Since I’ve been writing monthly round ups recently I thought it made sense to review 2022 in December. This time last year I had just finished the Founders and Coders full time course and was about to start work full time at Common Knowledge. I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved in my first year working as a developer. Below are some of the highlights of my year and the challenges.

What I’ve been doing ⚙️

Since January 2022 I’ve been an apprentice software engineer at Common Knowledge which is a not for profit worker co-op that works with a range of progressive organizations. I began by making small contributions to projects such as adding an email sign up form and progressed to making a one-page holding site for co-op client Future Natures. As the year has gone on I’ve taken on increasing responsibility from implementing features on the Future Natures website redesign to coding parts of the new The World Transformed site. Right now I’m building the next version of the Common Knowledge website and documenting my progress here.

2022 lightpainted with sparklers

Photo by Moritz Knöringer on Unsplash

What I’ve learnt 🎓

The Founders and Coders curriculum was JavaScript based but Common Knowledge also have a lot of projects in Wagtail and WordPress. As a result I’ve had the chance to learn the basics of Python and PHP. I understand more now about back end vs front end development and the different types of application architecture. I’ve gotten more familiar with CSS frameworks like Tailwind and Bootstrap and used JavaScript frameworks like Stimulus. I’ve practiced using Docker containers; writing unit and end-to-end tests and setting up (and deploying to) staging and production environments.

Challenges 🚨

Learning to code is full of challenges as there are always unexpected errors or things you hadn’t considered. It was difficult, especially at the beginning of the year, to read and write code in Python and PHP. Trying to absorb so much information on the job this year has meant some great highs and some frustrating lows. I’m definitely more persistent when I’m debugging now and I have more confidence when I approach a problem. I’ve had to accept that software development is not a linear process and that time spent puzzling over things is not wasted.

What I’m hoping for in 2023 🗓

In early 2023 I’m going to be submitting my final project report for my apprenticeship and going through two assessment interviews. I’ll hopefully receive my result for the BCS L4 Software Developer qualification by the end of March. After that I’m hoping for the same rate of growth right up to 2024 💫