What About Women in Tech?

me-standingEveryone – meet Laurence Bradford.

Laurence is a kickbutt coder, a stellar content creatrix and a Product Educator at Teachable, working to improve the overall experience for users. If you haven’t heard of Teachable yet, this is how we’ll be hosting the courses we create like our new cPanel course (otw soon!) Everything Laurence touches turns to awesome – she’s been a friend of WH4S for some time, so we’re excited to bring you some of her insights about coding, content creation and life.

First things first – if you haven’t seen it yet, check out Laurence’s blog, Learn to Code With Me.

In addition to her awesome coding blog, Laurence is a regular contributor to Forbes. Check out some of her writing about how to level up in technology here!

Laurence also hosts a podcast that’s well worth a listen. 

This will be the SECOND in a two-part series about Laurence.

 

WH4S: And we’re back! So Laurence, talk to me a little bit about women in tech – maybe share some of your experiences or give some advice.

Laurence: I’ve been really fortunate in some ways that i have people in my life who are in tech. And what i mean is – surprisingly my father has been in tech my entire life. So you’d think I’d have learned and taught myself sooner but it never even occurred to me to learn to code back then. It took me a while.

And then my boyfriend is a software engineer. When we first met he was a designer and he ended up evolving. So I have these resources around me that have been super helpful in sticking with coding. I’m not sure I’d code if I didn’t have such great personal resources. You can’t control so many things.

But for women overall, having technical skills – and this is true for men too – is very empowering and it makes you so much more valuable. So women who want to be the freelancer or consultant, you can charge so much more if you’re doing something technical than if you’re doing writing.

So many people ask me, “How do I get started writing?” And I say, if you want to make money, don’t write. Do web development! I do get paid to write now, but it took me a long, long time.

So it’s very lucrative to have coding skills in freelancing and in full-time roles. And I think especially for women, knowing to code will make you a little more confident.

I was just reading something last night where a study was done with men and women about job ads. And women only apply if they met 90% of job qualifications, while men apply if they met 50%. Which to me isn’t very shocking. It definitely makes sense. But I think having the technical skills – which for me, has made me feel more empowered, lets us bring more to the table. And because of that coding has boosted my self-confidence.

When you have more confidence you can do things like negotiate your salary, speak out during meetings … that’s important.

WH4S: Any parting thoughts on this subject?

I also want to say that being “there” means more than you think. What I mean is, sometimes in the past I would feel guilty about not doing “enough” to help other women get into tech. (Something women often feel – not being “enough”!) But I now know that simply being there – in an engineering position, working in tech in one way or another, in some kind of leadership role – is enough because it shows other women (especially those younger/new in their career) that it is possible. Seeing is believing. If more women see other women in tech roles, they’ll know it’s possible they can do it, too.

Also, if looking to work full-time, notice the gender breakdown at the company. That’s one thing I noticed right away about Teachable: tons of women work there. (In fact, it could be a 50/50 split – which is basically unheard of IMO at a tech startup.) There were other companies I interviewed at that didn’t have as many women working there – and that stuck out to me. There were many reasons why I worked at Teachable – but one of them was because I noticed that they had lots of women there, and in leadership roles.

Check out these great articles by Laurence!

Why Every Millennial Should Learn Some Code

15 Mobile Apps Millennial Entrepreneurs Are Using to Get Ahead

It’s Time You Learned to Code.

me-standingEveryone – meet Laurence Bradford.

Laurence is a kickbutt coder, a stellar content creatrix and a Product Educator at Teachable, working to improve the overall experience for users. If you haven’t heard of Teachable yet, this is how we’ll be hosting the courses we create like our new cPanel course (otw soon!) Everything Laurence touches turns to awesome – she’s been a friend of WH4S for some time, so we’re excited to bring you some of her insights about coding, content creation and life.

First things first – if you haven’t seen it yet, check out Laurence’s blog, Learn to Code With Me.

In addition to her awesome coding blog, Laurence is a regular contributor to Forbes. Check out some of her writing about how to level up in technology here!

Laurence also hosts a podcast that’s well worth a listen. 

This will be the first in a two-part series about Laurence.

WH4S: Laurence! What made you want to start coding, or how did you become interested in the process?

Laurence: I first began teaching myself when I was living in Thailand – I was in Bangkok and I thought I wanted to pursue economic development, specifically in Southeast Asia – a very niche kind of field. I ended up getting an internship at a place in Thailand I thought was going to be perfect and would be setting up the path for the rest of my life. Turns out it wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. I found it extremely boring – I was there for about 3 months. So I started teaching myself how to build websites while I was working there and that kind of got the ball rolling.

I came back to the US and was doing a bunch of development workshops, online learning of the various platforms. After learning for a year and a half it was pretty frustrating and on again, off again. I decided to start the LTCWM blog as a way to hold myself accountable.

It’s totally evolved so much since I started it. Some of my early posts were personal – I’d write about what I was learning, my goals – then it ended up being about helping other people teach themselves how to code. So less about me, more about creating value and information for others.

 

WH4S: So what motivated that shift?

Laurence: So honestly, it was when I began getting more traffic to the site. I always wanted people to read it – it was sort of always in the back of my head so I started the blog in 2014 or so. Then in that same year in about October/November is when this sort of shift started to happen where i was more strategic about  creating stuff people would like and share – and getting more traffic, building the audience.

And I think part of the reason why I became more interested in doing that is because I realized I didn’t want to work full time as a developer. For the first 1.5 to 2 years when I was learning that’s what i thought my end goal was. It kind of hit me that I didn’t want to write code all day. I didn’t want to build websites all day.

I really hated freelancing. I like it in some ways because it gave me freedom and mobility. I could travel in Asia and build WordPress sites, but ti isn’t fulfilling to me. It was definitely not as fulfilling as the things I’m doing right now. It was a combination of factors … I had this realization i didn’t want to be a full time web developer.

I said to myself, “Yes i love technology, I love making it accessible for people – but do i want to build Ruby on Rails apps for a startup or big company?” No.

 

WH4S: So you learned to code. so if you’re not doing it for other people is all the coding for you? Do you build your own sites? How do you utilize coding for yourself?

Laurence: For Teachable, I am working with people on the engineering team figuring out how we can adjust things in the interface … so having that understanding definitely helps when communicating and working with engineering people. Even if your job isn’t coding, even if you’re doing marketing or product stuff/customer support, a lot of the stuff is technical at Teachable. so having that understanding can help you be better in any job.

 

WH4S: So where do you recommend people start if they want to learn to code?

Laurence: Some people want to build mobile apps and that’s a different story – but for most people who aren’t sure what they want to do and want to see what it’s like, I tell people, start with HTML because it’s a great entry point. It’s not technically programming but it’s still web markup and a lot of positions look for people who know those skills. It’s a foundation. So if you’re in web develpment you have to know things like HTML/CSS before moving forward.

There are so many places – and honestly aside from HTML and CSS, it’s like, pick something and stick with it. Don’t bounce around. When I started I’d go from, “I’m gonna learn python, I’m gonna learn Ruby “- and it’s just like learning anything in life. If you try to learn multiple things at once, you’r’e gonna fail. Imagine learning Mandarin, French and 14 different language sat the same time. It’s impossible.

So start with something, learn it well so you know what you’re doing and then move on to the next.

The same goes with resources – stick with one. If you have some training and are working on a  project, unless it’s absolutely horrible, stick with it.

 

Check out these articles from Laurence!

How to Prep for Your Technical Interview (According to the Pros)

13 Tech Companies That Offer Insanely Cool Work Perks

How to Jumpstart a Lucrative Career in Data Science

What Did You Do On Your Summer Vacation?

Summer Vacation BeachSchool’s out for many of us, and there really isn’t a better time to get that website going and start thinking about what happens next fall.

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We create web hosting packages for students because we’re as excited about the possibilities as you are. When you’re able to set up your own creation right from an easy to manage dashboard, you’re completely in the driver’s seat. Without having to deal with the big money and the crazy tech of other web hosts, you’re able to latch onto an experience that’s 100% about you and that you own entirely. And when that happens, you can spend your summer vacation not just enjoying yourself and spending time with friends – but investing in your future with a creation of your very own.

Whether you’re looking to put together a resume site, a portfolio site or a blog about your travels, you can start answering the “What Did You Do On Your Summer Vacation” question before it comes up next fall.

We’d love to talk to you about all the creative, cut-above-the-rest designs you can set up when you host your own website. Take a look at our plans and let us help you get there!

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