Amalia Cardenas — Project Manager

Amalia Cardenas is a Project Manager at Homuork, and is the organiser of one of codebar’s newest chapters in Barcelona.

Find her online :

@anyonecancode1 www.anybodycancode.com

1) Firstly you are starting a new codebar in Barcelona, please tell us more?

Predominantly codebar workshops run throughout the UK. Recently new chapters have opened up in Berlin, and we are excited to announce the latest chapter in sunny Barcelona. Not only is Barcelona a charming Mediterranean city thanks to the sun, architecture, and food; it also has a flourishing tech scene.

We hope to help expand connections within the tech community in Barcelona and to help make the process for people who are learning to code easier and more enjoyable. Our goal is also to help expand connections beyond the UK, foster collaboration, and share learning experiences between different chapters. The codebar community in the UK has been fundamental in helping us expand codebar beyond the UK, and we hope that more chapters continue to pop up in other cities.

The first workshop is Thursday October 13th at King.com, so please do come along if you can. We need both students and coaches. @codebarBCN
 
 2) What made you want to start a chapter?
 

One of the reasons why I wanted to start a new chapter in Barcelona was because I attended codebar workshops in London as a student and loved the supportive collaborative environment. All of the coaches that I worked with were great and I wanted to pay forward some of the kindness that I experienced. The other reason why I wanted codebar to exist in Barcelona is because diversity, education, and tech are issues that are important to me. Instead of lamenting the lack of diversity in the tech space, I wanted a practical way to make sure underrepresented communities in tech have a voice. For me, codebar is a concrete way to make sure this happens.

Diversity, education, and tech are issues that are important to me.

3) Now on to you, what did you want to be growing up?

There were many things, but probably the two that I can remember were a doctor and an astronaut. I always thought it would be amazing to be able to see the earth from outer space, I spent a lot of time imagining humans as tiny ant like dots running around forming complex societies. Thinking about the enormity of space was something that I found very entertaining.

4) When did your interest in tech start?
 
Right after I graduated from college I worked for Microsoft as an account manager in San Francisco. This was really when my interest in tech began. After working for Microsoft, I enrolled in a master’s program in Barcelona and worked as a research assistant. Part of my job was to update the website for the group that I was working with and this is when I started to teach myself a bit of html. Since then I worked as a freelance web designer in parallel to my research jobs and built several websites for different research groups.

5) How did you make the transition to being a developer?

Before making the transition into tech, I was working on my PhD in Media and Communications. While I love the craft of research and publishing, I did not see myself pursuing an academic career. After attending codebar workshops in London I decided to make the leap into tech and I joined the General Assembly Web Development Immersive bootcamp. It was very intense, but I had a great time. When I finished the bootcamp I moved to Barcelona with the aim of working in the EdTech space. I have not yet transitioned into working as a developer, but I am working as a project manager in an EdTech company that creates MOOC courses for companies and Universities. 
 
 6) What is your favourite thing about being a developer?

One of my favourite parts about being a developer is having the ability to translate ideas that you have in your head into things that others can see and interact with. There is something magical about that. Of course when something does not work, it can be quite frustrating; but the challenge of building something that is simple, intuitive to use, aesthetically pleasing and that solves a problem in somebody’s day-to-day life is really satisfying.

7) What is the coolest project you have worked on to date and why? 
 
The coolest project that I worked on was a group project that I participated in while I was a student at the General Assembly. In a team of three, we built a web application to help with the current refugee crisis.

The aim of the platform was to help refugees coming into the UK find temporary housing and accept donations while they waited for their legal status to be recognised. I really enjoyed this project because it made me see the powerful changes technology can bring about when put to good use. It also made me realise the amount of work that a small highly functioning team can get done in a short amount of time. It was a great experience.
 
8) What are your plans for the future? 
 

My plans are to continue to grow my career in the EdTech space. Online platforms, mobile applications, and new learning formats are helping increase access to education. I hope to combine the robust research skills that I have worked to refine, the programming experience that I am acquiring, and my love for video learning formats to help make education more engaging and accessible. 
 
9) What advice would you give to aspiring developers?

I have to admit that this piece of advice took me a really long time to follow, but I would tell aspiring developers this: don’t ask for permission to do the things that you love. If you want to become a developer just start. Start by writing bad code, showing your bad code to others and work consistently to improve. Initially the amount of things that you have to learn might seem overwhelming, but as the saying goes: how do you eat an elephant? One small spoonful at a time. There aren’t shortcuts, all professionals were once amateurs and through consistent work you will eventually get there.