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Pixel Pushing Education: The First Day of School


All weekend I have been filled with feelings I have not experienced in years. A mix of excitement, nervousness and the anticipation of making the first mark in a brand new notebook. Tomorrow, I’m going back to school, and learning front end development.

I should give some background on how all this came to be. I am a graphic designer by trade, and have always had an appreciation for well designed digital platforms. But I have also been interested in how my nice, pretty comps get brought to life so users can actually interact with them how they are intended.

I spent the beginning of my career at an advertising agency so there were set departments and everyone stuck to what they were hired to do. There was always a part of me that wanted to see my work through to the next step in the process after I finished designing the comp for a project, but there was just no outlet to do so. I knew there would be a real sense of satisfaction in being able to actually take my designs and go the extra step of coding them, to influence and create the things the users were going be interacting with.

In July I switched jobs and started working with FlyoverWorks, a software development consultancy. The process for how work gets done and how everyone's roles seem to criss cross was very different from my agency roots. I was excited for the challenge of learning new ways to work and get things done. But as I was used to in my agency days, I was going over some design and user experience changes I thought could be made with some of the developers, annoying them with pixel size changes, line height, spacing between page elements: all the nit picky things that matter but can get tedious for any developer to keep hearing about.

The prospect of learning front end dev got brought up and I voiced how interested I have been in learning it. I was so lucky how supportive my new company was in me pursuing it (probably because of fewer pixel pushing tickets in github!) I started researching some classes and found General Assembly. I went to an info session about their program and enjoyed all the people I got to meet and talk with and subsequently signed up for their first Chicago session! I will learn HTML, CSS, responsive basics, and will come up with a final project at the end of session that will be sure to evoke awe and wonder in all.

I’ve decided to keep going with some blog posts throughout my 10 week session. I have classes Mondays and Wednesdays from 6-9. I will try and keep this blog updated with a weekly post on what I’m learning and any pride, triumph, frustration, or whining I need to get out. I’m excited to be learning in a classroom setting again and I am even more excited to see where all this can take me. 



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