Laurence and Learn to Code With Me

Laurence is unstoppable and her story is very inspiring! She was on a completely different path before she pivoted into tech, teaching herself how to code. Since then she has discovered a passion for teaching others and she is killing it with her business and initiatives! Her podcast is a must-listen for any techie.

Laurence is a wonderful person and she spreads her wisdom in everything she does – make sure you’re following her!

Follow Laurence on social media and learn about her story below!

About Laurence

Hey there! I’m Laurence Bradford, the creator of Learn to Code With Me. I am completely self-taught, with a lot left to learn–and in teaching myself tech skills, I uncovered a passion for teaching others. Today, in both my full-time job and running this site, I’m driven by the goal of making education affordable and accessible to all.

How did you get into tech?

Throughout college, I had been a huge lover of East Asia and economics. So when I landed a job at a Thai think tank, working in their economic development department, I thought it was the perfect entryway to the rest of my life. However, even though I loved Thailand and the city I was living in (Bangkok), I didn’t wake up every day excited to go to work. It was a huge bummer!

In college (where I studied history) and then in Thailand, I kept hearing about the demand for tech workers in the US (specifically programmers, engineers, and developers). So, while bored at my Bangkok desk job, I began exploring free websites that taught people how to code. I wanted to see what it was all about. Almost instantly, I felt this draw like never before. I soon returned back to the US, on a mission to pursue this exciting, yet mysterious, field of technology.

After taking many online courses, in-person workshops, and starting Learn to Code With Me as a way to document my journey, it finally clicked — something inspired me much more than writing code and building websites myself… empowering others to learn tech skills to improve their lives!

What languages/technologies do you have the most experience in?

I worked full-time in product management! Re LTCWM – Right now, what I care about is knowing the tech and software needed to run the business. So, anything I use to build the site with I have experience in 🙂 WordPress, Bootstrap, HTML, Sass. We also use a range of other tools behind the scenes… Zapier, Help Scout, Convert Kit, Instapage. And the list goes on! I try to have a decent understanding of everything going on… even if someone else is setting it all up.

What are you currently learning/practising?

The main thing I am learning and working on right now has to do with running LTCWM as a business! So things like taxes, revenue and expense management, how to prioritize which projects to work on, other kinds of business strategy things. Basically, all the things I need to know/do so I can have LTCWM be my full-time job…because it wasn’t always! I left my FTJ to do LTCWM in August 2018. So I can work on this, help others & impact lives… but also make enough money from it to financially support myself + save for my future goals (wedding, children, college funds, retirement…). So – that’s what I’m learning! How to do that! Ha. Oh and all the while maintain/find balance in other areas of my life.

What are your favourite resources to learn/stay updated on tech?

I think it really depends on what your goals are/what area of tech you’re trying to work in. For me, because I care more about the business side of things, I am on newsletters like strictlyvc.com, theinformation.com, launchticker.com. I am also on different business-related newsletters that relate to what I am doing with LTCWM. So, people who teach how to blog and podcast, and making money doing it. (For instance, Pat Flynn, Neil Patel, Brian Dean.) However, if I was currently trying to improve as a junior front end web developer, my newsletter subscriptions would be totally different. I’d probably be on javascriptweekly.com, css-tricks.com/newsletters, dev.to. (I actually am on CSS Tricks and Dev.to!) So my advice would be to seek out the best newsletters, podcasts, blogs, etc. that are relevant to YOU and YOUR goals =)

What would people learn about by following you?

The best places to learn to code; how to land your first job in tech, even without much experience; how to start freelancing or getting tech side gigs; how to fit learning to code into your normal schedule; how to stay motivated when learning to code/any other new skill.

Note – most LTCWM content is shared via the blog or the podcast, rather than social media. So the best place to follow me is on iTunes/Spotify etc for the podcast, and to get on my email list.

What inspired you to start sharing your experiences on social media?

Most of the things I share are on blog + podcast! And, oftentimes, it’s interviewing/showcasing other people’s journeys — not so much my own!

How can we get in touch with you?

Email me or send a message on Instagram!

Lightning round

iPhone or Android?

iPhone

Dogs or cats?

Cats

What’s your favourite ice cream flavour?

Cookie dough

What’s the next place you want to travel to?

Austria

How many hours of sleep do you need to get to feel like yourself?

8

What is your superpower?

I generally have really high energy and can work long hours. People have told me that I’m like, “an energizer bunny” because even after a long day of work I can come home and do a bunch of things around the house (do laundry, hang up a photo, coordinate an upcoming trip, etc etc.). My mother and grandmother are the same way!

That is a phenomenal superpower! Please share some of that energy with us 🙂

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