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Journey of a Web Development Student

June 19th, 2013 Alina Guzman Tech, Web Development 1 Comment

The last few months were among the most important and eventful of my life. I graduated college, went on my first vacation abroad (sans family), and made the life altering decision to pursue my dream of becoming a web developer.

I hadn’t heard of the recently popular Web Development Boot Camp courses before my father mentioned a friend of his colleagues’ had enrolled into one.  I had, however, always been interested in the web. My father taught me HTML as a junior high schooler and I was hooked. I got this domain a couple of years ago as an outlet to express my various interests, display my portfolio, and play around with web design to my hearts content.

When the possibility of enrolling in a #webdev course started becoming a reality, I jumped at it. I applied and was accepted into General Assembly’s NYC Web Development Immersive course. I completed roughly 50 hours (if not more) of pre-course work that dove into the fundamentals of Ruby, the object-oriented programming language we would cover. The pre-work consisted of various tutorials and resources available from amazing websites like Codecademy and Codeschool. It was incredibly difficult to follow, and I was so grateful that I had my father, a seasoned developer and Technical Architect to explain every last concept to me repeatedly. While these free tutorials online are an amazing resource, they are far from ideal.

And so begins my 3 month, 9-5:30am every weekday dive into the amazing world of Ruby. Follow along as I learn to build web apps from scratch.

 

Til the days of templates are long gone, I strive!

 

 

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Sailing on the Hudson River

June 18th, 2012 Alina Guzman NYC, Yelp Reviews No comments

Yesterday marked one of the most exciting things I’ve done to this day. Last summer I impulsively purchased 2 Yelp deals (I’m subscribed to so many of these kinds of sites, its hard not to find something you like everyday), and booked a Father’s Day sail for me and my dad. Manhattan by Sail is a company that offers an array of sailing options around the Hudson River. I booked a 90 minute day time trip on the Shearwater, and 82 foot classic schooner. They have so many other intriguing options, including the Happy Hour sail with a free open bar, 4th of July Fireworks sail, Wine tasting sail with an expert, and a romantic late night sail.

The Shearwater is located in the North Cove Marina in Battery Park City right by a beautiful park where you can sit and enjoy the views. With about 30 passengers, the schooner set out to sail pretty close to the Statue of Liberty, made a U turn and came back to dock. Along the way, you see amazing views of the Manhattan, Jersey City, and Brooklyn skylines. You also come across plenty of other ferries, boats, and yachts along the way with eagerly waving passengers. There really is nothing better than sailing, sipping on a cool glass of wine and enjoying the view. Definitely something to try again.

Here is a more detailed review of my experience on Yelp.

North Cove Marina and the Shearwater schooner



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CUNY Students! Behold the Theatre Development Fund

June 14th, 2012 Alina Guzman Art, NYC No comments

I usually don’t pay any mind to the “This Week at CUNY” emails we students are constantly bombarded with but one recently caught my eye. ‘Broadway Discounts and Beyond’ is not something I can readily ignore. Upon closer inspection, I found out there is a not-for-profit organization, the Theatre Development Fund, that specifically caters to the support of the theatrical arts. Their mission is to both support the art and to allow diverse audiences to attend performances.

Membership with TDF includes a small annual fee for the opportunity to purchase tickets at up to 70% off. The prices range from $9 to $41. Full time students are one of the groups that qualify to TDF Membership. Other groups include teachers, recent graduates, union members, retirees, and performing arts professionals. CUNY students get to join for a reduced annual fee of $10. Its a ridiculously simple process and once completed, you have at your disposal 7 categories of performances to choose from around the city including Broadway, Off Broadway, Dance, Opera, and Rock.

Most importantly, members can purchase up to 9 tickets for each performance so you can bring your friends and family along. This is a great way to become more intertwined with New York culture. I’m looking forward to my first show. I haven’t picked up any tickets yet but once I do I’ll go over the process.

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Williamsburg Art Scene: BYOB Painting Class

June 14th, 2012 Alina Guzman Art, NYC, Yelp Reviews No comments

Lately I’ve been on such an art kick; letting it take me to places I never thought I’d go. Namely, Williamsburg. I have just about every “daily deal” account under the moon that offers NYC deals. Months ago I stumbled upon a Groupon deal for a Bring Your Own Booze Painting Class that really intrigued me. Booze and painting? Sounds like fun.

The Painting Lounge, of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, offers super fun and unique BYOB classes where you recreate a work of art. I was dying to paint Van Gogh’s Starry Night so I waited a few months and finally got into a class for it! You can read the rest of my detailed review on yelp but here is the main gist. The owner Kevin, who has incredible taste in music, provides all materials necessary for the class. Paints, brushes, canvas, apron, bottle opener, cups for your booze, you need it? he’s got it. The best part is you get to keep your canvas at the end! Choose to have it framed (for about $30) or just staple a string onto it and hang it up (finally managed to hang mine up, evidence right here). I put it smack under the poster of the original Starry Night, just to keep things interesting.

Hikalu (check out the visual blog she curates, its amazing) agreed to come with and we had a blast. To our surprise, our class session was being covered by the press! Lore Croghan from the Daily News was there with a photographer interviewing each student and snapping away pictures. You can read the article here. (Yes, that is me in the photo. To my dismay, I somehow managed to sit right in the hot seat for the photographer.)

Since then, I have seen another Groupon deal that I am itching to snatch up. Kevin has also expanded the collection of art available to be painted so there will surely be something that interests you!

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