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Emma Johnson's Week 5 Reflection

I came to Tech Talent South after a long and jumbled search for the path I wanted my life to go down. My background is as an artsy kid with a degree in political philosophy and deciding what to do with all of that has not been easy. Since college, I’ve been moving around and working a collection of creative jobs, ranging from floral design to making bowties. It’s been very fun at times, but I was overall unsatisfied with my work life and my lack of long-term goals surrounding it. I was unable to even fathom what my dream job would be.

Finally, I have come to the conclusion that web development could actually be the path for me and my experience at TTS has only further solidified that idea. I spent some time on my own exploring basic programming and found it to be really fun and exciting stuff. I really wanted to learn much more in a more formal environment and eventually settled on TTS after a lot of research into my options. Now that we are five weeks into the course, I feel very confident that I made the right decision.

I love being back in school and this course really mimics some of the things I loved about my favorite classes in college. The class size is fairly small so that everyone is able to ask the instructor questions throughout class as we follow along and immediately implement what we are learning. It’s also been great for developing relationships with other classmates. I am naturally a bit shy, but the environment here has made it really easy to feel comfortable talking to my peers about any problems that can arise or different techniques for solving something or really anything at all. I also try to stay after class every day for office hours where an even smaller group is able to talk about things they want to explore with their projects beyond what we just learned. Our instructor sticks around for much longer than he has to and is happy to work through any issues as well as give you new ideas or things to think about. I feel very supported in my studies, as well as in the process of exploring and applying to job opportunities. TTS definitely wants us to be well-prepared for all that we might experience after the program ends.

This class has also helped me discover more specifically what I might like to do for a living. While building the back-end aspects of our projects, I can feel a bit tentative with my code until we start seeing some of the results. However, once we get to the actual design and functionality of the site, I’ve been diving in with enthusiasm that results in hours of uninterrupted fiddling and tweaking. It’s extremely gratifying to me to make small changes and be able to visually see the results immediately, and even more gratifying to see the long series of tiny changes that results in a well-designed and appealing web page. It feels exactly like it does while creating physical art, which is what makes me so confident that I made the right call with this new path. I suppose my dream job has become anything where a hobby that I love can become a real career that I can succeed and grow in. TTS has definitely helped me realize this and given me the tools I need to achieve it.

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