After Three Months As An Apprentice…

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Photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash

It’s over already? Where did the time go? In this blog, I’ll share a few things I’ve experienced throughout the apprenticeship at 8th Light.

Before doing so, I’d like to say a big thank you to blackgirl:tech and 8th Light for setting up this amazing opportunity. I am extremely grateful ?

It’s ok to ask for help

At the beginning, I was reluctant to ask for help. Simply because I believed:

  • Asking for help wasn’t efficient
  • I‘ll interrupt the person I’m asking assistance from
  • I should know how to do [thing I’m struggling with] already

On one hand, I understand it’s good practice to get familiar with searching for information, knowing where to look (such as the documentation), being able to identify key resources etc.

On the other hand, searching for hours with zero results isn’t efficient. Especially when I have access to people who can point me in the right direction to discovering the answer.

I’ve realised asking for help isn’t negative. I am able to be transparent about the gaps in my knowledge with myself, mentors and team members. As a result, I can explore with others the best way to close that gap.

Being at 8th Light, where everyone is open to sharing knowledge, certainly makes it easier to seek assistance. Even software crafters, with years of experience, seek help. As the saying goes, no man is an island.

Progress

A year before beginning the apprenticeship, I started learning to code. Although I learned the basics, I lacked direction. Was I learning the right thing? Was Ruby the right language to start with? What do I move onto next? An abundance of unanswered questions.

From the beginning of the apprenticeship, I was provided a curriculum outline for the 14 weeks. I’ve been consistently challenged, pushed outside of my comfort zone, and introduced to new tools and technologies.

Comparing the year of self learning, with three months as an apprentice, I’m amazed at the progress. Thanks to everyone at 8th Light, especially my mentors and fellow apprentices.

Imposter Syndrome

At times I’ve felt overwhelmed, and questioned whether learning to code was the right decision.

Impostor syndrome is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalised fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.

— Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impostor_syndrome

With being introduced to new methodologies, principles, tools and technologies, at a quicker pace than I was familiar to previously, imposter syndrome was bound to pop up.

However, I’ve learned to become comfortable with it. Being outside of my comfort zone, doubting myself at times, but continuing to push through and persevere is a reason why I’ve been able to progress during the apprenticeship.

I’m sure imposter syndrome will continue to show up, but that’s ok.

What‘s next? ??‍♀️

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the last three months. Going forward, I plan to:

  • Continue pursuing a career change to software development
  • Volunteer at blackgirl.tech
  • Continue learning new concepts, methodologies, tools and technologies
  • Attend coding meetups
  • Find a support network

Elle Hallal


After Three Months As An Apprentice… was originally published in blackgirl.tech: A Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.