Lifelong Coder to Web Developer with Rachael Simone

Lifelong Coder to Web Developer with Rachael Simone

Picture of Rachael SimoneHello everyone, and thank you for joining us for this Learner Success Story. Today we’ll be having a chat with Rachael Simone, a longtime coder pursuing professional development with web technologies and other languages.

Thanks for talking with us, Rachael. We want to start this interview off by first asking how you got into coding?

I got into coding because someone I knew at the time mentioned W3Schools. I looked up the website and fell in love! I taught myself HTML and the tiniest sliver of CSS. After school, I would make garish websites that I thought were the bee’s knees! I was convinced that I wanted to be a web designer but ended up pursuing a lot of other careers before coming back to coding.

Given that you’ve coded for so long, what would you say is the inspiration behind pursuing coding professionally now?

Because of a variety of circumstances, I am unable to pursue my previous line of work. As soon as this large change happened, I heard about a local tech school. I told them my story and got a scholarship. The timing was perfect. Since then, I have fallen back in love with coding and honestly wonder why I ever stopped. I believe that tech/coding is the future and that many people will need these skill sets moving forward. I am glad that I am truly happiest when I am at the computer coding (or Googling how to code, or taking Zenva courses!).

What are your long-term goals for your career when it comes to coding?

I would love to reach a level where I am able to mentor and teach other developers. I also want to go the full stack route, so learning the web development backend is a long-term goal for me as well.

Hotel webapp by Rachael Simone

There are a lot of languages and development paths out there, so what particularly drew you to web-based languages and libraries?

When I was ready to enroll in tech school, I was torn between web development and data analytics. I had enjoyed my previous work with web development so I thought why not continue where I left off? I also heard that unless you really love it, data can get boring after a couple of years. So to be honest – I just want to have fun! I chose frontend development, but knowing what I know now I would have chosen full stack if I could have.

We’re so glad that our courses have helped you pursue coding in this way. Could you tell us a bit about what drew you to the courses at Zenva?

To be honest – I can’t remember where I heard of Zenva. One of the first Zenva courses I took was one on JavaScript. I really enjoyed it because the examples in the course were related to games. For example, arrays could be like items in a player inventory. This made the code relatable and understandable.

Are there any learning goals or projects you’re working on for the immediate future?

I am working on a hotel website right now that I hope to have finished by the end of the week! It is a React-based web app. After this project, I want to dive back into vanilla JavaScript for a while. My goal is to work with a few APIs and work with Firebase.

It’s been a joy talking with you Rachael, and we have just one last question: what advice do you have for other coders out there who are trying to learn?

Languages you learn in the beginning like HTML may be easy, but what usually happens is that each progressive language in a tech stack gets harder. Learn to manage frustration and being stuck with the same problem for a long time. Learn when to step away from the computer and when to hit your head against the keyboard until you figure it out. Coding at a professional level will most likely always be difficult for you. What you have to get good at is dealing with that difficulty. Take breaks, ask for help, and have fun!

That brings this interview to a close! A big thank you to Rachael for sharing her story with us, and we wish her all the best with her future prospects as a web developer!

You can check out all the amazing things Rachael is working on via GitHub!

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