As I am nearing the end of my Vets Who Code bootcamp, I started to reflect, not only on the web development skills that I learned during the coding bootcamp but also on the skills that I learned while serving in the military. It is these skills that will help me to become an even better web developer. I spent eight years serving in the United States military and served in two different branches, the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Navy. Each branch taught me different skills that have helped to make me who I am today.
The Marine Corps prides itself on mission accomplishment. You must complete the mission at all cost, no matter the circumstance. There were times in the field where you needed to get something done, but the weather was horrible or you didn't have the proper equipment. It would've been easy to just wait until the weather was better or until you could get the proper equipment, but you have a mission that you must complete and it has to be completed on time. This has instilled in me the drive to see out all tasks to completion and to complete them by the deadline. This drive will help me as a web developer to complete any task assigned to me and to complete it on time.
The Navy prides itself on its leadership. The most important leadership principle that I learned was, to know yourself and seek self-improvement. I think it is important to know your strengths and weaknesses. This helps you to focus on the areas that you need to strengthen. In the world of web development, it is very important to continually seek self-improvement. You should always seek to improve your craft and at the rate that new technology is developed, it is easy to get behind on the latest features of your primary coding language or on the latest trending framework/library.
The Navy and Marine Corps both taught me the importance of teamwork. While in the Navy, I worked as an aviation ordnance technician. Lifting heavy missiles and 500-pound bombs are impossible by yourself. It takes a team to lift them onto the wing station of an aircraft. As a web developer, you will have to work on a team and it is important to be able to work together to complete projects. Some projects are just too large to complete alone.
While in the military, I got to travel the world and experience many different cultures. Cultures that are very different from that of the small farming community in North Carolina that I grew up in. But it wasn't just the different cultures overseas, it was also the different cultures that fellow service members came from. This taught me how to work with a diverse group of people and overcome cultural barriers. This experience will aid me when working with co-workers and clients, whether in person or remotely.
The military taught me many skills that will help me to become a better web developer. These skills are just as valuable as the ones that I learned during my time in the Vets Who Code bootcamp. There is more than just knowing how to code to become a web developer. You must complete projects on time, continually learn new things, be a good teammate, and most importantly, be able to get along and work with people from all walks of life.