Starting out at Fullstack’s Grace Hopper Program

I finally took the leap and started a coding bootcamp. In the spirit of consistent blogging, I’m going to try to write a bit every few days about my experience at Fullstack’s Grace Hopper program.

Everyone’s story to code is a little bit different, so I guess I’ll start with the easy stuff. A bit about me and how I ended up here:

The short version:

My background is in journalism. I started with photography, which turned into videography, which turned into blogging, which turned into a fascination with all things code.

The slightly longer version:

After getting an incredibly valuable degree in print journalism with an emphasis on still photography, I realized I would probably have to expand my skill set (as fast as humanly possible). Once I realized that I could see “under the hood” of the Internet, and that I could tinker with it as much as I liked, I dove in with as much enthusiasm as I had for a good multimedia story. I started working as a digital editor and helping manage my local public television station’s websites. I taught myself HTML and CSS, and after discovering Free Code Camp, I felt like I had some direction.

Their meetups and the incredible patience of our station’s head developer (shout out to Chet) kept me going. Chet would sit on the phone with me for hours, explaining the difference between mail servers and web servers, what AJAX requests and APIs were, and how Drupal and Wordpress handled code differently.

My jobs were hybrids — part video production and part web development. I loved both, and I wasn’t ready to commit to one or the other. I moved to NYC but stayed with public television, and I kept working in a hybrid environment. I was tech-adjacent, but still a producer. Finally, after a lot of soul searching, I decided that I needed to throw myself into coding full time to see if I could really hack it. Pun intended.

So here I am. It feels like the biggest risk I’ve ever taken, honestly. But it’s a calculated risk, and the curriculum, guidance and positivity at Grace Hopper and Fullstack have calmed my fears. :)

Cat tax:

Charlie the wonderfloof.

Loves code, cats and coffee. 🤓☕️ Web engineer at The New York Times. Previously at Quartz and Mic. Career changer. List maker. Overthinker.