Capstones: Can we do it?

What do you want to be when you grow up?

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This question has been posed a lot these last few weeks. It started in the fly-in. We had to start thinking about life after the program is over. What does that look like? Are you going to be a designer? A content strategist? A user experience designer? A coder? Who do you want to be?

 

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Don’t worry none of us know. 

Our capstone is the culmination of everything we have learned, but it also has a specific purpose. It is the best representation of ourselves and our abilities to show prospective employers. The goal is to play up our strengths. 

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Coming up with that idea, that perfect representation is extremely terrifying. We keep getting asked and are asking others, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” “How does this project get you there?” We toss around ideas, we help each other punch it up, and we worry. Is it good enough? Can I do it?

We are going to be spending months working on this one project. It has the potential to be anything we want it to be. That is slightly terrifying. Where do we start? Do we have time? How are we going to do not only this amazing project, but a portfolio? And don’t get me started on our other classes.  But,  underneath all that fear , this project is extremely exciting.

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I can make anything I want. I have complete creative freedom. Professors can guide me to the best outcome, and classmates can help me flush out concepts, but at the end of the day, this is me. 

So, while everyone in iMedia 2017 is stressing, there is no question in my mind that there are going to be 25 amazing projects. We all have such different personalities, no one is doing the same thing.

For the students in the program, breathe, we’re going to be great.

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For prospective students, don’t let this scare you, this is the most exciting thing we have ever done. Like skydiving without the plane, or chance of death. 

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My classmates will disagree, they will say its horrible. But, we’ve said that about everything so far, and everyone has said later that the experience was the best they’ve ever  had.

All I know is that while it is inevitable that we will stress out about our projects, and there will be lots of longs nights, endless coffee and frustrations, we will all make it. We’ll end the program saying, “I did this. I know who I want to be.”

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We all need a little help sometimes…

Last week, it felt like we all breathed for the first time in months. Our big research paper was over. It was terrifying, it was hard, but I don’t think a single person in the class walked away thinking that it was a waste of time. We all walked away with such a broader knowledge base and I was extremely happy for it.

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But, the hole that was made by a lack of Lackaff was quickly filled with a new, accelerated schedule and an addition of projects from other classes. While at first was overwhelming, it makes sense. I am ready to dive further into the concepts that we have been learning and really start creating. I hope that most of us feel that way. I might be in the minority, but I want them to throw everything they can at us. I want to be the most prepared for any situation once I am in the job market. I promise I have a point, my ramble is over.l46cbqvg6gxgvh2ps

One big area that ramped up is our coding classes. Now, I know next to the research paper, this is the area that most people have the biggest fears. I will be the first to say that I need help, I want to do it all myself, but I don’t need to. I also recognize that I shouldn’t do it all myself. An outside prospective can usually make my work better.

It can be hard to ask for help though. No one wants to feel like they don’t have the intelligence to do something, and no one wants to admit that they might have a shortcoming. It’s okay. We all do. It’s okay to ask for help. 14jqc2aonxnbhq

I love coding though, and I have found so many great tools to help me understand it the best. So far, in this program, I have shouted my joy for may of them: Codecademy, freecodecamp, HTML & CSS by Duckett, and Javascript & JQuery by Duckett. There are so many more though.

I wanted to give everyone a list of some other great resources that I have found or been told about.

  • Bento – This site aims to make you a self-taught programmer and covers HTML, CSS, Javascript, Git, Python, SQL, Bootstrap, Sass, Node, Ruby, and so so so much more.
  • Learn Code the Hard Way – This site is for a series of books that have been recommended to me by many coders as a great reference tool.
  • Become a Programmer, Motherfucker– While the title is very graphic, this site has lots of links to many other great resources. It is brought to us by the man who created Learn Code the Hard Way.

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I want to finish by saying that the best resource we have for things that we don’t know, or are unsure of, is each other. While this isn’t intended as the perfect moment for us all to sit around the camp fire, swaying, and singing songs (although we should definitely do that); this is my favorite part about this program. We work together, we help make each other better. We don’t all want to do or be the same thing, and we all recognize that there are 25 other people who have different skills than our own. I’m never happier than when I can help someone, because I know tomorrow, they will help me.

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