S2E8: Starting Free Code Camp with Quincy Larson

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In today’s episode of the Learn to Code With Me podcast, I talk with Quincy Larson. Quincy is a former teacher and school director who transitioned into a career in tech. He is the creator of Free Code Camp, an open source community of over 500,000 people who learn to code while building projects for nonprofits.

Quincy first became interested in tech while working in China as a school director. During this time, his focus on using technology to increase efficiency led to a career change. Back in California, Quincy began attending meetups and hackathons as often as he could. His networking efforts led him to his first tech job, and eventually to his founding of Free Code Camp.

Quincy details his journey into the world of tech and his commitment to immersing himself in the coding community. Moreover, he offers his tips and tricks on streamlining communication and making your work process more efficient. Quincy also talks about what led him to create Free Code Camp and what's in store for the future of the project.

Key takeaways:

  • Put yourself out there. The more people you meet, the more opportunities you have to find the right connection.
  • Code every single day. A little each day, as much as you can, will make a big difference in the long run.
  • Hang out with people who code, as much as possible. Not only will it build your network, it will increase the chance that someone will want to interview you.
  • Frequent places where people are constantly talking about technology. Go where the developers are and spend as much time as you can.
  • It is motivating to hang out with other people who code. It's hard to feel like you can't do something when you're surrounded by people who are finding solutions.
  • Know when to say no. Know your limits. Triage your tasks and find ways to prevent your To Do list from getting too long.
  • Find an organizational system that works for you. Keep your communication asynchronous to increase your productivity.
  • When there are too many things on your calendar, you carry those tasks in your working memory throughout the day. It can sap your ability to focus on other things. Learn how to clear your plate so you can concentrate on the task in front of you.

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