• Heather Marie

all the dots connect & why i'm learning to #code //❤️

I have wanted to go back to school to learn programming, but until now, I have not found the best solution for my lifestyle. I am a new mom. I am a new mom who recently was let go from a good job and a mom that had to sell her home and move back in with her parents.

Fire, passion, desire, and lust. Those are all words that ignite our curiosity. We all want to be on fire.

Let's go back to before the iPod was born—the year 2000. I was a Sophomore in college and was studying Photography. During my coursework selection for the 2001 Spring Semester, I chose a class that looked like I would be using Microsoft Paint called "Computer Art Studio." I saw a few labs on campus, all with huge beige Macintosh computers. They even had those massive speakers hanging from the glass CRT monitors. Very, heavy, very cool. I was curious. It was just an elective.

Class began and it wasn't Microsoft Paint!!! It wasn't on a PC. It was Photoshop! It was Illustrator! On a Mac! Even my instructor was a liberal arts hippy. She made beautiful vector illustrations and taught us how to make art with the computer. I thoroughly enjoyed the scanning techniques and filters. She was inspirational and so was the Tech. A piece I created in her class received an Honorable Mention during the Student Art Show! I understood the software so fast that I began to help others in my class. I was ALIVE!! That Spring, my instructor hired me to help out with her restaurant marketing. So I switched my degree to Graphic Design.

I got my 1st Mac that fall. Thank you grape iMac."Yum." The labs were updated that Fall as well, thirty 30"Apple Cinema Displays were added. The smell of fresh tech was intoxicating. I was finding and intense passion. I became a lab monitor. Sitting in on a lab that is part of a class you are unfamiliar with can be life-changing. I saw animations being made, beautiful digital photography works being created, and websites.

There were not many web developers around then. No iPhone, no Facebook Ads, just paper.

So, I took another Art elective. Into to Web Design. I didnt not learn much about HTML. We used WYSIWYG. It was easy because it was what-you-saw. A layout in Photoshop or Illustrator could be sliced up and then put into a table in Macromedia Dreamweaver.

At that point in my life I thought deeply, but only about the surface of things. I noticed the quality of the Apple studio monitors with their shiny plastic shells, the clear black keyboards and that round mouse. very classy/sexy.

Sexy in regard to perfection. In the regard of making me feel alive. I loved every minute of every day! I got my 1st Generation iPod in 2001 along with a 12" MacBook. I finished out my associates at the community college when it happened. It meaning…The Apple Store opened!

The high-end suburbia mall that had the best Gap in town was remolded & reopened in 2002. I went to check it out with a friend, and to shop the Gap. While we were walking around something caught my eye. Letterforms that looked familiar. It was the text "Fire Extinguisher", and in the typeface Apple Garamond!

I started working for them 2 months later. I finished up my Bachelor's Degree at Maryville University in 2006, then went into a full-time position with Apple as a Creative. I taught, just like at the community college, the public how to use their Macs and peripherals. I really love to teach tech!

In 2007, the iPhone was released. I was working the morning of the launch. It really was something. Before the day of the launch, I had received an offer from Apple — Palo Alto to transfer there as a Creative. I left Saint Louis after the launch and headed to CA.

When you get somewhere you have always dreamed of going, but you are not doing the very thing you dreamed of can be a bit daunting...a bit depressing. What happened to my photography, my love for design?, I questioned. Something was missing.Yearning for something "different" I was so lost all I can tell you is something happened "that day".

What hurts is knowing how much pain Steve Jobs must have been in. (It's still 2007 BTW) He still walked to the Palo Alto store from his home. His visits were spectacular! All the management would turn into their microphones murmuring and everyone came to high alert when he came in. So… iPhone Launch, Palo Alto. I am a Creative behind a circle shaped bar (yes, like the Genius Bar). I am miked into the entire store giving an iPhone presentation.

California is so cool. Doors open, breeze blowing through...killer.

Yep! He walks in! Steve Mother-Effing Jobs walks in. I'M ON STAGE! 😮 When I noticed him he looked down right away at the iPod nanos. Then, he walked back to where I was presenting. We made eye contact, and it felt like I saw a Jedi Master. (I didn't know of a Yogi yet) Time slowed and all I told myself was to NOT look away and if you could have seen my smile you would cry. He hung around for a moment then he was gone.

And I was different. So thats it. So I left.

“You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” ― Steve Jobs

Back in Saint Louis, there is a beautiful garden I had visited with my camera before going to California. I went back. They offered me a role as an Intern Photographer. I photographed outdoors for six months. My work was published in books, magazines, newspapers, online and even on social media. I called up the Apple team in Saint Louis and started working for them again. This time to launch the iPad. It's 2010.

Later that fall I got a job offer to do Web Design.I left Apple and tried to learn CSS. I wasn't giving myself enough time nor did I find the support I needed to learn it properly. I built websites by slicing and light HTML.

I have spent the last 6 years doing freelance training work. Learning the ins and outs of online communication. I have enjoyed training fashion designers, artists, and small businesses. I have also hopped around various coding bootcamps and pondered the right step to take toward programming. I am a Wix Ambassador and I help small businesses learn how to use the Wix platform. When Karlie Kloss did an Ad for Wix, I noticed she learned to code from The Flatiron School. So I looked into it.

I'm now a Flatiron Student. I'm happy. I am one month in and I am glad I found MINSWAN // ❤️. I have a lot to learn and I am excited about beginning this new journey!

Next Post: Let's Talk Ruby!

TY

heather marie

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