I just graduated from Flatiron School's Software Engineering Bootcamp, and have started the process of learning new skills, building my portfolio of projects, and looking for my next opportunity.
Last week, I tried to set up a daily/weekly schedule to keep myself productive, on task, and accountable to my goals post-graduation. Yet, one day into that schedule, my husband was suddenly called back to work and I resumed my role as full time COVID-19 homeschool teacher for two boys under the age of ten. Goodbye, schedule! My new normal became filled with making textboxes on the boys' online math worksheets, checking their writing, and helping them log onto google hangouts and turn in assignments on google classroom.
While my schedule evaporated, the goals still remain. Since I've always been a project-based learner, I decided to use whatever time I can find to start working on a big project and incorporate many of the new skills I was hoping to learn. Forget the tutorials, ditch the daily coding challenges. Just build! So I started creating a new React app. I wanted to learn new skills that weren't covered in the Flatiron curriculum, as well as practice some skills that I had not focused on in my recent projects. Here are the skills and technologies I aimed to use/practice:
- Use Hooks as opposed to Lifecycle Methods
- Create functional components rather than reliance on class components
- Limit my use of extra frameworks and libraries
- Practice using local state and passing props rather than a Redux store
- Fetch data from external APIs
- Use D3 to create and render data visualizations
With this list at the forefront, I started creating a COVID-19 World Tracker to learn and practice these skills. I just started building...and each time I ran into a place that requires new learning, I pull up the documentation and look at examples, try it out, and then move on to the next new challenge. Using this approach, I've already been able to check off the first 5 items on my skills list!
Stay tuned - I'll share more about the Tracker when it's finished, summarize the skills I learned along the way, as well as my biggest challenges. Until then...it's finally time to learn some D3, while embracing my new homeschool routine!
Who else has been juggling the kids' school and your own learning goals? What has been working for you?