The Firehose Project - Week 14

That’s a wrap folks! It’s sad to say those words. I’ve spent the last 14+ weeks (including the pre-work weeks) with the Firehose Project and tonight was my exit interview and my final group meeting. I currently have a bunch of mixed emotions joy, sadness, accomplishment, pride, belonging, and so many more. While most the emotions I have from this experience I do have to say that it is bittersweet, I know they’re not kicking me out and I’ve got so much more I plan on giving to the Firehose Project but it still is a strange feeling to see the end. Having this mixed sense of sadness and joy tells me that this was an amazing experience. We must continue because I still have to do my wrap up of last week and week 14 was a mixed bag of items.

To start off the week I worked on the Community Firehose Project page. I saw that there was no real way to interact or comment on the posts except for sharing them externally but to me they felt a bit flat. When I think about what’s really great about the Firehose community one of the things that stands out to me is the community and the depth and willingness to participate so what I really wanted from the community page was to add that reflection to that. From that point I decided that it would be a good idea to add a comments section to each post so that people reading the post could further expand on the idea and ask questions. The problem or rather caveat was that there is no built in way with Jekyll (our framework that we use for the site) to enable commenting so to the internet I went! What I found was that there was a pretty easy and slick way to setup commenting for Jekyll and that was by using Disqus comment system. After the initial “How the hell does this work with Jekyll?” shock that most of the Jekyll additions feels like it was actually pretty damn quick to get comments up and rolling. While I’m sure I could’ve figured out a way to build out a custom commenting section it reminds me of the saying “Use the best tool for the job” and frankly Disqus was the best tool for the job. As a plus it works great!

This last week also was my final mentor session. Just like the ending of the Firehose Project the last mentor session was a bit bittersweet as well. My mentor and I got along really well and honestly I couldn’t think of going through the program with anyone else as my mentor. He encouraged me to explore and understand beyond just the curriculum, pushed me hard to get through certain tough coding challenges, and gave me amazing feedback on so much stuff. I got really use to knowing each Thursday we had a session and we could shoot the shit while talking about code, web development, video games (he use to develop them, I love to play them), discuss the technology scene, computer science theories, and so much more. It was really a great time to hang out with someone that had very similar interests as me. With our last mentor session we kept it light, we talked about job searches, resumes, cover letters, interview experiences, and in general just chatted it up while I picked his brain. I’m glad that he encouraged me to continue my work and development and that I could contact him if I ever needed help or just wanted to chat. I’m quite grateful and fortunate that I won the mentor lottery and Marco and Ken sure selected the perfect mentor for my specific personality and style.

Seeing the end very close and figured “what the hell, no time like the present” I jumped in and started to apply for jobs. Damn, I forgot how stressful and grueling it was to write cover letters and redo an entire resume, it’s been a few years since I had to. This time around I couldn’t cheat and just polish up and refine my cover letter and resume I had to completely redo them, I am after all switching careers. I spent a good amount of time working through that process and as a result I think I got something quite good and polished. Once that task was complete I started to hunt down jobs that I would find interesting and took the dive. Although I dove in, I still wanted to take it easy and not go too deep so I’ve applied for 4 positions and 2 apprenticeships/internships. While most jobs are out of my league, since there aren’t a ton of entry level with less than 2 years experience jobs on the market or rather being advertised, I still decided to apply and take my chances, even if I get an interview but no offer it will give me the experience of interviewing for a web development position.

To really wrap up the week I had my exit interview with Marco and my final group meeting with my chess app teammates. Both of those went off without any issues and just like the rest of my experiences this week I felt a sense of bittersweet sadness and joy. I’ve spent a lot of time on this group project and the program in general and it’s weird to think that that portion of it is over now. We still have a few things that we want to wrap up with the chess app but the majority of which is basically done, which means that the Firehose Project is done.

All good things must come to an end though and this week marked the end of the Firehose Project for this web developer. I’ve come a long way from the beginning and I am proud to call myself a Firehose Project alumni. Even with the pride and joy that I feel about making it through this endeavour even though in the beginning I felt WAY in over my head it is, like I’ve said numerous times now, sad to see it end. To me that mix of emotions tells me what I had here at the Firehose Project was something special and it was an experience that I wouldn’t change for anything. It was such a pleasure to be able to be a part of this program and I am incredibly grateful to Marco, Ken, and the amazing Firehose community for making it such an amazing experience. Farewell to Firehoser student status, hello to Firehoser alumni status and I look forward to all the great experiences I’m sure we all will have moving forward!

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