My Web Development Story

My journey as a web developer is one I feel is both unique and common. The overall objective of writing this case study is more than just telling a story, it’s to explain where I came from, how I got started, where I am now and where I plan to go from here; as well as the process and steps in between. My goal is to help others see that the road to web development is possible no matter where you are in your journey.

The Start

When I first started college at Utah Valley University in Orem Utah, I believed I had it all figured out. I was going to major in Exercise Science, go to medical school, and become a physical therapist. This idea quickly went away during my freshman year as I struggled to study by definitions and flash cards and the thought of medical school quickly became less and less appealing.

Finishing my freshman year and going into sophomore year I knew I needed to find the right fit for me, but had no idea where to go. Then, the global pandemic hit and the world went in to lockdown. During this time I had the opportunity to work as a Career Advisor for an online IT school called MyComputerCareer. During this time, I talked to people all over the United States that came from all different backgrounds and talking to them made me realize that maybe I should be looking towards the world of technology for my career.

Laying the Foundation

Switching my major to Computer Science going into my sophomore year felt overwhelming at first. Up to this point, the most “techy” class I had taken was a keyboarding class in Junior High. But this felt like the right path for me and I took an introduction to programming class that helped me comfortably dip my toe in the water of coding using Python.

As I continued through this course and others in Computer Science, I started to discover more about myself and what I liked in the world of Computer Science. Something I really loved about coding was that it was less about memorizing flash cards with terms and definitions, and more about having hands on experiences figuring out code; and the satisfaction of being able to create code that does exactly what you hope it would was better than any other feeling of accomplishment I ever had in school.

However, I definitely was not a professional over night. Learning to code took, and takes, a lot of time, dedication, and a desire to learn. Something else I quickly learned was that while yes, I did really enjoy coding, there was still a lot about Computer Science that I wasn’t necessarily in love with. The part of Computer Science and coding that was the most appealing to me as I continued to learn eventually revolved around Web Development.


Once I started getting in to my junior year studying Computer Science, I felt like it was time to start looking into internships, because the most consistent piece of advice I received from friends and colleagues who were already in the field was that the hardest part of getting into the career world of tech is getting your first job. So I decided to utilize my university’s resources and was eventually led to Handshake, a job listing application that’s mainly designed to help university students find internships. This process went on for quite some time as I looked for internships that were the right start for me.

Finding an internship was not quite what I expected in my mind. I realized that even when applying for an internship, a lot of companies were looking for people with experience; something that I too was on the hunt for. But I was determined to find my starting point, so I applied to several internships all over Utah, and remote opportunities across the country. Eventually, I find my start: the Web Developer Intern position posted by a local Digital Marketing company, Sixth Media.

Sixth Media

Now that I had my internship, I wanted to make sure I was giving it everything I could to best represent myself and give back to the company that was willing to give me a shot. Upon starting my internship I learned that our entire development team was brand new, and the most senior developer above me was only on the team for two weeks longer than me. So we had a lot on our plate and goals to conquer it all.

As an intern, I worked 40 hours a week and soaked in so much every hour I was there. My experience felt like it was trial by fire at first, but looking back I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Because we were a brand new development team, we had a lot of ground to cover. The previous development team had left us a work load that was already putting us a couple months behind. To help us overcome this hole, we worked in an agile sprint format. Every morning we had a scrum meeting to go over what was accomplished, what we were going to accomplish, and what blockers we had. Every other Friday we had sprint planning where we would review our entire workload, allot story points for the different projects, and prepare to take on the next two weeks.

What I Did to Stand Out

Our objectives were clear, but my personal goal, as mentioned earlier, was to give back to this company that was giving me a chance; and to show to them that I am more than “just another intern”. To do this I strived to have a mentality of working until the job is done, not until the clock says. Additionally, I worked hard to display characteristics and attributes of myself as a developer beyond my coding capabilities as we built, debugged and launched websites. Some of the top characteristics I believe helped me stand out as more than an intern were the following

A key attribute I've come to learn is a delicacy among developers is having not only written, but verbal communication skills. So I made an extra effort to make sure that the code I worked on had notes, whenever I would update sprint story points I made sure to leave detailed comments, and would make sure that other developers, SEO members, and teams in the company were aware of what was happening and how things were going.

When I say work outside of work, I'm not talking about clocking overtime hours. Simply, this means if I was stumped on something during work and couldn't find my solution, I would research and look for solutions after work while it was still fresh in my mind. That way, I could go in to work the next day ready to conquer my challenges and help others learn in the process.

There were times at the start of my internship where I felt like I was under qualified compared to my development team since one was a graduate and one had completed a coding camp. But just because we all came from different development backgrounds does not mean one stands above the other. As a team, we are all on equal ground, and I developed a mindset that I am just as great a developer as I believed my coworkers were. This mental confidence boost helped me come out of my shell and dare to be more of a part of the team, and to venture out to figure things out and leave my mark.

The End of My Internship and the Start of My Career

Before I knew it the end of my internship was there and the question on my (like many interns) mind was is this the end and where do I go from here? The good news to my end was that I was given a full-time position as a developer for the company, which I gladly accepted. 

A year has past since my start at Sixth Media and I’m now in the role of Web Developer II. I work mainly on the development of websites, from creating the domain in our AWS CPanel, to the final Dev QA, I oversee the start to finish process. Additionally, I regularly meet with clients on calls to provide updates, walkthroughs and more in regards to their websites. 

I am a firm believer that no matter where you are in your development journey, you can make it! I was someone with little to no experience to start, and now I’m a senior in the Web Design and Development program with emphasis on Web and App Development at Utah Valley University. I went from having no experience, to having a successful internship, a year + of work experience with this company, and am continuing to branch out my experience as I contract for other people across Utah. You can too. Believe in yourself, put yourself out there, and give it your all and you will find exactly what you hope to find in the world of Web, and in life.