Learning web development skills to switch careers made me feel empowered and excited to help others learn the same skills. As a Codecademy Coach, I help bridge the gap between learning and applying the skills needed to level-up in your current career, find a new hobby you love, or change careers completely (and everything in-between).
In the following article, I describe my own career switching journey, finding a dream position at Codecademy, and how Codecademy Coaches like me can help you achieve your learning goals.
Learning the basics
As glamorous as a "Graphic Designer" job title may sound, I wasn’t totally passionate about the career I fell into, the work I was doing, or where I was headed in my career. It was suggested to me that I try out HTML and CSS. I’d heard those terms before, but had no idea what they meant.
A Google search brought me to Codecademy—a free HTML and CSS course, why not? I may not be the smartest, math-whiz, problem solving extraordinaire that I thought most programmers were, but I thought it might be a way to get better at my current job and would help me like it more. Maybe it would be an interesting change of pace, maybe it would be something entirely different. I had nothing to lose in trying.
Those two courses interested me enough to eventually enroll in a full-stack web development bootcamp with the goal of switching my job title to "Web Developer."
During my time learning the basics of web development, I struggled every day—with concepts, with syntax, with doubts in my ability. I still thought that "developer"/"programmer" was a synonym for "genius," but despite my struggles, I pushed myself and continued to learn and build projects in hopes that I ~might~ be good enough to break into the software development industry.
(Side note: I learned later that most developers struggle like this on a daily basis, and if you are right now, know you’re in good company.)
The student becomes the teacher
After all of this learning and building, I felt empowered—I can learn any language, I can solve any problem, I can build anything, I can take over the world!
That last one may not be true, but it sure felt like it after seeing all of my efforts pay off. I'd officially gained the new skills I needed to switch into a career that I once thought was for super smart geniuses only, and not “normal” people like me.
This empowered feeling led me to create a new goal for myself—help others feel empowered through learning these skills. Essentially, I wanted to share the feeling.
Enter Codecademy Coaching.
I found the dream job description—TL;DR: help people learn development skills. This was how I was going to help empower others.
From the start of my position as a Codecademy Coach, I’ve used the memory of my own learning journey to help others work through their challenges. During 30-minute coaching sessions, I’ve helped people learn concepts, work through projects and bugs, and create learning plans. I've also given tips on how to stay motivated and consistent, and shared things I wish I'd started doing earlier in my learning journey.
In the process, I've gotten to learn new skills everyday (thanks to our growing library of content!), all while helping people feel empowered in their newfound skills!
Fast-forward to 3 years later, and I’m a web developer. In my spare time, I get to work with a diverse team to teach new coders like you on Codecademy, all with different goals—from entrepreneurs, to hobbyists, to people looking for a career change, to those who want to freelance as a side hustle.
These students are from all different walks of life, from all around the world. I get to hear about their struggles and help them push through frustrations and doubt into moments of brilliant understanding. I get to be part of thousands of people’s empowered moments, the goal I set out to achieve!
You, dear learner, are why I love coaching at Codecademy. You inspire me to be a better developer (and human) as you work through frustrating problems, as you work through self-doubt, and as you become confident and empowered when you realize that you ~can~ actually do anything you set your mind to. Thanks for making coaching at Codecademy my dream job!