Graduating at 33 with 5 Kids

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YES!!  I graduated at 33 years old just in time to see my youngest head off to 4K!  I couldn’t be more proud of myself and what I’ve accomplished over the last two years.  I started my journey as a Udacity student back in 2016 when I took their free Computer Science course.  My husband had been encouraging me to check it out since he started his journey as a developer back in 2009!  Man, how time flies when you’re having kids!  Of course, I was busy enough with the kids at that time and didn’t think I could handle homework on top of being pregnant with our third.  Plus, I was working second shift at a mortgage call center at the time.  Man was that a crazy time!  The 2008 recession had just hit and it seemed like everyone was having mortgage trouble.  So, of course that wasn’t the best time for me to get started!  Or, was it??  Hmmmmm.  I kind of wonder now where I’d be if I had started something, anything, back then.  Even if it was just a simple coding challenge each day, that would have gotten me leaps and bounds ahead of where I was when I first started at Udacity.

kids looking at the stars


Well, since I can’t go back in time and change when I got started in programming, I’ll take the last couple of years as something to be super proud of.  At least I got started BEFORE my kids were all in school.  It prepared me for this feeling I would ultimately have when the house was completely silent, leaving me alone with my thoughts.  Now that I have the skills to create some amazing web apps, I can start getting to work building something of my own!  I want to build a career, a lifelong challenge for myself to continue to learn and grow, not just as a mother, but as a creator of awesome online experiences.

It’s the future!  I’ve always wanted to contribute to the future successes of this crazy world we live in.  I’ve always wanted to teach my kids that they can find something they’re passionate about and make it their life’s mission to be the best they can be at it, therefor creating wealth in all areas of their life.  My oldest daughter has found a love of drawing and has concluded that she’d like to be a Graphic Designer someday, so I will encourage her in that.  My other kids are still figuring things out, as they should at their age.  That’s what being a kid is all about!  Discovering your passion!

Of course, I still think of myself as a kid sometimes.  I’m still discovering new passions every day within the field of web development.  There’s just so much to learn, and it never stops!  I love it!  I’m always working on my portfolio,, and would love to get some suggestions/feedback on it from anyone willing to take a moment to help me out.  You can leave a comment below if you’ve got some time.  Thanks!  And, keep learning!  Never stop finding your passion!

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2 thoughts on “Graduating at 33 with 5 Kids

  1. Hey Marissa!
    I found your portfolio through the Udacity Fest. Thanks for sharing! I can use some inspiration to get started on mine 🙂 I really like the visual style of your site!
    I am pretty amazed that you were able to complete 2 degrees from Udacity with 5 kids!!! I can hardly take care of myself 🙂

    One suggestion I have is to add more details about each project. For example, I am curious to know how you build your portfolio and the restaurants review app. Did you use any frameworks? Or just plain JavaScript? Did you use Bootstrap just for styling?
    Also, I couldn’t figure out how to play the Froggy game 😉 So some instructions would help!

    Good luck and keep creating! I am sure you’re an inspiration for your kids and friend!

    Love from NYC

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to review my portfolio site Marianna! Those are some great suggestions. I’ve been meaning to make those updates, so they should be done in the next week or so. As far as taking classes when you have kids, it helps if they’re all in school and you don’t have a job outside of the house. I also have a really great support network of family and friends. Whatever your schedule is like, all it takes is a couple hours a day to stay on task, if you’ve got that passion I was talking about. To answer your question about frameworks, I used Bootstrap for the responsive layout and some image styles on my portfolio site. The restaurant reviews app was built with plain old vanilla Javascript. For the map, though, I used the mapbox api and leaflet. The actual goal of the restaurant reviews app project was to get it working offline, so I integrated a service worker as well. After visiting each page within the app, it should work offline. Udacity supplied starter code for many of the projects you see, so check out my github if you’re interested in checking out my “commits.” . Again, thank you so much for the great feedback! I wish you the very best in your journey!

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