Udacity, Grow With Google, Front-End Web DeveloperHave you ever given up on something? I came close to giving up many times in the past couple years with completing the Udacity, Grow With Google, Front-End Web Developer course. But I’m glad I didn’t because on October 16th, 2018, after working nearly all year on this I finally completed the course and it was such a good feeling and sense of accomplishment. Here’s my story…


I’m an IT guy. I’ve been a professional IT guy since around the late 90’s. My first experience with a computer was when my dad brought home a Commodore 64 one day. This was back in the early 80’s or so. Then over the years I had my hands on various 386/486/Pentium based PC’s.

I didn’t actually set out to be an IT administrator though. I originally wanted to be a video game animator. I went to a school for graphic arts and animation back in the early 90’s. I’m sure this story sounds familiar. There are many people like me who went down this path. My dad helped me get my first computer. I really wanted a Mac but he didn’t like Apple and this was all we could afford so I figured this would be better than nothing and so I’d have to make it work.

Anyway, It was a 486 with 20mb of RAM and Windows 3.11. Wow! Well, at the time these were pretty impressive specs. Then later when I was able to afford my own computer, I upgraded to a Pentium with 128mb and Windows 95. I wanted to use Photoshop and 3D Studio and other applications to do graphics and animation. Problem was, I spent so much time fixing the problematic computer that just ended up doing that instead. These days, installing Windows 10 might be a simple 10 minute job. But back then, it could take all weekend, or longer to get a computer system up and running from scratch.


Fast forward to today: I am a professional IT guy, dabbled with web development over the years, pretty good computer fixer, earned many certifications including Solaris System Administrator, completed the CCNA courses and completed several Linux certs.

In one sense, I’ve been lucky. I managed to have great job security and basically worked with the same good people for 20+ years in a small company environment. Then in November of 2016, that all came to a sudden end. Our parent company pulled funding and closed us down and by April of 2017 I found myself with a nice severance paycheck but no job to go to.

At first I was a bit concerned. But that concern quickly turned to a realization that this would be a great opportunity to start something new. And Sean likes new things. Not a fan of looking backward. Within a week I landed a job where I would be part of a small IT team doing IT support for a global textile company. I was contracting through Robert Half.

Two paragraphs ago I said I was lucky in one sense. But in another sense, I really did myself a disservice by staying at one job for so long. By the time I lost my job and found myself back in the job search pool, I realized just how out of touch I was. I mean, I was in touch with technology but my oh my how times have changed.


TechSnazzy, LLC LogoAnyway, back to the story: After some job searching I decided to start my own company. I realized how difficult it would be to get my dream job at my dream company. So instead, I decided to create my own dream company. It would be: TechSnazzy, LLC. In the beginning this would be an IT consultation business but my hope would be to turn it into a Web Development business someday soon. I wasn’t sure how I would get there but I knew I needed to start somewhere so I just started it. Now I am an IT support contractor by day and a web development student by night and weekend.

I started this journey by purchasing Colt Steele’s Web Developer Bootcamp course on Udemy. I was learning HTML, CSS and most importantly, JavaScript. I have dabbled with this for many years but never sat down and get serious with it until I took this course.

Now like I said, I started my own business and I was working and things were moving along but I wasn’t truly happy yet. I want to code, work with amazing people and create cool things — and maybe even get paid to do that. I guess that’s everyone’s dream these days. But anyway, one day I was scrolling through Facebook on my iPhone and saw this advertisement for the Udacity, Grow With Google scholarship. I thought, “What the heck, let’s try it!” And so I did. I went through it and sometime later they replied back and accepted me. Joy!


Udacity, Grow With Google, Challenge ScholarshipSo then I started going through the Challenge course. From my understanding, 100,000 people signed up. Of that, 50,000 were accepted for scholarships. Of that amount, 10,000 passed the course. Of those 10,000 only 5000 were accepted to the next level which would be the Front-End Web Developer course. Anyway, I worked hard in this course, completed the projects and when I was done, I made it in. Joy!

After that, things got rough. The struggle was truly real. Not just because the course was hard but because my life was pretty busy. Between losing my job, starting my own business, having a long commute and a long day at work, trying to start a family, dealing with life things, etc. — there wasn’t a whole lot of time left to study code. But I worked my tail off and somehow got it done.

That said, I still have a lot to learn. I learned so many things in such a short amount of time that I didn’t really practice and let things sink in enough. I think as new information went into one side of my brain, the previous information was pushed out of the other side of my brain. So I learned much but yet don’t know much.

Now I’m on to the next phase. Now that I have my feet wet and understand how this all works I plan to continue on. I took a small mental break after completing the Udacity course but now I want to network with others, take more courses, rebuild my website and other projects and just continue down this path until hopefully one day it leads me to where I want to be. I think I’m on my way and enjoying every minute of it.

Please note I originally posted this on my Medium blog. I am currently in the process of moving all my writings and any documentation I’ve ever written to here.