Life Before TIY


Today marks the first day of the fifth week of class at TIY. I can't beleive that an entire month has passed by. My life is so diffrent today, than it was just a month ago...

"My life is so diffrent today, than it was just a month ago...

Prior to comming to TIY I was a full time EMT/FF (Emergency Medical Technician/Fire Fighter) and a part time freelance developer. My days were spent riding on an emergency vechiles. I responded to emergency calls dispatched to my unit. It took me a while to get used to sitting inside all day. I am used to being in diffrent enviroments all day. In my former life in one moment I could be standing in the middle of a busy street working a car wreak. A few hours latter I could be standing in a strangers bedroom giving them a breathing treatment. I days were never the same, and I never had a clue what would happen during my work day.

me at work
Above: Me at work with one of our helicopters.

me at work 2
Above: Me at work... taking selfies ;)

me at work 3
Above: Hands down working the Neo-Peds unit was my favorite thing. I LOVED being apart of the team that helped makes sick babies better. No better feeling in the world!

me at work 4
Above: the view inside the back of the Peds ambulance (This truck is really a mobile Neo/Peds Intensive Care Unit, staffed with a EMT, Neo/Peds Nurse, and a Resp. Therapist)

me at work 5
Above: me and a partner Marc (the guy other in the grey shirt) I miss that chucklehead!

My nights were spent taking care of my baby girl. (I miss her so much!) Whatever free time I had was spent doing side projects, and hanging out with friends. I also tried to fit in a bit of time everyday trying to learn new stuff. However trying to learn stuff on Code School, and Code Academy part time is nothing like leraning at TIY. It would have taken me over a year to learn on my own, what I have learned in 4 weeks at TIY. More than anything the TIY has taught me how to learn, and how to break problems down into bite sized steps. Then do whatever research is needed to knock the steps out. It sounds simple, but it's something that I never learned on my own...

me holding Eve

and it is something that I was forced to learn. Whenever I would hit a wall, I would go to my instrustor and ask for help. The help I would receive was not what I had in mind at the time. Instead of giving me the answer and/or showing me the solution, Jake or Matt (the TA) would ask me if I googled X or say something like "Your on the right path". Matt is famous for saying "You COULD do it that way." (I hated hearing that btw, lol) That lets me know that there is a better way to do things.

Anyways I reached a point where I learned how to use Google effectivly. I also learned how to skim docs to get what I needed. I don't want to downplay the level of frustration I experienced the first few weeks at TIY. I didn't care much for this way of "teaching" me how to develop. My internal thought was the reason I am here, is to skip over this part of the process... just give me the answer. Then I'll know it, easy peasy ;) However, in looking back that was exactly what I needed. It has changed the way I tackle problems, and the way I handle frustration.

"However, in looking back that was exactly what I needed."

I have been quite frustrated at times.

I felt like a fish out of water in the beginning of my time here at TIY. I had forgotten what it's like to learn something for scratch basicly. I mean I had completely forgotten! It was sucked to come from an enviroment where I was the man, and I knew all aspects of my domain to TIY. It's crazy to think I was more comfortable with a person dropping dead in front of me than doing assigments at TIY. If someone's heart stops I know exactly what to do, I don't even have to think about the steps involved. I just do what needs to be done. However I have been a EMT/FF for almost 2 decades (17 years).

Even though I learned tons of new stuff at my old job, it built upon stuff I had learned in the past. So it was easy to get up to speed fairly quick. With what I am learning at TIY everything is brand new, and I had no foundational knowledge to draw upon to help conceptalize the material. At times I felt quite helpless, but Thank God I kept pushing on. I just reminded myself that this is just part of the process, and I needed to get through this to reach my goals. I am still as excited as ever about what I am doing here at TIY, and what I'll be doing in the near future post-TIY. (Maybe even a bit more excited now than before, I'm starting to feel like I know what I'm doing.)

I guess I should write a post about what a day of my life is like here at TIY. In a nutshell it's like this roughly:

  • 7:00a wakeup, shower, have some quiet/meditation time.

  • 7:45ish double check that I have pushed my homework to Github (which is due by 8a) check email

  • 8:00-8:45a eat breakfast, pack my lunch and any snacks I want. Chit chat with the other Iron Yard students in my apartment building. Then to the car to drive to TIY!

  • 9a - 12p lecture time. This is the part of the day where my mind is expanded, lol

  • 12p - 1p lunch! This is also the best time in my day, for me to write new blog posts. I also return any missed phone calls, respond to emails etc.

  • 1p - 2p I start working on my home work. Though this is a fluid time block, if I finsh lunch early I'll get started on my HW right away (on some days) Other days I need a break mentally so I'll go for a walk or whatever right after lunch and I may not get back until around 2p

  • 2p - 3p reveiw time! This is my favorite part of the day. This is when we cover whatever is needed. Be it yesterday's assigment, or a deeper dive into whatever we learned during lecture. Some of the coolest things I've learned have come from these review sessions. (Which are 100% otpinal, we are not required to attend them. I go to all of them personally, but not everyone does that.)
    3p - until Homework homework homework, and nothing else. Some days I'm done in the evening time. Othertimes I've been up until 2-3 in the morning working on a assigment. Then bed.

  • This cycle repeats Mon-Thurs

  • Over the weekend we can go to the lab to work on our weekend project, or work from home. Whatever, it's relaxed on the weekends. You just need to get your project done. I usually do some work from my apartment, some at the lab, and some from local coffee shops through out the weekend. I mix it up, I like working from diffrent locations.

About My Cover Photo:

I live a rural town nicknamed Bedrock, and as it stands I am most def Beyound Bedrock. The photo sums up how things feel to me right now...

This post turned out to be WAY longer than I wanted it to be. So I'm going to bring this post to a close. If you read all of this kudos to you, lol Thanks for stopping by!

Until Next Time...

Jay Wilson Jr.

Did you know: Jay is a Emergency Medical Technician & Front-End Developer. He enjoys spending time with his daughter and learning new stuff. He likes to make people laugh and is a all around cool guy.

Bedford, Va.