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What a Wonderful Journey

dorf8839 profile image Cory Dorfner Originally published at linkedin.com Updated on ・6 min read

TL;DR:

I never imagined that I would be sitting here at my computer, writing an article about a website I built purely to showcase myself as a programmer, yet here I am. I still can't imagine that only 9 months ago, I quit my job as the manager of a Quality Systems department to start my adventure in the world of programming and establish myself as a Full-Stack Developer. This journey has definitely had its ups and downs, and there is still a long way to go, but I've never had more fun in my life while learning something new. I am pleased to announce that I have deployed my personal portfolio at corydorfner.com so please feel free to drop by, learn a little more about me, and reach out if there is anything you would like to collaborate with me on in the future. Thanks for reading!

Full-Story:

After spending the past 8 years of my life in the field of Quality, I decided to make a change and pursue a field of study that truly brought me joy. While working in Quality has been an exciting and challenging experience, I was always at my best when working on the designing, developing, and deployment of a new piece of software to help improve our Quality Management System. Back in June, I decided that the time was right to make the leap and began studying, learning, and applying as much as I could about programming.

Talk about a large undertaking, right? I knew this journey was not going to be an easy one and I would have a long road ahead of me before I even thought of applying for a job. Luckily, the experience I gained while working in the field of Quality gave me all of the knowledge and tools I needed to properly plan and execute this next step of my life. By utilizing my strengths, I created a roadmap of my future and set measurable goals to achieve my end result. While there were many obstacles and some divergences due to the shear amount of material to learn, I have successfully completed my roadmap and deployed several sites along the way. Let's talk a little bit more about journey though.

The RoadMap of My Journey

To begin this path towards my new life, I knew I would need to learn as much as I could in a very short amount of time. With this in mind, I picked Java as my first language simply due to the large community that exists, which could help me as I learned the concepts of object-oriented programming. After picking the language, I created a plan of attack to learn Java, while teaching myself the basics of computer science. I signed up for a bootcamp to learn the language, while utilizing the vast amount of resources at my disposal to practice challenging questions and reach out to other programmers for help and support. After I earned my certification in Java and had a good grasp on object-oriented programming, I set my sights on learning Web Development. As the first bootcamp taught me an incredible amount on Java, I decided to pursue this next step by signing up for another one. Having learned Java first definitely helped me on my path to learning JavaScript but I was amazed at how much there is to learn with all of the various frameworks and systems out there currently. I didn't let this deter me though. I continued forward with the bootcamp and successfully earned my second certificate with the deployment of the course-taught YelpCamp website. All of this was done while continually learning and perfecting my Java skills through further readings on the language, answering of questions on StackOverflow, solving practice questions, and earning certificates on sites like HackerRank and FreeCodeCamp.

After completing the Web Developer Bootcamp, I continued forward with my roadmap and dived further into my non-bootcamp coursework. Through reading books such as Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, Computer Systems: A Programmer's Perspective, The Algorithm Design Manual, Think Like a Programmer: An Introduction to Creative Problem Solving, Cracking the Coding Interview, and Clean Code, I have been absorbing as much knowledge as I can. Every morning, I spend a few hours to tackle several challenging problems and apply my solutions in Java and JavaScript. I continue reviewing questions on StackOverflow to provide helpful solutions when I can or learn from others when I can not. It has been an absolute joy to learn as much as I have been learning about Computer Science, and I can gladly say there is so much more to learn. What is the purpose of learning though without applying that newfound knowledge in some way, shape, or form though, right?

Books Laid Out In a Path

To help showcase my skills and knowledge in a more visual manner, I decided to undertake some independent projects. My first project consisted of taking the YelpCamp website, optimizing the codebase, and implementing some of my own new features in a personal blog application. Using Express, EJS, Bootstrap, Passport, Cloudinary, MongoDB, and Facebook Plugins, I deployed this site on Heroku and put up some of my own little stories there. While it's not something I will likely use in the future, due to sites like this one that already exist with with their own established user base, it was a great first project to take something I already knew and figure out how it could be improved and modified. The next independent project I worked towards was the design, development, and deployment of Quality Tools. This site, which is hosted on Vercel, utilized React, Next.js, Bootstrap, MySQL, Next-Auth, Auth0, SWR, Serverless MySQL, and Google Cloud to take tools from my past life and recreate them into web-based applications. The first tool that I created was based off the 5-Why methodology but there are many more to come. As far as I'm aware, this is the first, fully functional investigation tool available for free to use, save, and print the results of your investigation, all with a simple, minimalistic user interface. I have a separate post on Dev.to here to explain in more detail about the site.

All of this hard work and dedication has culminated to my latest project, my own personal portfolio website! This website consists of just a few individual site pages but showcases my certifications, projects, skills, strengths, weaknesses, and a little about me as an individual as well. Using React, Gatsby, Bootstrap, and EmailJS, I've created a simple, minimalistic site for people to learn more about me and reach out with any questions, comments, or opportunities to collaborate. I've hosted the site on Netlify and implemented some basic tools to help with site performance and SEO. If you would like to get to know me a little better and reach out, please feel free to check out the site at corydorfner.com.

Front Page of My Portfolio Website

My next steps involve the continual learning and application of knowledge through the previously mentioned resources, as well as expanding upon Quality Tools and my personal website to provide more for the users and improve the SEO to get them to the top of Google search results. Of course, my love for learning will never end and I can not wait to see what lies ahead of me in this journey. I hope you feel the same way so keep looking for more future posts from me and let me know if you have any questions, comments, or recommendations in the section below. Thank you for reading!

Discussion (5)

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Amelia Vieira Rosado

Hi @dorf8839 , welcome to the madness that is this field! 😂 Congrats on launching your portfolio website! 🥳 If you would like some feedback on your personal website, I'd be glad to give some. Until then....
I'll be back

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Cory Dorfner Author

Hi @technoglot ! Thank you for the warm welcome. I'm always open to constructive feedback on any of my work and would appreciate the support!

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Amelia Vieira Rosado

Awesome! Will do my best to give you constructive feedback!

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David Tetreau

Thanks for sharing your journey!

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Cory Dorfner Author

Thank you for reading!!