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Sweden Update #5 | Now I’m an employed web developer

Holy crap – who is that girl? It’s me, it’s me! I’m alive and now I’m a web developer / programming teacher and I have a job like a real adult. Yes, it’s been a long time since I wrote. I was busy learning how to write code, see. (In the meantime, WordPress has become a whole new beast – what.) And I went to London and Munich. But not anywhere else – it’s been a crazy three months. I’ll tell you all about it.

© 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com

So last we spoke I was about to head into bootcamp with Craft Academy. I did that. It was all kinds of things: exciting, challenging, stressful, fun, intense, painful. I wrote blog posts about that, too, but I did it over on Medium, which I guess is where I’m going to blog about stuff like that.

© 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com

Images here are some random things from late summer. The weather was pretty crummy in July – rainy, cold. But about halfway through August things cleared a bit and we got some lovely “summer” days. Most of September was nice too. And then halfway through September the weather turned and it hasn’t topped 10*C and it’s hung out around 5*C and even snowed a few times! It happens. This is a cold part of the world.

© 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com

So bootcamp was ok. Good parts, bad parts. But I love the shit out of learning, so mostly good. I had some nice teammates to work with and we built some really cool stuff. Things like a quiz app for playing quiz games with your friends (or as electronic version for pub quiz). It’s free and you can make your own quiz – give it a try.

The head coach at the bootcamp kept saying he was going to hire me but I couldn’t tell how serious he was. Then in the last week of camp it all came together and the damn Monday after graduation, I started work there. So now I’m a coach, teaching programming! If my life seems like a series of random bumps from one interest to another, that’s ok – that’s pretty much what I’m doing.

© 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com

George is good. He’s still getting on well with his boss and colleagues and his work is coming along just fine, as far as I understand any of it.

© 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com

And if you can believe it, coding is everything I did between August and October. George’s mom came to visit and that was nice, though I couldn’t spend much time with them. We had some dinners and things, but mostly I was tied to my laptop.

And if I had any other great stories to tell you from bootcamp, I would, but it looked a lot like me staring at my terminal or text editor all day every day until I emerged someone who could make a web application. And teach programming. It’s been fun!

© 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com

Teaching is hard in some ways and easy in others. Apparently I have a bit of a knack for explaining things in a way people can understand, which is nice. I’m trying to expand to help people who are not analytical learners. So many of us learn better visually, but programming education does a crap job of embracing these learners. I want to do better. If you have resources, send them to me!

© 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com

© 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com

Then, like that, bootcamp was over! I was working for them, but I had no more immediate lessons to learn. Now I was in on the “coach” meetings and writing copy and answering emails and desperately preparing to teach. But I was also determined to sneak in a bit of travel and “relaxation”. We went to London to visit with Ian and theoretically with a bunch of people but a lot of them had busy lives and couldn’t see us. Womp womp. Anyway, we took two nearly identical walking tours and otherwise ate lots of really tasty foods that we had forgotten the world is capable of making. Gothenburg will make you forget stuff like that.

© 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com

© 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com

We got back from two days in London, then had our graduation party for bootcamp, then immediately turned around and went to Munich so George could have a big interview for a European scholarship. I worked half days so I could enjoy the city.

© 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com

Munich is an ok place. We drank some beers and ate some pretzels and I learned about how Hitler got his start. Let’s try not to let that happen again, m’kay? We’re not doing great so far, Americans.

© 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com

© 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com

© 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com

Mostly it did not rain, which was nice. But then it did snow, which makes me want to cry. It was only the second week in November!

© 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com

© 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com

This little lady was praying to a golden statue in the middle of the main square in town.

© 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com

And Munich has surfers! I shit you not, it was cold as balls that day and these folks were riding this standing wave in the middle of downtown Munich.

© 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com

© 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com

© 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com

© 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com

© 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com

© 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com

For some reason I’ve already forgotten, Munich has a huge assortment of “relics” – that is, bones and things, of various Catholic folks. Relics, to non-Catholics, are one of the weirdest traditions around. Gross old skeletons in churches and drops of blood in magnificent scepters or whatever. It’s all creepy and morbid.

© 2016 Amber Wilkie Photography | www.amberwilkie.com

So that’s what I’ve been doing. I wish I had a lot more stories to tell you, but I’ve really just been hunkering down. Now I’m a working girl like everyone else so my life may not have so many pretty pictures in it! But so far the work is fulfilling and interesting and we’re getting back to a place of reasonable prosperity, so that always feels nice.

Other stuff:

  • I’m doing my first hackathon tomorrow, then a weekend-long one next weekend, then another little one the following weekend. I haven’t coded shit since I graduated, but I’m getting it all in on Sundays.
  • Christmas is starting to appear in a mostly-pleasant way around town. While red is an important Christmas color, green is not so much. And most things are white. It’s interesting how little tweaks make a big difference to the overall feel. Giant paper stars are a *huge* deal here. You rarely see them in the states.
  • George has been filling our house with candles nonstop. I sometimes worry we are going to burn the apartment down.
  • We had a lovely weekend with friends last weekend and learned to play mah jong. Unfortunately, I fell ill just as we were headed down there, so I was a bit of a wretch to hang out with. Nonetheless, we had fun. I’m still recovering, as it were. But I was surprised I never got sick during bootcamp (because it’s so stressful) – it was about time.
  • George has fallen in love with oat milk hot chocolate. He makes it a couple of times a week. It is quite tasty and I recommend, if you have any oat milk in your grocery store, you give it a go. Oat milk is the best milk substitute I’ve had.
  • I wrote some bullet points, even though nothing is happening in our life, so that about wraps it up.

That said, we’re not dead yet! In about a month we’ll ship off to Morocco for the holidays. We’re going to ride camels and sleep in the desert and haggle at the markets and drink lots of avocado juice. It’s probably Ireland for summer 2017 and I was just looking at planning a weekend in Paris in the spring. We’re still cool. Super cool.

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