WITH SARA REGAN, WEB DEVELOPER

IT TOOK TWO YEARS–AND A FEW DETOURS–TO LAND A FULL-TIME JOB, BUT I COULDN'T BE HAPPIER

Welcome to Skillcrush Stories: exclusive reflections and tips for pursuing a tech career from rockstar Skillcrush alumni. Sara Regan is Australian by birth, but lives in Berlin where she works as a full-time developer for a meal subscription service called Marley Spoon. She took a Skillcrush course in 2014 and was a Skillcrush teaching assistant for two years before joining the Marley Spoon development team.

SARA AT A TECH CONFERENCE

My coding journey, my Skillcrush Story, has a tremendous amount of twists and turns. I come from a humanities background and studied International Relations, thinking that one day I’d be brokering agreements at the UN. And while I loved what I studied, it definitely wasn’t where I ended up. 

What drew me into tech was the concept of creating things, but my first foray into coding was a disaster! I took a JavaScript web apps class in college…and I failed it. It didn’t make sense to me at all. A few years later, I was working a couple of different admin jobs but hadn’t broken into the career I thought I would. A friend convinced me to attend a coding workshop in Berlin and I set off with no expectations for learning anything—but when I finished the workshop I’d had an amazing experience. I’d met some great people and learned some interesting stuff, and I went home to Munich all fired up with the desire to pursue this challenge. So I got to work.

4 QUESTIONS WITH SARA REGAN

The opportunity to create things for friends and family and to make the things that I liked to consume on the web sparked my interest, and I couldn’t stop. A few years after that first workshop, I was doing little projects and messing around with HTML and CSS but I hadn’t gotten much further. I was determined to take some more steps and learn JavaScript to make my websites dynamic. I found Skillcrush and took a JavaScript course, and started communicating with my instructors. Eventually, I learned that Skillcrush was looking for a teaching assistant, so I applied and got the job! 

When I bumped into Skillcrush, it appealed to me so much. It had the attitudes about working and living that really resonated with me: people who were enthusiastic about tech, but didn’t have the opinion that you had to have started learning to code when you were 12 years old. People can come to tech from all walks of life and all backgrounds; the diversity makes technology a wonderful field to work in. 

After two years at Skillcrush, I felt like I needed to work on a development team in an office. I was approached by a really nice company and now I work full time as a web developer at meal subscription service Marley Spoon, a major partner with Martha Stewart! I work on everything after the user logs in, keeping users happy and make sure everything runs smoothly. All the skills I’ve accumulated over time have resulted in me being able to do these things, and I’m lucky to be part of a dev team where we all help each other. 


Every day brings new challenges when you're a developer, but it also brings you new knowledge to solve those big problems and realize those big dreams.


The most important lesson I’ve learned in this journey is that you have to have patience with yourself and with the process—whether you learn to code and get a job in six months or six years. When I have treated myself with more compassion and sat back a bit, I’ve realized that this journey takes as long as it takes. People often change the goal posts on themselves without realizing it because they keep getting better. If you take the Skillcrush Blueprint, you’ll finish one course and then within a week you’ll be dissatisfied with yourself again because you realize that there’s so much more you don’t know yet. It’s good to realize that you should not know anything when you begin. Have patience with yourself, and have compassion. 

My path may be nontraditional and not always coding related, but those experiences guided me into the place where I am now. Coming into tech was definitely not something I thought I’d be doing ten years ago but even though my story takes some detours, those detours have been huge life-changing opportunities. Every day brings new challenges when you're a developer, but it also brings you new knowledge to solve those big problems and realize those big dreams.

XOXO,

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