“Design Plus Coding Equals Web”

Hi, I’m Kelly! I’m an actress, a model, and I recently became a web designer.

How I got started with coding

Back when I last had to decide what to try to do with my life, I decided to follow my passion and pursue acting. Being realistic, it is a pretty volatile career path to choose, so I wanted to have something steady yet enjoyable on the side. I went to school for graphic design but jobs in that field didn’t quite fulfill me, they weren’t quite “left brain” enough. That’s when I decided I’d learn to code, so I could balance the creativity of visual design with a more logical, intellectual challenge of coding – that’s why I went to Codecademy, and then why I signed up for Codecademy Pro Intensive.

What I learned

For me, I had a bit of a head-start, I have a background in design and did some basic coding in college, so my experience won’t be the same as everyone’s. That said, with Codecademy Pro Intensive I learned to use tools that I didn’t even know existed before – GitHub, Terminal, the whole process of working as a coder professionally – that was all completely new. I had guided practice, help instantly available whenever I needed it, extra resources to help me move forward when I got stuck, and a mentor to explain to me why we do things a certain way… it all helped me to feel extremely strong in the skills I needed.

Where I am now

Now, I’m a web designer at a mid-sized startup. It’s part-time, so I have the flexibility I need to pursue acting and pay the bills – it’s exactly what I was looking for. Thanks to Codecademy Pro Intensive, I’m now able to excel at my work, to even chip in on my team’s coding tasks, it all makes me more versatile and valuable. Moving forward, I’ll keep learning and developing, and there’s no definitive “finish line” for me, but I’m really confident now in the foundations and excited to keep building!

My advice to others

Keep in mind that these things take time and patience for anyone and everyone. It was an arduous process for me to build my first portfolio page. When it comes to doing design or web design professionally, certification might help but it isn’t the biggest factor: your portfolio speaks louder than anything else. When you know the answers to an interviewer’s questions, they’ll know you know.

Learn more about Codecademy Pro Intensive

Kathleen Houlihan is a leader in workforce innovation and she is the Founder of an agency that reimagines talent acquisition and optimizes the system for candidates and employers. Her company, Dream2Career, provides human-centric ROI solutions that filter-in candidates who exceed expectations in the workplace.

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