Tag Archives: Penn State

Hello (again) World

Life is funny. You may think you have everything figured out, but you really don’t. When I last wrote on this blog, it was about three years ago and I was 10 months into my journalism career working as a full-time newspaper reporter at The Republican-Herald in Pottsville, PA. Since then a lot has changed, myself included. Now I’m working towards a new career, living in a new place, basically starting over, which is why I’m revisiting this blog again because I feel I need a place to share my thoughts otherwise I’ll go insane. If you’re not familiar with programming/coding, the first program you just about always write, no matter what language you’re learning, is a simple program that prints “Hello World” to the screen. Seeing as how this is my first blog post after three years, where I’m still a writer, but trying to become someone who writes code, “Hello (again) World” seemed a fitting title.

Anyway, I’ll try to keep this post as short as possible. I may have spent the past almost four years working as a journalist, but I realized that it isn’t completely satisfying to me and I feel like if you’re going to be spending most of your life working, you better be doing something you’re extremely passionate about. I started taking classes with Penn State in June 2013 towards a B.S. in Information Sciences and Technology, where I started learning all the things I admired. I’ve been learning about databases, networking, web design and most importantly to me, how to program. Through my classes I’ve gotten to design apps that range from simple apps that covert temperatures from Celsius to Fahrenheit  or vice versa to a drawing app to apps that are simple games like a puzzle with sliding titles.

I’m learning that I love being able to be more technical and it also allows me to be more creative as well. Moving on… Alison and I moved to Colorado in May and I’ve been continuing with classes through Penn State at their online campus. Although I thought that originally I may have moved here slightly following Alison, I realize that it’s where I need to be and I’m here for me especially. Boulder is home to a huge tech and startup scene, with companies including Google, Microsoft, Oracle, Twitter, SendGrid, IBM, GitHub and Sphero, among many others. Being here is allowing me to get involved with a community I couldn’t back in Pennsylvania as I regularly attend monthly meetups for people interested in programming in languages such as Ruby and Python.

I really believe that everything happens for a reason and being here, I was able to learn that Penn State may not teach me everything I need to know and that there are programs that will, so I recently decided I want to get into a bootcamp to learn all the skills I need to become a full-stack web developer. Specifically, I’m trying to get into a program called gSchool where they teach you Ruby, Ruby on Rails, JavaScript, HTML, CSS and many other things. Learning these things will allow me to be able to create apps and websites from the ground up, both the front and backends. There are many popular apps were written in Ruby and Rails include Twitter and Reddit. I think that the thing I can get from this that I can’t from Penn State is that I’ll not only be learning about programming for about 40 hours a week in class, with about 20-30 hours outside of class, but gSchool is based at Galvanize which is home to numerous startups. You get immersed in the culture and atmosphere, learning right among companies that you could work for once you finish the six-month program.

I applied to gSchool a week ago and it’s all that’s on my mind.  I can hardly contain my excitement and I’m constantly checking my email and their Twitter account for updates, but I guess for now all I can do is keep waiting, watching my inbox and practicing in the meantime.

This blog post may be a bit jumbled, but I guess the point I’m trying to make is that three years ago I never imagined here today, changing my life and getting to a place I really want to be. I always dreamed about moving out west and now I’m here living in beautiful Boulder, Colorado. Another dream of mine is to become a developer and create apps that people can really connect with. I’ve been learning through classes and on my own and it seems like an attainable goal. I guess it really is true that as long as you are driven and don’t give up, you can achieve nearly any goal you set.

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Life as a College Graduate, I’m going to Asia!

I realize I haven’t posted in a while and I apologize for that. The last month of school was just very crazy. It felt as if I did nothing all semester and all of my work was due during that last month. To tell you the truth though, the bulk of my work was in the last month, that’s just how my professors setup the classes, but, anyway, I survived and am now a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University with a B.A. in Journalism and a minor in English!

I bet you’re all wondering, what now. Do you have a job? The answer to that is, well, not quite, but I’m happy to report that I’m going to Beijing, China! In past entries I said that I wanted to go to Asia and with persistence and searching, I got offered an internship with the China Daily, one of the top English-language newspapers in China. Just to show how big it is, the paper has an average daily circulation of more than 300,000 in about 150 countries and regions. My past professional experience only includes blogging, so I really wanted to work for a print newspaper, although I could be working on the website, Chinadaily.com.cn.

Here is my plan and it is to go to Beijing to intern for the China Daily. I’ll be there for about 2 months. If I really love Beijing, I’m planning on trying to find a full-time position there. If that doesn’t work out, I already have another internship lined up right after where I’m going to be working at Akihabara News, a tech blog in Tokyo. If you know me, you know that is right up my alley.

I can’t wait to be in China, especially for the food. Just look at the pictures I posted and these are just noodle soups. Doesn’t it look amazing? That is only one thing, there’s going to be tons of dumplings, steamed buns, tofu and everything else that I can’t imagine right now and it’s all supposedly very cheap. I think about 6 dumplings costs less than 50 cents. By the way, I think the food in those pictures look delicious, they’re screen shots from when I was watching Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations in Shanghai on my computer.

I’m definitely going to be updating my blog a lot more frequently. I plan to keep a blog from now on of all my journeys and experiences while I’m in Beijing and then also if I go to Japan. So be sure to keep checking back!

One last thing, being the crazy technology-obsessed American that I am, one thing I’m really excited about is all of the cheap KIRFs (people in the tech world call them Keeping It Real Fake), or in other words, Chinese knockoffs. Apparently they are really cheap. They have fake cellphones, like iPhone for about $100, I’ve even seen KIRFs that look like the new iPhone 4G that was recently leaked and isn’t even out yet. I have my eye set on a KIRF iPad, which runs Android 2.1, the same as my Nexus One (by Google) cell phone and now has about the same processor as the iPad that costs about $250. What also is improved is that it has a place to put SD cards for more memory, USB ports and also an HDMI output so you can display it on your TV.

China is gonna be amazing!

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