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The benefits of TikTok and Patreon with Cassidy Williams

samjarman profile image Sam Jarman 👨🏼‍💻 Originally published at samjarman.co.nz on ・4 min read

Dev Chats is back for season two! This is a series where I speak to an awesome developer or techie every week or so. You can read more here. Let me know if you know someone awesome I should chat to next.




Introduce yourself! Who are you? Where do you work?

I’m Cassidy, I’m an instructor and software engineer based in Seattle, and I work at React Training!

Who or what got you into programming?

I first discovered programming when I was 13 years old, I heard someone say, “check out my website” on my walk home from school, and didn’t realize that individuals could have those (I thought only companies could!), and ran home and taught myself everything I could about making websites! From there I took AP Computer Science in high school, and then majored in Computer Science at Iowa State University, and have been dabbling on websites ever since!

I and possibly many others found you via your comedy TikTok videos about software development. How has making these, admittedly niche, jokes had an impact on your career?

I admit not a ton has come out of them besides a lot of Twitter followers, ha! I used to make silly videos and jokes and stuff just for friends, and then decided to put them on Twitter this summer, and, well… you found me! My follower count exploded overnight (got something like 40k new ones in less than 2 weeks). I’ve luckily had a couple of folks reach out (Raygun, for example!) who like what I do and have offered to support my newsletter than I maintain in exchange for some fun video and Twitter mentions, which has been a new and fun experience!

I see you have a Patreon for side projects, resume reviews and Discord chat - what were the motivations around creating this and how is it going? Is it something you’d recommend other developers and trainers doing?

I wanted to firstly, provide a service to people who might not otherwise have someone to talk to about resumes/interview practice/etc, and secondly build a high-quality community. So far, it’s been an AMAZING experience! The people in my Discord channel are all incredibly active and from around the world, and many of them don’t have a local tech community to hang out with, so this Discord is a place for them to talk tech and hobbies. One thing I’m particularly excited about is that we’re starting a “symposium”, basically an online conference for each other to practice giving tech talks and sharing what we’re working on. Some folks in there are accomplished public speakers, and some have never even considered giving a talk before, so it’s both great practice and also a fun learning experience! And of course, we play Minecraft together too, which is always a great time.

How do you think training people in technical fields will change over the coming years, and how might that affect your role?

That’s a good question, I’m not sure! People learn very differently, and I think companies want to provide quality options for their teams to learn the latest and greatest. My company, in particular, is working on both in-person and online curriculum, and I really enjoy both. I’m hoping that as tech changes (as it does), we can change and grow with it, and continue bringing good education to folks who are excited about the newest stuff.

What has been your toughest lesson to learn in your software career so far?

Don’t follow big money and job titles. Follow a job that will give you the life you want to have outside of work, not one that wants to BE your life!

What would be your number one piece of advice for a successful software career?

Build a community around you. Network with as many people as you can. When people around you support you, you do better, and you can do better for them, too!

Have you got any hobbies outside of your job? Do you think they help your tech career in any way?

Several! I love building mechanical keyboards (I talk about that plenty on Twitter, ha!), playing music (my husband and I have performed in some orchestras together), and playing board games! Even though these hobbies probably haven’t affected my career a ton, what I love about them is that they’ve reminded me that it’s important to have a life outside of work. It’s hard to achieve work/life balance sometimes when you are trying to climb that career ladder and constantly thinking about your tasks for the next day. Finding the balance of working hard but also separating yourself from your work is so healthy and necessary, and was a lesson I learned the hard way!

What books/resources would you recommend for others wanting to follow a path similar to yours?

Build Your Dream Network by J Kelly Hoey is an amazing resource!

Finally, make your shoutout! What would you like the readers to go have a look at?

Most of my links are at cassidoo.co! Most notably are my newsletter at cassidoo.co/newsletter, my Patreon at patreon.com/cassidoo, and all the various social medias @cassidoo . :)

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Sam Jarman 👨🏼‍💻

@samjarman

Software engineer (iOS/JS/Anything). Likes: blogging, running, improvising, public speaking, positivity, helping newbies and great banter!

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