A little something for people interested in becoming a Developer

Having recently “graduated” from a local non-profit programming bootcamp (Nashville Software School) I am often asked a various questions by friends and people I meet about getting into development.  The questions typically boiled down to “what steps to take to see if they have an aptitude for development, and what self-education resources are out there?”

I would tell them about NSS, how I heard about it, some of the steps we took in preparation for class, and tell them I would email them some resources we used as pre-work for along with other things I found helpful along the way. After doing this a few times I thought I should really find an easier way to share this information rather than forwarding an email over and over.

With this in mind, I thought “what better way to share this knowledge/information than to make a living, breathing GitHub repository?” This way it’s editable, shareable, open to collaboration, and always available for people to see. The “Code Shoulder” was born!

I am constantly adding new things I come across, and would love to see some pull requests from other like minded folks trying to help those who want to follow the developer path. By no means is this comprehensive, nor is it perfect. Just a collection of things I’ve found to be helpful (or possibly helpful!) to me on my journey thus far.

The Code Shoulder – A GitHub Repo by Eric Denton


I like puns.

Using calc() in your CSS

How calc() works is a great article that explores some of the benefits of using calc() in your CSS. The author mentions that you can mix relative units that can give us a width of 100% of the screen less 100px  (ie=  width: calc (100% – 100px); which is super cool). She also mentions that the calc value is actually the expression of the calc equation and not the resultant value (SWEET), and that calc functions can be nested for further awesomeness!

I really love that the following is a thing:

html {  
    font-size: calc(100vw / 30);

This in effect scales the font to 1/30th of the viewport width, which makes text pretty much keep the line breaks and spacing you want regardless of the size of the viewport. I LOVE THIS.

Original article by Ire Aderinokun:

A Graduation, a Vacation, and a Couple Conferences…

Another 1am-ish blog posting!

November has been a really busy month for me and my family:

In between these social/educational/networking events I took some time to:

  • catch up on six months of sleep.
  • vote.
  • have a nice little “staycation” with my wife and 3 month old (3 MONTHS ALREADY!?).
  • plant three red maple trees in the front yard that I’ve been meaning to do since we moved here a couple years ago.
  • meet some good friends and contacts for lunch or a beer(s) to try to catch up
  • do a lot of “dad-ing” with my little buddy when my wife went back to work after her maternity leave was up.

Soon we’ll gallup into the Holiday season with Thanksgiving and the whole “Black Friday”/”Cyber Monday” shopping  insanity!

“Needless” to say, I haven’t really gotten my job search muscles flexed much yet, and my plan is to really hit the ground running in December (a notoriously slow hiring time of the year)! It’s been nice to take a few “slow” weeks after graduation to collect myself and my thoughts, but I’m itching to get out in the real world and make things happen.

I’m taking lunch chats, coffee talks, beer breaks, and anything else I can think of with people I admire, past NSS grads, Meetup pals, and more! I really can’t wait to get out there and learn more about the possibilities and opportunities that might come down the line.

I’ve Updated My “Website”

A Site For Sore Eyes

I recently spent a good amount of time redesigning my website! As of right now, http://www.iamericanartist.com/ (which is how some of you got here) is actually just a redirect to my WordPress blogsite (https://iamericanartist.wordpress.com/, which is probably how the rest of you got here).

Long story short, I would love for you to checkout what will become the future iamericanartist.com: https://iamericanartist.github.io/!

If you have any feedback I’d love to hear it! Please email me at ttyl@iamericanartist.com or find me through any of the links on the new site!


Coding Bootcamp or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Code

As many of you may know, I recently quit my job of 5+ years to start down the career path of “Software Developer” at Nashville Software School. I can’t explain how difficult yet rewarding it’s been. I’ve learned so much at times it boggles my mind a bit.

A key factor in making the most out of a coding boot camp is “A.B.C.” as our fearless leader constantly tells us. Always Be Coding. After a long day at the fire hydrant of information they have you drink from, coming home and following up on what you learned with related exercises, videos and/or personal projects is a great way to cement all the things you’re learning. I can’t say I’ve done 16 hours everyday, but I’ve definitely put in a great deal of time and effort, and I am really proud of my progress.

The Nashville Developer community is fantastic, by the way. There are meet ups almost nightly, which make finding new contacts, friends, and opportunities so much easier. The fact that everyone is overly welcoming and helpful is such a great feeling.

While at NSS, I also got rather good at Ping Pong, but I soon learned at the Nashville Ping Pong meetup that I still had MUCH to learn. While my multiple defeats were rather humbling, each loss was met with “good game” and/or some spot on pointers for me to try from my friendly opponents.

I have two whole weeks left and I’m so excited to get out there and put everything I’ve learned to use. I feel like I had a longer than usual stay in the NSS coined “Valley of Despair,” but with such a great group of classmates, teachers, and staff helping me along the way, I’ve definitely climbed back up to sea level and am currently looking around for mountains to climb.

I will close this post by asking any of you that may be in need of a Junior Developer in the near future to come check out Cohort 14’s Demo Day at NSS on November 4th. We’ll be showcasing our Front End and Back End Capstones along with other projects we’ve been working on, and would love to have you as a visitor!

graphicsgroupshotCohort 14 Demo Day

November 4, 2016
10am – 3pm

Nashville Software School
500 Interstate Blvd S, Suite 300
Nashville, TN 37210

If you’re interested in what I’ve been up to specifically: