Career Change and Job Search

The journey to becoming gainfully employed one day

I started the program here at OSU in the fall of 2019. At that time I was working as a research technologist at a research lab at Northwestern. With a biology bachelor’s degree, there aren’t that many jobs that don’t involve being a lab tech or lab manager. A biology major is usually a stepping stone to graduate school (for a Ph.D.) or to med school, none of which I was all that enthusiastic about spending the rest of my life doing. I had coded before in high school and undergrad and enjoyed it, and especially after taking a Webdev BootCamp offered by Northwestern, I felt like I needed to make the change.

I didn’t feel like I was ready for a job after the boot camp, due to a myriad of different reasons. So here I am in 2022, taking my final quarter of courses at OSU. The job search process has been tedious and hectic. Do I look for internships or go straight for a job? Coming from a different career field I do wonder if getting an internship will be better to gain some experience in the field? What type of job do I want and where? Am I in a position to be picky at all or should I just be happy to get an offer? These are a few of the questions I have while I apply for jobs at the moment and I am sure more questions will come as I continue.

What kind of job do I want? I have found Python to be the language I enjoy the most so far, so in that regard being a Python developer would be alright. I have also enjoyed mobile software development and enjoyed using Flutter. This quarter our project will be in Swift and having had a lot of interest in iOS development I hope that it might be able to open some doors into iOS developer jobs or internships. And of course, as I stated earlier I do have webdev bootcamp experience. But to be honest I don’t enjoy HTML, CSS, or Javascript all that much, though it won’t necessarily stop me from applying to web developer jobs.

So here I am. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get a job that I enjoy and in a city (or if I am really feeling adventurous – a new country) that I like. Till then I’ll keep applying and applying till I get something. Here’s to hoping 2022 will lead to positive results.

Swift – Giving iOS Development a Try

We’ve choosen to write our application in Swift. How will we fare?

I’ve had some interest in mobile software development since taking the course here at OSU. I think that was in part fueled by the fact that I didn’t have to deal with HTML5, CSS, and Javascript (although I really don’t dislike JS unlike a lot of developers that swear off web development). Luckily for this project, I was able to group up with a couple other students that were interested in creating a mobile app.

Our project requires us to create a crowdsourced bike-sharing app that allows users to add their own bikes into the database for people to use. We had two choices in mind for technologies we could use. First was Flutter, a framework written in Dart that we all had experience with from CS492. The second was Swift.

Swift is a language I had been interested in for a while but hadn’t brought myself to learn it yet and while Flutter’s potential seems high due to the ability to create cross-platform applications many of the jobs on the market are skewed toward native iOS and android jobs. Since one of our group members had some experience with Swift, and we were all keen on learning for potential job opportunities, we decided on Swift.

I was able to play around with Xcode and create a simple tip calculator app. Here are my first impressions. I found it interesting to use the storyboard and to add objects (such as text boxes, labels, buttons, etc) to the storyboard directly. Additionally, I found it to be a bit different from Flutter or traditional web development that you would connect your storyboard elements to the view controller and then write your logic there. I think it is helpful to me and user-friendly to see all the elements in the UI and directly link them. I do wish that like Flutter, there was a hot reload option. I did find the syntax to be somewhat like Python but also somewhat like Javascript as well. It is interesting that in Swift, let is for immutable variables while var is for mutable variables which could be a little bit confusing at first coming from Javascript.

I am excited to be able to use Swift for our project. I am glad to have a teammate that has some experience with Swift since it means that we aren’t all walking in the dark. Hopefully this quarter I’ll be able to have fun with the project and learning Swift~

How Did I Get Here?

Just a little bit about me and my journy here

Hi Everybody! (Hi Dr. Nick!)

Welcome to my first blog post. Here’s just a little bit about myself. I graduated in 2016 from Northwestern with a bachelor’s degree in biology. Going into undergrad I hadn’t given what I wanted to do much thought and just thought I would go to med school like my parents had hoped. But I realized (perhaps a bit too late) that I wasn’t interested in medicine. As an undergrad, I had enjoyed the coding in my bioinformatics course and a couple of CS classes I decided to take as a result. I decided that maybe I could still salvage my biology major and get a Ph.D. in bioinformatics.

I got my first job as a research technologist at a research lab at Northwestern, with the hopes of working hard and applying to graduate school. What I soon realized was that I liked the coding aspect of bioinformatics much more than the biology portion of bioinformatics. Unfortunately for me, there was far more biology than I would have liked… g story short, I decided I shouldn’t try to make something I didn’t like work for myself and decided to get into software development

Here at OSU I have particularly enjoyed Cloud Application Development and Mobile Software Development. I’ve found Python to be enjoyable to code in, more so than any other language due to the ease of readability and syntax. I also hope to be able to use Flutter more in the future, especially on our project this quarter. I like that it is cross-platform. While it does seem like React Native is much more popular at the moment, I’ve heard from some that in React Native, styling can show up differently between iOS and Android, while many Flutter developers haven’t had that issue. So for fewer headaches, I hope Flutter can be easier in that regard.

I am excited about what the quarter holds. Since this is my last quarter at OSU, I can only hope that it is a good one!