Learning to Code: My Story as a Galvanize Web Dev Student, (Series) Part Five

Learning to Code: My Story as a Galvanize Web Dev Student, (Series) Part Five

This is a series written by former Galvanize employee Dan Beerman on his experience as a Galvanize student in WDI Cohort g70. Read Dan’s first post in the series here.

Happy 2018!

All of 2017 feels a bit like a blur, and now it’s 2018. The g70 class schedule overlapped with the holidays, so we had a two week break. The time was great for reconnecting with family and friends, for catching up on material, reflection, and planning for the coming year.

Looking Back

This time last year I was working for Galvanize on the campus team. I spent each day around the inspiring Galvanize members that make up the tech community, the Galvanize students – on a journey to change their careers, and campus staff – who keep all the Galvanize gears turning. The decision to take the Web Development Immersive precipitated from being a part of this landscape.

In 2017 technology stories ruled news headlines with the FCC and net neutrality, cryptocurrency, fake news, drones, the list goes on and on. Denver has continued to grow and change and so have I. For example, I can make simple websites, servers, deploy apps, and use frameworks. Most importantly, I’ve erased the fear of trying to use new technologies on my own. I owe this to adopting a growth mindset, using ‘Learn to Learn’ skills from day 1, and the influence of my instructors and classmates. I have a unique opportunity to take this momentum and keep it moving.


I want to continue to improve my ability to learn, take the skills I’m building and use them to contribute to projects and solve problems, and get better at engineering skills. One lesson I’ve taken from organizing entrepreneurial events and hanging out with tech people is the language of making goals matters. ‘Want to’, ‘better at’, and ‘do more of’ is vague and dangerous because the language sets up failure. If you’ve never read about SMART goals then this is a great time to do it. This year I’m committing to specific, measurable, achievable (not the same as easy), realistic, and time-based professional goals.

Some of the personal and career goals I’m working on for the year include the following:

Find my first role as a software engineer or developer in Denver. Given that my class finishes in April, I’m hoping to achieve this goal well before the end of the year.

Continue my involvement in community building.  Build up Colorado Open Source OS Meetup, Denver Biolabs and keep TAing for Learn to Code Colorado is a great starting place.

Transform a passion project into a reality. When I help with the meetups and attend events I get to see amazing projects from other devs and am excited flex my maker-muscles for myself.

Study leadership and personal growth techniques. News of tech and business leaders, good and bad has inspired me to research this subject – read books, write reflections, talk to people in my network.


I could go into more detail, but each goal hits on why I ended up in the Web Dev Immersive. To build things, work with amazing people, continuously grow and learn. Sure, I have other goals, e.g. run a 30-mile foot race, read other books (I have a list written somewhere), and so on. But these are my top four.

Break time is over

As a student felt lucky during the holidays. I had the ability to stop and reflect before the year takes off at breakneck speeds. I hope everyone has had at least a few moments for themselves to do the same. 2018 is upon us and the turn of the calendar doesn’t mean anything is going to suddenly get easier – so take those deep breaths, jot some notes down for yourself and get to it!