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Portfolio Commit 12 Aug 2018Must admit, I haven’t been blogging for a while now. I’ll spare you the details as I’m sure you have better things to read. Glad to say that reflecting on my journey has been paying off. 

After completing the DevAcademy boot camp in March, I’ve taken a bit of a break from ‘intensive’ coding. Just to take time off to breath, and basically to get back to my old routine of being a full-time tutor, mother, wife, friend… You know, all those little things that were put on hold whilst attending the boot camp. As it was so intense, I wasn’t able to digest everything during those nine weeks. Having had a break actually worked wonders! It gave me time to think and reflect on what I really wanted to do professionally.

Fast forward six months, and things are moving along just fine, I’m relieved to say. One of the most useful things I’ve been doing has been talking to friends. And one of those friends is studying to become a Life Coach, and asked me to be her ‘guinea pig’ to complete her assignments. What an opportunity! I couldn’t possibly say no and accepted the offer. We had one of our meetings over the phone, just last week, taking almost an hour. I did most of the talking, and she did all the listening and asking all the right questions. She’s really good at this! A natural if you ask me. Without going into all the details of the phone conversation, I believe I have made a breakthrough! My sense of purpose and direction took a turn, for the better. I feel more settled and decisive in my recently acquired career of becoming a web developer. I feel more motivated and inspired. Amazing what a phone conversation can do!

Here are some of the objectives:

  • Making no more ‘excuses’
  • Getting on with it, regularly
  • Meeting up with friends and mentors
  • Reflecting on the process, regularly

It’s really easy once you figure out ‘why’ all the fuss? What am I really trying to achieve? Where do I want to be in a year or two? And, how can I get there, with or without all the hurdles? It’s occurred to me that by making excuses, I was only delaying the process, hoping it would get easier. Well, it doesn’t. It becomes tolerable the more you attack it head on! This revelation is rather ironic since this is what I ‘preach’ to my students when they hit a mental block, and feel totally overwhelmed with the amount of learning they have to do, under so many strict deadlines. I guess it’s easier to tell someone else how to get on with learning and developing. I have been struggling with my own demons when it comes to learning something new. Well, in my case, changing careers mid-life.

I’m glad to say, that I’ve finally turned my mid-life crisis around, to my advantage. I have a better outlook in life now that I’ve gained my sense of purpose (see above). I have a better idea of what I’d like to do and how to go about achieving it. This realisation could not have come at a better time, since one of my roles is undergoing a review process, which is basically another word for getting demoted. So, time to get a move on.

After discussing the above decisions with another close friend, we both agreed to make regular time every week, to keep each other on track. We’ll meet and study together, even if we each learn completely different subjects, we aim to meet and push each other along. When we start teaching each other what we’ve covered that week, I’m sure the penny will drop too.

Another motivational event for me is organising free classes in web development for people with English as an Additional Language. My first meeting with the Nelson Multicultural Council (NMC) is next week, 12th Sep, to discuss the initial planning process. The project may take months to get underway, but I think it’ll be worthwhile. If only I had some support systems in place years ago, I would have started my own web development business by now for sure! So, I’m planning to combine my teaching skills, with my newly acquired coding skills, to encourage others who may have doubts about becoming web developers. See how it goes.

Last but certainly not least, I’ve been invited to give a 10-min talk on Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) at the Nelson ITP evening. One of four presenters, sharing what current technologies we are working on. So, my first ever tech talk is on 25 Sep.

It’ll be a busy month, to say the least but I’m looking forward to the challenge. I like this road, the ‘road less travelled’ and look forward to what it will bring. Thank you for reading thus far, and for being part of my journey!

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