A podcast about learning to be a web developer and pursuing financial independence.
075: The Last Episode! (Possibly 😋)
It’s the last episode! I’m sharing the biggest lessons I wish I knew when I first started learning to code, and also what’s still to come on the Start Over Coder journey.
My Parting Advice
1. Set a clear goal from the beginning
2. Build actual projects
3. Work with other people from the beginning
4. Teach someone else what you know
5. What to learn? Keep it basic and go deep
What’s Next for the Start Over Coder
Despite this being my “parting advice,” I’m not stopping coding or actually going anywhere! Though the podcast is coming to an end, my main goals (check out episodes two and four to hear about them) are still very much in play.
You can listen to the episode from about 16:15 to hear what’s coming up in the immediate future, and keep in touch for future updates by:
subscribing to the podcast feed wherever you get your podcasts
signing up for the SOC mailing list
following me on Twitter and/or Instagram (Direct Messages are open if you want to get in touch)
emailing me at startovercoder at gmail dot com
CodeNewbie podcast season 3, ep 8 - Colleen Schnettler
Episode 70 — First Real Life Dev Meeting
Grace Hopper Celebration
This episode was originally published 7 July, 2018.
074: Ask Me Anything
In this episode I’m answering listener questions…ask me anything! The questions I answer in this episode are:
What kind of laptop to you use? —Ellen
What was the coding school that rejected you in episode 48? —Karl
Do you think you’d ever start a new podcast, maybe focusing more on financial independence with a few updates on your coding? —Erica
What life is like in general for someone living abroad? Do you ever get home sick or was it easy to meet new people? —Erica
What was/has been your favorite part of living abroad? Would you like to make the move permanent or just a few years? —Erica
Any podcast recommendations? I know you mentioned Second Career Devs and I’m now a big fan of that. Not even just coding ones, but what are some others you enjoy? And what made you start the podcast vs just blogging? —Erica
What is your perception of the job market for entry level frontend web development jobs? —Alex
It’s my current plan to build a solid portfolio and apply for jobs online, but I wonder if that route has become so competitive that it’s not a realistic way to land a job anymore. As you said, it’s so saturated on Upwork that they turned you down(?!) —Alex
I know that meet-ups/networking is important, but it’s hard to prioritize that stuff since it would take up a lot of time that I could use to work on my coding skills. How do you decide how to prioritize these two aspects of the job hunting process? —Alex
In pursuing financial independence, for us self supporting folk, is coding the best route? Also, is there any threshold to transition completely to a self learning or school route or just to keep at it an hour or so a day? —Krista
If you had $1000 to spend, what would be your top resources? I have tried Udemy (Colt Steele and others), FCC, Learn XYZ the Hard Way, Treehouse, Udacity, community college, and am struggling with information overload… —Krista
It seems that web dev, computer science, mobile, data, and security are really all their own things. Is it best to be a generalist or only focus on one? —Krista
Any idea on how long to really be job ready at the hour plus a day? Is it really like Gladwell’s 10,000 hours or Norvig’s 10 years? —Krista
With limited time, is it best to do tutorials/learn or just go build? —Krista
This episode was originally published 26 June, 2018.
073: Discoveries! Chingu & uMatrix
This week I’m sharing 2 more awesome resources for learning to code.
Chingu is a learning community that gets you working on a dev team no matter what skill level you’re at. How it works:
Apply to join a team. Skill levels range from HTML/CSS beginners to building full stack apps. Your teammates can be from anywhere in the world.
Once you’re accepted, get together with your team and decide what to build during the 8-week commitment.
Feel accomplished with your finished product, new portfolio addition, and all the soft & hard skills you have gained.
I’m excited to participate in Chingu because I learned so much during a similar group project last year. Of course your success depends entirely on the work you put into it and a bit of luck in getting committed teammates, but in my opinion the benefits far outweigh the risks, so I think it’s worth going for!
To learn more about what it’s like to go through Chingu, check out their Medium publication or YouTube channel.
uMatrix is a browser extension (available on Chrome, Firefox, and Opera) that can add privacy to your browser and teach you about the modern web at the same time. Its purpose is to give you control about what you want to allow/block—things like cookies, 3rd party tracking, 3rd party anything, iframes, external scripts, etc.
For a thorough description and to see uMatrix in action, check out this YouTube walk-through video. You can also take a look at some examples of uMatrix rulesets:
Kristerkari’s uMatrix Recipes
Gorhill’s Useful Rulesets
More in the Discoveries! series:
Ep 18: Learn To Code With Me Podcast & Free Lynda.com
Ep 41: Coding Solo Podcast & Millennial Money Diaries Blog
Ep 64: Financial Toolbelt & Second Career Devs Podcast
Ep 73: Chingu & uMatrix
This episode was originally published 13 June, 2018.
072: CS50 Course Review & Wrapping Up My Node/Express App
In this episode I’m wrapping up a few loose ends: the final report on my first from-scratch Node application, and a course review of Harvard’s CS50: Intro to Computer Science.
NOTE: The CS50 course review starts about 9 minutes in!
Node/Express App Part 3
To catch up from where we left off…
Part One: 035 - New Node Express Project - First Steps
Part Two: 043 - Node Express Project - Progress Report
As I kept working on the project, I learned quite a bit about working with dates in programming (hint: not a straightforward endeavor!), and had a frustrating attempt at deploying on Amazon Web Services.
But eventually I was able to successfully deploy the app using Heroku, and overall by the time all was said and done I had a working application that I actually still use to this day!
CS50 - Intro To Computer Science Course Review
CS50 is the introductory computer science course offered at Harvard University, and it’s available for anyone around the world to take for free on the EdX learning platform. It covers a lot of basic topics to build an understanding of how computers, networks, and applications work. My favorite aspects of the course were:
They have an honor code which discourages people from posting their homework solutions online. As a result, when I searched or asked for help solving the problem sets, I got nudged in the right direction rather than being given the answers full out. I learned a lot more this way.
The presentation is very high quality—they have an excellent media player for the weekly lectures, and lots of supplemental materials to make sure the concepts stick.
Learning CS fundamentals (data structures, big O notation, HTTP, etc.) has really helped my understanding of other topics like git, Node.js, writing functions, using hex color codes, and much more.
If you’re interested in taking the class, prepare yourself for a lot of work and time if you really want to make the most of it!
Episode 36: The Complete Developers Guide to MongoDB [Online Course Review]
Base CS Podcast
This episode was originally published 5 June, 2018.
071: First Freelance Work
Since setting a goal at the beginning of the year, I’ve made 3 attempts to get my first paid developer work. These are the big takeaways and things I’ve learned:
Know when to not accept a project, even if you’re just trying to get a foot in the door.
Get the site content from the client as early in the process as possible to avoid project delays.
An “approved” prototype does not mean there won’t still be changes after I do a lot of coding!
Working to milestones (with specific dates) and showing work at each milestone is better than sharing work in progress.
I got a good handle on how much time freelance projects actually take me.
When estimating how much to charge, don’t forget about the time you’ll spend on the project for things other than coding. Calls, check-ins, revisions, and training may add to the project time and you should be paid accordingly.
Episode 50 - 6-Month Goal Setting
Episode 56 - Planning A New Web Project
Episode 62 - Prototyping With Figma
This episode was originally published 29 May, 2018.
070: Real Life Dev Meeting
This week I sat in on a status meeting with a developer team in my company. Pretty cool to see what it’s actually like to work as a developer (well, get a glimpse at least!)!
I was really glad to have had access to this experience without much effort—it was just a matter of reaching out to a VP in my company and asking for an informational. Now that I know this is possible, I’ll be doing it a lot more!
This episode was originally published 22 May, 2018.