I remember during my first day of Codeup I began to doubt my ability to overcome the challenges that lay ahead. I soon learned that what I was experiencing was “impostor syndrome.” Jason Straughan, Codeup’s CEO, introduced us to this phenomenon that same day. Thanks to his kind advice I was able to identify, and overcome my doubts. Codeup shared many valuable lessons with me, but some lessons were taught through exposure outside of the Vogue building. If you decide to enroll at Codeup, you will find yourself learning many things outside the classroom. I realized through my own journey that there are things Codeup didn’t tell me. So, I’ve narrowed it down to the 5 main things I had to learn on my own as a newly placed software developer.
You Need to be Multilingual
You need to be adaptable and willing to open your ears to all ideas. They say the best way to learn a different language is through practice. In most of our professional and non-professional lives, relationships will have an assigned lingo to properly cater to that relationship. Furthermore, professional groups and organizations like projectQUEST, H-E-B, and Codeup have their own kind of language. These languages are used to identify and recognize individuals of that group or organization. It is important to keep this in mind before you start ANY application process, or start working with new people.
Even though I did not have a college degree, I still had an interest in developing coding skills. I understood early on in my application process that I was in control of my outcome. I assumed determination contained the key to my success, and soon found myself being referred to ProjectQUEST for financial assistance.I would have never known about ProjectQUEST if the Codeup staff had not offered this vital information. The dedication and support offered by these organizations helped me through the multiple application processes. If you plan to visit projectQUEST or Workforce Solutions to inquire about their grants, make sure you’re determined to learn their language, and earn the money. If you have the right amount of determination you can find the proper channels fueling San Antonio’s STEM ecosystem through a simple Google search. Determination is one of the common denominators all Codeup graduates share, and if you too share this similarity, check out the scholarships offered by Codeup.
People want jobs, but not everyone wants to work.
Codeup’s mission statement is the following, “At Codeup, we focus on two things: you and your success. Find a job within six months of graduation, or get 50% of your tuition returned.” Let me assure you they deliver in service, content, and in career guidance. However, the staff cannot force you to either study the curriculum or develop programming skills for you. There are people that come ready to overcome adversity, then there are the few who expect to be fed morning tacos with a silver spoon. If you’re seriously considering Codeup, you need to prepare yourself to manage the beautiful chaos of assignments, interviews, and presentations.
My high school soccer coach had a saying, “Do you think Ronaldo is going to parachute from a helicopter and score for you?” We never expected Ronaldo at our high school practices but that was our coach handing down some of his kind wisdom. He used this as a tactic to build the team up before the start of our shooting drills. Ronaldo is a world star player who plays at a professional level so what coach Ramos was really trying to say was, “Work hard if you want the goal. Don’t expect someone to come and score for you!” You need to have a sense of responsibility before embarking on your own journey and launching your career.
Have a servant’s heart.
Some lessons weren’t coming from a screen or projector and I considered these some of my favorite lessons because they spoke more about human character. A perfect example is when the Codeup staff noticed a need in our community and decided to share their passion for service with all San Antonians. The office staff volunteered to serve at the San Antonio Food Bank. This was one of the unspoken teachings Codeup shared with me – these amazing individuals create an environment where you can grow in skill and as a human being. Kudos to them!
I will iterate once again that Codeup will not force you to do something you don’t want to do. As a newly placed member of this ecosystem and a Codeup graduate I would like to ask Codeup fellows and members of the community to ponder, “How are we contributing to the San Antonio ecosystem?” Having the heart of a servant is something Codeup can’t force you to do, but is a skill necessary to achieve self growth and development.
Don’t eat the tacos!
Codeup is geared to focus on your professional life, and not your waistline. The Codeup family loves to spoil the cohorts with food, they must know the way to a developer’s heart. The morning tacos, the pizza, and snacks should be enough to lure you into the Vogue building. I loved every bite and sip of these delicious perks. However I do have to confess I gained a few pounds during my time at Codeup. I was also on a budget so the ramen noodle isle at the Walgreens became very familiar. Now that I look back I wish I only had one slice of pizza instead of my usual three.
One of the hardest parts of my Codeup journey was finding time to exercise. Taking care of myself felt impossible in this intense immersive environment, but believe me when I say “It is possible!” This was thanks to one of my colleagues, who insisted on completing daily reps of stairs up and down the Travis Park garage.I felt instant restoration after just a few days of exercise. This simple exercise routine helped me deal with stress and gave me enough time to meditate on the things that pushed me towards triumph.
Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.
The saying “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you” has stuck with me since I was thirteen years old, and made the dumb decision to complain about my job in front of my dad. My dad was not fond of me complaining of the man who signed my checks, so he shared a lesson behind his belligerent words. This made me realize that my ego was blocking my ability to humble myself, and that I needed to be thankful to the people that were trying to help me. His wise words taught me to stay loyal to those who become part of my upbringing.
This saying has stuck with me ever since, and I decided to mark it as a special lesson. A lesson I could only acquired through experience. I realize now the same goes with any organization or relationship that we hold, professional or non professional. We should be able to acknowledge where our loyalties stand, and if we are giving the proper amount of recognition to those who have helped us.
The Codeup staff did everything in their power to plug me into a bigger network of opportunities. Lastly, I was exposed to a network of genuinely loving, and caring people. These amazing benefits make me appreciate the Codeup program so much more. I walked in with the desire to learn computer programming. I am leaving with the ability and skills that say “I am a software developer!”