Hey there! I'm Alex - a California native lost in France who fell in love with coding as a hobby while working in customer support.
I took the plunge to leave my last job to teach myself to program on a full-time basis at the start of 2020.
I'm a big fan of visiting (and revisiting!) different cities around the world, as well as the many books on my bookshelf.
My talk, Being Utterly Fearless in Your Pursuit of Learning to Code, will cover:
- My background and the lessons I've learned as I've taught myself how to code
- My why for showing up everyday to learn to code was wanting to put myself in a more influential position in my career and to build meaningful apps and programs - especially as a woman in tech
- Switching my mindset from one of being anxious about the unknown to finding inspiration and power in it
In this talk, you'll learn how to:
Cultivate your own why and reason that keeps you coming back to your code editor each day
Err on the side of taking action (instead of over-thinking any decision)
Dive in and identify any gaps in knowledge as you learn to code
Be the creative director of your own life
Play the long game and have a ton of fun
Whether you’re learning to code full-time on your own, going through a bootcamp, getting a degree for it, or if you’re simply carving out a consistent hour of your time each day or week -- stay with it.
This is a time of investing in yourself and in your future.
Stay cool, stay creative, and be utterly fearless in your pursuit of your dream of learning to code.
Resources mentioned in talk:
Connect with me!
This talk will be presented as part of CodeLand:Distributed on July 23. After the talk is streamed as part of the conference, it will be added to this post as a recorded video.
Oldest comments (89)
YAY!!! Congratulations on your first speaking role!! I love hearing everyone's story and the sharing of tips that encourage others to be fearless in their own journey.
Thank you so, so much, Sara!!!
Why you do something is so important. If you don't have a reason why you are doing something you will loose motivation real fast.
100%! It's taken me a while to learn this, but since I have, I don't think I can go back to doing anything 'just because!'
I'm interested in what resources you used to learn to code? :) What a cool story!
Would love to hear about this too! It's always cool to see the differences in what resources work best for others.
Hi Crystal and Emily!
Yes! Of course! So when I was first, first, first starting out, I relied on Codecademy to really get some hand-holding of the basics. This is when I was learning how to build static sites with HTML and CSS.
I think I joined the Pro membership when there was a really good deal, so I used that for a good amount of time (less than a year though because I remember kind of moving on from there).
Then I just started to build my own projects. If I had an idea, I coded it! You can see a few of my projects over on my portfolio if you want > alexlsalt.github.io
I joined a hackathon a few months ago which really got me out of my comfort zone and I really learned a ton! (Wasn't always comfortable, but it was so worth it in the end.)
The thing with online courses, though, is that I have a rule: Only ONE course at a time. I can't buy any courses if I haven't finished my current course.
Hope that sheds a bit of light!
Which programming language did learn at the start of your journey?
This is great
Another beautiful slide deck :) Love it!
Aw, thank you! :D
I really love this talk!! I’m also self-taught and appreciate the representation. 💛 It is extremely validating and inspiring~
So glad to hear that, Marlyn!!! <3
Inspiring, so cool you are so bonded with coding, Alex. Thanks for your kind words around the topic... so cool.
Just seeing this comment now - thanks so much, Paula!! Glad it resonated :)
Tutorial hell is real! Try to break out or improve the projects on your own!
It so is!!! Fully agree :)
Such an awesome talk and really helpful for newbies and even experienced devs!
Thank you so, so much! :D
Love this! Super inspirational and great points!
Is there a midpoint between doing tutorials, and coming up with a project for people who maybe aren't so good at coming up with ideas?
I'd suggest clones. They are great because you already know the product idea and there's a huge room for improvements and build something that's real.
And maybe after that, you'll find your brilliant original idea.
What skill checks do you suggest for when to step away from tutorials?
I think her point of creativity and ambiguity is part of the answer here. Don't be afraid to create anything you want and make mistakes until you learn what you are trying to learn!
I think as soon as you start getting comfortable with the relative discomfort of not following along with a tutorial, you'll discover ways you're learning without necessarily needing a set rubric or concrete way to check the skills you're gaining - if that makes sense!
I am LOVING this talk!! Stepping away from tutorials really hits hard - I'm self-taught and I didn't start to retain until I allowed myself the freedom to build something outside of a step-by-step tutorial.
Yesssss! It's so intimidating at first, but it's ultimately where all the true magic happens!
You're doing amazing Alex! I love this talk topic and think it is so so important.