I’m Jake Kinsella, “developer and aspiring entrepreneur” (in case you missed the huge text on the homepage). Before I get any further, I should probably explain what that means. Don’t worry I’m not going to explain to you what a developer does as if you’re a child, but explaining how those words relate to me will probably give you an understanding of why I’m writing this blog in the first place.
To start, I’m going to roll back the clock all the way to fourth grade when my dad taught me how to program. So yeah, I guess you could say that becoming a developer was expected of me. And if sitting a 10 year old down to teach him Ruby sounds absurd, you’re not alone. I remember crying, asking for my dad to explain the syntax for if-statements again, and him telling me to Google it (a particularly hard lesson for a fourth grader). But for some reason, I kept at it and it changed the course of my life.
Ever since then, I’ve been an avid programmer and I’ve had all sorts of internships at startups in Boston, experiences that have shaped me as a developer. Nowadays, I’m a freshman at Northeastern studying – you guessed it – Computer Science.
Before I get ahead of myself, I should probably explain the second half of that absurd caption that is fast becoming my personal brand: aspiring entrepreneur. For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to start a company of my own. That was probably my dad’s doing as well. He founded CloudHealth Technologies nearly eight years ago which grew to a few hundred employees and was recently acquired by VMWare. Watching his passion and enthusiasm for building his company was infatuating.
Last summer, I decided that I mind as well try my hand at it. So I founded candidateXYZ, and I’ll bore you with all the details in a future article. In summary, I failed to find the right market and shut it down soon after starting college (although I had a pretty awesome product, if I do say so myself). But I’m sure I’ll try again, this time for “real” before I graduate from college.
Now that’s probably more than enough about me, so on to what this blog thing is about. I’ve wanted to start a blog for ages, but I couldn’t figure out my “angle.” That one topic that I was going to focus on that was unique and interesting and defining (yeah I put a lot of pressure on this decision). But with this portfolio site being a few months old, I’ve finally had the inspiration for what I wanted to write about.
I’m a young, “junior” developer, trying to start my career in tech, but nobody talks about that, nobody talks about the beginning. Sure we all talk about learning to program, career advancement, management techniques, and starting companies, but nobody is out there talking about their experience just starting out. The awkward informational interviews, the failures to get internships, and the endless grind of building a passable resume.
I’m not going to pretend that I’ve gone through all there is (I’m 19, I’ve still a lot to go), or even that I’ve learned from all my mistakes, but I’m happy to share it all with you, and to laugh along at my ignorance. Hopefully we’ll all learn a little about being a junior dev, and, just maybe, make our experience just a little bit easier.