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Mike Tallerico
Mike Tallerico

Posted on I go..

The Beginning

A year ago, I started down a journey to become a developer. When I started, I had no clue what would lie ahead. I did know that whatever was ahead would require much hard work, perseverance, and a little risk(Oooh...scary). What I did underestimate is how much I would learn about myself as a person. With that being said, I am stepping out a little further to write and share my experiences thus far. So please bear with me as this is the first time I have EVER written something for "mass consumption."

Some History

I have a B.S. in Electronics Engineering Technology from a tech school. As soon as I graduated, I was hired into the semiconductor industry and had the opportunity to work for the largest semicon equipment manufacturer in the world, supporting their equipment at an R&D facility. I spent 10 years doing that as a customer engineer. It was a fantastic job, and I was successful at it. However, the industry went through a shrinking period and was going to require being on the road a ton more, and for me, I did not want to live out of a suitcase. So I decided to move on and was hired as a technical director for a local church. This job is where I rediscovered my love for web development.

When I was a kid, I loved building websites on Geocities and playing with basic HTML so when I had the opportunity to design and build a few static sites for my current employer I jumped at the opportunity. They were going to outsource this work, but I told them I could learn it and save them a little money. So I did, and the rest is history.

The Rest Of The Story

When I started learning, I tried a few methods. I would have loved to have gone to a boot-camp and being so close to NYC; I had some of the best boot-camps in the world to attend. But I couldn't commit with my time or my finances(Not a fan of debt if I can avoid it). So I decided to give a few of these online self-paced courses a try. I started with Udacity but quickly learned it did not fit my style of learning. So I switched to Team Treehouse signing up for their Front End Tech Degree. It was a little pricey, but I tried out the 7-day free trial and quickly realized the slack community alone was worth the price. So I jumped in and ran through 6 of the 12 units/projects. At this point, I was committed, but I wanted to learn more JavaScript, so I switched to their Full Stack JavaScript Tech Degree and was hooked.

During this T.D., I spent so much time in the slack channel I was selected to be a slack champion to help other students with questions and projects. This experience was so amazing for me. Reading others code and also helping people attempt to accomplish the same things I was trying to accomplish was incredibly helpful to my learning and also very fulfilling. I started waking up at 4:30 am to get in my learning before my regular full-time job. Although this was difficult, I was committed to completing this T.D. and making a career out of this work. I completed all 12 of the units, and well now I am here.

NOTE: If you made it this far, thanks so much for sticking it out. I'm almost done.

Now I Am here

I wanted to start writing for a few reasons. I wanted to challenge myself, contribute to a community that has already given more to me than I could ever repay, and also get myself out there for work opportunities. I am going to write more on some things I have learned going through this process but also on technical topics as I teach myself new things.

Anyway, I hope this wasn't too bad for my first article. Thanks so much for your time! I do appreciate any feedback and recommendations as I write more and look for work without any dev experience.

Shameless Plug: If you are reading this and happen to find this article through my portfolio or resume and have some open opportunities in the Orlando, Florida area. I might not have as much experience or knowledge as the next guy but I can assure you I am dedicated, passionate and will become a valuable member of the team.

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