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Jessie Rohrer
Jessie Rohrer

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Post-Bootcamp Retrospective

On November 9th, I passed my final project assessment and officially graduated from Flatiron School. The following weekend, I competed in my first hackathon, Technica, with two fellow alumnae, and we won both categories we submitted our project to.

The past two months have been full of career prep -- transforming my LinkedIn page to reflect my new skills, building a portfolio site to showcase my projects, mock interviews, and working through Flatiron's postwork curriculum.

Just before Christmas, I completed my mock technical interview, which went really well considering I didn't know much about data structures and am still stuck on the "functional components are presentational components" mindset. As part of the career prep curriculum, graduates are given a token for a free mock technical interview through SkilledInc. I chose the React interview, which lasted about an hour. I was asked several questions: Tell me about yourself, some JavaScript concept questions, and a few data structure questions. The problem I was given to solve was: Create two buttons containing the text "A" and "B". When A is clicked, the text should become bold. When B is clicked, B should become bold and A should be un-bolded. I answered this question with a lot of basic JavaScript, partly because I was given the problem inside of a functional component. When the interviewer asked why I didn't make use of state to solve the problem, I told her how I would have solved this inside of a class component: The clicked button would be tracked in state, the clicked button would be given a className attribute, and some CSS would be triggered to change the styling based on which button was clicked. But since my mindset for functional components is that they are presentational, I solved the problem without using state. She accepted my answer, and I passed. I had been really nervous about the mock technical going in, but the interviewer was very patient, calm, and friendly. She gave me a lot of great advice on where to go from here, what to practice, and what to learn next.

Since then, I have been really enjoying finally being able to dig into the stuff I want to learn myself. I've found a course on edX on Web Accessibility, and it's my first step toward hopefully obtaining a certification from the IAAP. I've also been focusing more on the data structures and algorithms problems provided as part of the post work. And I've started learning TypeScript, since it keeps coming up alongside JavaScript in a lot of job postings.

Flatiron taught me a lot and gave me a good foundation for learning more in the future. Now that I have experience with a lot of the major programming concepts, I can pick up where Flatiron left off on my own and shape my knowledge to fit my personal goals. It would have been nice to have a more up-to-date education, especially when it comes to functional programming in React, or an introduction to Redux ToolKit, but I have the skills now to learn that stuff on my own. And I'm looking forward to doing it!

Today, I am going to declare my job search start date. I have already started applying for different positions, and I am looking forward to rejoining the workforce this year. Wish me luck!

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