Carl Watson

AcquiaU Session: 
2014 Winter Session

Hockey and Triathlons and WebDev and Screen printing!

I first went to college for Graphic Design back in 2003, but I never was able to get a job in that field. In order to make ends meet I compromised and took a job at a Bank's call center. I spent the next 7 years trying to find a way to get a different job before I decided to go back to school for web design and development. While I jumped from the call center of one company to another's, I started to go to the Portland Drupal User's Group meet ups. I was interested in the program and how to use it. The Portland Drupal Users also helped me get an internship with the Drupal Association. From there I took tickets and fixed CSS bugs on Drupal.Org and Association.Drupal.Org. I thought that was my ticket into a fulltime job, but it wasn't as easy as I expected. I was still very green and did not have the Drupal skills that companies were looking for. I heard the same response each time. "We want to hit the ground running." When a job opened up at the bank where I was already working declined me a position saying "We want to hit the ground running" that is when I knew that there was nothing left for me there.

A friend of mine who worked at Acquia informed me of AcquiaU program in Massachusetts. It would be 3,000 miles away and I would be there over Christmas and New Years. There were several reasons I was very interested in this program despite it being so far away. There are no bootcamps I found under $5,000, some going up to $13,000, but Acquia U was paying me to attend. It was a job that could lead to a full time position back in Portland, OR. I knew it wasn't going to be easy, but I knew it was the boost my career needed and it would change my life for the better back home. Most of the difficulties I faced when I was in Massachusetts will no longer be a concern for future classes. Their Boston location is right by all sorts of public transportation. Getting a car was expensive, but everyone was super helpful in me find a place to stay and things to see while I was on the east coast.