“Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable” Is No Cliché | Aimee Knight - Cohort 4

Oct 16, 2017
Mandy Arola

We’re catching up with some of our alumni and they’re sharing advice for our students and recent graduates.

Aimee Knight, software developerAimee Knight is a former professional figure skater and was in marketing when she made the decision to become a software developer. After researching (and visiting) bootcamps around the country, she landed at Nashville Software School as a part of Cohort 4.

Aimee shared, “NSS was very fast paced. I see now after working in the field for three years that it will always be this way. It’s actually one of the things I love!” But it’s important that you find a balance. “I’ve learned to pace myself. I’ll focus in on a new topic for a few months or weeks, and then take some time off at night and on the weekends to rest and recover. I strongly believe that both phases are vital to growing!”

NSS prepared Aimee for her first job, but that first on the job experience was crucial. She explained, “Coming in and learning a large production code base is very different from building greenfield applications in school. You really have to learn how to map things out in chunks because chances are you’ll probably never be able to fit the entire code base in your head at once.”

Aimee’s advice for recent grads?

Do not hold back from applying for a job you’re interested in! It’s your future employer's responsibility to decide whether you’re ready or not. My “dream job” out of NSS was more of a mid-level role, but I sent my resume anyway. They were having a hard time finding senior and mid-level engineers so they decided to take a chance on me and brought me in for an interview. I went in viewing it as a learning experience and ended up actually getting the job!

Aimee is very involved in the the community and is always learning. Aimee has been selected as one of the keynote speakers for Nodevember and is a panelist on the podcast JavaScript Jabber. She’s been spending her spare time gaining a better understanding of browser internals and how CSS is parsed and rendered. She shared, “Everyone knows about the DOM, but there’s actually a similar structure called the CSSOM.” She wrote a blog about it titled, “CSS Isn’t Black Magic: Pulling Back The Curtains On Your Stylesheets.” She has also been digging into Vue.js and Ethereum.

Aimee’s community involvement helped her land her second development job. Her current employer reached out to her after hearing her speak at a meetup. She stated that, “it was always about expressing my excitement, and technical knowledge by sharing it with others. Doing that enabled me to actually never even have to look for my second job!”

Success in this field has a lot to do with your ability to “get comfortable being uncomfortable.”

Check out this talk by Aimee: Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable: Lessons Learned One Year After Nashville Software School.

“Even as I reflect three years after NSS, I can say confidently that the feeling of constant learning and growing has yet to dissipate! I love it!”

Connect with Aimee on Twitter or aimeemarieknight.com.

Topics: Alumni, Student Stories