After graduating from Flatiron, I interviewed at several places and the competition was fierce. As part of my interviewing process, I had to make forms using ERB, build a Tic Tac Toe game, create a survey generator in AngularJS, and map out a computer using class diagrams. I also built a personal project called Walk2Dinner. It helped me personally to find restaurants close to me and provide me with easy walking directions. It also pulls in pertinent weather data like temperature, sunset, and the chance of rain.
While I job searched for something in web development, I took a job as a project engineer at an engineering firm in Hell’s Kitchen. I did a lot of life safety surveying and helped the company with some business analytics. I helped streamline their digitization process for all the accumulated old documents they had laying around and helped them to launch their own web application called NYCityAlerts, based on the Python framework, Django. I also worked for the Flatiron School as a Learn Expert helping incoming students with online support and troubleshooting their development environments. It was a pretty intense few months. I would work from 8-4:30 pm in Hell’s Kitchen then come home and work from 5-9pm from my laptop. It was a great way to stay a part of the development community and keep my skills sharp.
Getting a Job
While I was working as a project engineer and a Learn Expert, I was also on the job hunt. A few months after graduating, I accepted a position at a small branding agency for nonprofits located in Greenpoint. The company is four people strong (5 now) and it’s a short walk to work in the morning, which I love. The short commute reminds me of my time in Korea. I’m the sole web developer at the company so there’s no one above me to bounce ideas off of or ask for help. Initially, it was pretty nerve-racking, but I’ve learned a lot and become quite adept at WordPress and PHP, the tools I work with most often.
It’s been three months since I last posted and a lot has happened. Most of the blogging I did in the past few months can be found on my technical blog but it’s all programming related so I decided to keep it on a separate site.
The Good News
First the good news. I finished the Flatiron School. It was intense and awesome and I made some great friends while I was there. We celebrated holidays, went out for drinks, had a Halloween party. During the last week we did a sort of campus draft where potential employers came in and met with us to discuss our projects. I got a few interested leads from it that I plan to follow up with after the Flatiron School.
Throughout the course of the program, we worked in different groups to create applications. One such application I built was called Charity Connection and it matched businesses with charities. For example, an after school group needs new computers and a finance company is getting rid of there old computers. The business could list the computers it wishes to donate and the charity could claim the computers. Then each party receives an email and can make arrangements for the transfer. I built another application called Just Lunch which helps busy people make friends for lunch.
The Bad News
The bad news, Nicole and I broke up. We had three great years together but our lives were taking us in different directions. She moved to Harlem in Manhattan to attend Bank Street and study museum education. I have no doubt in my mind that she’ll make a great museum educator one day. I moved to Greenpoint in Brooklyn. I now live with 3 great roommates, a hairstylist, an executive assistant, and a technical recruiter. We have a blast together and it’s been a really great match all around.
Back in Florida I got a chance to reconnect with my family who I hadn’t seen in almost exactly a year. They had recently become obsessed with the board game Settlers of Catan. We played dozens of games over the few weeks I was there. I got some dinner with my dad, had more craft beer at a few microbreweries that opened up along Central Ave, and went swimming in the pool.
My next door neighbor, Lauren, moved back to St. Pete and started working for her family’s company so her and I got a chance to hang out as well. Shortly before I was scheduled to leave for New York to start the web development program, Lauren invited me on an adventure to Miami to see her friend from South Africa perform at a bar. We made the 4 hour drive into a full day adventure of airboating and eating gator meat. It was fun to be a tourist in my own state.
In Miami we stayed with my friend Gerard and his parents. Gerard showed us around town and took us down to South Beach for a walkabout. That night we saw Lauren’s friend’s band perform. They were really good, but the weather was biblical. We Ubered downtown in the pouring rain and partied in near hurricane-like conditions. At the end of the night we had delicious tacos and took an Uber back. By the time we made it back to Gerard’s there was heavy flooding and the streets were nearly undriveable.
The next day Lauren and I hit the road and returned to St. Pete. Along the way we visited Koreshan State Historic Site. A real-life The Village. It’s a creepy little commune of old buildings once occupied by members of a cult.
This is my first post writing from the United States. I arrived from the Philippines mid August and spent a few days staying with my cousins near Union Square in Manhattan. It was nice to be back in the states with the endless possibilities that New York City provides. I went to a show in Williamsburg with some friends I hadn’t seen in years. I had delicious bagels and cream cheese, giant slices of pizza, and amazing craft beers. That week I purchased a SIM card for my phone and visited the Flatiron School where I would be attending a web development immersive program for the next three months.
I ran into a fellow student who I’d become acquainted with over the summer chatting online from Korea. He also attended the Flatiron Presents meetup that Tuesday. We discussed the pre-work we’d both been working on over the summer and how we were looking forward to living in NYC.
I also helped my cousin to shoot a music video on his rooftop while I stayed with him. Check out his band Ditch Effort. I made a rough cut of the project for him, but he’s still ironing out the finer details of the project.
At the end of my stay in New York I left some of my bags from Korea with my cousins and flew home to Florida to see my family and get ready to move all of my things to New York. More to come in the next post.