As of this week I’m back in full time employment as a manufacturing technician. With any spare time available I’m spending it wisely learning Angular in more depth, getting ready for future coding interviews with the ultimate aim of landing a position in software development. I have the chance to show in this new job I’m someone who is reliable and can work in team. It’s a good feeling knowing I’m contributing towards the nation rather than depending on welfare to survive.
Over the past month or so, I’ve gotten 3 interviews and 2 other tests, it has felt like preparing for final exams and to ace the coding interviews takes some time. I’m getting better with practice, uploading code regularly to github, watching video tutorials, predominantly on Youtube and Udemy, practising coding questions on Leetcode and freecodecamp, and finally, reading up to date programming books in physical form and on Kindle. Working 12 hour shifts for 3 to 4 days will eat up much time, but there is enough hours in the week to spend upskilling for that first software developer position.
The url is http://www.kelly3d.com
Over the last few weeks, I’ve had two interviews and although I didn’t get either jobs, it is encouraging when one considers I had no programming experience prior to this time last year. Even with first class honours, the knowledge gained from the HDip in Computer Science course have given a solid foundation to progressive from and it is clear, employers want people with more skills than I have on display on github.
Some time has been put into reworking the website, however after following an advanced CSS and SASS I’m putting it on hold until I know how to create CSS code that is of a modern professional standard.
As for frontend frameworks, it has been recommended to me to learn at least one. Before attending the Angular MeetUp in Dublin, I was unsure whether to focus my time and energy on learning React, because of React Native and the virtual DOM or to focus on Angular. With Angular being a full framework, with support from Microsoft and Google, I have chosen the latter. From what I’m told by professions, anyone with 2 years professional experience with Angular are high in demand.
I bought two books on Angular, Angular in Action by Jeremy Wilkins and Angular, From Theory to Practice by Asim Hussain. Along with that, I bought four different video tutorials on MEAN stack and Angular. Right now, I think I’m close to being able to write simple applications using Angular and getting to grips with SASS. The next application I write has to written with modern code.
On one interview, a part of the feedback given was to practice algorithms. There is no avoiding it, even though I prefer learning how to make great products. White board interviews also need to be practiced and some friends from the Maynooth HDip course have expressed interest in practicing with me, replicating interview conditions as closely as possible.
There is no shortage of material online to learn from and with the course no including internships, I have the gap between intern level to graduate, or at least what potential employers perceive that to be. The fantastic thing about this industry is the lack of barriers to creating a product and marketing it to the world for anyone with the skills and work ethic.
After putting the time into applying to dozens of job openings and not even getting an interview, it’s obvious because of my lack of employment in the past employers are choosing to overlook me. Why was I unemployed for such a long time? Do I have a criminal record? No! Was I bad at the jobs I worked in? No, not according to the employers. The economy was terrible for a decade and I tried my hardest to get into AAA game development in a futile effort, then I made the further mistake of completing a Product Design Degree, another area there are little or no jobs in Ireland.
However, all is not doom and gloom. In the past year, I’ve dedicated the majority of my waking hours to learning how to code and intend to continue to keep learning. The area of concentration right now is preparing for the Java Oracle Exam, with not only passing it, but get a high score in it. It’s possible with the right amount of time and effort. Once it is out of the way, time can be spent learning the JS based frameworks in more depth. So there is plenty to look forward to, I no longer have the thought in the back of my head that my time and hard work is futile, the industry is growing rapidly and there is not reason why one cannot develop their own app and bringing it to market themselves. I’ve plenty of Udemy tutorials bought to watch and follow over the summer.
Tuesday evening I attended a UI/IX meeting. This is something I intend to do more of in the future, get to network with people in the industry and gain an insight into the thinking of experts in the field. There was three speakers and the emphasis was on service design. The first speaker, John Lynch covered service design for cities. The second, Gerry Scallion was back in Ireland after spending some time in Australia to give a talk about “the come down after the Design Thinking sugar high” and the final talk was by business coach Michel Cloosterman who’s talk focused on Lego design thinking and serious play.
One thing that stood out to me was the need for name value pairs the majority of service design and in order to create anything, it cannot be done without programmers. So, it makes me wonder if in the near future merely being a designer is enough and I’ve come to the conclusion it is not. In an increasingly competitive world, a one with more opportunities, but harder to make a basic living in, one has to have engineering know how, artistic ability, as well as design skills. No longer can someone BS their way in this maturing industry. So for someone in my situation, will skills in digital graphics, art, product design and now programming knowledge there is nothing to stop me making a product, or shall I say a service that people would wish to consume.
For me, the most memorable part of the three talks was the social experiment involving each member of the audience being given six Lego pieces and tasked with assembling their interpretation from those pieces to make a duck. To my surprise, with only six pieces there was a far greater variety of shapes constructed than anticipated. Some were a bit wacky, but the majority of them looked like abstractions of ducks and there wasn’t any clear right answer. It was quite subjective.
I completed a full-on one year course in Computer Science, Software Development HDip yesterday. It was a very busy time and learnt a great deal. One of the modules was a team project that simulated an Agile team development process. To show my contribution to the team, a video can be viewed by clicking on Cozmet_Sean
A couple of screenshots of the design can be viewed below. It was made entirely using open source software, without the use of Angular or React. Although, the plan is to learn both frameworks over the coming months and I already know the basics of Angular, it’s really nice. The backend is powered with firebase, all the data comes from it for each object and the graphics were created using InkScape and Krita. The layout is made using CSS Grid and I discovered during development CSS and ECMAScript 6 have gotten enough features that jQuery is no longer needed, but it is still a powerful framework.
This is a yoga quiz app with back end database storage, written in vanilla JS, PHP, AJAX and of course, HTML and CSS.
The code can be found at: https://github.com/SeanKelly369/WebDev
The images were provides by:
For CS230 Assignment 3, using PHP, MySQL and PHPMyAdmin we were to create a CRUD, with bonus point going for the undo feature. I got the CRUD working fine and saw tutorials for including the undo, it would have required rewriting the entire PHP code into an object and wrapping the binding into a transaction block. With time being limited, I chose to spend it working on the team project, which has since progressed quite well. Everything else works perfectly, including the dates drop down, the language and type drop downs, and the submit, update and delete buttons. When the grades are published I’ll upload the code, CSS included onto github.
Below is a work in progress of the product information UI. I have it working dynamically, added a customisable jQuery plugin for a vertical scrollbar and have tabs animate on hover. I used a CSS Grid layout with a nested grid for the soon to be thumbnail images on the left. When it’s finished it’s going to look great :).