actorartathleteauthorbizcrimecrosspostcustomerservicedirectoredufoodgaminghealthjournalistmedicalmilmodpostmunimusicnewsworthynonprofitotherphilpolretailscispecialisedspecializedtechtourismtravelunique

OtherIamAn American that has been teaching English in Madrid for the last 5 years AMA!

Jul 18th 2017 by irresplendancy • 53 Questions • 24 Points

My short bio: Hey reddit! I was hit by a car while on my motorcycle 2 years ago and as a result I tore several of my nerves at the braquial plexus. I broke my radius and ulna, lost all movement in my right arm, and since then my life has changed forever.

In February 2016, after 6 months of fruitless therapy, I had nerve surgery in Mexico where 25cm (~10 in) of nerve was removed from my right leg to be inserted at the braquial plexus and several other points in my arm to promote nerve growth and regeneration.

Since then, I've been attending physical therapy daily and have seen veeeery slow changes over the course of this year. My doctor said that it will take about 3-4 years after the surgery for me to see what movement I will have for the rest of my life, but it all depends on how much work I put into my recovery.

In this time I have continued my bachelor's degree, struggled with depression, tried to continue pursuing my interests (especially music), and maintained an incredible relationship.

Ask me absolutely anything! :D

My Proof:

Sketch of the crash: http://imgur.com/a/0Qoro

Album of the crash: http://imgur.com/a/ETsYy

Pics of me today: http://imgur.com/a/ang5R

Reddit thread on r/motorcycles: https://www.reddit.com/r/motorcycles/comments/4bsj5j/hey_guys_i_made_a_post_about_a_bad_crash_i_was_in/?ref=share&ref_source=link

EDIT: Wow, the responses almost duplicated overnight! I'm answering questions today too.

Q:

How is the food there? Being American I don't think I have ever had traditional Spanish food. Kind of odd, seems like all the western European countries influenced our cuisine in some way but not the Spaniards.

A:

Hi! Thanks for doing this. Here are my questions:

  • What do you think is the mistake people make the most learning web development?

  • Do you prefer (teaching) front end or back end development or both, and why?

  • Favorite Editor/IDE?


Q:

Will you continue being a rider?

A:

Yeah, I think that's because there was never a great deal of Spanish migration to the States.

Spanish food is alright. The people here have been convinced that it's the be all end all of international cuisine, but mostly it's pretty underwhelming. You can definitely eat well if you're willing to dish out more money for it, but I was disappointed upon arriving to find a lack of tasty, cheap, "street food" type options.

Many Americans are surprised to find that Spanish food is pretty bland and totally devoid of spice.


Q:

A mistake that I've seen, and this goes for web dev or for programming in general, is that people get too focused on some resource rather than just coding. The only way you can learn to do web dev is to learn about it and do it. Trying to find the best program or best book, that will just waste time. Find some coding projects you can contribute to and like... then go for it.

I really like teaching and doing backend stuff, really because I love the magic in it.

My favorite editor is vi, but for web stuff, I'm using atom lately.

A:

Yes, definitely.

I see motorcycle riding in a completely different light now, but at the end of the day I know that someday I'm going to get back on the bike in one way or another.


Q:

Hi! On my third year in Spain, currently living in Madrid! I am from Texas so I know all about them good flavors. I also believe that the general consensus of all Spaniards is that their food is the best in the world. Although I definitely do not agree with them (have they tried Mexican food and BBQ??!!), I would have to say I have been pleasantly surprised how some of their simple combinations can be so tasty. (Tortilla Española, tostas de todo, crema de calabacín, tumbet from Mallorca, pisto, albóndigas... etc.) I think they're actually very proud of their simplicity in cooking because a lot of these foods are what you would call "poor man's food." Many of these dishes comes from a wide variety of pueblos throughout their history and were initially created due to the different economical struggles during each said period.

A:

Where do you see NASA going? By this, I mean, better funding and better missions, or cuts to funding for certain sectors, and not as many missions? What are your thoughts on future missions, such as the Mars mission/s, and/or the unmanned missions to both Jupiter and Uranus?


Q:

My son was born w a brachial plexus injury from birth. We have been to specialists most of his life and they say nothing can be done. How severe are your nerve injuries and what kind of surgery are u having

A:

I agree, it's just that, like I said, Spanish food rarely goes beyond "pretty good". Paella can, on occasion, blow your mind. And the good wine for 3 euros a bottle doesn't hurt!


Q:

I see NASA a bit differently, especially from the funding and mission side of things. For me, the goal of NASA has always been to create explorers and to make people want to learn about discovery. I personally am an "ah-ha-aholic." It's even better to give an ah-ha moment to someone else. But, at the end of the day, I believe NASA's mission is, and always will be to support people to become more curious--and to provide them with the inspiration to move the ball forward.

A:

I had a nerve transposition surgery, and my nerve damage was pretty severe, according to the doctor.

I'm not sure how similar it is to a birth defect, however. I'd be glad* to put you in contact with my doctor, if you wish. PM me.


Q:

Do you like ponies?

A:

What do you think of the over saturated developer bootcamp environment with Dev Bootcamp and The Iron Yard both shutting down in the last couple weeks?


Q:

My sons nerves they say are completely pulled from his spine. It's his left hand and arm also. His left diaphragm is also paralyzed due to the injury. I will definitely PM u later so I can get more info

A:

I've never met one.


Q:

I'll first mention that I've met folks that worked for both those boot camps and I think the instructors and staff I've been able to interact with are incredible people who are invested in their students. I think that as this young industry continues to grow, we all have to be careful not to grow too fast and to stay focused on making people successful.

A:

I'll be waiting!


Q:

Well... you're in Spain. Your digestive tract probably has met a pony. Do you think you might have randomly eaten pony meat or horse meat over the last five years?

A:

I'm a college dropout who way after the fact fell in love with Data and became an analyst. To what extent can a boot camp lend credibility to a resume with 'some college'?


Q:

What light do you see it in now?

A:

I suppose it's possible. I saw a horse butcher shop once in Valencia, so there are at least some folks here that eat it in a non-random fashion.


Q:

I believe that programming boot camps are the trade schools of today--they are designed to give you skills that you can apply immediately. I don't think that any degree or credential is worth much if you can't actually do the work that you're being paid to do. I worked with quite a few people at NASA in the data center with no college but had a lot of skills and experience. A boot camp credential proves you can work hard, learn new things, and that you are invested in yourself.

A:

I see how pointless and stupid it is to ride one. There are minimal benefits to be obtained and a substantial amount to be risked by riding one. You'd have to be crazy to want to get on one despite knowing all the risks.

But I fucking love it, and I don't know why. I've come to accept that.And I don't mind being an idiot if it means I can ride again.


Q:
  1. What age range do you teach? How are the students there? Are they pretty disciplined or do you find you have to control them?

  2. Why did you choose to teach in Madrid?

thank you :)

A:

How did you land up a job in NASA and what were the requirements? (University, Experience etc) Also, this is my first time asking a question so forgive me if I did anything wrong.


Q:

I would disagree that the benefits are few. I can go the same distance on 16L of fuel in my bike as 70L in my truck. I am glad you plan to ride again though. I just got home from work and 20minutes on my bike in stifling heat beats 20minutes in my truck with AC.

A:
  • Well, I started out in an elementary school. Worked with 9-11 year olds for the first two years, then moved to a high school where I had kids from 12-18.

The kids here, generally, are undisciplined and hard to control. I struggle to remember if it was like that when I was a kid, but I really don't think it was.

On the other hand, I didn't see any of the malevolence between the kids or between the teachers and the kids that you often find in American schools (I also worked in public schools stateside). It's hard to put your finger on what the difference is really.

Now I work with adults and am much, much happier. :)

  • I wanted to live in a Spanish speaking country and I really wanted to see what it was like to live in Europe. Getting permission to work in Europe is not easy, though, so when I found the Language Assistants program which made it possible I jumped at the chance.

You don't get to choose the city you are placed in in the Language Assistants program, though, but you have a good chance of getting Madrid since there are more assistants here than anywhere, which is what happened to me.


Q:

Well, aside from always wanting to work at NASA I got my chance through networking. A friend of someone who worked there found out I was looking for opportunities and put me in touch. When I interviewed they were looking for someone who knew how to work with sql databases. I knew a little and I got hired! It was a lot of luck and timing.

A:

There are many benefits, but to many critics these are not enough to outweigh risking your life every day.

I get what you mean though, I live on the border and crossing is a breeze on the motorcycle. Believe me, I miss it.


Q:

How do the Spaniards feel about Mexico?

A:

I have almost zero programming experience, but enjoyed my short experience with Python. I am interested in learning more, so my question is: How much Kerbal Space Program do you play at NASA programming bootcamp?


Q:

Do you mind me asking where you are?

I'm currently in FL, a state with no helmet laws (as far as I'm aware, it might've changed, but I've seen helmetless riders since ive been back ).

I've actually been witness to seeing a guy get scraped off the pavement, for not wearing his helmet, both here and in South Carolina, where itm not sure of helmet laws for the latter.

In both cases, it was heartbreaking. In SC, I saw the EMT give up on the rider, her look of desolation and sadness in her eyes won't ever leave me.

More power to those who try to stay safe, and for the love of God, anyone else, you should try too, as a rider, and those in cars, be fucking careful of the ones on any kind of bike!

A:

There are few Mexicans here in comparison to people from other Latin American countries (mainly Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador and Dominican Republic), so the Spanish idea of Mexico is a little cartoonish. Generally, though, they think of Mexico as a country with an interesting culture and history, albeit a little scary.


Q:

I'm a big fan of KSP and I played it way more when I was at NASA than now. :-( At the bootcamp we want you coding not playing games...

A:

I'm in Texas, and yeah I totally get what you mean. Riding without a helmet seems insane to me.


Q:

I'm doing a summer abroad and am currently in Madrid aswell. Any tips for learning Spanish? I'm struggling

A:

Regardless of a college degree, coding camp, or self taught, what valuable advice will you give to those trying to break into the Web dev/tech industry?


A:

I hope you're not melting!

Consider language learning like the acquisition of any very complex skill (playing the cello, portrait painting, mathematical proofs): there is no shortcut to putting in the time it takes to become good at it.

I calculate (totally unscientifically) that for an English speaker of average competence to learn Spanish takes about 3,000 hours of practice and exposure. That's a lot of hours. However, they add up quickly if you are living in language.

So, make the most of your time while you are here. Set a goal and keep track of how many hours you manage on paper with a grid. Let's say you go to class for 2 hours, five days a week. Well, in July you'll go to class for 40 hours: mark off 40 boxes on the grid. Now, how many more boxes can you mark off this month? Be open and sociable and always stick to Spanish and you could get another 60. Mark those boxes off and you will start to notice how your interlanguage is developing and things are getting easier.


Q:

Be passionate about it, prove it by building some things that you really love--do things well, and focus on making a contribution. You'll get noticed.

A:

nice


Q:

So how would you recommend getting into teaching English abroad? Is a degree a requirement? Is it necessary to speak the language of the country you teach in or not?

A:

Tabs or spaces?


Q:

Did removing nerve tissue from your leg result in impaired function in that leg at all? It seems like a lot to take out.

What do your physical therapy exercises look like, if you're willing to share? I'm currently doing vestibular rehab for chronic motion sickness, and have progressed from slowly turning my head from side to side, to doing the same with my eyes closed. It sounds unimpressive as heck, but it's actually really exciting and useful progress for me. I'm wondering what the paralysis recovery version of that is.

A:

It really depends on the country and then the company that's hiring. Most English teachers that I've met have degrees, but a degree is not necessarily required if you have a TEFL or CELTA certificate. Very few English teachers speak the language of the country they teach, but I highly recommend it.


Q:

Tabs of course.

A:

That was my main concern too, but no, not at all. The only effect is that I kind of can't feel my ankle and right side of the foot. Just a weird, tingly feeling.

I go to 2 physical therapies: The first, at a hospital, consists of exercises and electroshock therapy to stimulate various crucial movements of my arm as well as the accompanying nerves. The second is a a gym, when I perform exercises using more common equipment, to trigger bicep and triceps growth, specifically. I have a physical therapists help me do the exercises I can't complete on my own.

If you want more info, PM me :)


Q:

And is there any specific TEFL or CELTA course you would recommend above others?

A:

Do you accept the GI Bill?


Q:

I gave myself radial nerve palsy in my left arm just from passing out inebriated in my computer chair for just a couple hours, if that. I had to wear a cock-up wrist brace for a little over a year and it was agonizing how slow of a recovery it was.

I remember being so ecstatic when after a few months I could lift my thumb a couple solid millimeters.

The estimated average recovery for nerve damage I read is about one millimeter a day.. applied to the entirety of what's damaged. Do you think this is about right, considering the damage you've sustained to your nerves?

Don't be alarmed at the loss of strength, it will come back when you can do what you can do. Thanks for doing the ama!

A:

Any place that is certified for either certificate will serve you just as well. Compare prices and check out what people say about it online.


Q:

Of our locations, only the Seattle (HQ) dojo accepts the G.I. Bill. We are still working to get all of our centers approved to do the same.

A:

Yep, that's what all the doctors say. That's why the recovery is 3-4 years. And yeah, it is excruciatingly slow, which is why it's so taxing on the psyche, so I completely understand.

Thanks!


Q:

Who's your best student and what are they like? :)

A:

Seems to be the trend. You want more business, I would recommend getting this done as there are tons of vets that would love to have more options.


Q:

I've got a hereditary palsy where the myelin doesn't regrow at a normal speed. Had drop foot for about 8 months.

A:

I've had a couple of older military guys who were both great. They had cool stories, wonderful senses of humor, interesting opinions, thoughtful contributions. Just a great presence in the classroom.


Q:

Being a vet myself I was excited to hear about this. In the military we did boot camp style learning cycles when we had to cross-train into different roles. You can also use the GI bill to pay for commercial pilot licenses.

A:

Thank you!


Q:

I'm an EU/ USA citizen native speaker looking to teach in Switzerland or Austria. You hear of any opportunities there ? Also, how has it been meeting locals of the opposite gender ? Has it been easy to make friends ?

A:

No offense to OP, but please don't use your GI Bill benefits on something like a coding bootcamp. Please use it to get a real education.


Q:

Does it get frustrating having to write with the left hand? Or were you already left handed?

A:

I haven't heard of anything there specifically. I imagine it will be tougher given the high levels of English that those countries already have. In any case, your dual citizenship will certainly make things easier!

In Spain, meeting a local of the opposite gender is easy if you are a woman. I've known probably two dozen American/Spanish couples and only one of them was an American man with a Spanish woman.

Making friends is not impossible, but not so simple either. Spanish people tend to have a circle of friends that last their entire lives and it's not like you can just walk up and join in. Most other foreigners (even Spanish speaking ones) have reported similar experiences.

I do have a handful of good Spanish friends, but I have to admit that the majority of people I hang out with are expats.


Q:

No offense taken. But a coding bootcamp is like a welding class in some ways (no offense to welders). It's just the beginning of the journey, not the end.

A:

I was right-handed, so yeah it was annoying having to learn to write with my left hand.

Although since I was forced to use my left hand all the time immediately after the crash, it didn't seem so frustrating. Just necessary.

It sucked when I had to take written exams, though...


Q:

What is your monthly salary? Do you find that your salary is good enough to live comfortably in Spain - or are you struggling? Do you plan to stay in Spain long term?

A:

So is it possible to get ahold of some of this jerky?


Q:

How much has the use of your left arm/hand improved? Is it up to where a dominant side would be or still not as much? I'm curious about how the non-dominant hand learns when it is put into regular use.

A:

I make about 1200 euros a month from my main job at an academy and I supplement with other things. At the moment I'm quite comfortable, but there have been moments of struggle. My original plan was not to stay in Spain long term, but the term keeps getting longer...

I definitely want to move along in my career and start making grown-up money. It seems kind of unlikely that I could do that here, but if the opportunity arises, I'd take it.


Q:

I make it mostly in the fall and winter... maybe when I retire I'll try my hand at trying to sell some of it. My base marinade/cure is 50%soy sauce and then 50% Worcestershire sauce, after that I find the hottest hot sauces and then add as much as I think I can handle.

A:

Since I used to write like shit with my right hand anyway, it's hard to draw a good comparison.

In terms of handwriting quality, I think my writing is a little better now than before but that's because I have to focus a little more and pay closer attention.

Because of this and also because I can't hold the fucking paper, I write somewhat slower than before. If I have a stable paper and surface, I write almost as fast as I used to with my right hand, I think.


Q:

Fuiste a enseñar ingles, pero ¿ya aprendiste español?

A:

As a computer science student, my dream is to be working for companies like NASA or SpaceX. Is there anything else I can be doing now that will set me up for a career in the aerospace industry?


Q:

Can you just plop your dead arm down on the paper to hold It? When I paralyzed my left hand and still had to count money i would stuff the stack of bills in my lame hand and it at least helped a tiny, little bit because it was clamped into a useless fist otherwise.

I didn't lose the use of my dominant hand though so I couldn't have been nearly as frustrated as you've been.

A:

¿Preguntas si ya lo había aprendido antes de venir? ¿O si ya lo he aprendido desde que estoy aquí?

I minored in Spanish in college and worked for a year in Mexico before coming here, so I had a decent grasp of the language when I arrived. I've certainly improved since then but I've come to realize that it's a lifelong task and I'll never be completely satisfied.


Q:

At NASA Langley they have a number of internships available. LARS is one of the more popular ones. I agree with some of the comments below though... networking. There are many ways to get involved. Also, get involved in some of NASA's mentorship programs.

A:

Haha that's exactly what I do! The problem is that whenever I put my arm on a surface, it immediately starts sweating, which wets the damn paper.

I'm sorry that happened to you. How did it happen?


Q:

I learned my Spanish in schools in the US and (briefly) in Mexico, so I never really learned the second person informal plural 'vosotros' conjugations. Is it just used routinely in Spain?

A:

What do you think about flat earthers and how they believe NASA is in on the whole conspiracy to make people think the earth isn't flat, and have NASA guards posted at the ice wall that circles the edge of the earth, and magnetic waves that erase your memory if you somehow make it past the guards?


Q:

I was an idiot and got black-out wasted and then fell asleep in my computer chair. My arm was pinned between the chair arm and my body for a couple hours and when I woke up I tried to shake the blood back into my sleeping hand and it was what I can only relate to having a phantom limb.

I was wiggling both hands and my left one just slowly curled up into a fist. Fortunately when I called my dad he immediately knew what it was and my research began that very morning to recover.

It's so exciting getting that first little wiggle back into your thumb. I remember showing everyone I could that I could wiggle my thumb just a tiny bit.

A:

Oh yeah! In fact, "usted/ustedes" is so rarely used that when I find myself in a situation where I should employ it I stumble and stutter.


Q:

Well... I usually tell them to buy a go-pro and a zero-pressure balloon. You can fly the go pro up on the balloon to about 100K feet, and then you'll be able to see the curvature of the earth... Go empirical on them... plus you probably could do this experiment for under 500 bucks... Make sure you get some radar reflectors on your balloon though, and I think you need to check with the FAA.

A:

Haha I bet! Congratulations on your recovery!


Q:

Are you from Latino backround? If so, in the beginning, when you first moved to Madrid, did people mistake you as a local?

A:

What do you think about the rise in data science a separate degree and field of study?


Q:

Hey, first off, I'm so so sorry about what happened to you. My family was in a really bad car accident almost 14 years ago, and both me and my sister had this same injury. I'm mostly recovered (if you know to look for some kinda derpy stuff on my left arm, it's definitely noticeable, but I can function pretty normally in day to day life), but my sister's arm is still totally paralyzed, nearly 20 surgeries later.

This brings me to my question - what led you down the path to seek out this specific treatment in Mexico? My family has tried countless things to help my sister recover at least some function in her arm, including transferring an entire muscle and all the accompanying nerves, blood vessels, and whatnot from her leg into her arm, but it didn't work. If you find that this surgery actually gets you to a mostly functioning arm, I'd love to get more information about what exactly you had done, as well as your doctors. Wishing you the best of luck in your recovery!

A:

Nope. However, the Spanish phenotype varies from pasty-skinned ginger to that of lighter skinned Latin Americans, so I don't really stick out.

Once people hear me speak they say, "Oh, yeah, you look British" (which I suppose I should given my ancestry), but I never know if that's something they'd ever think if I didn't have my accent.

EDIT: spelling


Q:

It makes sense that the more data we collect the more that we are going to want to figure out what to do with it. In terms of that field of study, I think that it’s the new gold rush. There is so much “raw” data out there that we can’t even imagine what to do with it. Data Scientists are people that can prepare data in a way that can help people understand problems. In relation to problem-solving, data science is key and I believe the field will continue to grow and gain popularity. “A story is just data with a soul.”

A:

I will PM you with the details!

EDIT: To answer your question, it was because my parents are Mexican and my insurance is through them. I went to several doctors who all pointed me in the direction of my current doctor.


Q:

What part of the English language do your students have the hardest time learning?

A:

What are NASA's coding standards like? I've seen some of their electronic hardware standards and they're pretty extreme. Was it difficult to accomplish projects? what about debugging? Does NASA have any open source projects that the public can contribute to?


Q:

I know you're getting a lot of questions and appreciate you doing this. A friend of mine had almost the same injury to his arm from a motorcycle crash where a car crossed his path illegally. He has never regained use a decade later. Did the Mexican doctors use any techniques not accepted in the United States?

A:

Verb patterns! There is no rhyme or reason to them. Why the hell can't we "afford going to the cinema"? Or "deny to give them permission"?

Because English. That's why.


Q:

I don't want to get too deep into this, but it really depends on where you work and who you're with. There are some incredibly tight shops. The main focus when I was there was about security. The other thing is that there are so many contractors in the game, they want to make sure they keep their piece of the pie. I remember meeting with the software release people, and they told me immediately that "NASA is not a software clearing house", the process for getting an app through the system is hard and can take months. However, there is an exception in the rules for websites and databases. That's where I put all of my energy. NASA/NOAA do have some projects that people can contribute to--but mainly the programming gets done by contractors and folks who are taking home a paycheck.

A:

No nothing like that, but the cost of a nervous surgery is a fraction compared to the price in the US.


Q:

Since you live in Madrid, do you by any chance follow Real Madrid ?!

A:

My dream goal is to make it as a software engineering intern at JPL. I have no degree in it but I'm currently gathering experience at a decent firm and learning on my own. Any ideas/tips you can throw my way would be GREAT. :)


Q:

Hi, thanks for sharing. Do you resent the truck driver for the things you've struggled with? Has it changed your attitude towards living and dying at all? What was the one thing that kept you going during the worst moments?

A:

Atleti all the way!

Not really. But I do think of Real Madrid as the Yankees of soccer, and why the hell would anyone be a Yankees fan?


Q:

Don't forget that JPL is essentially owned and operated by Caltech. Check out contractors like Raytheon and SSAI. Also, every year in San Fran during the second week in December there is AGU, one of the largest science conferences in the world. If you can make it there, you'll meet hundreds of interns and NASA employees, contractors you name it. You'll definitely meet folks from JPL.

A:

Cool questions!

It was a car driver, and he(she?) fled the scene. They never caught him. No, I don't really resent him. I mean I know he caused the accident, then drove past me as I lay unconscious, but I never really gave a shit about him. Poor bastard. Do you think he wonders whether I'm dead or alive? I would...

Yeah, it has a little. I feel like I appreciate how fragile everything is, which is something everybody knows but we don't really feel it most of the time. All of a sudden I really get that I'm just a chunk of living meat waiting to die at any moment. But in a way, that's liberating. Sobering even. I'm in pain now, but I also feel very happy with my life. If I died today, I would die content.

My girlfriend probably. We were seeing each other before the accident and started dating a few months after. Of course, my family has always helped me and supported me, but she's the one who was with me during the worst moments. I really don't know where I would be without her, or in what kind of state of mind. She makes me feel normal again, and I thank her for it.


Q:

What has been the hardest thing about moving so far away?

A:

Except for 2017 and 2018 AGU is moving because of construction at SF's convention center. This year the conference is in New Orleans. Otherwise, yep, SF in December has many many NASA and JPL people in town.


Q:

They could be plagued with guilt. Or they could be an alcoholic that doesn't fully remember what happened.

A:

Realizing that time doesn't stop while you're gone. People are aging, life is happening, time passes that you won't recover. It starts adding up.


Q:

Thanks... it's been a two years since I've been:http://fallmeeting.agu.org/2017/welcome/

A:

Or he could legitimately not give a shit.

We'll never know, so why bother thinking about it?


Q:

I spent my 11th grade in Cádiz, Spain and I remember that the kids' language skills were ridiculously bad. Even after several years of learning English they still struggled with the most basic aspects of it, not to mention the terrible pronunciation. Do you think that learning foreign languages is particularly difficult for Spanish students, for some reason? Is there something that disincentivises learning a foreign languages? I've always felt that people from Spain are a bit less "worldly" than people from, say, the Netherlands, France, Germany and the Scandinavian countries. Purely anecdotal evidence, though.

Edit: Grammar. Not a native speaker myself.

A:

What does Dan feel that CodingDojo has that other cheaper/free courses do not have?

What was Dan's favorite/most memorable day at NASA?


Q:

There were no cameras or anything to track the car?

A:

Yeah, supposedly Spain has the second worst level of English in Europe (after Hungary). First, I think it's because they were just late to the party. Many other countries had made English learning a priority decades before Spain got around to it. Consequently, there is a sort of national insecurity about how "spaniards are bad at English", which becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.

And, yeah, I think it's fair to say that spaniards are not the most intellectual people in the world. They refer to those countries you mentioned as "Europe", and generally don't count themselves among that group.


Q:

I think the main benefit for attending Coding Dojo or any other paid boot camp is that you have other people trying to achieve the same goal as you are. At Coding Dojo our goal is for you to become a self-sufficient developer. One thing about programming is that you have to code to get good at it, there are no shortcuts. We create a space for you to code as much as you can, provide you with projects and problems to solve, and people to help you learn. We don't steal learning opportunities.

As for my favorite day while at NASA, it was probably when I was able to goto Alaska and work with the Yupik tribes, the project was to bring NASA data into their schools. On that trip, I got to spend a day exploring glaciers near Whittier, AK--that was amazing.

A:

There was one witness, who wrote down the plate number. Unfortunately the registered owner was long dead.

Literally a dead end.


Q:

Are the Spaniards laughing at our president as hard as I think they must be?

A:

But that's what every boot camp claims.

How do prep your students for tech interviews?


Q:

Does that mean it was a stolen car? Is it common to find cars with outdated registration in the US?

A:

Yes, but, in Madrid at least, most people here are pretty embarrassed of their own president. Many say that Rajoy is just as bad, although honestly I'd trade in a heartbeat.


Q:

Our career services staff have our students do mock interviews, they give suggestions on their presence online and on paper. We also try to give them confidence and build them up--to that end we do algorithms every morning on whiteboards, with the focus on being able to solve problems in front of people and communicate those solutions clearly.

A:

Yes, they said it was probably stolen.


Q:

What approach do you take in terms of teaching them the differences between American and British English, such as spelling, pronunciation, use of different words for the same thing and use of the same words for different things, or do you ignore all of that and just teach them American English?

A:

One thing about programming is that you have to code to get good at it, there are no shortcuts

I believe this to be true. Coding Dojo claims 20 hours for 20 weeks is adequate to become a self-sufficient developer. How many of the 400 hours is spent learning a classroom environment vs hands-on programming?


Q:

Does your mum help with stuff?

A:

This comes up a lot because the public schools here focus on British English and most of the teaching materials are from Britain. I'm constantly learning surprising things about British English. On the other hand, all of the students prefer American shows and movies.

In any case, I let them know there are two ways and that they're both right, but if they are ever planning to take an official exam they'll need to pick one dialect and stick to it throughout. The main thing is not to overwhelm them with options.


Q:

You're thinking about the online program. The expectation is different for the onsite camp. There students spend up to 12 hours a day coding with demos and short lectures all through the day. Some days more than others. It depends on what the cohort is struggling with.

A:

Yeah, she honestly helps me a lot. Jokes aside, she helps me in whichever way she can, and I appreciate it. For example, she does the dishes whenever she can because she knows I hate doing them.


Q:

How has FATCA affected your financial affairs while abroad?

A:

What schooling did you have and what IT jobs did you work before you landed at NASA?


Q:

I nearly lost an arm to injury the summer before starting high school. Shoot out to mom for tying my shoes before school.
I had no extension in four of my fingers for two years. Then it took another year of therapy to make them useful. Keep on that grind.

A:

Not at all. Maybe because I don't make much money?


Q:

I studied information and computer science. I did a lot of freelance work and I also worked as a systems administrator for a few years after I got out of school.

A:

Thank you. Congratulations on your recovery!


Q:

You should make sure you're filing U.S. income tax still. If you have a foreign bank account there, for example, you need to file certain forms for that. It's no fun realizing two or three years down the road that you failed to report income (U.S. calls this world income) to the IRS.

A:

I have very basic coding experience from my time in high school. Now I am a middle aged man who is interested in taking it up again and possibly switching careers. What has been your experience in teaching older students? Any success stories?


Q:

Does it take a lot of willpower to get in the work for the rehab? is it hard? How do you manage it?

I'm in a similar situation in some ways but I'm neglecting the work I should do for it.

A:

Oh, I file every year. I'm never sure that I'm doing it right (not so different from when I lived in the States), but I do claim all my income and haven't owed anything so far.


Q:

Okay, first of all we have quite a few students that are in your shoes. I'll say that for some folks it's harder than others... Overall though older students have way more skin in the game, and they work hard. That's been my experience. If you look me up on LinkedIn and PM me there, I can point out a couple of folks that have done well... but I'd say they were probably superstars before they came to us. If you think that programming is something you'll love doing then I think you should go for it.

A:

God, yes...

Just the sheer amount of "free" time I dedicate to therapy is really frustrating. I think I use the fear of being paralyzed along with the hope of regaining full mobility to help motivate me.

I know how that feels...to be honest, one of the reasons I'm doing this AMA is because I've been kind of falling into a slump recently. This week I've barely gone to therapy at all, which is really rare for me. I just feel exhausted of this all. I'm tired all the time and I just wish things were easy again. Sometimes I just want to send it all to hell and just fucking quit...

But I can't afford that. And I assume you can't afford that, either. In the end we only have this one life, this one body, and one chance. If we fuck it up, it's over. So I know that if I slack right now I'm going to regret it for the rest of my life. You and I both know what we need to do, we just need to suck it up and just do it.


Q:

Are you part of the Auxiliares de Conversacion program?

A:

Why does this feel like an ad?


Q:

I can relate so much it hurts. How much time do you have to dedicate to therapy? I have SO MANY other things I need to do . . . all important, and I don't use that word lightly.

Well, I wish you the best of luck. Show that arm who's the boss.

A:

I was!


Q:

Well, I don't get paid any extra for answering questions, and I was really thinking with all the news about dev-boot camp and the Ironyard. If anything I just wanted to get in front of people and answer questions if they have any. So, ad? Maybe, from some people's perspective--but it's just where I work.

A:

Usually about 2 hours every day, with short 10 minute exercise bursts throughout the day.

Thank you, likewise!


Q:

Nice! I just completed my first year as an Auxiliar in Murcia and have decided to renew for another year. But this time I'm going to be living in Madrid. So come September I'll be moving to Madrid. Any tips on finding a place to live? I hear apartment hunting in Madrid in September can be pretty cutthroat lol.

A:

At what point in a career would you recommend attending a programming boot camp? Is is enough to understand what variables, functions, classes etc are and how they work or should participants go in with a lof of hands-on experience already to really get the most of it?

Bonus question: How many times did you have to clarify that you're not an astronaut when you told people you work for NASA?


Q:

In similar situations as you (not that bad though). I get overwhelmed at the time spent in rehab and then the time after I recover to keep my muscles and nerves healthy. Consistency is a problem when your emotions vary from day to day. I'm also failing at time management so feel you bro. Need to eliminate time wasters so I can rehab 😅

A:

Yeah, and it has gotten worse in the last few years from what I can tell. I guess just decide what your priorities are (location, price, roommates, beauty, etc.) and know that you'll probably not get everything you're dreaming of. Get on idealista and call the numbers. Landlords get so many emails that they just ignore them. If your Spanish isn't so good, you may want to find a speaker who can help you. Also, walk around in the areas you're interested in and look for signs. Sometimes you luck out with an elderly owner who doesn't know about the internet yet and you can get a great deal.

Also, ask about heating and how the electric bills are. My first place was absolutely freezing in the winter and the bills were astronomical.


Q:

Lot's of our students don't necessarily understand variables, functions etc... I think when you decide that it's something you really want to do, then go for it. Figure out it programming is right for you. Don't think about salaries or anything. I know that's generic advice but I don't suggest our program to anyone who hasn't spent some time deciding they love to work with computers. As for the bonus... haha--many many times... They especially got confounded when I told them I was in an Earth Science part of NASA. I got the alien question a lot as well.

A:

Consistency is a problem when your emotions vary from day to day.

Man, I should print this out and frame it for how true it is.

Good luck with your rehab, we can do this!


Q:

Do you date locals or other foreigners such as yourself?

A:

What are the coding languages that you know? How did you learn them and how are some of the ways to practice them? Where do you think is a good place to start learning code(i.e. "beginner languages)?


Q:

Will $100 won through a certain spinner contest pay enough for your surgery?

A:

I went out with a couple Spanish girls before settling down with a Mexican gal. As I mentioned elsewhere, it seems that it's difficult for foreigners to win the favor of Spanish women. Men on the other hand...


Q:

I started with C++ but that was only because the college I went to taught that as our first language. It's object oriented and like zeinoth is saying it's more important to understand the concepts and knowing how to apply the language you know to solve a problem. Also, if you want to develop games then you need a language like c++. Once you learn one, it's way easier to do things in others. I play codewars when I have time just to keep sharp and solving new problems.

A lot of programmers believe that python is a good starting language because of its syntax and widespread use. We start with that in the dojo.

Right now I'm into a bunch of languages, and I've forgotten more than I probably know now.

A:

Yes


Q:

Well I know like Chinese don't wait for people to get off trains to get on.

A:

Are there any new, growing Web technologies you would suggest getting familiar with for someone already in the field?


Q:

Hey man its great you are seeing results, even when they are small. Have you tried rehab with Augmented - Virtual Reality? Ive read some good things about it, and it served as a base for a thing i did for a patient in nyc (you can check it at ourkidscandoanhthing in fb)

A:

Oh, right. You get some of that here, but not nearly as extreme. I've been told that Spain has been "tamed" a lot in the last twenty years or so.


Q:

Look at how much snapchat charges for a filter... I think companies like facebook are all over that. You should check out some of the facial recognition tools that are out there and running great in the browser.

A:

No, I haven't but I'll check it out. Thanks!


Q:
  • How do you feel about the current craziness in the Javascript library wars?
  • Do you ever feel that most of programming is simply: Identify Data, Get Data, Store Data, Process Data, Present Data and that if you can grasp those concepts, then programming is pretty much trivial (aka semantics)?
  • Do you feel if the US does not seriously start teaching more tech/math/science in schools then we as a country are doomed?
  • Do you ever worry about security in your projects and if so, how much does that influence hamper your creativity?
A:

Driver & Rider here. So sorry it happened to your Triumph btw. What a perfect machine. It's my dream bike and I hope you get another when you're ready.

Post-accident, do you ever feel yourself now having a fundamental lack of trust of others on the road?

I've been the victim in two crashes that totalled my cars. one exactly like yours where they made a left like they didn't even see me and I t-boned them, and a worse crash where I was just driving along on a single lane 40mph road, and someone drifted across the center line and hit me head on and totalled my car.

Sold my bike between crashes to help with finances so I don't even have one now, but honestly I've lost all trust in other drivers and as much as I want to ride, just the thought of it gives me anxiety.


Q:

A colleague gave me a book that taught me a lot about design patterns. So when it gets crazy, I just try to remind myself that it's the concepts that matter. There are more than one type of burger places out there... and there are more than one JS lib... the best one is the best for the job you're tasked with.

In a lot of ways yes. Problems that people want to be solved can sometimes get mundane and follow the pattern you're describing. If programming something can make someone's experience better I'll do it. Even if it's a little boring. Even though I might get lost in the code, it's still cool to see someone benefit from a clever program.

I don't think that we are doomed just because of one thing. As far as teaching and the specific subjects go, let's start treating our teachers and scientists like rock stars. When our culture swings a bit more towards the value that is created in our professors, teachers, instructors and mentors. I think we'll be fine. Think about it this way, remote sensing has been around for what... like 70 years? We are at the very beginning of the Einsteinian era in relation to science. I think there is way more ahead.

Of course, I worry about security. In fact, my co-worker was freaking out when he saw my "proof" for this AMA. He's the one that made me take a pic of my NASA award with my user name. I've studied photography as well... I thought it was like science and art mixed together and I loved that. I sat through a lot of brutal critiques from my peers for a while. Being creative is being courageous. No one likes it at first.

A:

Thanks for the good vibes.

Umm, no not really. I mean, all of the trust I had evaporated pretty quickly after I started riding. Now I'm just totally stoic when other people do stupid shit on the road. What's the point in complaining? It is what is it.

I'm sorry that happened to you, and believe me, I know what you mean!


Q:

How often are you attacked for having a part in "covering up the flat earth"? You must be very strong if you are able to battle gravity as well as carry the weight of such a vast conspiracy on your shoulders.

For the record the earth is not flat its clearly a cube and thats why they think its flat.

A:

May 13, 2005. The day my entire life changed forever. Motorcycle crash. C-4/C-5 fusion. Bracial plexus injury. Right bicep, right deltoid paralysis. Ended my naval career. I have the exact same injury. I wish the best for you. If you want to talk about it, feel free to PM me. It gets better. I have to ask a question. Can you tell me how you found out about the surgery in Mexico?

Edit: brachial, not biracial.


Q:

Hilarious... I got to meet Neil Degrasse Tyson one time at an ASP conference.... check out what he says: https://twitter.com/neiltyson/status/887467861119205376 I've been attacked more because people believe that contrails are evil.

A:

I'm sorry about your injury.

My doctor had just given a conference about his nerve transposition technique in several cities around the world, and my previous doctor attended of these. He along with several other doctors, advised me to go see him immediately, as my injury was his specialty.


Q:

Do coding bootcamps really exist with guaranteed jobs at the end? I never finished my degree and I'm in a really bad situation financially.

A:

What exactly about music are you pursuing? Do you write songs or play instruments (with one hand)? I hope you do well with your rehab.


Q:

I do believe that there are some camps out there that promise some kind of job. I wouldn't work for one that did though. They usually have a bunch of strings attached. It's about you... if you love programming and you are willing to code and learn, then maybe you have a good chance... but lots of times people who are great technically fail because of other things... like they can't work well with others or whatever. Soft skills are super important as well.

A:

I was mainly a bass and guitar player all my life. After the accident, I stopped playing entirely. I didn't even want to move my instruments, so I just left everything kind of as is.

Fortunately, I signed up for a music technology class that semester and I picked up the keyboard (which I already owned), while at the same time learning to use DAWs. Soon after I bought a synth, a MIDI controller, and a good looper pedal and starting getting into production kiinda.

Right now, I mainly practice making simplish songs/loops using the looper, the synth, the keyboard w/presets, and the controller, though I rarely write or record anything. I was also gifted a trumpet recently and have been relearning how to play, and it's been a lot of fun!


Q:

As someone in the industry and has works with Code School graduates, do you believe they are as qualified as their associates who pursued and obtained a 2-4 year degree?

Do you believe that some Code Schools (or trade schools as you called them in an above post) are much better than others?

A:

Damn. Haha I do hope you can play your guitar again! I wish you luck. Thanks for the AMA, I hope you can give hope to the other patients you go to rehab with.


Q:

My opinion on this is that they have different goals. Colleges have been more aligned with giving people the big picture and giving you some exposure to the skill you're learning. As for being as qualified, I've met CS college grads who didn't code much at all as a student in a 4year--and couldn't solve FizzBuzz if you asked them... but they know a lot about the history of programming and computers. But, then I've met bootcamp students who don't know anything about Alan Turing or Moore's Law, and they are really talented coders. They are fundamentally different IMO. I believe that like everything else, some schools and bootcamps are better than others... of course they are. But I also believe that you get what you put into both of them. It's more important for you to focus on you and what works for you best and your conditions.

A:

Thanks! :)


Q:

What advice you give to someone who is a professional developer (1 year into my first job) with a BS in physics who wants to work for NASA one day (in development or engineering)?

A:

Sorry still curious, doesn't it hurt from time to time or don't you get random twitches/spasm of your arm?


Q:

Network! Get out to some science related conferences where you know NASA will be at: AGU (American Geophysical Union), ASP (astronomical society of the pacific)-- start with the big orgs!

A:

No worries, ask away!

I have like a general soreness. Imagine how you arm would feel the day after you did a bunch of exercise after a long time of doing nothing. I feel about 50% of that feeling, all the time.

Then I get random flashes of nerve pain that vary in intensity and duration, but usually don't last more than a minute.

And yeah, I also sometimes get twitches or spasms, though more frequently now than before.


Q:

Why do you feel like anyone can program? The vast majority of those who graduate from boot camp can't think critically, and programming requires many years of practice to master fully. Do you think you are giving people false hopes?

A:

Wow, how much did the synth + controller run you? Hoping to get new ones of my own when The Budget allows. Got a soundcloud I could check out?


Q:

I don't really feel like anyone can program, and I do my best to make sure that people know that programming isn't the career for everyone. I don't like how bootcamps do advertise salaries and stuff like that... If it's any consolation, I try my best to help people decide if they are really right for a bootcamp style learning experience. That starts with finding out if they are doing it for the right reasons. Money is great and we all need security. Check out what James Gosling says about it... he created Java: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r19P3y1VBiw

A:

Synth was a Roland System One (~$300) and the controller was a maschine mk1 (~$70). I got them both on ebay.

Haha I don't have one! But I'll make one in a bit and upload some stuff.


Q:

My friend currently is working as an intern developing some wikis for NASA! He says there are some hidden neat Easter eggs that some developers leave on some of the pages. Can you attest to that?

A:

cool man don't give up keep making that music


Q:

Hmmm... I've not heard that one... I'm geeky enough sometimes to do stuff like that but I never did.

A:

Thanks man!


Q:

What is the point of a bootcamp? Why not just use a free online tutorial?

A:

Not to make light but have you given yourself "the stranger"?


Q:

I'd say that it's a place where you go and work out with other people and to leverage other people's knowledge. I don't think there is any magic or anything special that we do other than try to coach you and motivate you. Bootcamps aren't for everyone, and people quit. I think of it like a long training camp where you set some goals and go and work out until you are strong. If you can learn by online free stuff, it's out there and can totally work. Other people just like the environment.

A:

To my shame, yes I have. It was ineffective, to say the least.


Q:

I'm a high school senior, and I wanted to know if a computer science degree or an aerospace engineering degree is preferred to be a developer at NASA?

A:

I have a similar problem. May I ask how much it was for the surgery?


Q:

I worked with a woman at langley who has a degree in Math, and I have to say she's probably one of the smartest and best programmers I know. I also know a geology major that's a front end dev... so while it will help get your foot in the door... If you can do the job people will give you a shot if you can get in front of them. Generally speaking though, employers could use more math people... at NASA and everywhere else.

A:

I will PM you!


Q:

Do you ever worry about reaching a tipping point where teaching people to code ends up more driving down wages than getting people into well-paying jobs?

A:

Was it your fap arm?


Q:

I've never thought of it because I think that the number of people retiring soon is going to cause a greater demand in programs those folks were working on. I read a quora question the other day that got answered with something like COBOL still being used all over the place and that there are tons of people leaving COBOL based jobs. We can look at a lot of job figures but I think that there is solid demand for coders for at least a good while.

A:

Yes T__T


Q:

Yo. How much experience do you need before going into a boot camp? Thanks!

A:

Have you tried masturbating with that arm? If so what's it like?


Q:

We require that you have looked into programming, know that you will enjoy it and are passionate about learning. a little background information is suggested but not required. we believe we can teach anyone how to program and start from the basics

A:

To my shame, yes I have. It was ineffective, to say the least.


Q:

Hi there! I am a Computer Science student in his 4th out of 5 years of study. Although I find my major interesting and enjoyable (at times), I find that I truly struggle with programming. I am at a level where they expect too-tier coding skills from me and each semester, my lack of experience is causing me to struggle more and more. For someone who is in as deep as myself and who does not wish to leave my study, what advice do you have to get me back on track and more proficient into coding? Thanks for any response!

A:

What was the most difficult thing you had to adapt to after your arm was paralysed?


Q:

First of all you have to be honest with yourself about how much time you're putting in. If you're doing just the minimum then that's not enough. Learning to code comes from putting in time. I sometimes have to do things at least 3x to figure it out for real. Don't beat yourself up--Don't compare yourself to others--Keep solving problems and challenging yourself.

A:

The most difficult? That's hard.

Sex, writing, and playing music was the hardest for me at first. After a while, you get used to everything.


Q:

Nasa has great snaps. Who's takes all snaps?

A:

Glad you lived and are making a recovery! Drove past this same type of accident yesterday morning. Unfortunately the motorcycle driver yesterday did not make it. Were you wearing a helmet?


Q:

Those images are processed by the guys/gals at NASA EO. Great folks.

A:

Full gear, ATGATT (All The Gear All The Time).

I'd be dead if I hadn't.


Q:

Hey there, thanks for doing an AMA. This is my first question in an AMA ever! and it's because I'm an aspiring web developer :)

Could you share your "AHA" moments that significantly improved your understanding and/or changed your perspective on web development? Ideally a moment for each of the basic languages, HTML, CSS, Javascript :)

My learning progress has been up and down because I'm constantly doubting myself. Whatever code I write, I know it could be written better -- and then I don't get anything done because I keep revising the same code. Also, everyone seems to have a different view on "best practices" in terms of code structure, organization, and functional vs imperative -- and I can't find my own comfort zone. I think I just need something, or some concepts to "click" in, so I can discover that comfort zone.

A:

Anything you'd recommend to new riders? Taking my license in about a month or so, and will be doing ATGATT as well, having been in two minor solo wipeouts so far(once on a illegal 6 gear moped, second during first riding lesson, rider in front braked, I misread the situation and braked too hard on the front brake, and since I was an idiot on the only bike without ABS, down I went. It was very wet and slippery both times).

Locking up the front wheel in pouring rain isn't fun, that's for sure.


Q:

Hello GiantQtipZ: Thank you. I appreciate the thoughtful remarks.

I can really only echo what protect-the-zebras has posted before me. That advice is solid as it gets. One of the biggest AHA moments was that I could do web dev for a living. That was a while ago of course.

Some of the folks that I work with have kinda thought I'm a jackass because I'll sometimes send out something to the other instructors about grit. But I've seen some people succeed with pure determination and time on station. Were they the best programmers I've ever met? 6X or whatever? Definitely. They did it long and hard enough until they were great--then they took a break.

Those AHA moments will come--but only if you keep working at it. My AHA moments might be your laughable ones. Don't compare yourself to other people's "best practices"--you can't code exactly like anyone other than yourself. We all have totally different backgrounds and experiences. Coding is writing, and expressing yourself. Your first projects are going to suck. But, if you're humble and you're willing to learn from your mistakes. You're golden. Good luck my friend.

A:

Well since you've already taken riding lessons and are ATGATT, I don't have much else to say except good luck!

Watch a Twist of the Wrist 2, if you haven't already.

Find a place to practice if you can and do it every once in a while. Buy a good backpack. Sweatproof stuff for summer and thermals for winter are a must. Don't take passengers until you've ridden 6 months or 1,500 miles. Don't die...

Stay alert, be safe, have fun!


Q:

I'm currently in the last year of my physics Master and looking to get into a simulation/visualization-based field (for example game engine development). Can you recommend what I should focus on getting experience in or maybe a path for someone "fresh on the market"? Based in Germany if that's relevant.

A:

I am rooting for you. I know a guy in wheelchair from an accident (decades ago) and told him to hang in there -- he said even if they figured out a way to deal with the paralysis his muscles would be too weak for rehab but I am optimistic about that too and I suspect you have an opinion about this?


Q:

Get into OOP. Check it out.

A:

Muscles can be rebuilt. That's exactly what I'm doing right now. Granted, it's not the same as both legs, but in the end there's always hope for improvement. Always. Even if it's just a tiny bit better, if you do something, anything, you're definitely not going to get worse.


Q:

Is it difficult to program and teach in zero G?

A:

Pro arm wrestler


Q:

Nope. It's super easy.

A:

ayy


Q:

I have been interested in getting into a coding bootcamp, but it seems like there is an overwhelming concensus on the web that these things are a scam and you're better off with book learning.

Are there any good ones out there that you can rep in addition to your own? What do you have to say to these naysayers of coding bootcamps?

A:

Was it hard to type this with one hand?


Q:

All I can say is these boot camps are things that you get what you put into it. In other words... Boot camps are definitely not the panacea for learning. Everyone is different and there are plenty of people who join up on these types of things that absolutely shouldn't.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion and when I first found out about the coding boot camp model I wasn't sold. When I went to train, I learned some things when I went through our boot camp, just so I could experience what people go through. That was an eye opener. The other thing that got me wasn't the curriculum or the facilities... it was the students. These guys are experts in all these other things coming in to learn. They were invested not in me, or the school, but in themselves.

What would I say to the naysayers? Sure: Are there bad schools, bad people and bad whatever out there? Of course, there are. Someone told me one time though, that I can always find bad stuff about something if I look hard enough for it. It was at a point when I was totally skeptical about religion... I wanted to throw it under the bus and I did in a lot of ways... but even though I had bad feelings about it, there were good things that come from it. My advice would be to do what you think is right for you, go out and meet the people that are working in the bootcamp you're looking at. If they suck--move on.

A:

Yeah, a little


Q:

Hi Dan, I'm a Computer Science major at school, but at home I live close to JSC. So this past summer I was thinking about doing an internship with JSC for computer science but I've only completed my intro CS classes. Do you think you could tell me the expectations and required skills for a NASA computer science internetship?

Thanks!

A:

I can't even imagine. I'm happy that you're going to physical therapy though!! I've never been paralyzed but I can imagine it's like trying to move something you naturally can't, like your ears for example? Is this true? I've heart it somewhere before. Wishing you the best~~


Q:

Hey there, thanks for the question. I think the first thing you need to do is be on time... and first in line. That's key. The internships that people get are given to people who get their applications in line, and and also have some good recommendations. Make sure you're watching the NASA OSSI website and of course the JSC intern page:https://www.nasa.gov/centers/johnson/education/interns/index.html

A:

No, it's more like not remembering how to move something. Like if you suddenly completely forgot the mental mechanisms to do so, and you're trying to figure it out.

Thanks!


Q:

How can I get a job working at NASA as a software developer?

A:

When/if you regain movement in your arm, what is the first thing you will do with your newly restored limb?


Q:

Start applying on jobs at usajobs.gov and also start telling people that you know that you want to work at NASA. They might know someone who knows someone. That's how I caught my break.

A:

Learn to play the bass again. Hug my girlfriend. Start benching. Play basketball again.

Feel normal.


Q:

Where do I sign up for the programming boot-camp? I'm a propulsion system engineer and want to expand my horizon. Maybe something I can work out with my employer.

A:

How's masturbation?


Q:

You can apply for Coding Dojo here: http://www.codingdojo.com/apply

However, before just jumping in, I would recommend attending an open house and doing as much research as possible. You will want to make the best decision for yourself so take the time you need to come to a conclusion.

A:

Very well, thank you!


Q:

What are some jobs available at NASA for a CS student after I graduate (undergraduate)? Thanks!

A:

How hard did you find it to carry out everyday tasks without the use of your right arm?


Q:

So check out USAjobs.gov: https://www.usajobs.gov/Search/?k=Computer+Programming&p=1 they have the civil servant jobs. For a job as a contractor: there are lots of companies... Start with SSAI, then goto Raytheon or one of the other big companies. You can start looking at companies that won IT support contracts and stuff.

A:

How hard? It depends on the task, really. I am surprisingly dexterous with my left arm and hand now so I can manage my way through most tasks. Though some, like dishwashing, are infuriating and I can never really manage well.

Honestly it is a little frustrating most of the time, but like everything, you get used to it and get better at it.


Q:

What do you think of flat-earthers?

A:

What's your favorite tropical fruit?


Q:

They are totally entitled to their opinion. So, I just smile and nod.

A:

Pineapple


Q:

Seeing your title, I immediately wondered if you were CG, then reading his reply to your original post seems like it was really helpful for you. I’m so sorry that you’ve been going through this, but happy that you’re fighting to get back to fitness!

Anyway, do you have any sensation in your arm now? If you can’t feel anything with it, do you keep it in a sling or anything? Also, did you have to go to Mexico because no US hospitals would attempt the procedure?

A:

Thank you! I feel somethings in some areas, and in others I feel almost nothing. In some areas I can feel pain/wetness/hotness/electricity, and in some I can't. It's really weird and interesting sometimes. The other day I burned my skin completely off by accident and I didn't feel a thing.

No, I went to Mexico because it was cheaper and my parents are Mexican.

Shoutout to u/CG_Ops, the badass one-handed rider who helped me with kind words and advice!


Q:

Do you find yourself more focused on your interests (music specifically) since your accident? And if so, how, if at all, has your approach to your craft changed?

A:

Interestingly, yes! I find that I value much more the things I enjoy doing. Since everything is a little more difficult, it's feels like the things that I enjoy struggling to do are the things that are worth it.

I kind of answered that question in another comment:

I was mainly a bass and guitar player all my life. After the accident, I stopped playing entirely. I didn't even want to move my instruments, so I just left everything kind of as is.

Fortunately, I signed up for a music technology class that semester and I picked up the keyboard (which I already owned), while at the same time learning to use DAWs. Soon after I bought a synth, a MIDI controller, and a good looper pedal and starting getting into production kiinda.

Right now, I mainly practice making simplish songs/loops using the looper, the synth, the keyboard w/presets, and the controller, though I rarely write or record anything. I was also gifted a trumpet recently and have been relearning how to play, and it's been a lot of fun!


Q:

How fast were you going during the crash?

A:

About 40 mph. I probably smacked into him like at 35 with the braking.


Q:

Hey man had a very similar accident when I was riding. Lost my arm for about a year or so and now have full movement. The doctors told me I had a 50/50 chance of regaining my arm, what was your percentage?

A:

Wow, congratulations!

The doctor said he wasn't sure how much I was going to recover, but how much I advance these few years will tell. He said that the goal was a 70-90% recovery.