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So I'll make this fun and tie these together.
Once upon a time in Nigeria; on a night I wasn't feeling particularly social, I decided against my apathy to drive to Freedom Park, so called because it used to be a colonial prison, it was reclaimed to advance the spirit of culture and creativity. Once a month, on a Friday, the bands come out to play in the open air, and the food stalls buzz with local fare. But I wasn't feeling it this week, but I went anyway and like most things that start this way, I ended up meeting some new faces, which had stories to tell about different places, and the conversation carried on and became an invitation to an evening potluck.
At this potluck, I had a conversation with a gentleman who moved to Lagos from New York, who shared that he graduated in Philosophy, and worked at a bank for some time, be fore he tired and decided to learn how to code. Website development being one thing I was considering, my ears perked up. I'd been mulling over my career choices and wondering if there was anything I could do about it. Accessing a multitude of online courses and perusing a ton of books didn't really do it for me, so when he shared that he went to a bootcamp, I was like what's that?
The year was 2015, General Assembly (GA) had yet to raise the $70 million in venture capital, and wasn't as widely known as it may be today. He had attended a lesser known but infinitely more useful anti-bootcamp. Instead of the 12 weeks to complete a GA course and line up a job with your new hot skills, they took 12 weeks to lay the foundation required to press ahead and continue learning how to learn. At the end of 7 months of toiling 7 days a week, you will have delivered a fully working project, possibly two, and will be (with the right dedication) less embarrassed to present your work to potential employers. The only issue? It was in Colorado. Newly married, living in Lagos for the foreseeable future, that was one project frugality could not support, imagine uprooting for 7 months to live on savings to learn something I wasn't sure I would do well in.
There it was, I actually didn't care enough to learn how to code, I'd been faffing about for months trying to learn it online, and it hadn't clicked, nor did I want it to. There was something else he mentioned while I was dreaming about a life in the Colorado ski hills. User experience - the design bit came later - was something equally as important as coding the website.
"Wait, I heard this before, in Qatar, it was introduced to me as web accessibility" I contributed eagerly.
"Yes, that's an element of user experience, taking into account who is using the website, or the application on your phone, is a part of good UX" He offered.
So here, international dots are connecting, and my fanciful coding daydream is still not dying. I told myself, once I'm back in North America, it's still an option. I've noticed, Sometimes, that having a method can be confused for having an end in mind.
Fast forward a few years, and I do find myself in North America, perusing Meetup as I usually do when I'm in a new town, and I find an invitation to an event that was hosting an introduction "to everything Moe is interested in" night. They had UX, Front end development, and social media marketing being presented over an hour and a half time frame. By now, I know one thing to be true, I am not a solitary learner, I need people to experience the learning through and with. But it was cemented for me that evening.
So I learned what UX was, and I remember getting excited, because it had the best of what I used to do as an "Human Resource" person, with none of the boring or soul bending parts. So I signed up!
I'll clarify, since my writing is still a work in progress, that so far we've touched on two things, Show up! Always! And experiment! Which leaves me time enough for books.
Being a part of the UX foundations course, allowed me to interact with people who had either read up on, or continue to read up on all things UX and things within arms length of it.
For someone who studied social sciences, I wish some of these books were part of the curriculum, especially in any of my Sociology or Anthropology courses. I'll work on compiling the list for you, to satiate your curiosity. But I ended up reading or referencing around 50 books over a 3 month period. I'd been abroad for the better part of 10 years, so I went a little wild when I had access to a library again, I feel bad for kids who grow up getting used to click here bookstores these days. I digress as I'm wont to.
I'll weave stalking recruiters into the next one, or maybe the one after that? At some point, I promise!