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  • Kathryn Patterson

Grow with Google - I Won a Scholarship!

Let me tell you a story.  Long, long ago in a faraway land (Tennessee), I graduated from Vanderbilt University with a Bachelor's of Science in Computer Science and English.  I worked at IBM, Sykes Enterprises, Digital Equipment Corp, and The Leader Group before deciding to become a full-time stay-at-home Mom.  For the past 20 years, I raised my kids, volunteered at school, ran a Girl Scout troop, cooked, cleaned, and did all the "mom" stuff.  In my spare time, I wrote a book, worked on this blog, and kept up with the changes in technology.

My youngest kids is now 16 years old, and leaving the house in two years.  So I've been contemplating what I want to do with my life now.  Last November, I learned about the Grow with Google scholarship.  Basically, Google asked people to sign up for one of four tracks.  If accepted, you had three months to complete a challenge course.  The top 1,500 students from each track then won full scholarships to earn nanodegrees from

Early January, I learned that I was accepted into the challenge course.  I finished it rather quickly, and I helped out on the forums and Slack for the rest of the time.  Then this past April, I learned that I won the scholarship.

Yay, me!!!

So I am now working on a front-end web development nanodegree.  I work with HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript (up to ES2015), Jasmine testing suite, frameworks,...  The amount of new technologies to learn is a bit staggering.  I'm lucky in some ways because I actually worked on the web before leaving my job.  I know most of the concepts already, so I'm just learning how to do things in this brave, new world.  

But I'm terrified.  I haven't worked outside my home for 20 years.  How will I get a job?  I mean, do people hire someone with such dated experience?  Or such a dated college degree?

I think constantly about the future, wondering how to handle the situation.  Then I take a deep breath and remind myself that I don't have to burn cross that bridge until I get to it.

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