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I’m Beverley and I’ve just started a Web Development Internship with Zooniverse. I’ve been here for two weeks now and I’m having a great time!
My degree is in English and German literature, but after my completing that I started an internship in a non-profit called Code First: Girls, I did one of their HTML/CSS Beginners courses – and got hooked. But before this internship, I’d only ever done coding as a hobby, so I was a little anxious before joining that despite loving coding, I’d struggle with doing it on a daily basis, particularly with a non-STEM background.
I needn’t have worried, because the Zooniverse team has been lovely. In the first week, I worked on getting my HTML and CSS up to speed, and with Rodger’s help started delving into Node and getting used to working with a Mac. Cam introduced me to ‘Pro Git‘, and has been helping me work on my command line and git skills – and in the second week, with Simone’s help, I did my first pull request! I’ve also been working on improving my javascript skills, and so created ‘Rainbow Poems’, a website with buttons that uses the DOM and allows you to send the colours of the rainbow running down a poem. Marten helped me overcome the timer hurdle, but I’ve since run into another problem with it – it now crashes browsers, so Marten’s going to help me fix that!
I’ve also been reading up on webpack, what node does, coffee script and learning lots of new terminology, and about what code can do and what can be done with code. Cam and I have decided my next task will be to write a ‘to do’ list app, which will be useful for planning what I do going ahead, as well as a good exercise in itself.
It’s been quite a steep learning curve so far, but it’s been so much fun. I’m quite shy, and I was daunted by the prospect of coding, because I began to realise whilst doing the javascript exercises at home with my aunt before the internship, that there was so much more to code than just coding. There is being comfortable with not knowing the answers and looking it up (and finding that there isn’t just one straight-forward answer, but many possible solutions), being able to accept criticism, working collaboratively with other people and the planning and problem-solving involved in projects. But I’ve found that in such a supportive, friendly, welcoming and funny team, these aspects of coding are actually all incredibly fun and rewarding. I really look forward to every day of work, and am very much looking forward to being here for the rest of the next three months!