Much of Monday not very productive… all hands meeting (shout out to 3 or 4 Ascenders who have already landed code!), successful coaching session with Deb regarding recognizing internal saboteurs, claiming strengths and preparing stories for how to share strengths with potential employers. By the end of the day I got feedback from my bug mentor that I’m looking forward to deciphering and implementing.

Tuesday was amazing! Dia Bondi came in and worked with us all day on storytelling exercises and a presentation tool that we’ll be able to use to craft the 5-minute presentations we’re giving next week. Through improv games and organizing ideas, she taught us a pretty effective strategy which I’m excited to implement next week.

Wednesday Kronda walked us through WordPress customization. I added some plugins and modified some settings; I’m very looking forward to choosing a theme and further customizing the appearance. But meanwhile, I have a bug to move forward.

Lukas looked over my mentor’s feedback on the bug with me this morning, and I got a very clear idea of what to do with the code. I was really excited to find that there was a bit more I could do with the code because originally it was just moving one line to a different line, and now there’s a bit of rewriting to do, and I’m glad I get to do more. So I made the changes we discussed, and ran the automated update test, and it still doesn’t appear to be working. And I can’t figure out why. I tried running the test lots of different ways on different versions of Firefox (channels, as they’re called), and still not getting the desired result. Will ask for a code review tomorrow.

At the end of the day we spent some time working on presentation skills using the framework Dia gave us yesterday. We paired up and recorded video of ourselves telling a short story about a pet we’ve had, then gave feedback to each other based on what we saw. It was pretty fun, and the receptionist Katt joined us! Katt is great and I’d been wondering if she’d ever get to participate with us on some of the stuff we’re doing, so I was glad that she did today. She and I paired up for this exercise, and she gave me great feedback: I’m expressive, but I need to replace a lot of my “ands” with periods.

Thursday… Urban Airship’s director of engineering, Lennon Day-Reynolds, came in to talk to us. UA is creating two internships for Ascend grads! He told us all about the company and how he got into tech (he was a music major! As a theater major, I find this very encouraging). UA sounds like an amazing place to work, and Lennon seems very passionate about helping people from non-traditional backgrounds get into tech jobs. I found him very encouraging, and was relieved to hear someone with power talking about the very barriers I’ve been up against since I decided a year ago to change careers. It has been really hard to find an entry point to software/web engineering without going into tech support (I’m trying to move away from ‘support’ roles and into actually building and engineering things); all the job listings I’ve seen tend to require years of programming experience, and all the internships tend to be just for current students or new grads, which I am not. Specific details about the internships are still pending, but it sounded like it might be about 6 weeks long with option to extend, and could possibly lead to a hire. So I’m definitely going to apply for one of these spots, and I hope like hell that I’ll get it because it’s exactly the thing I’ve been looking for.

Friday the mentor reviewed my patch, noted some syntax that needs fixing, and confirmed that there is another issue that goes along with the one I’ve been working on in this bug. I made a new patch with better syntax and posted it in Bugzilla, and asked if we can resolve this bug and open a new one for the other issue. Probably won’t hear back til next week, but fingers crossed that I have successfully squished my first bug!