John James Marshall Jr.

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When I have a chance to decompress and look back at the past week retrospectively, I’m able to see ever so incrementally how progress is being made.

It took a few attempts, but once I made a proper change to my cover letter, the interview requests really took off. Perhaps it’s coincidental, but really nailing down my value and what I’m looking for in my cover letter seems to have done wonders.

That has led to a rush of interview requests and technical tests that I’ve handled with varying degrees of assuredness.

Still, there is one specific job that I’m…

Another week down, continuing to learn.

I’ve been learning Python mostly this week as part of my technical plans. Been coding a new project in Python to get more experience, but I want to get the fundamentals down before I start trying to flex with it. It’s quite similar structurally, at least in my mind, than Ruby. I was asked in an interview, if I can change anything about Ruby, what would it be. I said that I enjoy in Python that whitespace and indentation is used, and that I would implement that. The interviewer said he agreed, but that was not the normal answer.

Honestly, most of my time is spent in the job search. It makes me wonder if I’m doing that at the expense of sharpening my skills technically. It’s something I struggle with daily, so I’m going to continue to find a balance.

One of the most impactful achievements of my career has been my #volunteer work in Louisiana the past two years.

I leveraged my time as a #Division1 #athlete and #coach to help high school kids in #Louisiana get scholarships and connected with universities.

In my spare time, I go around to basketball games all over the state, in addition to watching videos, to help scout for the best talent and write about them and connect them with college coaches.

Last season alone, over a dozen of the players featured on my website are now listed on college rosters.

For over…

I’ve begun work in the world of understanding and comprehending data structures and algorithms. As a budding developer, I find this work rewarding as well as exhausting, necessary though perhaps I’m diving in a little too deep considering the work I’ll be doing.

I’m learning about time complexity, and it’s pushing my math skills to the brink. Luckily, my partner is a doctor and physicist. He helps me with the most basic questions.

Our back-and-forth reminds me of my time teaching abroad. While teaching English, I was also learning the language of the country I inhabited — Mandarin and Spanish.

I’ve gone back and forth on this. Last week, I talked about how I was going to completely rebuild my final project that I finished a few weeks ago at Flatiron — Code Wanderer .

Turns out, I could retroactively make it mobile responsive. Whacking through thousands of lines of homemade CSS wasn’t easy. But, it was all worth it. A week of work down and it finally looks good on the phone.

While my final project for Flatiron is sleek on first glance, it resembles Cyberpunk 2077 in that it only looks great in the best circumstances.

My project Code Wanderer is a React / Redux resource hub for new programmers. It lets users add resources like .PDFs and memes about programming that help understand new concepts. It has a ‘Wander’ button that shuffles a bunch of links and resembles StumbleUpon.

This is my first official week on the job search. Normally I am extraordinarily social and a real ham. As I approach people to network and reach out, I find myself on the shy side for once.

A few things have stood out as I began to seek contacts and job openings. First, people are overwhelmingly willing to help. I’ve found this mostly true with soft contacts. It’s like when I was learning to play guitar: those who already knew how to play were so excited to show me the right way.

This is similar to what I’m going through…

In a few hours I will be a graduate of Flatiron’s online software engineering bootcamp. So many times throughout this voyage, I wanted to quit. I was convinced that I had no idea what was going on and I’d never be a great programmer.

Imposter syndrome was a reality for me for a good portion of the bootcamp. It’s inevitable for those of us who don’t come from a math/science background. It wasn’t until I leaned in to what I realized was my own unique perspective that I truly began to see myself as a special potential programmer.

I’m a…

Me (left) and my brother getting a little FIFA in at the beach.

When I graduated from Louisiana Tech University in 2008, the economy was crumbling and the job market, as far as journalism was concerned, was dwindling to say the least. When my father graduated in the 80s, he went to work at the newspaper the very next day. I wasn’t so lucky.

It took a decade before I ever found full-time, salaried work as a professional journalist. Perhaps a major in journalism was ill-advised, but nobody really advised me. I was a teenager taking on massive debt and just doing whatever I could.

Now, on the eve of my graduation from…

Final project week hasn’t even begun, and I’m already close to finished with my React project. In pursuit of my new career path, I’ve found myself as excited as I have been in years.

As much as I enjoy coding, what has been particularly compelling is the ability to create a new road for myself and embark on a new career. To me, programmers are the new architects. The great buildings have already been designed; we are the architects of the future, now.

Knowing that, I want to find my space. I want to land in a position where I’m…

John James Marshall Jr.

Full-Stack Software Engineer

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