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My First Year as a Professional Software Developer

2 years ago

It's been an interesting year full of learning and self-progression. When I say learning I mean A LOT of learning.

I majored in Computer Science at LSU. For the most part I stuck with mostly C++ and a little Java. I was required to learn a few more languages for some classes, but they were only for that class in particular. My education was a good start, but the profressional programming world is much different from what I learned.

I admittedly wasn't too ambitious in terms of independently learning other languages in college. My course load was already enough, and I didn't want to make it harder on myself by learning something else that I didn't need to. I should've though because it really would've helped me this year.

We were taught to avoid a lot of practices such as coding in IDEs and were restricted to only using certain languages. In the real world that stuff doesn't matter. You can pick whichever solution you think is best. Admittedly, I didn't know what to do with this newly discovered freedom. I was so used to being told how to approach a problem, I didn't know what to do at first. Sometimes you just need to brainstorm and try some things out. Often times there is more than one solution to a problem. My job is to figure out which is the best and most appropriate for that problem.

I've had my struggles. I haven't been able to figure out a lot of stuff. I've needed help. That's okay though. Sometimes you just need that push from someone else to help it click for you. I have taught myself so much this past year, but I've also learned from others.

I know I've learned a lot and have come a long way, but I know I'm nowhere near finished. I'll never be finished learning or progressing. I know there'll be challenges my whole career, but I'm looking forward to overcoming them.

I've been so blessed with this first opportunity to break into this industry. It's been perfect for me. I believe this is helping form a great foundation for my career.


YouTube Channel Update (Again)

1 month ago

I know I just made a channel update to vlogging Monday-Thursday and posting Tuesdsay-Friday, but I'm making another change. This isn't a spontaneous change. I've been thinking about doing this for a while. I've talked to my girlfriend about this a few times. I recently just talked to my brother about this. I'm only going to be making weekly vlogs now.

I don't live a very interesting life. At least not one where I can make an interesting video every single day. I thought I could remedy that by only vlogging four days a week. That didn't end up working out. I love my life, don't get me wrong. I'm just not always doing something, let alone something interesting enough to vlog.

Coming up with content when you don't really have much to work with is hard. You want to do it because you've laid out a plan you want to stay committed to, but you just can't sometimes. Sometimes if you do that it can just come out being filler. I don't want that anymore. I KNOW some of my videos have been really bad (and I mean REALLY bad). That's because I tried forcing something being created out of nothing. It just doesn't work. I want to make actual good content that's not painstaking to get through. I want all aspects of the content I create to be necessities, not fillers. I feel like that with this weekly vlog schedule, I'll be able to accomplish that.

I've been talking to my girlfriend Sarah for a while about this. We both agree that it's hard to vlog everyday. I don't live in a city where I can do something really interesting everyday.  I have a full-time job. YouTube is just a fun thing that I'm doing right now, and my job takes up most of my time. It's really unrealistic for me to make interesting content everyday.

My brother said sometimes it's hard to watch my vlogs. I totally understand where he's coming from. I really don't want that for my channel anymore. He told me recently that he'd rather I put out a weekly vlog chock-full of good content than daily vlogs that are boring. I agree with him.

I'm glad I've had these two people in my life help me come to this conclusion. I've been thinking internally about doing this, but having them both talk with me was the catalyst for my coming to this decision. I hope you understand. I just want to be able to create that best content that I can. I believe doing this will really help me achieve that.

I will be posting weekly vlogs on Fridays at 3:00pm US Central Standard Time. I'll occasionally sprinkle in an extra vlog when my week is interesting, but there will be officially only one scheduled video a week. Concerning my covers, I still haven't figured out a good schedule for those yet. Those are trickier because they require practice. I want to do more of them, but I need to put in the time first.

That's my channel update. I hope you understand and stick with me. I just want to produce the best possible content I can. To everyone that is subscribed to me or follows me, I really appreciate each and every one of you. Thank you.


Web Presence Update

2 years ago

This past weekend I spent some time working on my website and YouTube channel . Both have been public for while. I made some channel art for my YouTube channel using a picture I took of the St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans and edited it with this app called Fragment. That is one of my favorite pictures that I've ever taken, so I thought it would make great channel art. I felt like it represented me well because it depicts where I was from and what I've been around my whole life. It's been my channel art since I started posting videos again (I stopped for a while as stated in my "Thank You, Casey Neistat" vlog).

I had a YouTube Intro and Outro for a while that was an acorn with animated text. However, I always felt that no one understood what that meant because it's an acorn, so I started thinking I needed to change it. I used the Fragment app again for this and paired the result of that with an app called Adobe Spark Post. Fragment provided the acorn and Post provided the animated text. I picked its colors based on how I edited my original YouTube channel art. I inverted the colors and stayed consistent with that colorway.

I don't have a powerful enough computer to do anything graphics intensive; therefore, I wanted to find an iOS app that I could use to make my new Intro and Outro. I found Adobe Spark Video. Within 10 minutes of downloading the app, I had figured out how I was going to utilize its creative tools for my purposes. I was very excited about this change, but it no longer matched my channel art. I wanted to change it several times, but I kept procrastinating. This weekend I finally tackled the task.

I have a banner on my website that I decided to make the same as my channel art. I had originally based my website's colors on this picture. I liked its layout, but I always felt like it wasn't fully complete because of its colors; so I began revamping my website alongside  my YouTube channel.

I love primary colors, and the theme that I have for my website had some presets of the primary colors that were quite close to the pure colors. I had some trouble with theming certain parts of my site such as the footer, but I eventually fixed everything. The final touch was the banner. I decided to make it by directly taking from my YouTube Intro. I just took screenshots of each aspect and combined them in GIMP to achieve my final product.

I felt extremely productive this weekend. My YouTube channel art matches my Intro and Outro, and so does my website. Everything matches now, conversely comparing how they "kinda" matched before. I feel so much better about both. Overall, I feel like my site is a lot cleaner and more aesthetically pleasing. Same goes for my channel art. I'm really excited to see what the future holds for both of these.

I plan on uploading more content on each. My mindset and ideas are frequently  evolving, and I constantly think about the kind of content I want to put up. I'm so excited to challenge myself creatively and output what I come up with to the world.


Thank You, Casey Neistat

1 month ago

I started my YouTube channel early 2013. My first video involved using an Arduino bread board for one of my classes. My next video was a vocal and ukulele cover of "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz. I made a few more Arduino videos and two more covers--one a vocal and ukulele and the other a drum--that year. After that, I didn't post for 2 and a half years. I started wanting to post again, so I started thinking about what I wanted to do--covers again. I waited until I got the iPhone 6S Plus. I planned on posting a cover a week. I was following that plan for a little while. Then one day I was watching an MKBHD video, and he referenced the way a YouTuber named Casey Neistat opened boxes. So naturally, since MKBHD watched him, I thought I should at least check him out. So I did. And my YouTube world was changed forever. In the first vlog I watched of his, he said even though it's a vlog, that doesn't mean it shouldn't be high quality. That had a resounding effect on me. He inspired me to start vlogging myself. And not only vlogging--daily vlogging. I was so excited about the idea. My first vlog was one I've never posted. It was a Friday spent with my daughter after school. I never posted it because of a point I made in a previous vlog. Since then, I've made 76 vlogs. He inspired me to stay committed to vlogging and my channel in general. He inspired me to be as creative as I could be. I have him to thank for all the content I've put out on my channel. I don't know if I would've ever started vlogging, let alone watching vlogs, if I wouldn't have found him. I was never interested in vlogs until I saw his. Now I love watching them. I have him to thank for my desire to upload as much as I have. He said to just keep uploading. That's stayed with me. I wish him the best of luck in the new content he's decided to make. I look forward to it. I respect his decision to stop vlogging, and I can 100% understand why he's stopping. I appreciate the impact you've had on all of YouTube and my own channel. Your vlogs will be missed. Thank you, Casey Neistat. For everything.


Post-Election Violence

2 years ago

The riots that are happening aren't good. At all. People are vandalizing and destroying property. That's not what citizens should do if they disagree with the outcome of an election. Instead, they should band together and organize in a way that's focused on changing what they want changed. I understand why these protests/riots are happening. I don't agree with the extreme degree to which some of them have been carried out.

But this election has also birthed even greater hate than there was before the actual election. People are scared for their lives. If you think that the people that are scared don't need to be, you're straight up wrong. All over the internet there are people posting things happening directly to them. You probably don't see too much of what I'm talking about on here, but go hop on Twitter for a quick sec if you're curious. If not I'm sure they're posted other places too.

The hate on both sides needs to stop. The rioting (not protests) need to stop. The sexual, cultural/ethnic, and lifestyle assaults (I didn't know how to word this, but I wanted to cover everything) need to stop. If we want something changed--and I know our system is really messed up--we need to change it by however we (legally) can.

Donald Trump is president. I know a lot of people don't like that. But there are other aspects of our government that are ruining this country. The fact that the electoral college doesn't have term limits is astounding. These elected officials just stay in office, a lot of the time not accomplishing anything or making things worse. You can protest Trump as president, but also give consideration to protesting this aspect as well.

To end, we need to stop hating and disrespecting one another. Kids I went to highschool with are attacking each other. Family members are attacking each other. Don't let this election enable you to forget about what's important in life. Love will prevail. It needs to.


I Bought a Manfrotto PIXI

2 years ago

I just bought a Manfrotto PIXI Mini tripod. I got it because the Innovapod I asked Sarah to get me keeps falling apart. To be clear it's not her fault she got that particular tripod for me. I specifically asked for that one because I thought it was going to be good. It was, but the legs and the balls of the design are prone to falling apart or coming off. I really like that tripod because I can angle my phone pretty much any way I want. However, I cannot really deal with its unreliability anymore. I decided to get the Manfrotto because it has overall great reviews and seemed a lot sturdier than my current tripod.

I've been thinking about minimalizing my vlogging setup ever since I went to Houston to visit my brother. I used to use the Innovapod along with this all-metal ball head. The ball head was **very** heavy. That compromised the Innovapod's rigidity. I understand that I didn't need to use the ball head, but it was for the aesthetic and functionality. Currently I'm using an external lavalier mic with multiple windscreens to block the wind and a smartphone mount. I'm no longer using the ball head; only the Manfrotto. It's working very well so far. I like the angle I can get with it because of the tripod's ability to rotate at the top and its light weight. I don't mind holding it as much as I did the other setup. I know I won't be able to wrap this tripod around any branches or rails, but I never did that in the first place. So far, I think this tripod is fitting my needs, and I couldn't be happier about it.


My iPhone

2 years ago

I love my iPhone. I've never enjoyed using a phone more in my whole life. I had Android phones before I had this one. I tried being a loyal Nexus user, but I kept feeling the pressure of getting an iPhone. All the famous people had them, my family and friends had them. I tried being different, but deep down I knew I wanted one.

My first iPhone was given to me by my girlfriend's PawPaw. It was an iPhone 5. My Google Nexus 5's motherboard had just breathed its last breath. I needed a phone, and he was kind enough to let me have it.

I was so excited about this phone. I wanted to set it up and download all the apps I had on my previous phones. I knew some of the apps in the Google Play Store weren't in the App Store, but I found their equivalents. The App Store came first in history, so I knew I wouldn't have difficulty finding those replacement apps.

Eventually I got my phone all set up. It was my iPhone now. I liked using that phone. It was a nice introduction into iOS. I was considering getting either the iPhone 6S Plus or the Google Nexus 6P when I could afford it. However, using this phone solidified my decision to purchase the best iPhone yet. I'm so glad I did. I've never used a phone this much.

I've never felt like a phone could be as immersive as this one is. I do more with my iPhone now than I ever have with any other phone. It helps me stay more organized. It helps me stay more connected. I love picking up this phone and using it. It doesn't just feel like a phone. It feels like a necessary tool for my everyday life. I have all my reminders on it. I have ideas on it. I have my life on it. It kind of isn't good how much we depend on something. However, the other side of that is that this device can do so much for you. I'm trying to use it to its full potential. I'm glad this is the approach I'm taking. I believe I'm getting my money's worth.


This is the first post on my new website!

1 year ago

Thanks for visiting my new website! I hope you enjoy! It's basically done for the most part, but I will be adding features and updating certain aspects of it. I'll also be slowly adding the blog posts that were on my original site.

My first website was built on WordPress, and I really liked that one. However, I've been wanting to move away from it for quite a while now. My boss introduced me to this PHP framework called Laravel, and I really enjoyed using it. So much so that I decided to build my new site using it.

I really enjoy how my site is turning out. Please let me know if you see anything wrong with it. You can contact me through one of my socials on the contact page. Thanks again for visiting my new site!