By Heidi L. Mason (Coding Dojo’s September 3rd, 2013 Class)

Hi there!  I am an aspiring front-end developer. I graduated from Coding Dojo on November 1st, 2013. Prior to that I received my B.A. from UC Berkeley and led a sort of double life as a tech worker by day and singer-songwriter by night. I worked for 3 startups—in one role as a Research Analyst, another in Second-Tier Support, and the last in Customer Service. By the time I embarked upon my Coding Dojo journey, I had supported almost a dozen web and mobile applications and released 3 self-produced EPs and 1 LP, the last of which was accepted to music app Pandora.

In my tech life, I often seemed to cross into QA and found it frustrating on the occasions I would report a bug and have to battle the engineers to get it fixed (not having any idea how to fix it myself). In my music life, I had always been the design/web person out of personal interest and in the interest of saving money. As the years went by, I saw more and more enterprise-level music apps enter the consumer market and frequently wondered, “How did they do that?!” I seriously considered going back to school to specialize in Web Design, but between winter of 2012 and summer of 2013, several external factors strongly pushed me in the direction of Web Development.

I first applied to Coding Dojo in June of 2013—and I was rejected! But I studied on my own, and within a month was accepted to the September 3rd class for both Coding Dojo in Mountain View, California and MakerSquare in Austin, Texas. I wavered between the two bootcamps but ended up going with Coding Dojo, which I believe to be a great decision. I emerged with truly awesome new friends and mentors, and answers to questions I had wondered for years. For my final project, I re-coded my band’s site!

A couple weeks after graduating, I began an internship for a beta version app called Zeit9. It is a social app built on Rails that enables men to request ‘looks’ online and order full or partial outfit recommendations from stylists. My mentor is a seasoned multi-language/framework developer/programmer who is constantly challenging himself in projects. As you can imagine, I have been learning a lot under such direction. The app founders regularly assign me tasks, typically front-end.

It seems that we are all on an evolutionary path—one not exclusively self-directed—in our professional and personal lives.  I credit Coding Dojo with accelerating this evolution in my life.

Check out Heidi’s LinkedIn here.