Donell Gill

Mar 29, 2021

3 min read

I Be Buildin’ . . .

by Donell Gill

stormtrooper on keyboard
Photo by James Pond on Unsplash

My journey as a software engineer began as a desire to create. I’ve always tried to create something I thought would be cool. I wanted to put my own spin on things. I am a short story writer and in my spare time I create board games and RPG campaigns.

I am an associate at Amazon. I spend my day in Operations ensuring customers get their deliveries on time. This job has taught me skills like collaboration with members of a team, communicating with people from various backgrounds and how to approach a problem from many angles. My past work as a retail manager has taught me how to relate to and manage people, lead teams in training, and coach employees to get better results. Yeah, I be buildin’ y’all.

polyhedral dice on lined paper
Photo by Ian Gonzalez on Unsplash

I enjoy my work but I know that the future of work will be digital. I am growing my skills to meet this new demand. A career as a software engineer seems like a good way to marry my creative side with my problem-solving skillset. I first went back to school to learn computer science. This is where I discovered that coding was becoming a passion. I needed a way to expedite my education. I discovered some online resources that taught me some basics of HTML, CSS and JavaScript. You know, I be buildin’.

I knew I needed to deepen my understanding of what it means to “think like a developer” and practice my coding skills. I considered several online coding bootcamps, but cost and/or quality became barriers.

Star reflection boat on water
Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

Man, how great was it that Amazon has partnered with Flatiron School through their Career Choice program to offer students like me a paid education in software development! This was the opportunity I’d been looking for and it practically found me! I am brushing up on my HTML and CSS skills, learning new things about each, and doing a much deeper dive into JavaScript than ever before. I’m still mastering the finer points of functions and looping through nested functions. And it’s been great! I’m meeting and chatting with other Amazon cohorts, cheering each other on in our own little community. I can’t wait to get into Rails and backend technologies. My head is already swirling with ideas for a fantasy football website, a D&D online campaign resource, and a social media app. I be buildin’, y’all.

I’m well on my way to starting my next chapter!

forest light
Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash