Guillermo Salazar, June 23, 2015 | 2 min read

Change of Pace


I have been in the IT industry for two years now but I haven’t had the chance to be a full-time developer. I have an academic background in C/C++ and Java and professionally I have done some QA testing and software integration. I have been learning Ruby on Rails on and off by myself for a year now and in my spare time I draw and play pc video games. I am currently hooked on the Borderlands franchise.

At my previous job my team created the API request flow so that app developers can interact with the backend. My team used xml, javascript, and java to create the flow. It was mostly repetitive work and what little coding I actually did was relabeling json properties. While my programming skills improved at my old job, I could not put anything to use and felt restricted. I only saw parts of the production flow, so I never had the satisfaction of seeing my work in production. While I liked my colleagues, I knew I had to take control of where my career was heading. I decided to throw myself into RoR. I started with the Michael Hartl RoR online tutorial. It was a helpful reference and I go back to it every time I get lost, but I found myself just copying what was written. I needed a group environment where I could bounce ideas off.

I am now in my fourth week of bootcamp and I have learned a lot so far. Thanks to my Java background I have a general idea on how everything works, but I never went this in depth before. The last time I touched an html file was in high school so I needed a review with front-end web applications. I find myself thinking of new ideas everyday that I want to implement on my own. I am now able to create a basic front-end for my web app and it will still need polishing but at least the structure is there to tweak.

I’m hoping by the end of the term I will be able to build an app in an Agile fashion. It would be great to practice working on a story as a group by hashing out the details and completing the acceptance criteria. This will give me the opportunity to practice more software development best practices like TDD and pairing.

I’m having fun meeting new people and networking with Dallas startups. The people I met have been encouraging and I am motivated to continue down this road. I’m excited to see where this leads!