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CHP Episode 14 Transcript: Interview with Laurence Bradford on How to Earn a Job In Tech Without a College Diploma

The Career Hacking Podcast

Ross: Hello everyone and welcome back to the Career Hacking Podcast. Today we're mixing things up and instead of focusing on answering a single question from you the listeners. I'll be interviewing an impressive influencer in tech who will answer our ton of your questions about how you can get hired in tech without a college diploma.

Our guest today, Laurence Bradford is the creator of Learn To Code With Me a blog created for those teaching themselves how to code (which you can visit at LearntoCodeWith.me).

She also

  1. Hosts a popular podcast by the same name in which she interviews tech influencers and individuals who have changed careers into tech roles.
  2. Is a regular contributor to Forbes
  3. Manages the  Newbie Coder Warehouse  Facebook group where self-taught web developers can  ask questions, share resources, and support one another.
  4. She is constantly publishing new content and… has… had her work featured in USA Today, Mashable, CreativeLive, and The Muse (just to name a few)
  5. On top of that, and she has a full-time day job as a product manager with Teachable 

It’s truly a privilege to have Laurence on our podcast today and let's pick her brain to learn more about how you can get into tech and earned the career of your dreams without a college diploma. Laurence welcome and thank you for joining us this evening.

Laurence: Thank you so much for having me Ross.
Ross: So to start things off what's one a little bit more about you. I see you have a background in history and economics, but started off professionally as a freelance writer is that correct?
Laurence: Yes so I actually had a little bit of a detour before I was writing. I immediately after college went to Thailand to teach English and while I was in Thailand I ended up getting a position at a Thai think tank and at the time was my dream job. I really thought I wanted to pursue economic development specifically in Southeast Asia. So after I'm done teaching or backtrack a little while I was teaching, I was applying to a bunch of these different positions at think tanks across Southeast Asia. I ended up landing this position. It was kind of like an internship but it was paid and at that time I was like wow this is it, like this is going to open the door to you know the rest of my life. So I ended up starting this position and within about three weeks, it became extremely clear that it was not for me. This industry it was nothing like I thought was going to be and it just wasn't a good fit. So I was actually fortunate. Because I was planning to go to grad school and I really dodged a bullet that way because I was going to study economic development. So thank goodness I did this internship early on. Realized it wasn't for me and didn't end up spending a hundred thousand dollars or more to get a graduate degree in something I wouldn't be using.

Right, so at that point in time I was still in Thailand. I was living there realized this wasn't for me and I was like “oh my gosh, what am I going to do” so I start googling online jobs you can get without college degree in different search terms like that. Of course what shows up right away? Coding, building websites. So one thing led to another and you know the rest is history.
Ross: So did you immediately know that you wanted to get into consulting, build a community of followers and help them learn to code or kind of how that transition look like from your perspective?
Laurence: Oh no. So I always had a blog. I had a blog when I was living in Asia that was about Southeast Asia and I would write articles about travel but would also write articles like related to like economic development. So yeah quite different for what I'm doing today. But I always liked to write and I always liked to and I had social media accounts. They were quite different from what they are today. But I didn't have that back then, I didn't have Learn To Code With Me yet, the blog and the podcast. I didn't start that till about one year after I had already started learning these tech skills. So initially no, my goal wasn't like to build an online community around this. my goal was to get these tech skills, get a job, make more money and like not have to go back to graduate school or to be in something else yeah.
Ross: So let's go ahead and address the big elephant in the room. Is a four-year college degree in computer science a requirement for a lifelong career in coding that earns a comfortable salary?

 

Laurence: It's definitely not. But it certainly also doesn't hurt having a computer science degree. But it's definitely not a requirement to get a career in tech.
Ross: Like so many of the people that are out there listening to us right now already knee-deep in a career maybe it's a technical or a service type degree and or a field and they're looking to have something a little more affordable and more efficient in order to get the skills and the experience necessary to I guess open new opportunities for their career. Whether it's in coding or whether it's in digital marketing, data science or what-have-you.

 

Laurence: Yeah I mean that definitely it makes sense. I just don't think it's a prerequisite. I mean most of the people that or ton of people that I know that work in tech didn't study computer science in college. Of course some did. But I think really what companies value nowadays is experience and something to sort of show. so if you're if you're looking to become a developer that would be like a Github account or profile or whatever that a potential employer could go online and see that you have activity there and they can actually look at your code and get a really strong sense of where you fall on the skill level scale right, just from that. If you're a designer, have a portfolio, you can also have a portfolio if your web developer too of course. Maybe it's a LinkedIn profile. Anyway there's a lot of ways that you can stand out to employers without that college degree.
Ross: And so what motivation would you say that people should have to pursue tech as opposed to pursuing a job in anything else?

 

Laurence: I mean if a person is really disinterested in technology, I don't think they have to pursue it. I definitely don't think people should be doing something they hate and if that's tech like going to a job you dislike day in and out. That would really suck right. That’s like you're not going to be happy that way. But for me what I found was that tech it just has so many different opportunities. Early on when I started I thought okay I learn to code and then I'm going to become a software engineer and that's like the only path I can take. Turns out there's a lot of different paths you can take in tech. There's a lot of different industries you can work in within technology. Of course today I work at a tech company. But there is everything from ad tech from biotech to like food tech, I think is one now. So things with food technology there's so many options.
Ross: So like regardless of what your interests are you can find the right application for those similar skills that you can learn online depending on what best aligns with your interests.

 

Laurence: Yeah 100%.
Ross: I mean I totally agree. So I'm like I'm an advocate for people to learn transferable skills, such as tech. because they can apply them to so many different places. My brother works in finance for an auto industry company and he's looking at learning how to learning digital marketing skills and learning better copywriting. Because those are things that can be applicable regardless of where his career takes him and it can help him be more successful with where he is today. So like when I'm on a coaching call with some of my customers and clients, I try to advise similar things. Because regardless of where interests lie or where you see your career progression kind of taking you, these are skills that are that are valuable in today's day and age and it's certainly something that can help boost the value that you can bring to a company. But also give you some leverage if you do have other skills you're not using to maybe transition if you do get into a spot that you realize after the fact maybe isn't the right spot for you.

 

Laurence: Yeah and just to hammer down with something you mentioned writing. I know it's not necessarily technical skill. But I think writing is the most important. It’s one of those important skills a person can have. So being able to communicate through written word. Whether that's an email, whether that's in like a 1 page or document for a new project you're kicking off at your company. Writing is such an important skill.

 

Ross: Yeah absolutely agreed. I actually I'm releasing a set of products here in the next couple months and one of them is a guide to basically how to be successful or excel in any career regardless of where you are and where you want to go and one of the things I put in there is communication and email literacy. Because “A” you need to be able to do those things on the fly. Because there's not enough time in the day with how busy everybody is to be very methodical and think through it and proofread it and rewrite it in whatever else. You need to build that skill so that you can do it just from the seat of your pants and move on to what's next.

 

Ross: So we break down a few of the steps from maybe people that you've worked with or talk to on even on your podcast that people would take in order to get from where they are now and maybe non-technical field into a technical career.
Laurence: Yeah sure thing, so if a person is looking to transition into a new role or a new industry or even you know both, I think one of the biggest mistakes I made early on was just taking online courses without any like clear sense of direction to where I was heading. And I wish I would have done this sooner. I ended up doing it maybe a year or nine months after I'd already begun learning. But finally when I did this one thing, everything began to click. So I started to research companies I would really like to work at. I was also looking at open roles at those companies that I would like to have and these were like definitely dream roles. Like these were things that I did not have the skills, even near the skills to do at this time. So yes I made a spreadsheet and I found several different roles at several different companies that I think would be really awesome to work for, you know, a dream job. And then what I did was, I picked apart those different job listings and I found or I kind of like counted up what the skills and responsibilities were to get those jobs and what I found was these patterns and some of the skills and the requirements that they were looking for in filling this role. I was able to use that as like my roadmap to figure out what I should learn next or you know “oh okay they're all looking for this skill, I should take a course on this.” before that I was kind of running around aimlessly honestly and that really helped me find clarity. Yeah and that really helped me find clarity into what to learn. So I would definitely suggest people who are looking to switch into a new industry or career to do some more research there before they make this game plan of how to go about it. and then once you have that outline for you, again it's much easier to figure out which courses you need to take and what things you need to do to kind of get to that level where you can be applying to dream jobs like that.
Ross: That's absolutely true and that's similar why I recommend to people I talked with on coaching calls. But I'm going to back up for just a second. So you mentioned that you started off with a list of companies that you are interested in and potentially working for. Someday maybe or wouldn't be awesome if I work for this company. How did you I mean are those or you just bring down Facebook's and Google's and the big brand names or were there others that you found and kind of how did you come up with that list?
Laurence: Yes so I feel like I've done this exercise if you want call that a few times and I'll talk about time that I did it more recently. Because I think it's just a better example for further listeners for this. So almost two years ago I wanted to get like a full-time position. I've been freelancing and I knew I wanted to get certain kind of full-time job. So at this point in time this was you know further on I already knew this exercise. But when I began researching companies with jobs I was specifically looking at EdTech companies. So companies that somehow incorporated online learning even more specifically. So I was very narrow with like what I wanted and how did I know what I wanted at that point in time? well the last few years I have been freelancing and I had been writing a lot about online courses and topics that were similar to or related to online education and professional development in one way or another. So I knew I had that interest. I also knew that I could use some of my, even though it wasn't like full-time experience it was like freelance experience. But I could still use that leverage like some of those projects and skills I had picked up to help get a position in EdTech. I knew so let's just pretend I went after like fashion, I had no relevant fashion experience I could pull from.  But with like online learning I already did and also with my website Learn To Code With Me, it relates to education. So I knew I could use that, I could use that too. So with the education companies, there were some like I don't want to name any names, I just knew why I wouldn't want to work there. so one of the things I would do is I go to the company about page and I would look at like their leadership team and maybe even on LinkedIn, maybe beyond the company page I would read their blog and I could kind of get like a cultural sense and there are some companies it became really clear like I don't think I would really maybe enjoy working there. I also of course looked at Geographic factors. So where they located. And yes that's kind of how I narrowed down the list of these like dream companies.

 

Ross: And then from there once you had that list of companies did you just go on indeed or other job sites and look at what they had available and just scour through the hundreds or however many jobs they had posted just to see what resonated with you?
Laurence: Yes it was also a little bit of both at the same time. So I would maybe look up like, now this was earlier in my career when I thought I want to be a front-end web developer. I would just look up front-end and web developer jobs and then and I would see a whole bunch and then I would look at the list of companies that were hiring for them and then I would kind of do it that way, whereas later in my career when I knew kind of the industry I wanted to work in I almost did it the opposite way. So then I found the company first and then I would see the available positions whereas earlier in my career right I was the front developer, it was the reverse.

 

Ross: Sure. No I mean that totally makes sense and then you knew from there what skills you need to be developing and kind of how you tell your story to best make yourself appealing. And make yourself a desirable candidate for those companies to hire you.
Laurence: Yeah exactly. So I don't think there's really like a right way to do it. But I think if you know for sure you want to work in a certain industry, you should probably start there to narrow down the companies then look at the openings. Whereas if you maybe don't have a strong preference over the type of company you're at or the industry or in, start with like the job title itself that you think you want to have one day and look that way.
Ross: Perfect so I imagine it'd be tough to get hired for position straight out of like taking online courses. So like the key to standing out from the crowd is building up that relevant work experience like we were talking about and the online portfolio documenting those projects that you're working on. So can we break that down a little bit further? So like how have you seen some people accomplish this? You mentioned Git and you mentioned creating websites and things like that. But is there anything that you've seen have more success than others or things that we could recommend to those listeners out there?
Laurence: Yes definitely. First though I think it really depends on like an individual by individual basis. Like what you're comfortable doing, what you have an interest doing in as in so far as getting employers to like recognize you and standing out when you're applying to different roles. So I think the best thing or the most important thing someone can do is to get like legitimate experience. So whether that's through full-time work, part-time work, contract work, and volunteer work it really doesn't matter. Just having like something to show. Like I built this web application or I worked on a team who built this web application. That’s even better. The more experience you could get working with other people, that’s better than just doing projects on your own. Obviously sometimes you can't find a group or something to work with and doing something alone is better than not experimenting and building any projects at all. So that's something that definitely really works well.

 

Trying to find freelance gigs that's really how I got started. My first quote-unquote tech job was oh gosh it was so far from glamorous. It was part-time, I was living back at home with my mom.  And I actually got it after only like six weeks of teaching myself. And I found it on Craigslist, which is like insane. But that opportunity as small as it was led to the next bigger thing, which led to the next bigger thing, led to the next bigger thing and it really just builds upon itself. 
Ross: Yeah and so even if you're just starting out on your own, building, your own website, doing your own project and building into freelance or something that feels kind of menial and far away from what you actually won't be doing. Take every opportunity you can get so that you can build that experience, to have something to talk about. So that when you do get an opportunity for that next step you have something to lean back on as proof and as evidence that you're somebody it's worth taking a chance on.

 

Laurence: Yep 100%. The other nice thing about trying to find a small freelance or part-time or whatever company or project to work on is you're also going to be then getting paid. Even if it's not a lot, you're still getting paid and you're able to learn on the job at the same time.
Ross: If somebody is trying to getting started out and there's plenty of opportunities may be out there like so many that it's overwhelming. Like where do I start? What do I actually build that first project on?  Do you have a suggestion or ways that maybe people could find what type of project work on. If they should build a website and if so what topics should they do. Should they put themselves out there as a freelancer and should they kind of market themselves to a certain niche to make themselves more appealing or anything like that. Like where should they start to find the type of project to go after?
Laurence: Yes I love that question. Okay so as far as like building a side project and that could be anything from like a web application that does XYZ to a blog to I guess those are the best examples I could really think of. What you want to do is back to that exercise, the dream companies, and the dream jobs that you want. Think about what they would care about if they were going to be like hiring you right. So I'll go back just to the EdTech example. Because that's what I'm most familiar with and so on and so forth. But if I was starting back out today and I had no experience, but I knew what I do now and everything; I would probably build and I want a job in EdTech. I would probably build some kind of website that curated online education resources right. Because it would be showing off my tech skills. But also it relates to the industry that I want to work in. so then I'm applying to online course companies. You know let's just say I'm applying to Lynda, Coursera and things like that. Not only do I maybe have some of these technical skills I guess show them through this project that I built. But it's like oh I also have domain knowledge. I'm also really interested in your product. I'm really interested your customers, heck I am one of your customers. So I think like so if you know the industry you want to work in, building something like that pertains that industry is a really good way to stand out later. If you have no idea what industry you want to work in, I think maybe taking the other approach and looking at the exact job you want and the skills that these jobs list and finding projects that really showcase those skills.
Ross: Sure I mean that's great advice and that's absolutely something that the people can think about as they as they kind of face that coming out of their coding schools. Coming out of whatever online education outlets they're completing. Because it can seem overwhelming. But I mean that's great advice of where to get started.
Laurence: Yeah and real quick; another two things you can do that kind of relate to this aside from building projects, writing and speaking. So I can give you two examples from people that I spoke with on my podcast. David Venturi is the one person.  He now works at Udacity. So he's also an EdTech. But he was really interested becoming a data scientist and not going to share his entire story. But he began taking courses. He created his own online master's program of data science. He then had some work in another EdTech company. But then he began created a bunch of tutorials for data science. I think these were mostly on medium or his blog. Well guess what someone at Udacity came across one of his tutorials and now he works at Udacity creating online courses.
Ross: Yeah I mean it sounds very similar to your story.  I mean you were writing blog posts and doing a lot of freelance writing and then you were noticed by bigger companies that have big publications with big famous names and they came knocking on your door asking about articles you can write for them or book deals etc.

 

Laurence: Yeah I can give another example from that's much unrelated to me. Because I realize that is a really related example. But the Full-Stack Academy founder David Yang, he was on my podcast as well recently and he shared one of their students, one of her stories. She built this whole, he didn't get too much details about the project. But it had to do with the Spotify API and then she began doing some like talks. I think she lived in New York, that's where their office is. But she began to mean like a meet-up talks and stuff about this project that related to the Spotify API. Well guess what so is Spotify saw this or got whiff of this and now she works at Spotify.

 

Ross: Huh go figure.
Laurence: Yep so really like again like having that like domain interest or the interest in the products can also really help make a difference or the industry.

 

Ross: Okay perfect. So I mean you've worked with a bunch of career changers over the past couple of years through various outlets that you're involved with. But I mean when do learners typically know when they're ready, when they're skilled enough to start applying for jobs and working full time. Because applying for jobs in this day and age isn't as easy as it sounds and it could be quite frustrating or demoralizing. But the same time is you don't want to spend an extra six months or a year working on building your skills if it's not helping you get any closer to what your goal is.

 

Laurence: Yeah for sure. I think for most people they'll never feel ready to make that leap. Because it is scary to you know start applying to these new positions. I talked to so many people all the time who've been learning for over a year. Maybe even longer than that and haven't even tried to get freelance projects yet just because they don't feel like they're ready.
Ross: Yeah, they feel like an imposter.

 

Laurence: Yeah exactly and the reality is like everyone for the most part feels that way when they're first starting out and you really just have to take that leap and not be a guess afraid of rejection. But the more you try the more you put yourself out there, the more you know skills you acquire over time. You're going to find a good fit somewhere or at some point in time right and also I think people should also think of  applying to jobs or but also interviewing especially once they start to get interviews. Even just like a 20-minute phone interview, it's all practice right. Even if it doesn't end up going well like you'll learn something from that experience that will make you a better interviewer for the next time.
Ross: Exactly and maybe your nerves won't be as crazy when you're in interviewing for a job that you aren't as excited to get or eager to get. And so you can build some of that confidence and be more comfortable. So that when, whatever your goal is, whatever company and job that is comes knocking on your door that you're ready to knock it out of the park because it's not the first time that you've gone through that process.
Laurence: Yeah 100% and there are times today where I'll get contacted by recruiters for certain positions and even though I'm not really interested. I'm not interested in a new position at this time, I'm really happy with where I am. Depending if I have the time, I'll actually take the call just too sort of continue honing my own skills. Because I know you know I'm not going to be at the same company forever and I'm going to probably need to, yeah I want to stay sharp in that area.
Ross: Yeah and constantly reinvent yourself. So that you're bringing more value to the position you have today. But you're also opening yourself up to more opportunities and more people to come knocking on your door.
Laurence: Yep exactly.
Ross: So how do you find companies that hire candidates without diplomas or how would you recommend contacting those companies beyond just applying online to their website like hundreds of other people are doing as well?
Laurence: Yeah so there's a lot of companies nowadays who I don't think care if a person has a diploma. If they're looking for a technical role like I know where I work at Teachable [affiliate link], we are small startup but we definitely don't. We do not take that into consideration. I think with any person at the entire company technical or otherwise whether or not they have an actual college degree. I know I've read in the news that bigger companies as well like Facebook, Google who may be used to have like a hard four-year degree requirement are starting like a lesson up on some of that rigidness with the college degree. So I think it's becoming more and more acceptable or more and more commonplace to get roles that maybe once required a four-year degree and now they no longer don't. And yeah, again, it’s becoming more common.

 

Ross: But unlike you said earlier, I mean experience speaks louder than maybe what the piece of paper your diploma says and so if you have the right experience and you are qualified and every other way, even if a job posting with a four-year degree on it. If you have the credentials experience wise you should still go for it right?
Laurence: Oh yeah definitely.
Ross: Well I guess we're running a little short on time. But is there anything else that you want to touch on that we haven't talked about yet?
Laurence: Really the big things are trying to get real work experience. Whether it's through freelancing part-time jobs, your own project. Putting yourself out there in other ways is really important. So social media can be something. They can do from the comfort of your home. If you're into writing doing blogging and writing about your experience, learning this new skill that can be really beneficial. Similarly, speaking at different events, that's also really helpful and then yeah when it comes to actually finding a job in tech, having a related four-year degree or any four-year degree at all really matters less.

 

There’s one other thing though that I think you can do if you really want to stand out. Actually it was a few, there's a lot. If you're applying to a certain company and you're really should work in there. Aside from going through the normal application route, there's a few things that work. Really putting time into thinking about that company's problems and what they're trying to solve and you can kind of figure this out based on like industry trends. Maybe they've written blog post or even just putting yourself kind of in the shoes of that company and be like okay and taking a look at their business model and like what problem they're trying to solve and like what there may be metrics are for measuring success. So for first, my company what we really look at when as a company measuring success; we're looking at how many course sales our instructors have (which we call GMV or gross merchandising value) and we're also looking at our subscriptions- our monthly recurring revenue. If you go to our company's website you can very clearly see we have three different plans that customers are going to be on. So obviously revenue coming from that is what's helping us drive the company.

 

So really think about the problems before you even approach the company and then one thing that I've seen people do and there's articles about this online. But I feel like this is almost a guaranteed way to get at least a meeting at the company, maybe not the job. but at least to get their attention enough to like get a phone call or even a coffee is to make like a custom landing page or website and outline value for the company. Don’t just focus on yourself, focus on the company, their imagined problems (because you may not know for sure what they are) but if you're approaching my company like okay well what we're trying to increase, monthly recurring revenue. Obviously we have these monthly payment subscriptions. Okay here are ideas and ways within the product or it depends on what role you're going for that you can approach these problems and these are solutions I have. And you can do this in little ways like in your interview or even in a cover letter or whatever like actually providing solutions that are going to help the business and even if you're kind of off the mark and maybe like what their actual struggles are. the fact that you go through all that effort to put together this nice like landing page, like outlining the companies problems and like suggestions and ideas you have to make it better; like that effort is going to make you stand out regardless. And I know people who've done similar and they've gotten at least phone calls or in-person interviews and then some of them have led to jobs once they’ve done that.

 

Ross: It's fantastic advice. so I mean if you're looking to get into a role as a copywriter, then maybe send them and propose update or a couple of suggestions for improvement to some of their landing pages or if you're a software developer, maybe go through some of their processes and understand opportunities where they can improve their efficiency or looking at their pages how they can improve conversions or anything like that. And demonstrating that hey I've looked at you specifically and here are some ideas of what I could bring to the table to bring value for you.
Laurence: Yeah yep exactly. So it could really be applied to like a bunch of roles not just tech roles. But finding solutions or finding ways to improve the company and make it better.
Ross: So once you actually create a solution like that or a proposal or something you want to share with the company, how would you recommend contacting them on a personal enough level to communicate that. Because if your resume gets screened through the online application process, having a URL on your resume or cover letter may never get to them.
Laurence: Yeah so that's a really good question and I've personally never actually done this before to get a job. So I just want to like throw that out there. But the people I know who have done this like with success; they're not going through the traditional application process. what they're doing is finding an email of someone who they would be reporting to and actually I've seen people do this for a specific job listing they see online and then I'm also thinking of someone I know who's done this and reached out to companies who didn't have a job listing online that they actually were interested in. but it's kind of like for that you're relying on the approach of, you're relying on the belief that a lot of companies will hire great talent like regardless.
Ross: And find a spot for you.
Laurence: Exactly. So if you're kind of like, yeah that's kind of the hope when you're going it from that way. Which is I think in a lot of ways true. I guess the one exception would be if a company was having financial issues or something and they actually couldn't afford.
Ross: Their hiring freeze or something yeah. And even maybe another way to reach out could be through LinkedIn. You could do the free trial or subscribe for ten or fifteen dollars whatever it is for the LinkedIn Plus package. Where you can email up to 10 different people per month or something like that and so you can find, you can search for the company in LinkedIn and find some of their employees and people that you would want to be communicating with be. Be it their marketing director, or what have you, and send it to them directly. Because I mean that's a much smaller inbox I imagine for those individuals than even trying to send it to their email if you do try the email first and don't have success.
Laurence: Oh yeah you could even probably reach out on Twitter, if you know they're active on Twitter. Just tweet it at them. Another tip with this landing page is to customize it to the person's name or I'm sorry to the name of the person that you think would be like your hiring manager. Because I know sometimes it's really hard to know. So let's pretend or say I want a product role at a company and maybe I would address the landing page to like their VP of product. If I knew that person.
Ross: Hello [first name] welcome to this page.
Laurence: Yeah and you could even probably be funny and say oh if someone else is looking welcome too. Because keep in mind too, the whole point is that this page is going to be like public online. So theoretically other people can stumble upon it.
Ross: True but you can build like a custom URL or something in there that you could write and publish with HTML.
Laurence: Yeah exactly. Like again how I've seen it done before. Someone has their personal website so like I would have Laurencebradford.com and then I would set that page at that like /company name. So say if I was trying to get a job at Udacity I mentioned that before. I would be like Laurencebradford.com/udacity or maybe I'd want to make it more obscure and be like /Udacity-January-2018 or something.
Ross: Sure, try to make it a little tougher to guess. So when people are creating these personal landing pages and ways to show off their solutions to the companies, I mean they're going to a provider, they going to Bluehost [affiliate link] or they're going to somebody that can actually buy and host the domain for them and then get a cPanel or somebody else to store the backend and store the HTML files and everything else that you're putting together to create this page. I mean what's kind of a process if people weren't familiar with how they could set up a page like this?
Laurence: Yeah so there's a few ways they could go by that. I guess it depends if they already have a website or not.
Ross: That's kind of a question that you could talk like a whole podcast about. How could they it in few minutes.
Laurence: If the person isn't very technical and wants like an easy kind of fast way to do this. I would probably suggest, it's going to cost money but it'll save a ton of time energy and effort. Using a tool like Leadpages or Instapage [affiliate links]. Which is a kind of a drag-and-drop builder, single page kind of site. I've never, I've used Leadpages. I'm more familiar with Instapage they're very similar products. You can have like tons of different pages set to different URLs. You can customize the URL and you don't need coding skills at all. You can just like add pictures drag around and so and so forth. That probably is the easiest way. But if you have a like already a wordpress site or something like that, you can just make a new page on the wordpress site and set it up there. But if you really want to like look good and you don't have the technical skills, you could do the Leadpages or the Instapage kind of services.
Ross: Awesome perfect. So thanks a lot for your insights tonight. Let me take a step back real quick from the conversation we've been having. One of the things that I recommend to a lot of the WehnerEd listeners is that they constantly reinvent themselves, be learning new things and adding more value to what they can bring to the table. So my question to you is what are you doing in 2018 to improve yourself and kind of how are you making 2018 your best year yet?
Laurence: Oh yeah Wow. So 2017 (and 2016) we're really big years for me. Because I moved to New York and there were a lot of like life changes that happened in those two years. So for 2018 I am really excited. There’s obviously a lot of like personal changes that I've made. So one of them is being a lot better with like my personal finances and I'm really excited to keep that up in 2018 and to invest more and just save more money and to really plan like for my financial future better. so that's something I'm still learning a lot about and the way I do that is through podcasts, books and this was again something I hardly even thought about until I think was about July 2017. So I'm really excited about that. As far as like LearnToCodeWith.me goes, there's a lot of projects that I'm working on this year that I'm also really excited about. I actually, we're getting back on track to publish more content to the blog. We took a little bit of a hiatus from publishing new content there. But we're getting back into the swing of doing that more in 2018. So I'm really excited about that. Because that's like how the whole brand started was with blog content. So I'm excited go back to the roots.

 

Lately we've been focusing a lot on the podcast. I do it in seasons and we're about to be done with season 4. I'm not sure when this will go live. But we could even be done with season 4 by the time this goes live. Yeah but that's been a lot of fun and getting a bunch of guests on the show for that is always exciting. But I'm also excited to sort of take a break from the podcast and focus on a few other bigger projects with LearnToCodeWith.me.
Ross: Awesome you know so this podcast will go live on the next two to three weeks; mid to late February and just for the listeners out there, your podcast is www.learntocodewith.me/podcast, right?
Laurence: Yeah you can find it there and you can also find it on iTunes. If you just look up learn to code or learn to go with me, it should show up right away. Also I mean we're pretty much on every podcast player out there. If we're not on the one that you listen to please email me and let me know. So we can make sure we get there.
Ross: And then how would you prefer they contact you? I mean what's your email address I guess in that case?
Laurence: You could just email me at laurence@learntocodewith.me.
Ross: Perfect if people like to follow more about what you're working on and see what you're up to, we have you on twitter @lebdev. Is there anywhere else that people can reach out and follow your activity?
Laurence: Yeah with Learn To Code With Me, our site lists bunch of different social media channels. You can find them all on the website. I also have a Facebook group that goes by a different name. It’s called Newbie Coder Warehouse. Again that's on the website too. So the best place to find all the different social media links is just www.learntocodewith.me.
Ross: Perfect, well thank you again Laurence for chatting with me and the WehnerEd community this evening. You’ve accomplished a ton already and a little bit of envy on our end. But I’m looking forward to see what you have for the future. So thanks again and we'll talk soon.
Laurence: Thank you so much. Thanks for having me.
Ross: This wraps up our episode for today and of course links to each of the items we mentioned will be included in the show notes on www.WehnerEd.com/podcast. Speaking of which, Laurence and I chatted for a bit after the recording and she shared a fantastic example of someone who created a custom website for Airbnb to go above and beyond and show them why they should hire her. It’s also in the show notes, so take a look.

 

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2018-11-14T16:03:36+00:00

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