It’s 2017 and it’s fall again. It’s my favorite time of the year to look back and reflect. I’ll might end up making this a 3 part series. I’ve been making a plan to blog or vlog. Now it’s time to take actions. We’ll see how it goes.
5 Years Ago
It’s been 5 years since I graduated from the Art Institute of CA – Sacramento. I’ve been so fortunate to have an awesome career so far. I’ve worked on celebrity websites like Britney Spears on a custom platform (Wonderful Union). I was an early adopter for React.js and worked on a learn-by-doing LMS that we were building from scratch at a start up (now Practice). I’ve also worked for a major international corporation that handles rewards and coupons for major companies like Kohl’s (Tibco Loyalty Labs). I’ve also worked for an amazing eCommerce company that changed the game in buying shoes and fashion online (Zappos/6pm). I’ve done all of this, while building WordPress websites on nights and weekends. Some were custom themes built from scratch. Others were child themes of Divi by Elegant Themes.
7 Years Ago
It’s been 7 years since I chose this career. It all started innocently when my new neighbor Monica, who is the owner and designer behind CMonicaDesign.com and SniffDesign.com, moved in downstairs and one unit over from me. Me being me, I introduced myself and did my best to make her feel welcome. Our parking spaces were near each other; We’d have to walk down the same pathway to get to our front doors. The least I could do is make sure I was a good neighbor. Not long after she moved in, she invited me over and we got to talking and sharing. She had a big office setup in her living room, so it pretty quickly moved to what her job was. She explained to me that she works from home and that she contracts out all the web work to a developer.
Let me tell you something. There was no bigger light bulb that went off in my head than hearing that she works from home and that she contracts out developers.
At the time of writing this blog, I haven’t hit my 10 year high school reunion yet. Sophomore year of high school, I enrolled in an engineering and STEM program at my school that was sponsored by Cal Poly. Junior year, I chose to take an advanced computers course. This course taught me how to build websites with HTML and CSS, and also with Flash. Yeah, I’m old enough to remember building a website in Flash. I also remember dial up too. Anyways, Monica’s story helped me realize that I could make money with skills I already have. Granted, my skills weren’t the greatest. It had been a short while since I’d written a webpage from scratch. What hit me the most was that I could FINALLY use something I learned from high school to make a living.
Looking back, I got to where I am today because I chose a school that had a STEM program. I rode public transit for 2 years to go to the High School 10 miles away because I wanted that STEM program, and to get away from the bullies of middle school that made snide remarks when I got above a 3.5 gpa at progress report time. Do I feel lucky? You bet. I had no idea what I wanted to do in High School. Here’s what I did know. As a child, I wasn’t treated like a delicate little girl. I kept up with my father like a Son. He taught me that anything a man can do, I can do too in the work force. In the STEM program, we had the largest enrollment of women for our class year to date, but there was still more men than women. At this point, I can’t tell if my career chose me, or I chose it. I think I’m right where I’m supposed to be.