“Only the beginning.”

This will be quick. Working on my nReduce project and I only have 10 hours to hit my next milestone :p

Chris Bolton and I were chatting shortly after Demo Day and one of the things we agreed on was that Code Academy was “only the beginning.” I’m just beginning to realize the extent of what that means. Thankfully, my cousin Dexter cleared something up for me, but I’ll explain that in a bit. Let’s start from the beginning…of the end…of the beginning.

Demo Day went really well. David Hahn, Vageesh Kumar, and I all practiced our presentation for hours on end. During last two weeks of Code Academy, I spent 10+ hours a day, either working on PriceIntel (source code) or drilling my lines for the presentation. I was especially stressed while trying to memorize lines. I had a definite “Ah-Ha!” moment when I realized I shouldn’t focus on the lines, but the essential ideas. It felt like the same eureka moment I had when I realized that routes reflected a user’s interactions with resources instead of a location with discrete objects in it.

When we got up in front of the crowd of 300 people, we were ready, our lines memorized. We ended with exactly two seconds left on the clock. The timekeeper even said that our group’s ending was the best she saw all night.

Since Demo Day, I’ve made a few realizations. I need to continue learning to code. I also realized that I enjoy the back end much more than the front end. I think it has to do with discrete levels of success: I know when I’ve created the database properly. I know when data is properly retrieved.

I also made a realization that I’m now backing down on. I was wary of applying to places because I knew that everything was going to be short term. I’m a bit attention deficit and I felt like it wouldn’t be good for either party if I left. My ideal for generating cash-flow is to freelance while I worked on website ideas. However, my cousin asked a great question – what’s short term to me?

As it turns out, my answer, a year to two years, isn’t really short term. It starts to blend into regular full-time positions at that point – companies often contract for two years. So, I have reneged on that and will probably be applying to all sorts of places that I passed over earlier. How silly. I guess I am looking for full-time development opportunities.

But besides a job hunt, I spoke to a startup and completely bungled it, as I was unprepared for being asked what I wanted. I was just meeting to talk to them about the project – apparently, they were meeting me to hire me on as a developer. That was a bit fast for me.

I am also in nReduce, which is an “open-source ycombinator,” or a platform for startup people to keep in touch and motivate each other. Every Tuesday we’re supposed to have something to ship and I’m terribly behind schedule due to a variety of reasons, chief among them being developing on my netbook. In Windows. Arrrghhhh, slowness.

Too much to do! I need to borrow some moxie from my kickass friends.

Code Academy has ended and it is only the beginning. Let’s go.