Graduate Updates is a dialogue style series that we started as a way to spend more time chatting with our graduates and to get a peek into their lives after Firehose. In each update, we share the details of these conversations and give you the opportunity to get to know our students a little better.
In this update, we talk with David, who went on to work in database management and continue his education after his Firehose experience amplified his desire to really dive into code and learning.
Tell us a bit about yourself and how code became a part of your life.
I’ve always had a thing for wanting to understand how things work, inside and out. When I was very little, I’d do all sorts of puzzles and had lots of trinkets and desktop toys. This evolved into the mindset I have now of looking at things from every conceivable angle and always seeking knowledge and a solid grasp of everything at my fingertips!
What have you been up to since graduating?
Since graduating, I’ve had time to reflect on my Firehose experience and soak it all in. Gaining a strong foundation in the program solidified my desire to code, and shortly after, I began making plans to further my education in various languages to support Ruby– Ken recommended MySQL.
At this very moment, I’m in SQL classes and pursuing professional certifications in many Microsoft applications– most notably Microsoft Access and Excel.
Additionally, I landed a position at Crosscom where I get to work deeply within the databases on a daily basis. I’m a very visual learner, so this ties in well with my interest in database management. Allocating and reorganizing data and inventory, conjuring queries for certain departments that want specific inventory pulled, and writing queries to catalog everything.
My work has also sparked my interest in side projects in my hobby– game development. I’m currently working with fellow developers on a project that experiments with unreal engine, and in the process, learning about how to institute a development cycle with natural flow and efficiency.
Can you talk about your interest in game development and how that has grown or changed since becoming a developer?
Game development is certainly a special type of software development. In addition to thinking about general practicality (as you would for any app), you’re constructing a giant web of concepts and smoothly polished mechanics to build a spectacular other world for players. It’s a massive collective effort that leads to masterpieces of storytelling that can influence culture for years on end. Think about how much the Super Mario Brothers series has impacted us since the early ’80s!
My epiphany moment as a developer came when what I used to see as jumbled letters and punctuation became an understanding of how finely we can tune what we program.
User interface is a huge part of this for me. Something I love is being able to navigate a site with relative ease without ever having to touch my keyboard, and only clicking and scrolling my mouse. That’s when I know the site creator has taken time and care to bring user experience to the next level.
What about your Firehose experience sparked your motivation to continue learning?
Firehose awakened my motivation to get out there and do what it takes to keep myself afloat with ever-expanding knowledge. As I garner fluency in multiple languages and make connections with fellow coworkers and friends who share these similar interests, I’ve found many opportunities to develop applications that are useful and actively serve the community.
The mentors we are given at Firehose played a huge part in this. My mentor (if he is reading this, he knows who he is– thank you kindly!) is a very open, focused, and resourceful gentleman who provided advice not just for coding, but for life. He gave me the broad scope to see all of my available paths, and I’ve undoubtedly taken to his advice.
One of the biggest pitfalls to wanting to learn to code is doing so completely alone. Very few developers have that much initiative on their own, never mind the fuel to keep themselves going for the long haul. Being part of an extensive and super active community of respectable folks who are doing the very same things you are ensures that the troubles you come across will be both easily understood and quickly resolved.
What’s on the horizon for you?
Currently, I am taking SQL and business workshop classes. I see my post-grad study as a doorway to more advanced development and an opportunity to gain experience in multiple coding languages and database protocol. I’ve also found it key having the know-how to work in a flexible manner on complex, large-scale projects.
Are you reading/watching/listening to anything good lately?
Sure am. One of my favorite video games is the first BioShock, which entails Rapture– a dystopian underwater city heavily influenced by Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead– both of which are on my roster to complete. Additionally, I’ve bought several books on the “to read” list I made with my mentor, which are focused on keeping motivated with tools like the Pomodoro technique.
Where can people find you?
I am on GitHub as GhostlyMire (one of my well-known online aliases I use in games), however, due to classes and full-time work, it’s been dormant for some time.
It’s also an overall goal of mine to be cognizant of the amount of time I am spending on social media, but I am around! And I do plan on getting a Twitter.
Thanks, David! It was a pleasure catching up with you 🙂