As I sit down to gather my thoughts for this blog post, I couldn't help but wonder (yes, a Carrie Bradshaw reference) on my own journey though this process. How have I changed, I wondered. Was there some kind of shift in myself that I hadn't noticed before? Sure, there were the external changes that had taken place. But what about how I viewed the world; how I viewed my own self in relation to this new world I was exploring? So many questions, and thankfully, nothing by blog space to explore just that.
Explaining to friends and family members what this internship consists of, most of them thought of me simply as becoming the next Steve Jobs. However, it's not that simple. Learning the code necessary for this internship is like learning a new language – I start off slowly, equipped with patience and the training wheels that we all carry at our sides whenever we try something new. As I said in my last post, even the minor successes that I've had have me charged with the feeling of accomplishment necessary, I think, to continue with anything new. Even when I fell behind or off schedule, I believed it was my enjoyment of the learning process that aided in my perseverance.
I've learned a lot about my own work ethic and shifting of my work aesthetic in order to accomplish my goals. There was a week that I feel behind on what I projected that I would be done with. I had to rearrange my own schedule of tasks for that week and fill in the extra gaps of time I had available to rework my coding. This experience has honestly helped me reevaluate my own work ethic. Being so close to the scary no-man's-land that is “Life Post-Grad”, I think these are things to be even more aware of than before. There is that classic undergraduate delusion of “If I push this off for later, I can catch up when I have time” but that quickly turned out to be false. Overall, I do feel excited for the remaining work I have left to complete in the this phase of the internship and I'm hopeful that the lessons I've learned (so far) can translate as well.
My final project, a portfolio website, is the most daunting portion of the internship, mostly because my confidence in my ability to create a website that is both interactive and informative is something I feel like will be an interesting challenge. Wordpress itself has a good variety of basic website layouts that I feel would act as good bases to any customization I would do. Another media project I am working on – focusing on feminist elements in contemporary science fiction and fantasy television shows – led me to conduct more in-depth research on the what works in terms of layouts for successful blogs. I learned that the best sites incorporated easy-to-navigate layouts, with information and links easily accessible to the user. They also have good use of blending neutral layout colors with one standout color to contrast and act as a signature of sorts. I plan on incorporating these for my final portfolio website, introducing the same elements to make my site as user-friendly as possible. I want my site to give users the same feelings of pleasantness as the successful sites I've visited, from successful bloggers to my fellow internship cohorts.
One final lesson I've learned from my coding experience – it's about the journey itself than the destination. I think more than any other field I've explored, tech has opened my eyes to enjoying the process of learning and unlearning rather than focusing on the end product for validation. And no matter where the future goes with my own endeavors, I'm sure I can carry this lesson with me no matter where the road takes me.