Into the Web: A Deep Dive Into Eight Successful Web Development Stories

Written By: Rojhan Paydar

Edited by: Luc Chiasson

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Rojhan Paydar

Hello!

My name is Rojhan Paydar, but you can call me Ro! I am a Junior Front End Web Developer studying at Juno College, in Toronto, Canada. A little about my background — I love animals, drawing, working out, and connecting with other people! To dive further into my web development journey, click here.

In this post however, I will be introducing you to eight wonderful people to learn about their stories, and showcase projects that they are particularly proud of. I feel very fortunate for having the opportunity to connect with all of them, and I’m happy to share the information they have provided.

I hope that this will act as motivation for others to join the wonderful web development community, and perhaps inspire some projects of your own. If you are new to web development, you are in the right place. I promise you, the coding community is the friendliest, most welcoming bunch you will ever meet!

“Overall, I am so grateful for the team and community that Juno provided. It was truly a dream come true.”

— Kay Evans-Stocks, Juno Alumni Cohort 25

1. Kay Evans-Stocks (she/her) — Front End Developer / Graphic Designer

Job Titles Inspired By This Journey — Front End Web Developer, Full Stack Developer, Graphic Designer

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Kay Evans-Stocks Photo by Calvin Campos Media

Introducing Kay Evans-Stocks!

She is a recent graduate of Juno College, and currently works as a front-end developer for Dotfusion in Toronto. Prior to web development, Kay studied graphic design where she would go on to receive an undergraduate degree. Outside of her career however, Kay has a love for camping, bubble tea, and listening to music from the 70s and 80s.

Diversity and inclusivity are very important to Kay; she inhabits the growth mindset. Always seeking to explore and expand her knowledge, Kay’s adventurous personality has been an asset to her success in web development.

To hear more about Kay and her works, continue reading below:

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Moon Phase App By Kay Evans-Stocks
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“Design a Study Space” JavaScript/jQuery Project By Kay Evans-Stocks
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Group Project By Kay Evans-Stocks & Cohort 25 Classmates

See more of Kay on Twitter here.

Outcome of skills — Create Apps, Create Games, Create Websites, Graphic Design

2. Danny Thompson (he/him) —Software Engineer

Job Titles Inspired By This Journey — Motivational Speaker, Software Developer, Group Organizer

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Danny Thompson

Contacting Danny was a little bit intimidating for me. Not because he came off as scary, or unapproachable, but because he has a very large following on Twitter. I thought there was no way I could reach him. He seemed like someone far too busy for something like this!

However, it was with the help of Raf Rasenberg (another developer included on this list), that I was able to connect with Danny. Funny enough, Danny’s first message to me was, “You could have just messaged me! How can I help you?”, which just goes to show how friendly he really is.

Danny is a software engineer and motivational speaker. His twitter page is a great display of his eagerness to help inspire developers in all walks of life. He would wake at 2:30 AM daily just to study before frying chicken at a gas station. While at work, he would be thinking of coding all day long, leaving debugging notes for himself to try once he got home. All the hard work and dedication would eventually pay off of course, and he is a perfect role model for people looking to transition into the industry.

Read what he has to say below:

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Danny Thompson during his time at Google
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GDG Memphis meet up run by Danny Thompson

See more of Danny on Twitter here.
or check out his podcast: “Commit Your Code!”

To find Danny’s journey to web development, click here

Outcome of skills — Create Apps, Create Games, Create Websites, Found Developer Meet Ups, Public Speaking

3. Heather Payne (she/her) — Juno College Founder and CEO

Job Titles Inspired By This Journey — CEO, Founder, Code Career Services Expert, Manager, Code Instructor, Business Owner

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Heather Payne

When I asked Heather Payne for her web developer story, I was surprised to hear her say she “doesn’t do too much web development” right now. That didn’t stop me from wanting to ask her questions, in fact, it intrigued me further! Her story is a brilliant example of how you can take on a different role in the web development community, but still be incredibly involved and successful.

With some HTML and CSS knowledge, Heather became the founder of Ladies Learning Code, and the CEO and founder of Juno College (formerly HackerYou). She has helped thousands of people start their journey, including myself! Here is her story:

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Ladies Learning Code
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Classroom in Juno College Taught By Kristen Spencer

See more of Heather on Twitter here

If you’re interested in courses, check out Juno College and Ladies Learning Code websites!

Outcome of skills — Build Websites, Create a Business, Manage Others

4. Raf Rasenberg (he/him) — Freelance Web Developer

Job Titles Inspired By This Journey — Free Lance Web Developer, Full Stack Developer

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Raf Rasenberg

Raf Resenberg is yet another fellow web developer I came into contact with via Twitter. Raf utilizes his social media as a platform to ask important tech questions, generate discussion, and develop a community for his peers.

He also exhibits to his followers that web developers can have more than one passion. To Raf, a healthy diet and exercise are just as important as coding; he often shares how he manages a work-life balance with his followers.

Raf’s story involves travelling from country to country, working with a start-up company, and learning to change environments in order to succeed. To continue learning about Raf’s journey into freelance web development, read below:

(In Canadian dollars, that’s the difference of $20.30 CAD to $6.80 CAD!)

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Raf Rasenberg

See more of Raf on Twitter here

Outcome of skills — Create Apps, Create Games, Create Websites

5. Celeste Ellerby (she/her/they/them) — Animator / Developer

Job Titles Inspired By This Journey — Front End Web Developer, Full Stack Developer, Animator

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Celeste Ellerby

Celeste Ellerby is a junior full-stack developer with a fun twist… she’s an animator!

I found this to be fascinating, primarily because of how two fields can intertwine to create something beautiful. Celeste’s work really showcases how to utilize an outside skillset to your advantage when working as a web developer.

I highly recommend you visit her Twitter page to view her works. I find it to be very inspiring, and displays how you too can push the envelope for what’s possible as a developer.

Here is her story from animator to coder:

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Chat App Created by Celeste Ellerby
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Jumping Game by Celeste Ellerby

You can see more of Celeste and her projects on her website

Find Celeste on Twitter here

Additional animation work by Celeste can be found here

Outcome of skills — Create Apps, Create Games, Create Websites, Create Animation

6. Alex Davis (he/him) — Designer

Job Titles Inspired By This Journey — UX/UI Designer, Product Designer, Front End Web Developer

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A Portrait of Alex Davis

Next, we have Alex Davis.

Alex is also someone from the Juno Community, but I have had the pleasure of knowing him for many years prior. It was a pleasant surprise that I was reconnected with him through the web developer community on Twitter.

I was delighted to see that he had attended Juno’s Intro To Web Development Program, which made me eager to pick his brain. Interestingly enough however, Alex told me he took a different route to becoming a developer. Instead, becoming a designer through his “frustrating web experiences”.

Below is his story:

See more of Alex on Twitter here

Outcome of skills —Design Apps, Design Games, Design Websites

7. Audra Turuta (she/her) — Front End Web Developer

Job Titles Inspired By This Journey — Front End Web Developer, Teacher, Web Developer Instructor

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Audra Tutura

Meet Audra!

She loves video games, and is a member of the Toronto Roller Derby team, Chicks Ahoy!

Like many of the people featured in this blog post, Audra is also a Juno alumni. Roller derby is actually how she came across the school, since one of the team’s coaches had previously attended Juno.

Speaking with Audra has been a very refreshing conversation for my own journey. We talked about working out, education, and of course roller derby. Like the other Juno alumni, Audra has been incredibly supportive, and a very relatable human being who I have had the pleasure of speaking to online.

Here is her journey, as well as one project she is proud of:

“My educational background is in education (I have a teaching degree), so I’ve been looking into Educational Technology jobs. I also love video games and I think it’d be neat to combine the two. Right now I tutor, but I also have a freelance job for a friend. She makes reusable products out of recycled fabric, and offers mending for whatever (pants, shirts, backpacks, etc. She’s a genius). Her sewing machine is solar powered, and before the pandemic she would bike to the farmer’s markets she was working to further reduce her impact. Her website is coming soon, and I even chose to go with a hosting service that buys energy credits to offset it’s energy consumption. One of my favourite projects is the partner JavaScript one from bootcamp. My partner on this project was Matthew Hernandez, another cohort 25 alumni!

Together, Matthew and I created a pokebattle using gifs and rock-paper-scissors logic!”

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Audra Turuta and Matthew Hernandez Bootcamp Project

As mentioned earlier, Audra plays a sport called Roller Derby with Toronto Roller Derby on Chicks Ahoy. Audra quotes, “There are actually a lot of Juno alumni from the roller derby community who helped me out through my coding journey, so roller derby changed my life in a couple ways”. Truly an uplifting story of how one community can lead you to another.

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Audra Turuta — Photo By Neil Gunner Photography https://neilgunnerphoto.com/

See more of Audra on Twitter here

Outcome of skills —Create Apps, Create Games, Create Websites, Teacher, Code Instructor

8. Mike Gambetta (he/him) — Web Developer

Job Titles Inspired By This Journey — Front End Web Developer, Full Stack Developer, Software Developer

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Mike Gambetta

Last, but certainly not least, we have Mike Gambetta!

Mike started off his coding journey with a fascination on how apps and mobile phones functioned. He eventually evolved that fascination into his career as he became a web developer. It was through perseverance and determination that he made the transition, traits that still hold true today. Because of this, he continues to grow and be a source of inspiration for how to navigate into the field.

Here is Mike’s amazing journey:

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RTB Visuals Website By Mike Gambetta

See more of Mike on Twitter here

Outcome of skills — Create Apps, Create Games, Create Websites, Free Lance

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There you have it! Eight incredibly inspiring stories to help kick start your coding career. I hope their stories have motivated you to consider diving into the development world.

If you have any questions, you can contact me through Twitter. I am always happy to help and offer guidance however I can. I would love to hear your stories and how you got involved with coding. Thank you for taking time to read this post, and have a beautiful day!

Written by

Front-end web developer 👩‍💻 fitness 🏋️ art 🎨 health 🥑 memes 🤙🏼 (she/her) @devshelpingdevs

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