Yesterday was a very special day for. Exactly one year had passed since I wrote my very first line of code, one year since I saw code for the first time in my life, one year since I completely and utterly fell in love with programming. It was love at first compile. I just knew me and this was meant to be!- And I have never looked back since. Learning everything from zero worried me, I was really clueless and was scared that I would never get even close to becoming a decent developer,- starting so late and without any previous experience with computers at all. But being so foolishly in love, I ignored those feelings, and promised myself to give it everything I had for at least two years, and see how far I could get. The good thing about starting at zero is that it is easy to measure how far you have come.
Here is my first year: (short summary)
July 2011: I make my first hello-world, a WPF app. I have no idea what I am doing
August 2011: School starts, I make my own virtual zoo in a console application and I am so proud of the result. I get a key to the school and come in at 8 am and stay until 10 pm every day. I set up a website and forum for the class, and a newsletter, so we can share code/solutions.
September 2011: First group assignment, we make a small CRM windows forms application. I start attending all .Net related events, such as Swedish .Net developer user group (Swenug). I join the school board.
Late September 2011: I make a WPF application using MVVM called dietitians dining tool. I join up on Stackoverflow and start asking questions and reading answers. I do get some down votes in the beginning he he. I start on my first windows phone application. Every night I fall asleep with a new programming book next to me.
October 2011: Second group assignment, we make a social mashup tool in WPF for mail, Facebook and Twitter. I start attending the classes that second year senior students take, and I ask the teacher for extra assignments (which he gladly gives me :P). The second year students take good care of me and share what they know, Jonas A. tells me about Pluralsight and I start watching tutorials every day, about two hours a day at least.
November 2011: After hardcore studying and coding, I feel confident enough to take my first Microsoft Certifications. I succeed, and I am thrilled!
70-511: TS: Windows Applications Development with Microsoft .NET Framework
Because of complaints from some of the senior students I am no longer allowed to sit with them during their evening classes. I ask my teacher if I can do internship a day a week instead and he is very supportive.
December 2011: Third group assignment, we make an image editing application. The group work is great, and we are extremely proud of the result. I spend Christmas vacation working with Silverlight and studying (to my parent’s frustration). I pass my third Microsoft exam, 70-506: TS: Silverlight 4, Development. I start my internship at Squeed, but change to DotNet Mentor after a few weeks as the projects they are working on are more suitable.
January 2012: I’ve joined up in about four user groups by now, and in school we have started with web development. It all makes sense to me, and I am so enthusiastic about it I find it hard to stop. I read a lot of books, watch even more tutorials, and write twice as much code. There is no stopping me, so I go ahead and book myself in on my third exam and pass it. 70-515: TS: Web Applications Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4
February 2012: I want more challenges, and since I am ahead of the class the school allows me to go out on early full-time internship with a second year student. We get our own office at the school and we have a great time, Daniel W. is very skilled and patient and I learn a lot from him. We plan and hold a lecture for the class, he holds one about MVC4 attributes, and I about how to debug using firebug and web developer plugin in firefox. DotNet Mentor offers me a position as a fulltime consultant, and I am the happiest girl in the world! Of course I say yes!
March 2012: Me and Daniel W. attend a windows phone hackaton event, and win the competition with our Shake a Kitty app that we made in a few hours. We win a 3D computers screen (Daniel get the screen) and a ticket to Scandinavian developer conference (I get to go). Att Scandev I get to meet some Pluralsight authors I have been listening to, and it is a wonderful experience meeting so skilled developers. Later that month I take my fourth certificate: Accessing Data with Microsoft .NET Framework 4. The Shake a Kitty app is published, and seems fairly popular.
April 2012: Time for final assignment before the class goes out on internship. It is an individual assignment this time, and I make a MVC4 Mobile first ajax based application. The app is a cooperation portal where you can add friends, chat, create groups, share files and ask questions and get answers on the forum. The app turns out great, and I am very proud. At the end of April I start fulltime at DotNet Mentor.
Mai 2012: Work borrows me a Mac as I am keen to learn how to use one, and to try to develop iPhone apps. After a week with the Mac I get my first iPhone app published, and at the same time also an android application. I used Appcelerator for both apps.
June 2012: Pluralsight contacts me and invites me to NDC, Norwegian developer conference to do a video interview with me. I am thrilled, and soooo happy! NDC turns out to be some of the best days of my life and I get to meet the awesome Pluralsight team and help them out at the booth, I get to go to all the private dinners and meet all my heros – great dedicated developers with brilliant minds. And they are all so kind and welcoming, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world!
Late June 2012: Once I get home I start developing Metro apps, loving windows 8 and Metro. I’ve attended about 5 presentations on the subject, – and a 12 h virtual training session.
I get invited to an App Excellence lab in Stockholm where I get to show my Metro app and receive one-on-one advice from passionate Microsoft devs. The lab was truly inspiring, and the Metro app is turning out great. I am dead set on getting a Windows Store token.
July 2012: I start answering questions on Stackoverflow (just a few really, I’m still scared haha) and MSDN and started blogging more about programming sharing example apps that I’ve made. I attended the three day Microsoft seminar SommarKollo and liked it. On my one-year anniversary as a developer I take my fifth, and my first Pro Certification, Pro exam Designing & Developing Windows Phone applications.
And here I am today! It has been an amazing year, and I’ve given it all I have. I have never worked so hard in my life, but I’ve never had so much fun either. I feel blessed getting to meet so many fantastic people, and I keep meeting people like that every day. Now and then there are idiots that try to put me down, but I don’t care about them. They got issues that do not concern me. I know I have the support of the devs I admire, and I never feel alone,- and that’s what matters. What I do hope, is that I can inspire others and give back to the very helpful community.
Now starts the second year of my journey, and I have no plans of slowing down. Let’s see how much crazy stuff I can do during my next year as a developer! It is going to be such a great ride 😀 !