#StudentSpotlight: Natalie Pool

September 5, 2017

Hi! I'm Natalie and I'm currently learning front-end development. Programming is in my blood, you could say. My father has been doing programming since the 80's and passed his love for computers on to me. I am married to a U.S. Army veteran and have two teenage boys (holy smokes! I feel old).

 

Right now I am a property and casualty insurance agent. Through the years I have done a little here and a little there with programming. It wasn't until earlier this year I found a great opportunity to work in the insurance field AND do programming from home! I thought, "This is amazing!" and I applied. I used my expertise in insurance and my limited experience in programming to make it through to the last round of applicants for the position. In the end, I was not selected; they chose an applicant that had more programming experience. I felt disappointed but NOT discouraged. If anything, the experience gave me the drive to dig my heels in and start learning even more and be ready for my next opportunity. I will not take "no" for an answer! 

 

The same day I got my rejection email, I started searching for learning material. I found that learning to code is not a simple one-stop-shop from one university or one book - it has evolved into a culture! Right now, I am studying with a Udemy.com course called Web Development Bootcamp, I use FreeCodeCamp.com to reinforce what I've learned, and I connect with other developers on Twitter, Gitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Twitter and the Moms Can: Code Facebook group have been amazing places for finding projects, articles, study material, and discussions with other developers that have been very helpful. I have committed to doing the "100 Days of Code Challenge," which gives me a daily goal to study and practice even on those days when nothing seems to go as planned. You know, the days when you're lucky if all family members are fed and nothing has caught on fire or been destroyed in some shape or form.

 

My goal is to be confident and fluent as a full stack developer. I want to go back to that amazing company the next time they have a new job listing and say, "This is what I've learned! And here is what I have to show for it ...". No matter the outcome, I will be proud of myself for what I have accomplished. I love to code. 

 

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