Andrew Lichtenhan, August 26, 2015 | 3 min read

My Path and Impressions

Cadet’s Log:  Stardate pre-Trek 201508.20

While Star Trek has been a great comfort and source of entertainment during my Time at Tech Talent South, my new experience and full devotion to learning the nuances of web development has been my direct focus and efforts…

Ok, got the Star Trek jokes out of my system. In all seriousness I have had an amazing experience so far in Tech Talent South.  In ending my 4th week for class in the full-time program I feel I have learned more of web development in this time than I ever had in my design experience and education.  A lot can change in such a short time and I have come to realize the days of tables and slices are long gone while CSS3 and HTML5 are here to stay, for now, for quite some time from the looks.

I feel my background has made me a perfect student for Tech Talent South. While I dabbled in many aspects of tech, visual design, and spent some time in the working world, I felt that web development was the one trump card in making me an unstoppable designer. Now the time is upon me to really pick up where I feel I left off in my previous education endeavors.

While I have always been a techy designer, my job never fully allotted the work to expand and continue my web skills. I’ve worked with great skill in IT, graphic design, photography, automotive, videography, and tried making a leap into user experience design. However, despite what the internet told me, UX is not a code-free profession. While I have many skills and traits in bringing my ideas and concepts to life, it’s being able to make interactive experiences on the web that have ultimately kept me from succeeding. Now that I am a part of Tech Talent South, those mindsets have greatly changed.

I took the course not just to improve my own skills and portfolio but as a Hail Mary attempt at getting my career back on track. I have strived to find how to get back into a creative working field and found in many instances my coding skills were not up to par to get me the job or opportunity I hoped.

In my mind, as a creative designer, I feared the how’s and why’s of the back-end development cycle. I did not fear code, but, I never had a chance in reality to immerse myself in the logic structures and practices. While I still believe at heart to be a front-end developer, I am still thrilled at my own progress and comprehension of Ruby on Rails and the overall back-end side of development. The app creation process was much easier than I originally thought and I feel my confidence in understanding the unknown growing with every class session. While I doubt I will ever call myself a developer in that sense, I have much greater faith in my skills knowing I will someday work incredibly well with a team of any size with great communication.

While the instructors are great, the coffee always hot (Iris is amazing for assisting us in this for sure), and lessons plentiful, I feel there is one element I never counted on in assisting and helping grow my skills; the peers of the class. They have been instrumental in not only assuring me all will be ok, but giving an amazing diverse dynamic to our class. Hundreds of GIFs have been exchanged by now, a few drinks shared outside the classroom, tech talks attended, and countless laughs experienced. I am very thankful to not only have great instructors but a very well-rounded group in which to share my learning.

There is a mystique to living in the wonder at the moment. I know of so many possibilities outside of class. While I am working part-time I look forward to still having time to drive hard, push further, and hope the next step will be the result of the fruits of my labor blossoming wonderfully. I’ll do my best to arrive early, leave late, study hard, try, try again, and try once more as much as I can to continue to make the most of the program. I look forward to the rest of my time as a great opportunity to grow, learn, instruct, assist, and greatly improve myself for the future to come.