Launch Your Tech Journey, Now With GIFs!
Hi! We’re the Codettes, founders of the Codette Club! Are you making a major career change? That’s awesome! We are too, and that’s why we signed up for the Skillcrush #YearOfYouWebinar this past Monday. Skillcrush is how we came together and we’re constantly fangirling about their superb openness as a brand, their extensive and ever growing list of FREE resources, and their awesome growth as a community and as a learning platform. (We also fangirl about sci-fi and pop culture.)
We come from different backgrounds. Our career paths will not be linear nor parallel to anyone else’s. That doesn’t mean we can’t share the learning and enrich its experience together. Spoiler, that’s what we’re doing right now… We’ve compiled some of the best tips and funniest gifs to stay pumped and be flippin’ awesome web developers! Yay us!
If you’re just getting started, take your time. Starting a new career is no easy feat. Do your homework: research the tech industry, research jobs, research learning options. In fact, get used to research and trying a bit of all the things. You’ll need it to set your career goals and, most importantly, when you get your code on. If you’re still with us, remember these four concepts to maximize fulfillment and confidence as you spiral down into the world of tech.
Concept #1: Be Authentic!
It’s important to your confidence, and by extension, your success, to believe you are a developer or designer the second you start working towards it. Flaunt it all across your social media and in real life as well. It has been said that the sooner you get started, the more momentum you can build, so claim it right away and get rolling!
You’ve heard it before: “be yourself”. But, hear us out, do you want your client to know who they’re getting into business with? Totally! You will attract clients who resonate with how you present yourself, so snag compatible employers by letting your unique style shine. Your website, social media, and in-person presence are all perfect opportunities for your client to learn about you. Write the same way you talk, and organize your portfolio to show skills and details that will appeal to clients you want to work with. As you grow and learn, you will be crafting a personal brand. Authenticity will keep you consistent and help you build a career that works for you.
Concept #2: Find Your Tribe
Honesty about who you are and what you want won’t just help you meet potential clients. Authenticity will build your confidence and help you find your place in the tech community as well. Starting out, you may have a feeling as if you need to hide your aspirations, or brush them off as silly, just a hobby. Don’t do it! You are learning a challenging new skill, and you deserve ALL THE CREDIT. Claim your successes and be proud. When you are challenged, admit to your struggle and reach out for help. Being clear about what your goals are and where you are at will help you find a harmonious support system and maximize your benefit from networking. So, take your followers right from the start and gain new ones, who will become your clients AND your support network, along the way.
Have you heard the saying “It takes a village”? You may be early in your coding journey but that doesn’t mean you have to live in a bubble. You may be learning the basics of HTML and CSS by yourself, through Google searches, Skillcrush, or other learning platforms, but a supportive community will help you fully understand what’s going on and guide you when you don’t. A perfect starting off point is going through past Skillcrush webinar hashtags on Twitter -we are serious, check out #YearOfYouWebinar- and finding the people whose insight resonates with you. We all benefit from bouncing ideas off of someone, and asking wonderful questions like “When do I use this? Would you use it here? Why not? How about this hypothetical, highly doubt it would ever happen situation? (This one is actually a Codette favorite). Plus, you may be writing the first pages of an awesome origin story. *cough* Codette Club *cough*.
Concept # 3: Have a Sense of Humor
Now that you’ve made some friends, it’s time to start speaking the developers’ language: GIFs. This was only brought up for a minute in the webinar, but it’s something to remember: a good sense of humor is important. After a few months of interacting with other tech people, your gif game will definitely be upped. A glimpse into Codette Club’s every interaction shows how much we love gifs. It’s a quick way of expressing how you feel about a certain situation that can’t be conveyed through an emoticon.
Good humor displayed in our communications builds solidarity and morale, and carries over into our work. Remembering to look on the bright side and feeling uplifted by your crew will give you confidence as you set out to find a job and use your awesome new skills! At this point, you’ve networked, talked, written code, and bonded over kitten GIFs, so there’s no need to fear rejection from potential employers or clients: you are clearly a budding web developer. Stay authentic, keep laughing, and put your work and skills out there to get noticed! It’s time to get paid!
Concept #4: Get Paid!
There are a few routes to getting paid: freelancing, full-time job, or a combination of both. If you’re going the freelancing route, get a client! This could be a family member who needs a site, a friend who needs a portfolio, or even someone you met through Twitter (this platform will be your friend). When you’re working with clients on your own, don’t be afraid of the price you want to charge. When you’re first starting out, you’ll have reservations about charging someone a high price for your services. Believe us, that ends quickly. Once you have your first client and realize how much work is involved, you know you’re charging way too low. Whether you’re building the website only or doing design work and building, it takes time. You’ve invested your own time and money to learn these skills and you want to be compensated for the time you’ve spent on this project.
What if freelancing isn’t your thing and you’re looking for a full-time job? Start looking at job listings, early and often. You’ll start seeing patterns with job titles and the basic requirements. With this recognition, you’ll have a tech roadmap to the next skills you’ll want to learn. Nevertheless, don’t limit your research to job listings. What type of companies do you want to work for? Most companies know you want to get a feel for their culture before applying for a job. Review what their mission statement is, the quality of the product they produce, and keep in mind that some companies, like Github, have a diversity report available.
So! Let’s Review!
You’ve shown your authentic self, found your tribe, learned the most important of languages, GIFs, and you’ve been paid, what else is left? Learn from every experience. The project you wanted to cry about at every twist and turn may not always land you an interview or a job. But you will learn from it, reach back out to your network for the next opportunity, and keep going because you will have a strong foundation to support you along the way to your goals.
Now go out there and make us proud, then come back and tell us so we can shower you with gifs!
The Codettes are Bee, Carmen, and Natalie, three awesome novice developers who got together to support each other and YOU!