John Ratana
2 min readMar 28, 2021

As my time at the Flatiron School is wrapping up, I want to throw out some random reflections.

  1. It has been a pleasure to be a student again. I excel and feel at my best in a place of learning. It is not always easy to find that place of learning and growth while navigating the course of life. Being in school, where goals are clear, knowledge is accessible, and success is clearly measurable is an amazing feeling I don’t know if I can replicate outside of school. I hope to find that in my work and also in other aspects of my life now that I have revisited that feeling.
  2. I have more ideas than I have time to make. The past 5 months have been full of half baked ideas and possibilities. It has been inspiring to just jot down ideas and outline applications. I liken coding to modern day carpentry. I am working at a craft that can be used to professionally, but also something that can be used for personal fulfillment in the modern day. I have rediscovered the joy of making and creating.
  3. I am often asked why I even went on this journey to be a software engineer. As was already touched upon in my first blog post, I do not need a career because of a monetary need. In a career I am seeking purpose and meaning. I am excited to go on my job interviews as I will be interviewing them more than anything. Some questions for my future employer are:

a) What will I be able to learn or master while working here?

It is important for me to be challenged and grow. This could be starting fresh and learning a new language and stack, applying what I know into new areas and fields, or it could be having the opportunity to dive deeper, honing the skills I already have. However, if an employer

b) Will I feel like I am part of making a final product?

At the end of the day, I want to feel like I am making something. I don’t want to be only part of the upkeep or maintenance of an application. Better yet, I want to be the ‘tip of the spear’ of the business. I want to be part of the business that everyone is thinking of.

c) What impact will I have?

I need to be proud of the product. I want to work on something that brings positivity and joy to people. It need not be serious affairs though. Entertainment and bringing joy to people is certainly important enough. I would love to be a game developer.

d) Who will I be working with?

I am more than capable of learning independently, but I thrive best when seeing and doing from people who are more knowledgable and experienced.

4. No matter where I take this new skill professionally, I feel like I have gained a lifelong craft. I am excited to see where I take it and what I build in my future. I have a lot of projects on the docket. Be on the lookout.