Meet a Maker: Bliss Man

After speaking with his manager about hiring junior developers last month, we're excited to share more of Bliss Man's story. Bliss joined Bitmaker’s January 2016 Web Development cohort, after a working for a few years as an engineer in the auto industry. He's now an analytics developer within CBC's Digital Operations department, alongside several other Bitmaker alumni on different teams.

We didn’t have to venture too far from the office to chat with Bliss about why he became interested in coding – our national broadcaster's just across the park!


Q: Your current role title at the CBC is Analytics Developer. How has the learning curve been since starting?

Bliss: So I work on a lot of the platforms that CBC uses to judge audience engagement with their digital media – the first 3 to 6 months were really challenging. The CBC is a large company with an extensive history, which means there’s a lot of code and many different technologies being used.

The stack I use was intimidating to learn because of how many different technologies are utilized. Each time I was assigned a task at the beginning, there was an initial run-down of what languages, build tools and certifications were required and how my choices could affect another project area.

This really pushed against my confidence. Now that I’ve found my bearings, I still feel challenged, but in a very manageable way. I know that I can figure out what I need to go forward for solving a problem. This is thanks to more than my own aptitude, it's because of the support I can access on my team.

What does this support look like as a new developer on the team?

There are two other devs on my team that I can check in with, who have each been in the field for 10 to 15 years. The environment is very collaborative and liberal, which is a great work culture fit for me. I can offer ideas and not have someone be like “No. Don’t do it that way. Do it this way.” The feedback is more suggestive than that, so there’s room to try to solve problems on your own terms.

Web Development: May 8th

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What sparked your switch from engineering to development?

The company I was working for focused on automotive fastening, which is a pretty niche thing. It was okay, the hours were reasonable and the pay was good. I got into it because I’m really into cars and that sort of thing, but once I started in the role it was culturally different and not as mentally stimulating than I expected.

I decided to become a developer while I was asked to reform the department at that automotive fasteners company. When assessing the situation my biggest takeaway was, “Wait, why are we still using paper records? Why not build software to manage all of this?”

I learned a fair bit on my own while trying to create a recordkeeping solution, which led me to realize that I preferred doing this more than what I was originally intended to be doing as an engineer.

How did taking Web Development at Bitmaker help you accomplish your career transition?

There were so many opportunities to get involved be introduced to the Toronto tech community during my time at Bitmaker, which really alleviated my concerns about what to expect out of a development career.

I knew I would be okay with the material – the sorts of things I was less sure of were more about the industry itself. How would I network and find jobs? What would the workplace environment be like?

I made a ton of life changes at the end of 2015, with one of the most major of these being Web Development course at Bitmaker. Every week you’re learning so much stuff and going-going-going. When I look back on the whole experience, I wish I could change my life again at that same intense pace, though it can’t always be like that. It was a wonderful transitionary time!


Enrolments are ending soon for our May 8th class of Web Development and early bird tuition has started for the June 19th class! Reach out if you're interested in starting your career transition.