About Me - My Story

Hey there!

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to read my blog! I appreciate you.

Anyway, I know you're here to learn something and I wanted to start out by sharing a little about myself so you know the person behind all the words. First, I'm Taylor! I live in Salt Lake City, UT. Born and raised! I'm a husband, a father of two boys (ages 4 and 2), and I'm a Latter-Day Saint. You can also follow my journey on Twitter. I'm not much of a writer but I want to share my story in hopes that it can help anyone looking to get started in web development. I also want to set an example to my family that you really can do anything if you put the work in.

What You Can Expect From This Blog

This blog is going to be a place where I share my experiences in web development, what I learn along the way, balancing life, business, etc. I'm hoping we can all learn from each other and I'd also love to hear from you along the way! You'll also learn more about me and my crazy life outside of coding!

Being a #CodeNewbie is hard, I know. I was very frustrated and still get frustrated with so much to know and learn. But hard is good! It's a challenge. Now I LOVE that there's so much to learn. It keeps me interested. I remember being told and reading that I needed to pick a path. Front-end, back-end, DevOps? How was a newbie supposed to decide when I had no clue what anything was? It took a lot of time...and asking others. This blog will help you. There's so much to learn at first and it seems overwhelming. This blog series will give you the tools, resources, experiences and hopefully some fun that you need to get going and become successful.

My Background

Currently I work in the finance and investing industry. The last 5 years I've been helping people save for retirement, college, and investing their money in stocks, mutual funds, ETFs, etc. I really enjoy helping people! But I've also grown a love for technology and building solutions for businesses. That's where my passion lies.

As of right now, updated 01/08/2020, I specialize in full-stack web development using React.js and Ruby on Rails.

I didn't grow up wanting to be a developer though. I did love videos games though! My passion has always been in business and creating things. I remember when I was about 16 years old I read a book called 'Rich Dad Poor Dad' by Robert T. Kiyosaki (if you haven't read it, I'd recommend it. You can find it here) and I was determined to build something great! I was always told me it was better to get a good job and get the benefits. But I was determined to do something else.

I started to attend real estate and finance conferences in my area ( I was still about 16-17 years old ). One in particular was a real estate conference. I had to be the youngest person there. Anyway, I had a passion for business! As I got older I lost what I wanted to do. I met the love of my life, got married, and had kids! Life is good ... and busy!

I decided I wanted to study finance and help clients with trading stock and plan their retirement. I've really enjoyed doing this and I've learned so much. I did this at a large financial company and am I still with that company 9 years later.

Although I enjoy what I do, I wanted to start looking for what I am most passionate about and build a career around it. I decided I wanted to look at other methods of passive income. To build a business of my own. I looked at things like Merch by Amazon (which I still do and love it), dropshipping, and FBA. As I was doing this I had an idea to build my own Web site and sell t-shirts there. As I started to code, I found that I get lost in building web sites and applications and this is where I wanted to spend my time.

Started Teaching Myself To Code

I started to teach myself to code about 2 years ago using sites like FreeCodeCamp, Udemy, and YouTube. I'd work all day at my job, come home to spend time with the family, put the kids to sleep, spend time with my wife, then started coding. I didn't have much time before I had to start the next day over but I was determined to learn as much as I could every day. The problem with the self-taught method is having the time to do as much as you want and there's so much to figure out when you're new. I once purchased a Python course for $300 and told my wife I was starting. A friend asked me "why Python?" and I honestly had NO clue what Python was used for. I just heard it was good. I ended up getting a refund and it left me frustrated. I was jumping from language to language because I didn't know what to learn. I really should have stuck with Python. It's still on my list of things to learn (I have a little Raspberry Pi that I'd like to tinker with more).

I started to really enjoy coding and building things. I loved to solve problems and making applications actually work. It was like magic! But learning on my own just wasn't enough and I didn't have a solid direction. There was SOOO much to learn! So many languages, directions, and it was overwhelming. I also have a family to take care of so finding the time was difficult. At the end of the day, I want to code full-time so my dedication needed to step up to the next level.

Full-Stack Web Development Bootcamp

I decided to take this career path seriously 11 months ago when I started my journey into a full-stack bootcamp at DevPoint Labs. I didn't start with a bootcamp though, for months I played with the idea of getting my degree in Computer Science or Software Development. The more I researched though, the college path just didn't seem like a good fit. Another 2 years of learning outdated information? Other Devs in the industry seemed to think you didn't need it either.

I needed something to really push myself every day and expand my knowledge. So about in May 2019 I decided to attend the bootcamp. It would also allow me to put the time into it that I needed each day. To be honest though, I was excited and scared to get started. To be away from my family 4 days a week was hard to swallow but they were extremely supportive and pushed me to follow my passion.

In my next blog post I'll share more about my experience with the bootcamp, but I just wanted to give you a little about my journey and who I am. I'll keep sharing things along the way as well.

Come Along With Me

Well.... I'm still learning! Everyday actually and I still haven't built that site I wanted initially. BUT that's why I'm sharing my journey now. Many developers wished they started typing earlier. Well.... I'm going to do it.

What I want out of this is to be a full-stack developer. I'd love to obtain a full-time position working in web development. While I'm learning my plan is to build site and projects. I want to build solutions on the back-end for data and authentication, then I'll work on making the site functional, user-friendly and polished on the front-end (client side). I want to find the best stack to accomplish this task. Which means I'll need to be diverse in my understanding of other languages. Lastly I'll deploy the site for clients. Right now I have learned Ruby, Ruby on Rails (for the back-end), React.js, Gatsby.js, HTML, CSS, and Postgresql (server).

I also want to mentor other #CodeNewbies and make it an easier transition into development. I want to be available to those that need help. Be a guide if anyone needs it. So reach out if you need help! If I don't know the answer, we can find it together.

Whew.... that was a lot! Thank you for taking the time to read my story and getting to know me better. Most of my posts will be much shorter and to the point.

Come on this journey with me as I dive into the world of development. Take on the rollercoaster and challenges this field has. It'll have it's ups.....and it's downs..... but I'll be sharing all that with you. I'll share what I learn, what I'm frustrated with, and my mistakes (because I'll make many). This is an exciting time to be a Web Developer because of all the technologies and opportunities!

As I mentioned earlier I'd also love to hear from you so drop a comment below, share your experiences, and let me know what you're working on and where you are in your journey. I love this dev community and I don't think anyone should do this alone.