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natalie stroud
natalie stroud

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she's not a developer yet but nevertheless, natalie coded

Welcome to my first post!

Yes, I know IWD was days ago. I have some major imposter syndrome right now writing this and I may have had the self-deprecating thought that I didn't deserve praise that day.

I'm not a developer. At least, not yet. I first met my friend 'Code' I'd say in 2004 or 2005 on this cute little site called Neopets. All I knew was HTML. CSS and I hadn't become friends yet and I'm still meeting JavaScript. I keep hearing things about React and Node and Vue and the list goes on.

But when I wasn't playing Sims, I was on Neopets. I'd mistaken PaintShop Pro for Photoshop (it still did the trick if you knew how to alter the tutorial. Or if the tutorial writer altered it for you). I was obsessed with the Jonas Brothers (THEY'RE BAAAAAAACK!) I joined these things called "Guilds" and created my own. My dad was a Systems Administrator and had taken computer science courses. He had this nice red binder with all these printouts about HTML he had received from one course.

So I sat in the corner of my room - my nice little JoBros guild layout with boxes and dropping in text. Before all of this I just played around with Notepad. Copying and pasting HTML. Becoming amazed when something popped up in Internet Explorer as if I had written the code myself.

Fast forward to today - I can't tell you the last time I was on Neopets, I still love the Jonas Brothers, and I'm writing post numero uno on dev.to. I feel unworthy of this. I graduated with a Bachelor's in 'Media Informatics' which was geared towards all kinds of design. Game design, web design, UX design, graphic design, you name it. But at my school we also had a design major too.
I'm a project administrator as well. I love my job but in my spare time I find myself coding. And coding. And coding. Albeit 9 times out of 10 it started out with HTML as if I'd been missing something all these years.

I struggled in college with what I wanted to do. I hadn't touched HTML in years or even kept up to date with it. My degree focused plenty on Adobe Creative Suite which I loved and I still love today. But again, I felt like an imposter. I don't feel like a designer but I love design. I don't feel like an artist but I love art. I don't feel like a developer but I love code.

My job has been a wonderful stepping stone right out of college. But I know I've always wanted a career in tech. In design. In coding. SOMETHING. As of late I've been searching for that next step to launch me into my career. A way to tie all of these loose strings I have together. I've updated LinkedIn, applied for jobs, updated my resume, my portfolio and it hasn't been the trick. Recently I applied to be in a coding bootcamp but I'd been so weary. The extra cost, the 2 hour drive to the city. Would I be able to do this with work and taking care of my mom plus any outside activities? What if I failed? Never got the job? Wasted all of that money? I never heard back from admissions after my readiness test and just assumed I didn't make it to the next chapter. Days later I stumbled upon a sale that Udemy was having and now I'm taking Colt Steele's Complete Web Dev Bootcamp.

So here I am. Imposter Syndrome and all. My name is Natalie. I'm a Project Administrator. I co-organize events for 'Ladies That UX'. I'm self-taught, since I was 10 years old. I love the Jonas Brothers (and music in general!). I love this community of women in tech I've recently stumbled upon. I'm a Google (Early) Women Techmaker. I love HTML. I'm loving CSS. I hope to love JavaScript and the plethora of languages I pick up along the way. But most of all I'm an aspiring developer.

she's not a developer yet but nevertheless, natalie coded.


small note: thank you to anyone reading this that made it this far. I've been going back and forth about even writing this since I'm such a newbie. a big thanks to the Google Women Techmaker community that I recently joined. I meet someone new everyday and the questions, the stories, they all inspire me to keep pushing. thank you all of the #shecoded stories too! written and unwritten.

Top comments (13)

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teekatwo profile image
Tori Pugh

Welcome! Being a newbie is hard, your always second guessing yourself and you feel your not good enough, but your stronger and better than you know! Keep chugging, even when you feel stagnant.

The rule I live by now is it doesn't have to be perfect, just done. So if your writing and worried about releasing it into the world, go for it. You'll be happy that you did. And if you need help, don't hesitate to reach out to the many great people you'll find in the coding community. There are many newbie safe areas and people to talk to.

Something I read once was to never put aspiring on your profiles, don't sell yourself short. If your writing some code, your a developer. That change will boost your confidant for sure. Time will make you better so don't worry it'll happen

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nataliecodes profile image
natalie stroud Author

Wow! Thank you for that last tip. See? It's the imposter syndrome. I put aspiring because I read somewhere that there's being a coder and developer - coder being a 'hobbyist' and developer meaning you get paid for it. I guess I have that fear of someone asking where I'm a developer at and not having that sufficient answer. I read all these posts about finally landing a dev job and that's my biggest goal right now.

It's funny because all throughout college and even after I dread that "what do you want to be/do?" question and now it's almost like it's clicking. Even with this immense fear of that language plethora I don't know of yet, it makes me so excited.

I also had the 'doesn't have to be perfect, just done' mindset in college. Especially when I'd get tired and had sleep on the brain. I'd work more for getting into bed for 30 minutes of sleep rather than a perfect project (ha!)

Thank you for the love!

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kateyanko profile image
Kate Yanko

Congratulations on your first dev.to post! It was an enjoyable read. I am also new to technology. I recently graduated from Colt's class-- it's awesome-- and I got a job in QA testing at a local tech consulting company. Keep creating and posting! We've got your back!

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nataliecodes profile image
natalie stroud Author

That's amazing to hear, thank you! I've been enjoying his bootcamp so far. He does a great job with explaining everything without getting so technical. I read reviews and so many of them said it was great for beginners and they definitely weren't wrong. I also love that I'm not just getting fundamentals. There's more detail to it.

Congrats on the QA job too! I hope you're enjoying it! Colt said at the beginning of the bootcamp that he believes it's the only one anyone needs to become a developer and I have that "too good to be true" feeling but also a lot of faith and hope. Thank you for the warm welcome :D

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kateyanko profile image
Kate Yanko

I totally know the "too good to be true" feeling, but it is true! If you put in the work, you will get a job. I know a number of people who have gotten dev jobs after taking the bootcamp. I just decided to start my career outside of dev and give QA a try. Best of luck and keep writing! :)

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yorodm profile image
Yoandy Rodriguez Martinez

Every time I read a testimonial like yours I am amazed at how the people who write it do not realize the courage that lies behind their actions. I'm glad you have that courage because you won't be afraid of trying new things. I'm glad you have doubts because you they will make you remember your struggle and help beginners with theirs. That will make you a great team member, and we need more people like you.

Welcome to the world of developers, stop feeling like you don't belong and remember we're here to give you strength.

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nataliecodes profile image
natalie stroud Author

I love that last line, thank you so much. All of the feedback I've been given here has been wonderful <3 I can tell I've made it into a community with wide open arms and I can't wait to keep moving forward. Your words are so kind!!

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desi profile image
Desi

Imposter syndrome is so frustrating, I'm sorry. It's also so hard to figure out what you want to do - there are so many things I want to do that I'm never sure if I'm on the "right" path to it or not.

If you're looking for another class to take that's online, I really liked Superhi - they're also geared toward designers, and the way their videos are structured make it really easy for me to grasp.

Welcome to dev.to!

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nataliecodes profile image
natalie stroud Author

I'll check that out, thank you so much! And no need to be sorry :) Sounds like I'm not the only person with imposter syndrome. I'm so quick to shut down things I do and say because of it. Even after college I felt that way. Well...durring college too.

Thank you for the warm welcome <3

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ruvans profile image
Ruth Evans

I started coding on neopets as well! My shop was cute AF ✨I also helped my friends make cool myspace profiles a few years later.

It's funny that you've been coding on and off since 2004 yet say you're not a developer, but I guess that's impostor syndrome for you! I look forward to your next post

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nataliecodes profile image
natalie stroud Author

My mom never let me have a MySpace account but I solely wanted to have one just to make layouts (LOL). Not for the 'Top 8' but I loved how everyone got into coding and the majority of people it seems like don't even know it. Or maybe they do but it's like, remember that time everyone single handedly knew HTML thanks to MySpace?

And that is impostor syndrome for you! ha! I guess it's because I dove a bit into design for awhile but had this lack of creativity. And anytime I came back to coding it was always right back to HTML. I knew CSS existed but I knew nothing about it. I could never wrap my head around it. And at that time anything past that was just way over my head.

Thank you for the love <3

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern

Congrats on your first post, sounds like you’re on the right path

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nataliecodes profile image
natalie stroud Author

Thank you so much! It's great to be here and I hope to land that dev job someday!

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