About the Part Timer

Being a chef has shaped my life in many ways. I spent about ten years working as a pastry chef, and I worked hard. I love the marriage of creativity and science that is fine-dining pastry: the snap of perfectly tempered chocolate, the delicate wobble of a panna cotta, or rise of a soufflé in the oven. Much of being a pastry chef is problem-solving! When I was a teenager I decided that I wanted to work in a Michelin starred restaurant, and in my twenties, I did.

I sacrificed a lot to get to that point, and now I’m working hard to learn something completely different: programming!

I was learning web development in high school- not as part of a class but on my own. That was a while ago now; there were an awful lot of iframes and in-line CSS back then! I wanted to be a chef though, so I continued to pursue that as my career.

Chefs work long hours- starting at 8am, and finishing whenever the last plates go out- often not until after midnight. Breaks are dependent on business; if lunch service is quiet enough or finishes early enough you might get a break before getting ready for dinner service (though it may just be long enough to run down the road for a coffee!) I have worked many, many 16-hour shifts. A chef who works those hours or fewer for any less than five days a week is branded (only somewhat jokingly) a Part Timer, no matter the reason (health, family…sanity!)

After learning on my own for a while, I’ve taken the plunge and enrolled in higher education in order to transition to a career in tech. I’m currently pursuing two certificates (which will be used to move onto bigger, more exciting qualifications!) of course, I also have bills to pay, so my courses are being taken two or three at time- but that’s just me being a Part Timer!

4 thoughts on “About the Part Timer

  1. Oh man, hey so I’m just learning this stuff too! And I’m doing it while I’m a nurse!

    Dude if you think you’d benefit, I would love to have a pen pal (a la e-mail, duh) to bounce things off with! I feel like, as maybe you might have too, it feels like I’m just banging my head against a computer, and I get no feedback. I don’t have time for school either, so my self-education has been a lonely one, unless my wife is watching TV or my 15-month old is crying because I won’t let him beat up my laptop.

    I’m inspired (and this is just on quick glance) at how you’ve organized your blog (something I’m trying to figure out how to do) and to see you’re working at the same thing I am! Mostly, anyway. I’m holding off on JQuery or other libraries until I feel like I can own JavaScript along. Actually, I figure after extensive work on my JavaScript calculator app (it’s still in beta, heh), once I’ve got a feel for how fast (or slow) I can “develop” using only plain JavaScript, I wanted to then move on to libraries and and see how much faster libraries can help get the job done! I’m trying to be cautious about letting myself move on to another topic before I’ve finished the other. Anyways I’d be interested to maybe here about the road you’re on too! Maybe we can share resources, tips and such.

    Feel free to e-mail me at kenanigans@icloud.com if you get time / are interested!

    If you can’t get around to it, to me it looks like you’re doing what I’m doing (again, on quick glance): teaching yourself JavaScript. Maybe you’re teaching yourself more than just that too, like my current goal is to learn Web Design on the whole, back-end AND front-end! I even found a book on Computer Networking to really round out a good WebDev curriculum. If I’m not too far off in what is is you’re doing, I applaud you, I imagine if you’re doing this between shifts at your day job as a cook, there’s something that you LOVE about all of this. Best of luck! (Sorry so long)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey! I’m @wendybeth010 on Twitter. I remember adding you on Twitter because I saw ‘pastry chef’ and ‘learning to code’ in the same descriptive block and thought, ‘I really need to say hi to this person!’ And then I’m pretty sure I promptly forgot. -_- But then I found your blog, which is sweet. I’m a fellow CodeNewbie and a pastry chef-turned-developer.

    So I just found myself fighting pretty hard with JavaScript yesterday, while you seem to be learning about it in a more structured way. I’m a Ruby and Rails Jr Developer and am pretty comfortable with both (I mean, still a newbie for sure, but way more comfortable with them than with JavaScript or jQuery). I figure since you’re doing the Odin Project, I can offer to be an ear if you have any difficulty with Ruby or Rails, if/when you delve into those topics, especially if you can be an ear for my struggles with JavaScript (it took me four hours yesterday to figure out how to use .map on an array of objects, and I’m still not entirely certain that ‘array of objects’ was what I was actually working with…) because I just don’t remember how it works or have time to delve back into the curriculum for it right at this moment.

    Anyway, it’s really nice to see another pastry chef around. I often feel like I’m in way over my head because the skills just don’t overlap very much. I couldn’t afford (more) college on top of my baking degree, either, and it’s baffling to me that I spent so much time and money on something I could never really put my heart into, and then I came across web development, haven’t spent anymore money than it took to buy two Kindle e-books (that I didn’t even really *need* to buy in order to learn most of what I’ve been able to learn), and I’m developing a skill that is fun, rewarding, and highly valued by a large amount of employers who *hopefully* won’t treat me like a robot who only incidentally needs to eat or rest if it happens to be a slow day. And, oh yeah, that ‘having a life’ thing *is* really quite lovely. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I actually did exactly the same thing! Except I did the same thing again (“oh, hey look! A pastry chef doing web development!”) only to see I was already following you!

      I’m not sure I’ll be able to help much [ I really don’t think I’m very good with JavaScript yet, just eager to learn!] But if you’re trying to do something in particular, give me a shout, and I’ll try to find out about it too 🙂 I will defo be getting in touch next time I’m nearing a Ruby-meltdown!

      I like to think we have plenty of transferable skills: attention to detail, ability to work under pressure, ability to adhere to strict deadlines (not that I’ve EVER seen a chef yelling because a plate is ten seconds late to the pass, right?) and based on feedback I’ve had from potential employers, while I don’t have experience as a developer, they can see from my CV that I’m willing to put the hours in, and that I’m good at what I do.

      I think you’re doing fab, and I can’t wait to see more from you!


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