did quite all right! ๐Ÿ˜€
If you’d like to read my full 2019 summary, you can do so HERE.

Awesome things that happened in 2020:

  • Completed 1st year at Uni ( +amazing grades)
  • Attended Work In The Web workshop in Leeds
  • Produced 2 youtube videos
  • Did Happy Hour industry talk (virtually, because lockdown happened)
  • Kept writing blog posts about my dev journey
  • Dev internship!
  • My first paid front end dev position
    so I could…
  • Leave hospitality job!
  • Wrote an article for GirlCode
  • Attended Code First, Girls course (+my project won ๐Ÿ†)
  • learned a lot!
  • Did a little RaspberryPi project
  • Saved some money
  • Bought my first stock shares
  • Didn’t get infected with Covid-19 ๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿ˜ท

Of course a lot of not-so-good things happened this year too. Both me and my husband being furloughed during the first lockdown, having family member diagnosed with life threatening condition, my sister’s wedding postponed and not able to see my family are just a few of them. However, I always try to find a bright side and focus on the good rather than bad.

What are my resolutions for 2021?

  • keep acing at Uni
  • learn!
  • read at least 1 book a month
  • save money (#housedeposit)
  • keep posting here
  • get a pay-rise
  • go to Poland to see my family
  • not get infected with Covid-19 ๐Ÿ˜ท๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿ™…โ€โ™€๏ธ
  • do some photoshoots

How was your 2019?

Tell me about your wins and achievements this year, and resolutions for the next one!

*Featured image by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

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First year at uni: the summary

With all grades released, that’s the end of my first year of Uni. It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions, but I’m still positive

it was the best decision I could have ever made.

Time for a little summary…

Ever since I got those unconditional offers (or maybe even before that), I worried. I like to know what’s about to happen, and I do very much like to plan things out. As most freshers, I had so many questions on how is my life gonna look like now. Of course being 26, with a child and a job, finances and logistics where my main concern.
September came and I realised that most of my fears were…unnecessary. I’ve blended nicely with the rest of the students(which by the way are amazing and I feel like we support each others whenever possible) H. goes to the nursery 15hrs a week while I’m on campus and my workplace is really flexible with my shifts.
Don’t get me wrong, to be on top with everything was HARD and tiring. There is no doubt about that. But it was very rewarding in the same time.
And to finally be able to progress and learn and be given chances in a field you’re passionate about- priceless.

In the last 9 months I have learned so much! Design, UX, databases, systems analysis, Python, JavaScript, Git and more. Terminal is not terrifying anymore. I got the opportunity to take part in Agile Enterprise Hackathon, attend Work in The Web workshop in Leeds and then have been asked to speak about my experiences on Happy Hour Talks (which unfortunately had to be cancelled due to a pandemic just before my date. I have recorded this talk anyway and you can watch it HERE). I also had few chances interviewing, and been accepted for a great summer internship.
Finally, I’m ending my first uni year with average grades at 79.6%, which I think it’s pretty dang good.

Truth is, after a while you don’t remember those long nights spent reading books and writing essays or reports.
Few words for myself (and other students maybe) for the next year? Keep pushing, don’t give up, believe in yourself. And worry a bit less.
It will be all right.

*
Photo used in the post is by Cathryn Lavery on Unsplash

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Lockdown: for me

Lockdown slowly eases, so I thought I will reflect on those last, really weird 3,5 months.

As everyone remembers, on March 23rd almost everything closed down and it seemed like the world is coming to an end. It has been a very stressful time for a lot of people, including myself. Workplaces shut, shelves in the grocery stores emptied, and all you could hear in tv was the constant news about more people dying from Covid-19… it was a lot to take in. I was worried whether or not we have enough food, money to pay bills, and what would happen with my daughter in the extreme case when both I and my husband catch the virus and end up in the hospital (as we have no relatives living in the UK who could take care of her).

Thankfully, I still had to complete assignments and exams to finish my uni year, and it has helped me deal with scary thoughts at the beginning of lockdown. They gave me some sort of purpose and kept most worries at bay.

Looking back now, this urge to keep myself busy at all times had a really positive impact on my productivity. I have achieved and learned so much during this weird period of time. I hope this list will remind me that I am still going forward, and in the moment of doubt, I can look back and shut that imposter syndrome up.

  • I have finished 3 uni assignments and 1 exam
  • Took part in women in tech event, and could listen to Pauline talk about blogging (watch it here!)
  • Learned to create digital portraits
  • Recorded and published 2 youtube videos
  • Published my portfolio website
  • Practices JS and did a fun quiz
  • Bought my first raspberry pi and built the scroll bot (read about it here)
  • Took part in code first girls course
  • Completed communication and interpersonal skills at work course….

    and probably the most important one:

  • Got an intern position which I start tomorrow!

I know that everyone’s situation is different, and people deal with emotions in their own way. The intention of this post is not to brag about my accomplishments, but simply to show my way of dealing with extraordinary times we’ve got to live in. What helped me may not necessarily help you.
This blog’s main purpose is to keep track of my dev journey so I thought appropriate to document it.

*Featured photo by Glen Carrie on Unsplash
Illustrations used in the post are from ManyPixels

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3 things I’ve learnt during WITW, other than the industry knowledge

Few weeks ago I attended a Work In The Web workshop over in sunny Leeds (if you would like to read more about the event, HERE is the link)

Workshop has been an amazing adventure and I am so glad I got to go and be part of it.  I love events like this one, where days are filled with great talks and panels and you’re spending time with like-minded people. The good thing about them, you’re learning a lot more than just what’s on the agenda…

Here are three things I’ve learnt, other than industry knowledge.

  1. I’m not as introvert as I think I am.
    In the past I would struggle to go somewhere on my own. Going across the country, check into a hotel and go to an event ALL BY MYSELF? That wouldn’t happen. But I’m not who I was years ago, and those stuff aren’t scary anymore. And just like a person who lost a lot of weight but still sees herself in the mirror as obese, I still see myself as a shy girl, dependent from other people. I need to constantly remind myself that I’m not.
  2. What I am being taught at Uni is REALLY what people do in the industry.
    Technology sector is changing very fast, and for some reason I thought that updating a whole uni course to match this fast-changing industry is…impossible.  It’s been great knowing that my course curriculum is up to date and we are learning the good stuff.
  3. It’s ok not to know everything.
    I mean, it’s has to be, as there will always be someone ahead of you in their career, or someone who knows a lot more in some subjects than you. I may know some stuff, but it’s not even a tip of the mountain. And I probably never will know all of the stuff I need/should/want to know, but it doesn’t mean I will not try.
    The key is to accept this fact and instead of trying to be better than other people, be better than you from the past. Imposter syndrome is real, no matter if you’re just starting, are mid or a senior. Everyone I spoke about it, had to deal with it at some point. EVERYONE.

Ok now it’s your turn, what new thing did you learn recently?

PC: Mixd

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Work In The Web 2020

One of my resolutions for this year was to be open for any opportunity “knocking on my door”. So when I got an email from my course leader about ‘Work in the web’ workshop, I didn’t hesitate to apply. In the end, I had nothing to loose, and loads to gain!

Work In The Web is a 3-day development workshop for students who wants to work in the web industry. The initiative from Mixd agency, based in Leeds, is their way to give back and help out new generations of programmers to learn about to industry, new skills and get the  insight of how it really is like in the real dev world.

There was only 20 spaces available this year, so you can imagine how happy, but also just a tiny bit surprised, I was when I got my acceptance email. The event took place in Leeds, but Solent Uni have gladly agreed to cover the cost of my travel and accommodation for those few days (Yay for attending a great Uni that cares about it’s students ๐Ÿ™Œ)

Journey from Southampton to Leeds is a lengthy 5 hours and 2 changes over in London, but I was excited about going on a great new adventure and to the city that once I was calling my own. (funny fact about Kat- I used to live in Leeds looooong time ago :))

Day 1 began from an informal breakfast and coffee (provided by one of the sponsors). I got to meet and talk to other attendees and all the lovely people from Mixd. Everybody was so nice and you could feel this positive vibe in the air. I instantly knew that this will be great 3 days!

When everyone gathered, we headed upstairs for some talks and lectures. And there was a lot of those that day!

First lecture was all about Design for the Web. Mike has covered basic principles, how to communicate effectively, the use of typography and colours, reading patterns and grids. In the end, he shared what tools they are using in Mixd while designing. I was really happy to know that tools I was encouraged to use at uni for my assignments, are the actual tools used in the industry. Next, we had various talks about workflow, domains, hosting, time management, content for the web, accessibility and SEO. Erin, a lovely studio manager, talked about do and don’ts of applying for a job. After a quick lunch break, Ed and Rory prepared  a workshop to get us all comfortable with the terminal and using Git. To be honest, terminal always scares me for some reason, so I found this panel very helpful. At the end of the day, we all headed to a nearby pub to let of steam from our brains and get to know each other a bit more. After hours of soaking up the knowledge, this was just what we needed.

The second day of the workshop began from a Java Script panel, then Paul from Berwins Digital, one of the guest speakers, came to talk about legal touch points for designers and developers. It’s important to know the law and be safe rather than sorry! (always sign the contract guys! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) The rest of the day we’ve spent learning about Content Management Systems (CMS) and the most popular of all: WordPress.

On day three, Mike Francis from Bulb energy has taught us a lot about APIs (and about this funny 416 response code. aka “I’m not a teapot” ๐Ÿ˜€ ) Alex and Phil then did an amazing talk about UX design and made us all do a sympathy mapping and design our cereal boxes. The last panel was run by Harry Roberts (@csswizardry) about Web Performance. He even gave us some amazing, super secret tips how to improve our websites so they are faster!

There is a saying, that time flies when you’re having fun. I had an amazing time during Work in The Web workshop! Not only I gained a lot of valuable knowledge about the industry, but I also met so many talented people (those working in Mixd but also my fellow attendees! They are a smart bunch and they will go far I’m telling ya!)

Attending this workshop has also reassured me, that what we are taught in Uni, is really what we’ll be using after we graduate! It’s a great feeling, knowing that the course I’m undertaking has an up to date curriculum and I’m not taught old stuff!

For anyone who would like to work in tech, I would highly recommend to apply for the next year edition of WITW.

TL:DR

If you would like to read some more about Work In The Web( or just to see more photos from the event): HERE

Official WITW website: HERE

Mixd twitter: HERE

Photo credits: Mixd + me

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