Hey, I’m Alex Barron and I make web applications.
I used to work in enterprise software partnerships for Virtual Communications(VCC), a Japanese reseller of American enterprise software. My 5 years with VCC exposed me to a wide range of the software industry from web analytics to log management to application performance monitoring and more. My role was primarily around recruiting new partners and managing operations with existing partners. I got to work with some cool companies like Splunk, Adobe, AppDynamics, and many more.
It was a fun ride that gave me the chance to work in both Tokyo and Shanghai. I even got to do some cool things outside of partnerships like interview 30 startup founders/CEOs, write articles about B2B software trends, and lead a distributed team to build a database for Japanese people to research thousands of software companies and products from around the world.
My journey continued by learning basic PHP and creating a simple invoice tracker to help me with a work task. Next I dove into Ruby on Rails and re-built the invoice tracker. I did several tutorials like Michael Hartl’s Ruby on Rails Tutorial, Treehouse, Codecademy, Code School, and Mackenzie Child’s 12 in 12. I eventually built a hybrid pomodoro productivity app and an app for tracking and getting alerts when top comedians have a show near you.
While building these apps and completing these tutorials, I got to try deploying to Heroku and Digital Ocean(with Capistrano). I wrote tests in Rspec. I used gems like Geocoder, Paperclip, Delayed Jobs, and more.
It took a lot of discipline and it was difficult to keep up my self-studying and building while working full-time, but I’m proud to say I got very far on my own. Eventually I wanted to get more serious about turning this into a career so I enrolled in the Flatiron School’s Learn-Verified Program in January 2016. I did the course alongside my full-time job until mid-March when I quit my job to focus on the course full-time.
Flatiron School was crucial in filling the gaps in my knowledge. The most valuable parts of the course for me were learning Objected-Oriented Ruby, Sinatra, and AngularJS.
As of April 19, I’m all done with the coursework. Now I’m waiting to complete my last 2 assessments and then I’ll be job hunting in San Francisco / Silicon Valley. There’s a still a ton to learn, but I have no doubt I’m ready to be part of a engineering team.