It’s been over a year…

It’s been well over a year since I’ve written a new post. A lot has happened since I started my first developer job at blubeta in Miami! I have built APIs in Rails 4 and Rails 5 for a few projects that are currently in production, including one that has gone national. TIKD is a service that allows you to upload your moving violation, and they take care of your ticket(s) for you. It’s a great business model, and I have not only been working on the Ruby code for the backend, but have built the v1 Admin Panel in JavaScript, using the React framework. Because I am more “comfortable” (I say that word lightly) with backend, the frontend engineer at the startup is currently working on the v2 of a newly designed panel, leaving me to focus more on the data model and adjusting the back when needed.

This project has also gotten my feet wet in Admin support. Whenever an administrator needs something to be done (aka features we have not built out, yet), I have been given access to the production server and database and have been able to go in and update the data on the spot (by sshing into ubuntu). This can be challenging, as it’s important to make sure the correct record is being updated (and updated correctly!). Just the other week, it was requested that I remove a status from a certain ticket tied to a specific order. Instead of removing the record in the join table, I mistakenly removed the object, itself. This was quickly remedied by creating a new status record, ensuring that the ID number was the same as the deleted one. This lesson taught me more about Active Record associations (which make a lot of sense, now!). People are human and make mistakes. What is important is owning up to them immediately, so things can be rectified!

It has been very interesting, going from the very first hire (and only female engineer) to working in a team of 6 engineers: 2 seniors, 2 non-seniors (this is where I am, at the moment), and 2 part-time devs (still the only female engineer). I have learned a lot about how to think about data, how to model a database (erd) to reflect the data, associating models, and building things out little by little. I have also gotten my feet wet with React. JavaScript is not my strongest language (I am working to change this fact!), so it feels good to see familiar patterns in this framework, learn about state management (or passing props/data as is) and Redux for a uni-directional data flow (all goes back to the number one thing we’re working with, here: data!)

As I move forward in this career, I would like to improve my JavaScript skills, create more side projects (I am currently working on a Rails app for my mom, so she can keep track of the movies she’s seen/wants to see), and keep discovering new problems to solve (let’s face it, the world is full of problems to solve!).

I can’t believe that it’s been over 2 years since I’ve performed music in front of an audience. There was a period when I was performing every single week with either the Milwaukee Symphony or the Lyric Opera (sometimes both!). I do miss the comfort and confidence I felt in that career (music was always “natural” and “easy”), but I’m slowly working to feel this was in this new(ish) career! Confidence grows with experience, and 2 years in, I am feeling slightly better about things.

Keep building!

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