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Road to Software Engineering Part-Time/Full-Time

johnzonneveld profile image John ・3 min read

Have to admit I’m not the youngest one on the block with my 56 years, but feel young at heart and mind.

In my spare time I always have been messing with either motorcycles or computers. Staying up late at night to fix something that wasn’t working. At home I was already playing around with Linux and SIP before the telecom world changed to VoIP. In that way I had a head start when finally both were introduced at work. During the last seven years, after my immigration to the US, I picked up interest in the SBCs like the BeagleBone Black and the Raspberry PI. At first mainly to run a small PaBX at home, later followed more to hobby around. Because of my HAM radio interest a lot of my projects had something to do with radio waves.

One of my first hobby projects was to monitor two remote temperature sensors, one outside in the shade and another one in the attic. Mainly to see if active ventilation of the attic might reduce our electricity bill. At first it was a daily chore to copy the data from the Raspberry Pi to my computer and create graphs. Later by copying ant pasting scripts found online I was able to automate that task.

Another project involved receiving satellite images from the NOAA weather satellites, it was a complete walk-through I had found on instructables.com. Also this was working locally, and images had to be retrieved daily from the Raspberry Pi to prevent it from running out of memory space.

Part of these projects was trying to understand the scripting and adapting it to my situation. But being faced with javascript and python that sometimes was difficult without knowing the languages.

Needless to say programming always has had my interest, was it the Pascal, Fortran and C+ labs in college or PLC programming at work and later programming telephone switches.

Since I moved to the US I have done some freelance telecom work, done some simple jobs just to be out of the house. Recently installed Windows 10 computers at a state facility. Have been looking around for other jobs and found some software engineering jobs in my area. Did apply but was failing the experience. So when I came across CareerKarma my interest of doing a guided study into Software Engineering was boosted. Looking at the options and to be able to support my family a bit when a short-time contract is offered I decided to go for the Flatiron School Part-Time Software Engineering track.

Update 1.0
Meanwhile things have changed, already in module 1 I was pretty far ahead of schedule. After finishing my project and scheduling my review we (four of us) received early access to the curriculum of module 2. Also module 2 went pretty smooth, which resulted that in the official second week I already came to the project. I requested a transfer to full time and was granted the switch. This meant that the week after the switch I was in project week for module 2. This switch will also mean that I will be finished, if all goes well, in September in stead of end of January. In the next few months I will post more blogs about my trip into becoming a Software Engineer. Hopefully after completion it will open doors that have been closed for me until now. But for sure it will help me to get a better understanding of things that have been a mystery in the past

Update 2.0
Live happens and I had to take a leave of absence. This resulted that I was rescheduled in a cohort that won't catch up with me until first week of January 2021. So thing are delayed with me finishing up. But in the back of my mind I still will be finished at about the same time as my original part time cohort, in that way it is not so much lost.

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John

@johnzonneveld

Born dutch, moved to the US in 2013. Active HAM radio operator in Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services (RACES).

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