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What PokeMon Taught Me About My Failure To Become A Professional UI Developer

[The following is verbatim transcript of my first vlog. So please excuse the excessive um's, so's, and and's (tell tale signs of a nervous speaker)]:

Hi everybody, uh, it’s me your friend, uh, Matt Geckley. And today I wanna talk to you about new beginnings and what PokeMon taught me about my failure to become a professional UI developer.

Um, little bit about me - little background information. I’ve been studying web development for three years now. I’ve built a fair amount of projects. I’ve learned a variety of technologies. And I’ve done a few interviews. And I got my portfolio site. All that good stuff. And… nothin’s really materialized in a job offer yet - at all. So…

And somethin’ that they don’t tell you whenever you get into this is interviewing is expensive. Um, the technology market - I live about an hour away from the major technology market so any time a wanna interview I’m looking at about missing an entire day’s work. So, after all that I got pretty bummed out. And I basically quit.

During that time I was able to have some good introspection, uh, a nice little pitty party which… I wouldn’t recommend but I wouldn’t hold it against you if you, if you had one - I get it. Um, but I got the point where my partner, she’s really great and blunt, and she said, “You either need to let go of this dream that you say you want so you can stop being such a sad sap about it. Or you need to get back in front of the computer and do stuff,”.

This is after - this is after about nine months of me… just thinking about getting on the computer. So. What does this have to do with PokeMon? Okay. L-l-let me tell ya.

So, I was right in the target demographic when PokeMon hit the United States. I was there when the first episode aired. Wrapped up in my blanket just a few weet away. Just a few feet. Wow, words are hard. Words are hard [chuckles at self]. I was just a few feet away from the TV whenever the theme song came on. And that was a hell of a feelin’. Whenever you hear that [singing] “I wanna be the very best. Like no one ever was”..... [chuckles at self]

I can’t believe I just sang for you all like that. Um… but that feeling - whenever that theme song came on was the same exact feeling that felt whenever, um. That was the same feeling that I felt the first time I opened a browser - whenever I opened an HTML file in the browser and I saw the changes that I made. And then I started playing with CSS and it was so much fun! It was a blast. And I was pretty much instantly in love with it. And I was like, “Holy crap this could be a job? This needs to be my job. Mmhmm,”.

So um… So off I went. And I studied by myself for a while. And eventually, I got accepted into a non-profit bootcamp. Shout out to Launch Code. They do a lot of good work. And…..

Uh th-th-the thing about. The thing about PokeMon is, [heavy exhale] it’s a lot of fun. But what they don’t tell you, is like how stressful it is, as a child, to have to choose a starter PokeMon. Uh but I went eventually y’know - I made up my mind. I said Charizard I choose you. And er ‘Charizard’ - Charmander. Charmander, you’re my, you’re my guy. We’re gonna do this thing together.

And my best friend, he started with Squirtle and.. We’re goin’ through the game. We’re havin’ fun. And of course, y’know, ya come up against challenges and obstacles and I’m struggling so hard and I’m like, [half whining] I just wanna be the very best. Um, meanwhile he’s flying through it. So I’m like, oh!, I know what I did wrong. I made the wrong decision. I should’ve started with Squirtle too because obviously that’s the better one. That’s what’s gonna help me be successful. So that’s what Imma do.

Uh… turns out I was wrong. I ended up doin’ that a bunch of times. Meanwhile my buddy, he’s flying through the game. Before I know it he’s got all the uh, the uh, he’s beat the elite four. And he’s a freakin’ champion. And I’m a sad sap - over there in the corner.

He was like “What’s goin’ on?” And he’s like “Dude why do you keep starting over?”

I’m like “Uhh…[extended exasperated exhale] Cause I made the wrong move? I guess?”

But it’s not that I made the wrong decision - it’s that I was going about things the wrong way. And that sort of circles back to my studies in web development and UI development. Is in my quest to land a job I kept trying to re-tool my focus, re-tool my skills and it just… Every time I did that I had to start over.

So here I am again back in Pallet town… Starting over again basically. Uh, but this time I’m gonna do it right. I’m gonna go with what I’m passionate about instead of what I think is gonna get me hired. So just like choosing Charmander I’m gonna stick with my - my web development my front end development cause that’s what I really care about that’s what I have fun doing.

Um, and part of this video too is me making that public declaration that I’m gonna do it I’m gonna do it right this time. And um, so, what I’m doing differently is I’m taking lots of notes. I’m taking them in google keep. So everything’s nice and organized. Searchable notes and everything. So I don’t have to - I don’t have to keep googling that simple stuff over and over again. It’s pretty much right there for me in the format and the language that I know is most effective for me. I’m going through some free code camp courses even though a lot of it is just review and everything it’s been so long since I’ve been in an editor I just - need to refresh that base of knowledge.

Aaaand it’s really frustrating to have to do this again. To have to start over basically. Especially when you see so many people that you went to classes with, so many people that you interact on twitter with - they went from code newbie to professional while I’m still… basically in the same place I was three years ago. But that’s okay. I’ve got a little bit of wisdom - the benefit of hindsight. And I feel really good about it so if you wannaaaaa um - come play with me so to speak [laughs]. Uh that’s not what I meant to say. If you [laughs] if you wanna watch me sorta go through this journey that’d be great. Uh you can subscribe. I plan on doing a vlog about once a week about what I’ve been doing, what I’ve been learning, how I’m feeling, that sort of thing. Um, and that being said y’know like’s not a very strong word so if you wanna hit the like button, do me a solid that’d be cool. Uh and then if you wanna get with me on twitter my handle is codesgeck that’s c-o-d-e-s-g-e-c-k or you could email me at gmail um, oh yeah [laughs] wrong way…

Words are hard, guys. Just so you know. Words are really hard [laughs]. Um, geckcodes at So until then I hope you all have a great one. And hopefully um you reach out. We can talk. It’ll be good. It’ll be cool. Um, I’m just gonna say bye I don’t how to [laughs] I don’t know how to end the video. So [kiss noise].

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