• Rafael Lopez

Why Learning Web Development?

Updated: Feb 17, 2019

I have two answers to this question. The first one is from a Strategic Technology and User Experience class I took during my masters at Pratt Institute that got me completely hooked on all things digital. It was in this same class in 2015 where I found a flyer posted outside of the classroom about a basic HTML and CSS workshop with Larry Buchanan who is a developer from the NY Times. I took the workshop and have to say it was one of my best decisions ever.


I remember being soooo lost during the workshop but at the same time soooo interested in what was going on that I just started coding (although very on and off) on my spare time doing a bunch of online courses from CodeAcademy, freeCodeCamp and a few other online resources.


The second reason for my interest in web development comes from a big challenge I used to experience as a professional Latino living and working in the states. Although I have a teaching background (my undergrad is in Arts Ed) and I speak English very well these days, the language sometimes terrorizes me because at the end of the day it is still my second language.


I used to feel not confident at all about the way I speak, specially at work, which caused me a lot of stress. I remember when I first started looking for marketing jobs, a field with such a big demand and fierce competition, that I always felt like I was going to be the very last person to be considered for those roles I was applying for when placed in comparison to all the other better speaking prospects. So being as strategic and analytical as I've always been, I knew I needed to do something to stand out among the huge crowd in the vanilla marketing world.


Since I've being doing work across Google Analytics, SEO, programmatic, display, Facebook ads, Google AdWords ads, and have always been inclined to analytics and the advanced aspect of these channels, I knew I wanted to do more and decided to make a move to be better involved with more technical stuff. Setting up tracking for marketing tools, injecting code through Google Tag Manager, setting up JavaScript events, etc have always been the kind of things I love doing so I decided to also take my web development skills to the next level to acquire the right dev skills that will allow me to perform advanced techniques in my day-to-day job.


Because of the previous reasons, at the beginning of this year I decided to go full blast learning development to transition my career from marketer to being a web developer within the marketing analytics field. I started looking for and comparing bootcamps around, however, since I didn't really have the economic resources to pay for one (they are pricey!) I also started searching for their scholarships.


To my surprise I discovered a bunch out there and it makes me really inspired to be in tech because you can tell all of these programming schools want to help underrepresented groups and minorities. During my research, I found the Facebook + Flatiron School Breakthrough Scholarship, I applied for it without expecting anything and to my surprise I got it. I feel so fortunate for being awarded this scholarship and words can't really explain how helpful the course material and staff have been so far.


I recommend Flatiron School because it feels like an inclusive and warm community with fun and devoted members. I feel empowered every time I'm learning something that I previously thought was going to be impossible to learn but then with the help of all the coaches I have available, one-on-ones, screen-shares, etc I just 'get' the concepts I'm learning in a very encouraging environment. So go and check them out, If you are interested in learning web dev start with the plenty of free courses you can find online (here's a list with 71 places), and just go for it. Start basic, start slow, an hour here and another there but just START. Consistency is key so also code every single day and you will see how it will pay off very quickly like it has already done for me.





One of my first projects learning Ruby

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© 2019 by Rafael Lopez