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Sara Cunningham
Sara Cunningham

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Things They Don't Teach You: Being Totally Confused, and That's Okay!


I aim to update this series weekly discussing the projects I am working on and my experience during this internship. Sometimes things don't go to plan, in a good way, and I become inspired to write more. I decided to make a mini-series within this series called "Things They Don't Teach You". By the title, you can probably guess that I will be writing about things they don't inform you about/in this industry. This series will likely not cover technical advice, but more so non-technical information like soft skills, the in's and outs, etc. I hope to develop this series as I am continuously learning on the go.

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Not an easy start

As an intern, I was dropped into web development. I came in open-minded and was up for a challenge but didn’t know how much research and learning I had to do. In the beginning, I was flustered, lost, and at times wanted to give up. I searched through and through several websites, tutorials, and videos and I gradually started to get the hang of it. After grasping the fundamental concepts of web development like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript I started to feel confident and comfortable. Then I was given another task that involved foreign terms and unfamiliar software, frameworks, programs, etc. I quickly discovered that I was never going to learn everything in the period I aspired to. I assumed I could learn an entire language or program in a couple of days but that’s impossible. Even professionals don’t know everything and are constantly learning and utilizing the web to master their craft.

Being placed in an unknown territory is always scary and daunting but I firmly believe that it's one of the best ways to grow and learn. When you’re in that situation you have to be quick to learn, adaptable, logical, and creative. Additionally, you have to recognize that it's okay to make mistakes, not know what you’re doing, experiment with new tools, and feel comfortable to ask for help. This applies in numerous different areas like in school, sports, work, and especially careers in technology. One of the beauties of technology is that it's always changing and evolving to be better. There’s a reason that there are so many tech jobs in demand. There’s a reason that people's preferences for what’s classified as the "best" programming language, framework, or software changes. The reason is that the technology industry is continuously expanding and progressing.

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The 25 Most Desirable Jobs in America by Business Insider

Now as I look back on that experience, which was nearly a month ago, I still find myself in that situation all the time. There are so many applications, programs, frameworks, and so much more that are currently out there, as well as new ones coming out every day. That never-ending cycle of feeling overwhelmed with a concept and then eventually grasping the basics will never go away. This career may not be for everyone, but to me, it's rewarding to learn new skills and be apart of such a fast pace industry.

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