How to deal with the unemployment blues (advice from a newbie dev)


After graduating from EDA, I set out on the the hunt for my first developer position, a task that was by turns daunting, frustrating, invigorating and exciting. I hoped it would lead to something great, a job in which I can learn a lot, become a better coder and work with a fun team. And I’m happy to announce that it did! I start with Rabid Technologies as a Junior Developer on Monday, 20 July.

It’s good that my unemployment will soon come to an end, because I really don’t do well at being unemployed. A big part of that is that I’ve learned to tie a lot of my self worth into what I do for a living (thanks, society!), so when I’m not making a living, well, you can imagine what that does to my self worth. It’s fine when I’m an unemployed student, because then I’m actually doing something, bettering myself and all that. But when I’m not a student and don’t have a job – not that I’ve been in that position very often – well, it’s not the best feeling.

I tried to counter the unemployed blues by keeping the student flow going and actually doing something, or lots of somethings, as the case may be. I started my own project, contributed to a couple of other projects, and just generally tried to continue with my learning as much as possible. And it helped: I stayed busy, I had a schedule, and it kept the lack-of-a-job insecurities away, for the most part. I really wanted to do my best to make the most of the time while I had it, because once I’m back working full time, I’ll probably wish I had more free time to do my own things. Oh, the irony.

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Planning a new project


It’s been over 3 weeks since I graduated from Enspiral Dev Academy (EDA) and more like 3 and a half since I last coded. That is scary! I learned it all so quickly, could I lose it just as quickly from lack of use? It’s not like I felt super confident about my skills in the first place – I was proud of myself for learning it and fairly confident in my basic skills, but not super confident – so now I’m really worried.

But I’ve made a plan – when in doubt, schedule your life! Nothing gives you a feeling of control in this crazy world like a colour coded calendar and a plan of attack. I have an idea for a website I want to build and an idea of how I will approach it. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get back into it without too much trouble or the need to take the course all over!

Today’s task was to write out some notes for the new website, planning out the user stories, the flow and the database associations. The user stories went pretty well, I know what I want this site for and what it should do, so there were no problems there. I made a messy attempt at wire framing and have a good idea of how it will look. All good so far.

But trying to figure out the associations has left me stumped – I can’t remember if the products belong to the customer and to the order or just to the order and then the order belongs to the customer. Are the orders a join table or polymorphic or has many and belongs to many? Uh oh. The RailsGuides aren’t much help, or else I just can’t make sense of ActiveRecord Associations through the dawning realisation that yes, I have forgotten everything. Crap.

I’m going to go and stare at some code and hope it all comes flooding back like magic.

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