S1E2: Combining your passions into a coding career with Astrid Countee

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I’m very excited to share this episode with you. Today I talk with Astrid Countee, a software developer who followed a unique path from a graduate degree in anthropology to a successful career as a freelance developer and researcher.

Astrid takes us through her journey from college to working as a data analyst, and eventually to her time at The Iron Yard code school, which led to her current success as a programmer.

We get to hear about her passion for helping beginners as well as how she overcame discomfort with networking. Astrid talks about how she landed her first few projects, and how volunteering and attending meetups made all the difference in her continued accomplishments.

Ultimately, Astrid shares advice about stepping outside your comfort zone and making a choice today that will change the path you’re on.

Laurence:
Hey guys, it’s Laurence from the Learn to Code with Me podcast. In today’s episode I talk with Astrid Countee, and I absolutely love this interview. We talk about Astrid’s path from studying anthropology to getting a career in technology and then later joining a coding boot camp.

This is a woman who not only reinvents herself but she also is able to mash her skills together. Today Astrid is doing freelance WordPress development as well as user experience research. One of my favorite takeaways from the episode is her advice of starting where you are. You can see the show notes for this episode at learntocodewith.me/2. Enjoy!

Hey guys, I’m here today with Astrid. Astrid, thanks so much for having a talk with me.

Astrid:
Thanks for having me.

Laurence:
Great, so I just want you to introduce yourself quickly, say a little bit about who you are, and what you do.

Astrid:
Okay, my name is Astrid Countee. I am a software developer and also an anthropologist. And I work as a freelance developer and a freelance researcher.

Laurence:
Very cool, so could you just give us a little bit of an idea of what you were doing before you got started in tech or before you began learning how to code, perhaps.

Astrid:
Okay, so I started out working at a company that was a data company so it was my job after college. I went to school and got a degree in psychology and I wanted to do medical social science type research so I knew I was going to go to graduate school but I also didn’t want to be broke anymore so I started working full time. And, when I was working at that company I started learning about Excel because I had to make reports. And I also started learning about how to use Access to write queries and it gave me the ability to continue to move up.

So I moved up into a management position and then I started moving into more of a strictly data analysis position. So in that role I was doing a lot of stuff with manipulating data, writing queries, doing metric based stuff, and that was what my career was. And so I kept progressing at that company, I left that company and went to a bigger company, had a bigger role and I was on that path and what started to happen was some of the projects I was doing allowed me to interface more with the software developers, or work more with the software developers, so it got me more interested in learning.

But it was never my original plan to be a software developer. It actually kind of came about out of frustration, of not being able to just implement the solutions that I wanted to. I always had to wait for the development team to prioritize my fix or something like that. Once I was at that bigger company it was actually worse because there was a whole lot more steps to go through, and I had to have all these meetings, and we had to build a charter and it was just…I wanted so badly to just be able to do things myself. So I decided at that point that I was going to really focus on learning how to program.

I mean I had been doing, like trying to teach myself certain skills, like I started taking, I think, a Java class online, because I was already learning Sequel from my work I was trying to learn more about that but I just didn’t really have a good idea of what to learn or what to do, so that’s when I decided okay I’m going to take this time to really focus and go to a boot camp.

Laurence:
So it sounds like you were learning some technical skills at the career that you had and you were doing things with data and data analysis and Excel and Access which is already pretty technical but not the same as software, engineering or software development. I’m just curious, how long were you teaching yourself? You mentioned taking a Java course online before you made the decision to look into coding boot camps.

Astrid:
I’m not actually sure how long I was teaching myself. I would say probably a year or two because it wasn’t very structured. It was more like, what was happening to me is my work was forcing me to have to learn more technical skill just to do my job. Even though I wasn’t on what I guess would be a technical team, in order to do some of the things I needed to do, like I needed to be able to make reports, I needed to be able to run queries in order to get information for my reports and we were a data company so we had millions and millions of records. I had to start to learn some of these skills. I would learn ‘how can you automate something in Excel?’ You can do that if you write some VBA code so I would go learn a little VBA code and then write something in Excel. Once I started to move past Access and into strictly Sequel, then that’s a whole range of things you can do with Sequel so I would go learn how to do something more than what I already knew or figure out how to automate a report or something like that. So it was kind of in pockets.

What started to happen was, once I was doing work when I was working more with developers, I would see what they were doing and it’s not so much that I didn’t think it was hard but it just seemed like it was a few steps past what I could do. So it made me want to go find more information. I could write a very basic query and they would write more advanced queries around it to make it do something. So then
I wanted to go find out how to do that. That got me more and more interested in what programming really is.

I had a project in particular where I was taking all these queries I had already written and I was working with a developer to create an internal tool that would just kick my queries off and run them. And then it would create this report and it was interactive and dynamic. He would tell me, because I would ask questions and he would say “We’re going to use a Mongo database,” and I would say, “what is a Mongo database?” And he would say, “Oh it’s this non-structured database,” and I would ask “what does that mean?” So I was trying to learn about what these actual tools were so I could kind of get better at my job. So that was really where that came from.

Laurence:
I know, now I’m kind of jumping ahead I feel like, but I know that you went to a coding boot camp. You went to the Iron Yard coding boot camp, your main motivation was to excel further at the current job you were in.

Astrid:
Not just that, by the time I had made that decision I had gotten really frustrated. When I was working at that bigger company and it was just taking so much longer to get things done because there was a much wider gap between the business side and the development side. Even though I had a little bit of…I could write my own queries, things like that, they wouldn’t let me do that because I didn’t have permissions to do that. And so I would have to always go through their IT department, which was massive and it was just taking too long for me to do some of the things that even they hired me to do.

So what was happening is it was moving past me just getting better at my job and was just making me feel like if I want to be able to direct my own career in any way I’m going to have to learn skills that don’t require me to have to be holding the hand of another department to get something done. So it was becoming this passion of mine to try to continue to move myself forward. Not even just in that particular career but just continue to improve. The way that I saw that happening the most was through autonomy which I could definitely see doing by learning more and more about how to program.

Laurence:
Okay, great. So interesting and great answer and that totally makes sense that it’s not just for the career or the company at the time but just in general, just giving yourself better skills that are more valuable and more opportunities. Did you do a lot of research before you chose the Iron Yard? Was it because it was close to where you were living at the time? What was the decision behind that?

Astrid:
It was kind of both of those things. When I had started out doing research it was on certificates because that was just what I saw around me. So I saw people who had certificates for Oracle stuff or Microsoft certificates and I was looking into this to see, okay, if I do this, what does that mean, and what kind of work I can do? That’s when I started to learn that there’s this whole open source world and then there’s this much more private and traditional world when it comes to software development. What I saw, at least for me, looked like if I go that route then I’m still probably going to need to be employed by an employer. But if I learn some open source technologies then I can work for myself because I won’t have to pay for licenses and things like that.

Once I made that distinction then I started to look into how can I do that. It was not like I had plans to necessarily quit my job and go to coding boot camp. That actually came about because as I was looking into learning these open source technologies, there just seemed to be so many choices I wasn’t sure how I was going to make the right decision by myself. After really looking into it and trying some things out, but really wanting to get to a point where I could work on my own, I decided it would be better for me to go to school somehow. There were some online choices but I really wanted to be in a classroom. I didn’t necessarily want to do that without really understanding what my options were. That’s when I started looking more into the coding boot camps. They had more than just the actual training. It was also going to be things like speakers coming in and talking to you about careers and technology. Or someday the ability to go out to events and meet people that were doing different things.

So it kind of worked out that a coding boot camp would probably be the best way for me to really dedicate a short amount of time to getting a lot done and then come out of it with enough skills to be able to go work and then do work for myself and whatever it is that I wanted to do.

Laurence:
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And it sounds like you took a very strategic approach. You kind of didn’t just ghoul around a bit, find it and then sign up. You understood where you were going.

Astrid:
Yeah, I had to. I was married. The first time I told my husband about this he was like “So you want to quit your job? You don’t have to quit your job.” So I had to come up with a really good understanding for him so he could see why this would be a benefit for me to quit working to do this this way. I really had to do a lot of research.

Laurence:
Yeah, that reminds me. I never ended up going to a formal coding boot camp for anything. But when I first started out, and now I realize it was way too soon for me to go to a coding boot camp, it probably wouldn’t have been a good decision at that time. I had begun doing research and I remember telling my dad about it and my dad said, “Laurence, you’ve just started teaching yourself how to code a month ago and now you want to go spend $12,000, or whatever it was at the time, to go to a program that’s longer than you’ve been learning?”

For you, you had already been doing it, for years, dabbling in these different technical things. In my mind it was very planned and strategic and you had a really good reason for wanting to go. So, then, what led you to the Iron Yard? Was it in your area or did you relocate to attend it?

Astrid:
No, they actually were in the area. I didn’t know that they were here at first and then they happened to put up a billboard not that far from my job. And then I thought, ‘Oh, we have one!’ So I called the Iron Yard and made an appointment to come. I believe this was like their first cohort that they had in Houston and I went there during the day, I think it was after a lecture. I met with the campus director and we talked. I had a million questions. I think I had already sent him twenty questions and then I came with a list of questions and he answered all my questions. He basically just said “this is what it will be like.” He took me into one of the rooms where people were working and he said “So, this is what you would do. If this is something that would work for you, then great, otherwise it may not be a good fit if you don’t want to work like this.

For me, because I kind of already knew my learning style, I like to be really deep in something. I knew that if I was going to really dedicate myself to trying to move to a whole new career it would be good for me to be in an immersive environment like that. So after my visit then I was pretty convinced it was the right thing for me. Then I applied.

Laurence:
Yeah, one of the first cohorts in the Houston one for the Iron Yard.

Astrid:
I was in the second one. Because they had already started the first one.

Laurence:
Okay, so I know there are some people that will travel and relocate temporarily or maybe even permanently to go to a coding boot camp. That’s quite nice that the location was there and it worked out.

Astrid:
Yeah, it made it more doable.

Laurence:
Definitely, because, I don’t want to get too sidetracked, but if you have to relocate to San Francisco, New York City, the cost of living can be a lot higher than where some people are living originally. When did you finish the program?

Astrid:
I finished in December of 2014.

Laurence:
Okay, so you’ve been done now for over a year. What have been some of the things that have happened since? I’m sure there’s a ton that’s happened?

Astrid:
Yeah, so when I finished I started freelancing immediately. It was one of the people that I had met while I was still going to the Iron yard and I got a freelancing gig with. I’m actually still working with him now. I started with them, started picking up some freelance projects and then I had also met a recruiter at our demo day and she had worked with another company to get me hired at HP. So I was working at HP actually until just a couple weeks ago because they had layoffs.

I was working at HP as a quality engineer, which is a job where a lot of times junior developers you start out in that position where you’re writing test scripts and automation scripts and you’re checking the features for the code that the other developers are making. Then I got moved into their DevOps group. So I was working like way over my head but it was really fun to learn all the stuff I was learning. But this was all for one project where they had this huge SAS application and there was maybe like a hundred and thirty developers in three countries that were working on this. So I was really learning a lot.

Then I was also still doing freelance projects. I’ve been trying to kind of find my groove of what it is that I like. I did some projects that were freelance where I was doing Rails development. When I went to the Iron Yard I focused on Ruby on Rails. The project at HP also had a backend that was in Rails which was one of the reasons why I wanted to try it out because I had not originally wanted to work at a big company but I really liked the group, meeting with them when I was doing my interviews and I liked that it would give me the chance to see a really big Rails project which I had not seen before.

I’ve also done freelancing, even for research which was something that was a skill of mine from before I even started to learn how to code. Ironically it seems like the more I have gone out and talked to people about the stuff that I do, the things I was capable of doing before, like doing the research or even writing for other places and for other people, I’ve gotten more opportunities to do that, partly because I do know how to program.

So I’ve been taking advantage of some of those opportunities. I’ve started to learn how to create websites in WordPress, partly because a lot of the people who are requesting some sort of freelance programmer, they have a small business or are a freelancer themselves and want something that they can kind of interface with. So I’ve been doing a lot of different things.

Laurence:
Wow, so the one thing that stuck out so much to me was when you said how coding has opened up more opportunities for things with skills you already had. So the research and the writing and I can totally relate to that. I used to want to write so much, one of my goals was to get paid as a writer. It was so hard for me to do it. I kind of gave up on that but once I learned how to code, I know get paid writing opportunities all the time and it’s because I know how to code.

Astrid:
Isn’t that so interesting?

Laurence:
It’s so funny! One of the reasons I began learning how to code was to make more money because I couldn’t really make money writing and then once I learned how to code it was like all these writing opportunities began coming up. I was writing on my site at the time so I was still writing, but about code.

Astrid:
Yeah, that happens to me more often than I ever expected. It’s so ironic because before I even went to graduate school it was in the back of my mind that it would be cool if I could be a freelancer. I went to graduate school in anthropology and there is a section of anthropologists who work as freelancers and they’re researchers and they go do ethnographic research and I thought that would be cool, I just have no idea how to do that.

Because I learned how to program, it teaches you how to do things on your own without being a part of a full system of other people. It’s almost like that skill has allowed me to be able to take advantage of these other opportunities where somebody wants a researcher, somebody wants somebody to work on content for their site. It’s just so interesting because it was just not my original plan that that was going to happen.

Laurence:
What kind of research? I’m so curious, what kind of research do you do? Do you do stuff with anthropology?

Astrid:
Yeah, so the research is oftentimes user experience based. So it’s user experience research and it will be things such as…let’s say you’re a company and you have a product and you want to launch it, but you’re not sure how you should launch it. So this might be more related to a marketing piece then you can have the user experience researcher go out into whatever your audience would be, or if you don’t know who they are they can kind of help figure out who they are and get to know those people and find out what they’re interested in and find out where they hang out, find out what they read online, find out what they do online. Then that can help direct how you launch your product. That type of research kind of falls into design sometimes. Whenever you’re working specifically on a software engineering product. It can fall into the design piece where if you’re starting out with getting that research and working with the designers to design things like the user interface or to design even things like a work flow. So, that type of research often comes up.

Laurence:
Do you interview people directly to do that kind of research? Do you use other kinds of tools?

Astrid:
It’s a combination of things actually. Sometimes it’s interviewing directly. Usually I like to start out with doing some participant observation, which is a method. You go out to wherever these people would be. You try to participate and observe what they’re doing. That way you have your own perspective of, ‘this is what it’s like.’ If you are trying to learn something about people who like a certain kind of coffee who go to this coffee shop, then you would go to that coffee shop, hang out in that coffee shop because you kind of pick up on things you just wouldn’t by doing regular research. Maybe that coffee shop has a band that plays every Thursday that people come out for. That’s not something you would normally find out unless you go. Then that might be the key to how you can make a connection between whatever it is that you’re doing and the people you’re trying to reach.

Laurence:
Yeah, it’s just so awesome that coding can open so many doors even for something related to anthropology, but then that ties back into user experience which, of course, is design and then design and development are interrelated. I love that. I didn’t even know before we began talking today that you were doing that kind of research and using skills that you acquired in college and then in your master’s degree combines with coding.

Astrid:
It’s actually really powerful. I also do sometimes mentor people who are learning. I help organize things like Railsgirls workshops and I try to tell people, especially people who don’t have a technical background and they’re kind of wanting to learn more but they don’t know where to get started, they should start from where they are. Oftentimes the skills that they have are skills that are really useful.
Companies, even tech companies, are still companies. They still have a need for people who can do all kinds of things, not just programming. That might be a good way to get into the door and start to learn more and then pick up new skills, because that’s kind of what happened to me in my own career. I can see the benefit of that. In getting the chance to kind of slowly find where you really want to be and not be so worried that you have to have all these skills before somebody can find value in what you do. That’s really not always the truth.

Laurence:
I love that. Start where you are, I’m writing that down. Start where you are. That’s wonderful advice, especially for people who…I’m sure you talk to people like this all the time who say, “I’m not in a place financially where I can go to a coding boot camp or I can’t take the ten weeks or the three months off or whatever it may be, but there’s so many opportunities if you just start where you are and then take some of the existing soft skills that you have or even maybe some that are edging on technical and combine them with starting to learn to code. You’re a super candidate then because you have both of these skills.

Astrid:
Totally, a couple weeks ago I was actually on a panel, we were talking about careers in software development. This was for high school students. After the panel was over, this young man came up to me and he said, “I just started community college this semester, I don’t know anything about technology really, I’ve only played with some HTML and CSS online at Code Academy, but I want to know what to do. How do I get started because I think I would like this but I just don’t know where to start.” And I said to him, “If you can do some stuff with HTML and CSS there are whole jobs where that is what you do, just HTML and CSS. Don’t believe that you have to worry about learning more just in order to contribute. You should start looking now and then keep learning as you find these opportunities because even if you’re just doing a little side project you’ll learn something from that.”

What I’m still adjusting to is that technology is different in different industries. Not always based on your past experience. For me, one of the things that I am sometimes still adjusting to is that technology is different from other industries in that they do not expect for you to know everything in order to contribute anything. It’s not based always on your past experience. They want to know, are you capable of learning because things change so quickly. It’s not a prerequisite to know everything just to get opportunities.

It’s a prerequisite to want to learn things and to be willing to work at learning things, which means that a lot of people who, maybe are even just starting out, there’s room for them, and I think that they don’t know that. In a lot of other industries, you have to have a certain level of education and you have to have a certain amount of years of experience before you’ll be considered for a position. With technology, I think because it’s so pervasive, it’s becoming a part of every industry so there’s always a need for somebody with technical skills. You can do a lot with just taking some online courses and just getting started. I think a lot of people just don’t know that.

Laurence:
Yes, hitting the nail on the head, I completely agree with everything that you’re saying. With just HTML and CSS there are literally careers that revolve around doing that and it can come in handy in a range of other careers that you maybe don’t even put the two and two together. I always use writing as an example, but like HTML formatting…when you write for the web, there’s a need for that. Just with people who are writers. So, thanks for sharing. I am super interested, because it sounds like you’re doing all this different stuff. You’re not still working at HP, you were just working at HP?

Astrid:
Yeah

Laurence:
You were working at HP and then you were doing the freelance stuff, doing user experience research and so on. Out of everything, is there one thing that you enjoy the most or do you love the diversity and all the stuff you get to do, day in and day out?

Astrid:
I love the diversity. I’m one of those people who, I feel like both sides of my brain are always battling for attention. I’m not completely a right-brain person and I’m not completely a left-brain person. There are days when I just want to do something a little more artistic, like spend time researching and writing and learning something really deeply and then there are other days where I just want to build things. So I really like the ability to kind of be in a lot of these different pools at the same time because it gives me a chance to contain and grow in multiple ways and not just have a one-track career.

Laurence:
Yes, oh my gosh I feel like a lot of people can relate to that. I can definitely relate to that. Because I love to write and then I also love to create things and I love the different things I get to do, day in and day out and it’s not always the same. Do you think you’ll continue doing the different kinds of freelancing or consulting or whatever you want to call it? Do you think you’ll get a full time job again probably?

Astrid:
I don’t know, I mean I don’t rule it out. I’ve become a little more, I don’t want to say enamored, but I guess more interested in just entrepreneurship in general, partly because of what I just said about having different interests. It’s hard for me to find the right job because there’s not a lot of jobs that give you the chance to do that in your actual position. So I am working on ways that I can build my freelance business into a more established business as an entrepreneur but also just looking at other opportunities that come up.

It’s kind of fun for me right now because since HP had that layoff and then I knew that was going to happen, I decided that would give me a chance to try out different things. I’ve been doing little projects with different people just to see what stuff is out there. I’m kind of enjoying this WordPress stuff because I didn’t really think that I would like WordPress that much, but it’s more fun than I realized it is. So it’s hard to say if I’ll ever have a regular job again. I could see doing that, but I think even if I did I would probably still have other projects going on just because it’s fun.

Laurence:
I’m interested in knowing, and I know people listening are going to be interested in knowing, what were some of the ways you got some of these projects early on?

Astrid:
I want to preface this with saying that I’m not a naturally networking kind of person. Because I was always very intimidated by that, by having to go to this event and meet people. I still have a hard time with that, but what I do is go to events and that is where I end up meeting people. It is not so much with the intention of finding a client, but what I notice is that having but having the network helps you.

So, for me, it more started when I was at the Iron Yard because I wanted to use that three months to kind of build in some new skills and some new practices that I just didn’t have from before. So when I was doing that boot camp I started going to meetups. Going to the meetups was really hard for me at first but it started to get better because once you start going more regularly then people recognize you.

Because if they know you then you can at least feel a little more comfortable having some small talk with them. That would give me information about other events that might be going on. So, a lot of it just comes from, I went to these meetups and then met these people and there was this event and maybe this conference.

I also do a lot of volunteering which I enjoy doing because I just like helping other people, especially because I know how they feel when they’re trying to learn something that’s really hard. But volunteering is a really great way to meet people you wouldn’t normally meet also, because these people may be, in some cases where I’ve met people that have become my clients because they may be wanting to learn how to code because they have their own project. If you get along well then they might say ‘hey, I have this project and maybe you can help’ or ‘I know a person,’ so that’s really more so out of trying to just grow the network I have and meeting people who are involved.

Saying yes to a lot of things that in some cases were terrifying. Saying yes to being a part of a Railsgirls workshop where I was not sure that I should be teaching anybody anything. But it actually ended up being really fun. Getting to meet people that I would never normally meet because I would usually just be in my own little circle.

I think if you’re interested in trying to learn more about getting these types of projects you have to first start with just being somebody that people know and that helps. Then when people say ‘what do you do,’ you can say ‘I’m actually learning how to make this website or I’m a programmer, I’m teaching myself how to program.’ That usually gets people interested because everybody has some idea they would just love to build but they don’t know how, so they’ll start talking to you more about it.

Laurence:
Yes, those are all great things. I love what you said, ‘Being somebody that people know.’ I wrote that down. That’s so important. I love what you said too about going to events but then also volunteering. I just had a guest, another podcast guest talking about the role that volunteering played in her getting some new opportunities and she would meet people while she was volunteering. Also, of course, you’re giving back so it’s has a…

Astrid:
Double benefit!

Laurence:
Yeah, don’t just volunteer just to meet people. Definitely volunteer with an organization that you’re passionate about and want to help out with. Then when you’re there, it’s a great place to meet others.

Astrid:
Another good thing I would add to that is to actually go to stuff that you’re interested in anyway. If you’re going to volunteer, volunteer for something you’re interested in, or go to the meetups that you’re interested in because when you do meet a person or whenever someone is giving a talk, then you should ask questions. Even if you force yourself to ask just one question, it’s good to do that because that is often a place where I get to know stuff that I don’t know exists, or I might end up being asked a question about myself and that gives me a chance to say, ‘oh, I’m a software developer and I do freelance projects.’

So I would definitely say asking questions is a big way to meet these people without having to be a very extroverted person who can walk up and say ‘hi, my name is such and such and I want to do this for you.’ Because I’m not that way. But I am the type of person who would ask you, ‘hey, how did you do that?’ I think that even something very simple like that is a great way to start talking to somebody.
Laurence:

It’s a great way to break the ice when you naturally take an interest in other people’s lives and ask them questions. That’s all very awesome stuff. I don’t want to take up too much more of your time so I have one more final question I want to ask you, then we’ll be wrapping up. A person has no technical experience whatsoever but wants a job in tech. What can they do today to take a step in the right direction?

Astrid:
I would say, first I would look at what you do now. Whatever that job is, and whatever your skills are from that job I would look there. Then I would say, take that skill and move it to a company that’s going to have more opportunities in tech. So if you are in customer support, you can take that skill and move it to a tech company in customer support. Then I would start learning, little by little, whatever it is that you’re interested in. If you’re interested in front end development, if you’re interested in back end development, if you’re interested in being a database administrator, I would start learning. Because the closer you are to whatever this field is, no matter your position, the better chance that you’re going to get the opportunity that you really want.

Laurence:
Love that! Thank you so much, Astrid, for your time and where can people find you online?

Astrid:
The best place to find me online is Twitter. I love to tweet. My twitter handle is @ianthro.

Laurence:
ianthro, okay, got it. Thank you so much, Astrid, for talking.

Astrid:
Thank you!

Laurence:
Hey guys, I hope you enjoyed that interview with Astrid as much as I did. I especially loved what she had to say about getting out there, meeting new people, and volunteering. Again, you can get the show notes at learntocodewith.me/2. Yes, that’s just the number 2. In our interview we spoke a lot about landing new opportunities. And I think one of the best ways to put yourself out there online is through a portfolio website. However, a lot of people just don’t know where to start. Maybe you don’t have anything to show, or all of your previous work experience is irrelevant.

Well, I have some good news. I have a free portfolio course that you can get at learntocodewith.me/freecourse. Inside this free course I’ll show you what makes a great portfolio site, what to include on yours, even if you have no real work to show, and a lot more. Again, you can sign up for this course at learntocodewith.me/freecourse. Thanks so much for tuning in. If you’re enjoying the show so far, make sure you subscribe. I’ll see you next time!

Key takeaways:

  • Start where you are right now. Take a good look at your current skills and use them as a jumping off point to move to the next step.
  • If autonomy is the goal, figure out how to direct your own career.
  • A desire to continue improving and the passion to keep moving forward can help you achieve your goals.
  • Be somebody that people know. Networking is crucial to getting projects and making connections with potential clients.
  • Volunteering and mentoring are great opportunities for meeting new people and building confidence.
  • Before deciding if you should go to a bootcamp, research your options.
  • When it comes to landing a new job in tech, demonstrating that you know how to learn is more important than knowing everything about the job.
  • No matter what your goals are, the closer you work to your desired field, the closer you are to the opportunity you really want.

Links and mentions from the episode:

Thanks for listening!

Thanks so much for tuning in! Remember, you can listen to the Learn to Code With Me podcast on the following platforms:

  1. The LTCWM website (https://learntocodewith.me/podcast/)
  2. iTunes
  3. SoundCloud
  4. Stitcher

If you have a few extra minutes, please rate and review the show in iTunes. Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful when it comes to the ranking of the show. I would really, really appreciate it!


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