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framed posters and vinyl records on the floor against the wall
Moving into my first apartment
Personal Blog

Two Years of Code - Part Two

Late 2021, my professional coding journey began. Doors began to open for me and at the same time, new challenges introduced themselves. How was I going to cope with the creeping imposter syndrome? Or the impending lifestyle creep of a completely new-to-me work-from-home style of working? Rocky starts.

I remember the interview and the minute details surrounding it. The day before, I got an email asking for a video interview for a job that my career search specialist had applied for maybe a month before.

At the time, my dad and I were driving across Canada all the way to Vancouver Island in the span of a week. This involved gruelling 8-10 hour drives everyday to make good time and many, many fun conversations with my dad involving Ontario's politics, classical music, and our criticisms of each other's driving habits. While exhausting, it's a fond memory I carry with me of spending time with my dad in a way I hadn't previously done.

So, there I was sitting in the hotel prepping for potential interview questions. At the time I was burnt out from a fruitless several-month-long job search and I didn't think much of myself, but despite my low self-confidence I somehow landed the job and ended my trip a few days after on a very happy positive note. I thought to myself "once my foot is in the door, the sky's the limit". Not to be overly dramatic, but this was only partially correct.

Beginning in 2022, I used that mental "gravy-train" to move into my very first apartment on my own as I wanted my own private space to work in and listen to records uninterrupted by shared spaces and roommates. I got my wish, finding a beautiful, newly-renovated space in the downtown west-end of Toronto. Shortly after, I was out of a job.

I recognize in life that my failures are just as, if not more important than my victories, and there exists a great deal of "grey area" where I can look back, recollect memories, and realize why I am the way I am today. This job was a beautiful opportunity that I am still very thankful for the experience that it gave me. I was able to learn Next.js, Tailwind CSS, and CMS integration, all extremely valuable tools that I still use today.

A selfie with Aubrey and some of his classmates
A real snapshot of some of my Juno friends

So in July of 2022, I was officially back on the market again.

I decided to pick up a job at a local food shack so that I could keep working while maintaining a steady job search for my next web developer gig. Subsequently, I met my neighbours who run a community space and who needed a website; so I obliged at no cost. Using the tools I gained from my last job, I made On Task Studio a site with built-in and an events page for advertising their new, exciting events.

In October, someone must have noticed my work because I got a call at 10pm one day with someone on the other line essentially saying: "I found your profile and I would like to hire you for a contract job, starting tomorrow". Funnily enough, my immediate response was "who are you and how did you get this number?", a response I am still made fun of to this day.

So there I was at my next web developer job, albeit a contract, but another great learning opportunity, this time involving Vue.js and Tailwind CSS with other folks on the team handling the back end development. Unlike my previous job where it was a team of only three people, including myself, this time I was able to work with four people, all with varying degrees of responsibilities and equal levels of input. I had a support system that was very helpful in helping me to learn Vue.js on the job, as I previously had no experience in this framework. After four months of doing my damnedest to keep the job, my boss and I decided that we were not the right fit and that I needed to work with a larger team that allowed for more mentorship. I was close, but not quite there.

Understandably so, I was torn. Two jobs in and I could not seem to find my footing. And here we are in the present; uncertain, but still trying. I'll be working on some new projects to get excited about code again. I am hopeful that I will find my footing and this moment, right here, is the start of that feeling.

© 2024 Aubrey Kazdan