Hackernoon logoYou should shadow your dream job to launch your dream career by@mitchelldirt

You should shadow your dream job to launch your dream career

A little over 6 months ago I had the pleasure of going on a job shadow with a project manager at my current place of employment, Tommy car wash systems. I realized that I have a lot of room to grow before I can call myself a software developer, but I also found that I’m closer to securing a front-end web developer job than I had thought. The job shadow instilled motivation in me to continue learning and striving for career improvement. The only learning that I did that wasn’t related to solving bugs was on object-oriented programming in Javascript.
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mitchelldirt

I write code in my free time

I started my calculator project on a plane bound for Seattle Washington. The funny thing was I worked on it for an hour and then got stuck because I couldn’t get the calculator grid to show up at all and had no internet on the plane to look up the issue. When I landed in Seattle that night I found out that the issue was that I forgot to link my stylesheet to my HTML page *facepalm*. After that silly mishap, I got to work on all of the functions and made the operator functions… functional.

From there, things went smoothly and I was able to add keyboard controls, added exponent notation after the number got too large, and styled it to look like the iPhone calculator. The smallest brain thing I did throughout this project was making the percent button edit the string that was in the input box. This took a lot of lines of code and many a splice method when all I needed to do was divide the current number by 100. In the end, I was incredibly happy with my project and might add more functionality in the future if I’m ever feeling uninspired.

From job shadow to career

A little over 6 months ago I had the pleasure of going on a job shadow with a project manager at my current place of employment, Tommy car wash systems. I went to work learning how to read building plans and researching how I could reach my goal of becoming a project manager. Reading blueprints without being able to apply that skill got boring quickly and to improve my skills in my current role I took a Udemy course on Microsoft Excel.

Towards the end of that course, there was a small section on Visual Basic which triggered an interest in programming. Then I bought a Python course on Udemy. Since then I’ve completed most of the python course (skipped the specific Python related stuff) and opted to learn JavaScript to pursue front-end web development.

Internal job shadowing with the developer

Just recently I was allowed to go on another job shadow within the company I work at. I shadowed our web developer for half the day then one of our software developers. It was a fantastic day and it gave me a lot of perspective on where I can improve. I realized that I have a lot of room to grow before I can call myself a software developer, but I also found that I’m closer to securing a front-end web developer job than I had thought. The job shadow instilled motivation in me to continue learning and striving for career improvement. If you ever have a chance to do a job shadow for a position you hope to reach I advise you to take that opportunity.

Learning:

The only learning that I did that wasn’t related to solving bugs in projects was on object-oriented programming in Javascript. I never truly grasped OOP when learning Python and when learning about objects it made a lot more sense this time around. I’ll end up learning more about this over the next couple of weeks.

Lessons Learned:

Learning how to use HTML, CSS, and JS well isn’t easy. I am having a lot of fun improving my skills in all three though and I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon. Thank you for reading!

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