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I heart Skillcrush

October 03, 2016

By: Sarah Greer

How learning to code can change your life

Have you considered starting a new career by learning how to code? There are so many opportunities right now in the tech industry, it's almost overwhelming. Or maybe you dream of being your own boss and freelancing. Even if you don't want to work in tech, digital skills can help you boost your resume. Want to know one of the best things about my experience after learning to code?

I receive a surprising number of contact emails through my website from people asking for advice and saying I'm an inspiration.

This might seem strange considering I'm a web developer, and my website is geared toward small businesses, and their web development needs. But it wasn't that long ago when I was new to coding too.

Calling all women!

A few years ago, I heard a podcast interview with Adda Birnir, while out running errands. She was talking about the need for more women in tech and how her company, Skillcrush, was dedicated to this goal. This day literally changed my life. I was a 36 year old homeschooling mom with four kids. And while there was plenty to fill my days, and much to feel accomplished about, I still felt something was missing. There was nothing just for me. That evening, I checked out the website. I had never seen anything like it.

Skillcrush was bold, fun, and a little bit sassy.

Learning to code for women, by women!  (Men are, of course, allowed and encouraged to sign up with Skillcrush. But there are many programs geared more towards men and this was my first experience with something that appealed directly to me, as a woman.) I signed up for the 10-day bootcamp, and waited impatiently each day for an email to arrive.  By the end of the bootcamp, I was hooked.

'Women in tech' means young women, right?

Nope! Skillcrush is about encouraging women of all ages, education levels, and experience to learn to code. I'll be 40 next year and I feel like I'm just getting started.

Sign me up

At the time, Skillcrush only offered a few classes and I signed up for both User Experience (UX) & Web Design and HTML & CSS. I was ready to jump into Javascript when they released the first Blueprints.  One was geared towards Designers and the other was for Developers. By this time, I already knew I was more interested in the code, so I signed up for the Developer Blueprint. This is where I learned Javascript, as well as Ruby, Git, and the command line, all of which I use on a daily basis.

The rest is history

I landed my first client before I had even finished the Blueprint. Shortly after that, I was contacted by a Skillcrush classmate asking if I wanted to team up on a project where I would be coding the Javascript. Slowly, but surely, I began to build up my portfolio. I was still homeschooling, but now I had something just for me too.

I don't think I would be where I am today without those classes, but it's so much more than just "learning to code". 

You will build things you can use, including your portfolio and some projects to add to it. The downloadable resources within the Blueprints are invaluable (Hint: Cheatsheets FTW!), and the Master Classes are always inspirational. As if all of this wasn't fabulous enough, it's not even the best part.

Skillcrush is more than an online coding resource, it's a community.

Everyone from Adda, to the teaching assistants, mentors, and your classmates, has got your back . Can you think of any other part of your life where hundreds of people are standing with you, ready to encourage, and help when you are feeling frustrated, and then cheer when you succeed? It's the best feeling in the world.

Are you ready to Skillcrush it?

I wish I had enough time to dedicate to another Blueprint, because Adda and her team are always adding new amazing content. You can check out the current Blueprints being offered here. If you are looking for an online coding course with a supportive, friendly community, where you will learn real skills you can use right away, this is definitely the one I'd recommend.

New Blueprints start each month. There's no better time to get started learning the skills that could change your life too.

Full disclosure: I earn a small commission if you sign up for a Blueprint through the links in my post.  However, I've been recommending Skillcrush since I finished my Blueprint three years ago. This is just a little side benefit.

If you want to know more or have any other questions, leave a comment or send me an email. I'm always happy to help!


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