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S1 E36: I left the coding bootcamp a week into it (Clifford / @CliffordFajard0)
Episode 3614th January 2023 • WebJoy • Eddie Hinkle
00:00:00 00:34:08

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Clifford Fajardo joins the show to talk about his origin story, from studying social sciences and planning on a career like a lawyer, to going through a coding bootcamp. After leaving the coding bootcamp and being convinced to come back and finish it, he now works at LinkedIn!

We discuss him failing the LinkedIn interview the first time before passing it when he returned a year later, and being open to how things come up and just seeing what happens as you build social connections. We also talk about how you learn based on your environment and the people around you, as well as how the tech industry is big enough that you can choose to specialize in a specific tool or community.

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Transcripts

Speaker:

Welcome to episode 36 of the web joy podcast.

Speaker:

I'm your host Eddie.

Speaker:

And in this podcast, we interview guests about their origin story and

Speaker:

what makes them excited and joyful to be part of the tech community.

Speaker:

I hope you enjoy today's episode.

Speaker:

I left the coding bootcamp a week into it with Clifford Fajardo.

Eddie:

Welcome to another episode of Web Joy.

Eddie:

I'm excited today to have Clifford with us.

Eddie:

Clifford.

Eddie:

Hey, how you doing?

Eddie:

Hey,

Clifford:

I'm doing great.

Clifford:

So

Eddie:

if you don't mind, let's just start out with you sharing who you

Eddie:

are, what you do, where you work.

Eddie:

You know, a brief intro so people can get to know you.

Eddie:

I'm Clifford

Clifford:

Fado.

Clifford:

I'm based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Clifford:

I'm Nicaraguan American, so I speak Spanish.

Clifford:

My family's from Nicaragua.

Clifford:

Fun fact, I have a twin brother.

Clifford:

Currently I work at LinkedIn and I work primarily on the web building,

Clifford:

web UIs on an infrastructure team.

Clifford:

So it's really an environment like no other that I've, uh, had in the past.

Clifford:

I.

Clifford:

Few different roles in, in, at different companies and been really

Clifford:

enjoying my time, uh, at LinkedIn.

Clifford:

So that's, uh, the quick high level overview.

Eddie:

So are you working backend or front end

Clifford:

infrastructure?

Clifford:

Primarily doing front end helping power infrastructure and experience

Clifford:

so closely collaborating.

Clifford:

With backend engineers and making people more productive with their

Clifford:

tools and, and infrastructure.

Eddie:

That's very cool.

Eddie:

Yeah.

Eddie:

I actually lead a, um, internal front end developer tools team as well at Glassdoor.

Eddie:

So.

Eddie:

Nice.

Eddie:

It's cool.

Eddie:

We're kind of on similar teams.

Eddie:

. Clifford: Yeah.

Eddie:

Front end tooling infrastructure.

Eddie:

I love that stuff as well.

Eddie:

So there's so many new tools as you, you can imagine, libraries f.

Eddie:

Uh, it never stopped , so

Eddie:

Yeah, absolutely.

Eddie:

That seems like a pretty exciting job, right?

Eddie:

Working on front end tooling at LinkedIn.

Eddie:

How'd you get there?

Eddie:

Right?

Eddie:

What first kind of got you interested in doing technology and what did

Eddie:

that journey kind of look like?

Eddie:

Going from get starting to working at tech to working at a pretty

Eddie:

well known company like Linked.

Eddie:

My

Clifford:

development journey started halfway in college.

Clifford:

So, uh, third year of second or third year of college I was actually

Clifford:

studying in the social sciences, sociology, political science.

Clifford:

I thought that was, That was what I was interested in the time and had

Clifford:

aspirations maybe to be a lawyer, work in the government, mostly around,

Clifford:

uh, helping others at some sort of social enterprise to help others.

Clifford:

And then during December break, I remember I just had free time.

Clifford:

You know, you're in school, you have a December break at the end of the year.

Clifford:

Time to relax.

Clifford:

And I stumbled upon code academy.com.

Clifford:

So Code Academy, if you don't know, is a website that teaches you how

Clifford:

to code for free in your browser.

Clifford:

And once I started fiddling around with what, at the time I didn't

Clifford:

know was web development, I really got hooked seeing what I could.

Clifford:

These codes at the time, like how I could tweak them and it would

Clifford:

make things appear on the screen.

Clifford:

I, I got hooked and I realized it was something to really pursue and, and it

Clifford:

was a passion of mine when I sat down one time for five or six hours and

Clifford:

hadn't noticed time fly by so fast, and even though I was struggling to

Clifford:

try to understand what was happening.

Clifford:

I still was hungry to come back and do more of this coding and I just kept at it.

Clifford:

So that was something I was learning on the side in college, eventually

Clifford:

Googling and, and trying to find out, you know, can you make a career or out

Clifford:

of this thing that I just discovered, I found out about coding boot camps.

Clifford:

Coding bootcamps in 2015 were starting to become, it was still not as popular

Clifford:

as today, but it was starting to come up and enough people had done them.

Clifford:

That gave me the confidence to, to see that you can go to a coding bootcamp and

Clifford:

then eventually land a really awesome job and, and start working in the industry.

Clifford:

So, yeah, that's what I ended up doing.

Clifford:

Learning on the side.

Clifford:

Interestingly, uh, my plan was to go to a four year and transfer and,

Clifford:

and complete my four year degree.

Clifford:

I, I did two years, but instead of completing my, my four years and having

Clifford:

to switch my major, I decided to go to a coding bootcamp and I went to Hack

Clifford:

Reactor in the San Francisco Bay area.

Clifford:

It was very challenging and I feel like I have to be transparent for the learners.

Clifford:

I thought that the program was difficult and it's gotten, it's, it's always been

Clifford:

a good program, but at the time being, what was I, 20 years old, 21 years old,

Clifford:

I, I was unsure if I could, I could pass the coding bootcamp and I actually

Clifford:

was having, you know, cold feet and I left the coding boot camps a week into

Clifford:

it cuz I felt like I, it was too much.

Clifford:

And how, how am I supposed to get a job after three months?

Clifford:

You.

Clifford:

And fortunately the people at the coding boot camp were so nice and

Clifford:

amazing that they actually reached out to me a few weeks later and they

Clifford:

asked me if I wanted to talk and maybe reconsider joining the next cohort.

Clifford:

And they supported me all the way, and that's, Literally that

Clifford:

changed my life going through a, a coding bootcamp, financially,

Clifford:

career wise, and just personally.

Clifford:

So, uh, I broke into the industry after, uh, coding bootcamp and

Clifford:

landed at Salesforce in my first job.

Eddie:

Wow.

Eddie:

That's amazing.

Eddie:

I love that they reached out to you, you know what I mean?

Eddie:

Like they saw that you'd left and they're like, okay, let's check in with this

Eddie:

guy and see like, He needs something.

Eddie:

You know, I think that is just amazing.

Eddie:

And then that they actually, like you decided to give it a second shot and

Eddie:

now you know the trajectory that has taken your life on that is awesome.

Eddie:

When

Clifford:

I landed at Salesforce, I, so I'm at LinkedIn now, so

Clifford:

Salesforce was my first job and.

Clifford:

I've been all my roles primarily doing web engineering.

Clifford:

Uh, front end and ui.

Clifford:

A recruiter reached out to me, which was completely new.

Clifford:

As you, as you can imagine, everybody else who joins the industry the

Clifford:

first time, you get a weird reaction when the first a recruiter reaches

Clifford:

out to you and you've only been at a job for a short amount of time.

Clifford:

I was like, what the heck?

Clifford:

Why?

Clifford:

Why are they contacting me , and I've only been here three and a half months, like

Clifford:

It was just completely odd to me.

Clifford:

Long story short, LinkedIn reached out to me.

Clifford:

It's a company that I always wanted to work at.

Clifford:

I interviewed with them like the first time I didn't get

Clifford:

in, I felt like I was close.

Clifford:

A year later, the same recruiter reached out to me.

Clifford:

I didn't reach out to them, but they were like, Hey, maybe you've, You

Clifford:

know, want, you wanna reconsider.

Clifford:

And I landed at LinkedIn the second time they, they interviewed me.

Clifford:

So a lot of these things are very unexpected.

Clifford:

I wasn't necessarily planning to target these, these companies

Clifford:

and it turned out like that some.

Clifford:

And even on Twitter, I've had the opportunity, just me being active

Clifford:

on Twitter, following people.

Clifford:

The tip I give people is be open to opportunities.

Clifford:

Just be curious.

Clifford:

I've actually.

Clifford:

Interviews that came out of just talking with people on Twitter,

Clifford:

recruiters that have seen me on Twitter and stuff like that.

Eddie:

That's awesome.

Eddie:

So I guess what was like that, like for you, right, going through the first

Eddie:

interview process and not making it, which we all do that so many times,

Eddie:

but I feel like most of the time people don't try to go back to the same company.

Eddie:

Right.

Eddie:

So what was that like for you the second time, going through the

Eddie:

interview process, kind of knowing, hey, like I've been here before.

Eddie:

and I didn't make it last time, but also hopefully, I don't know.

Eddie:

Was the interview process kind of similar or like did it feel less nerve wracking?

Eddie:

I don't know.

Eddie:

What was like that like for you before I talk

Clifford:

about the second time, I did feel devastated after I didn't

Clifford:

pass the interview the first time because I was, I went to the office.

Clifford:

I was like, oh my gosh, this place looks like, uh, Willy Wonka

Clifford:

land , you know, and the people were so nice and, and all of that stuff.

Clifford:

And I did feel like I was close, you know, so it felt graspable.

Clifford:

So when I didn't get it, I, it did, it was a blow a little bit.

Clifford:

But at the same time, I remember that experience.

Clifford:

What it caused me to do is think about there's room for improvement

Clifford:

for me to become a better engineer.

Clifford:

There's a lot of concepts that these people expose me to,

Clifford:

uh, while I was interviewing.

Clifford:

So from that respect, it, it also lit a fire in me to wanna

Clifford:

learn more about my field.

Clifford:

And then as far as how it went the second time, it wasn't too drastically different.

Clifford:

If you go through something once that tends to help a.

Clifford:

And I definitely prepared a lot the second time going in and it turned out well.

Clifford:

So

Eddie:

I think that is such an encouraging story, right?

Eddie:

So often you hear about when people change jobs and like that

Eddie:

they got the job and maybe they.

Eddie:

Spit out a each certain number.

Eddie:

Like, oh yeah, I interviewed at 20 companies and you know, everyone

Eddie:

said no except two or something.

Eddie:

And so that kind of helps people who are in the midst of facing rejection,

Eddie:

like understand that they're not alone.

Eddie:

But I think there's something especially poignant about your story

Eddie:

and like not making that first time at LinkedIn and like the fact that

Eddie:

you did have to phase that, right?

Eddie:

Like that you even got to go to the.

Eddie:

Building is like even more heartbreaking because it's like you may pass

Eddie:

that like first or second like filtering interview and like Yeah.

Eddie:

When you walk in the building you're thinking I could be here.

Eddie:

You know what I mean?

Eddie:

Like it's, it's real now, right?

Clifford:

Yep.

Clifford:

The second time I got in and then how it was from Salesforce

Clifford:

to LinkedIn was actually.

Clifford:

Eye opening, a drastic experience, and I'll give you some context on that.

Clifford:

So the first job that I got was actually fully remote.

Clifford:

I worked from home and, you know, being new into your career, me

Clifford:

being new into my career, I craved to be around other engineers and,

Clifford:

and talked with 'em in person.

Clifford:

And I didn't get too much of that at, at Salesforce.

Clifford:

It was still great, um, got the experience for remote life, but when I got to

Clifford:

LinkedIn, It was a different world.

Clifford:

The amount of, uh, engineers that I was surrounded by.

Clifford:

I got to work with lots of other people who specialized in the area of engineering

Clifford:

that I was in front end engineering.

Clifford:

So it, being around that environment, I felt like I even

Clifford:

grew significantly more in just a, just a very short amount of time.

Clifford:

Just you learn by being around people and, and talking.

Clifford:

With them and through osmosis, you, you pick that stuff up.

Clifford:

And this is my tip for, for people, like if you feel like you are wanting to grow

Clifford:

more, sometimes you just need to surround yourself in a, in a different environment.

Clifford:

If you're not getting that where you are now, at least from my experience,

Clifford:

that's what what helped a lot.

Eddie:

Definitely, like you said, I've had transitions where I've

Eddie:

been at a job with maybe a couple other engineers, but you don't talk.

Eddie:

You're kind of just working on your own stuff.

Eddie:

And then I transitioned to a design agency where I was surrounded by a bunch of front

Eddie:

end engineers and we had like a weekly.

Eddie:

Share session.

Eddie:

So I was actually remote.

Eddie:

Most of them were in person, but they would all get together in a

Eddie:

meeting room and me and you know, one other remote person would call

Eddie:

in, but someone would like say, Hey, here's what I learned recently.

Eddie:

And you know, it was using a.

Eddie:

I went from like using really old technology to suddenly using like

Eddie:

angular one, and then while I was there, angular two came out.

Eddie:

And it's like, it really opens your eyes to seeing what's out there and

Eddie:

to really, like you said, kind of step up your technology game and awareness

Eddie:

as to like different methods and processes and, and that's really cool.

Clifford:

Yeah, you mentioned Angular one, which is something

Clifford:

I also used with in my first job.

Clifford:

And it's just interesting because the, the industry uses React a lot.

Clifford:

So when I meet other people who have touched technologies that I've used,

Clifford:

like Angular one, I'm like, cool.

Clifford:

We have a shared, uh, experience there in the, in the front end world.

Eddie:

So, yeah, I, I went from writing like vanilla JavaScript

Eddie:

and J Query to Angular one.

Eddie:

Like that was really, My first like big framework thing, and so then I

Eddie:

actually went Angular one to Angular two, and I actually just started

Eddie:

doing React at Glassdoor, so I had to transition from Angular, I don't know,

Eddie:

number, whatever the modern angular to.

Eddie:

React transitioning into this company, which was, uh, an

Eddie:

interesting learning curve.

Eddie:

But, uh, thankfully, you know, if you get the right resources and you,

Eddie:

you know, have coded long enough, you can figure out, oh, okay, this

Eddie:

is how you do that thing I used to do in this other framework.

Eddie:

. Clifford: Yeah.

Eddie:

Interesting.

Eddie:

We talked about transitioning to react.

Eddie:

I had a very similar experience to you, and I wanna tie this

Eddie:

into learning and community.

Eddie:

I hadn't started re reacting until 2021 and I'd started in 2016 doing development.

Eddie:

So, um, I think one thing to call out is I'm drawn to technologies and their

Eddie:

communities, so I really like the React community and, and what they're doing

Eddie:

and what, just the people leading those frameworks, creating the libraries.

Eddie:

And so for a long time I wanted to work with React and that actually

Eddie:

influenced how I decided what team that I wanted to work on.

Eddie:

Where I wanted to take myself in my career.

Eddie:

So I think it's a hot take, but a lot of people say like, you shouldn't be,

Eddie:

you know, attached to a technology.

Eddie:

There's a whole generalist mindset, you know, just.

Eddie:

Everything's a hammer.

Eddie:

Just think of it as a tool.

Eddie:

Don't become attached, but it's not bad to work with technologies

Eddie:

that you wanna work with.

Eddie:

I feel like we're lucky in the industry to be able to, to choose.

Eddie:

Like if you wanna be in the React community, you can do that.

Eddie:

There's those opportunities.

Eddie:

If you wanna focus on something else, view angular.

Eddie:

There's significant opportunities there too.

Eddie:

And yeah, that just changes how you work.

Eddie:

Your demeanor, I don't know if you've had that experience as.

Eddie:

No, I think that's great because it's like, yes, they are all

Eddie:

tools, but certain tools do work a certain way in your brain, right?

Eddie:

Like for some people, like it just works a certain way.

Eddie:

Or like the people who decided to make Angular, the people who

Eddie:

decided to make React, they had a specific methodology that.

Eddie:

Kind of subscribe to.

Eddie:

And so if you feel like that's a good methodology, it totally makes sense

Eddie:

to want to stick with and connect with that community and that methodology.

Eddie:

I mean, there are people who, to this day, still find jobs doing rubian rails, which.

Eddie:

That framework's been around for like two decades.

Eddie:

So it's like, hey, like if people can still be doing Ruby on Rails

Eddie:

today and getting paid, like you can probably find a job doing, you know,

Eddie:

any of the, the front end frameworks that you want for your whole career.

Eddie:

So I think it's, it's fine to double down, um, on that.

Eddie:

It's really what's important to you, right?

Eddie:

Like, as.

Eddie:

As an engineer.

Eddie:

Some people it's about what technology do they work with.

Eddie:

Some people, it's like they don't care about the technology, but they

Eddie:

care about the industry, right?

Eddie:

Like they always want to be in cybersecurity or banking

Eddie:

or something like that.

Eddie:

Whereas in other people it's like, well, I'll change industries

Eddie:

as as long as I get to work.

Eddie:

With reacting the front end, and it's like, that's, that's what I enjoy.

Eddie:

Right.

Eddie:

As long as there's something there that you enjoy that like speaks to you.

Eddie:

Yeah,

Clifford:

totally agree.

Clifford:

You, you mentioned lots of awesome caveats, which I agree with.

Clifford:

It's for sure.

Eddie:

Well, so what kind of keeps you excited and interested in working

Eddie:

as a software engineer now that you're, you're in the industry, right?

Eddie:

You've worked at a couple companies.

Eddie:

Now, what is it?

Eddie:

Keeps you, yeah.

Eddie:

Plugged in and excited to learn things and kind of go to

Clifford:

work every day.

Clifford:

I really, the aspect of front end that keeps me excited is just the,

Clifford:

the hope and possibility to be able to create experiences that just wow

Clifford:

people that are fluid, that are usable.

Clifford:

I think the fact that you can create something and just share it via

Clifford:

a URL is just crazy to me still.

Clifford:

Like, I think that's so cool how you.

Clifford:

Create something, share it via text message to somebody, or, uh,

Clifford:

messenger, WhatsApp, and people can experience what you've built.

Clifford:

I certainly like CLI tools.

Clifford:

I like desktop apps.

Clifford:

I mean, I, I've also built desktop apps before, but there's just something so

Clifford:

cool about the web and how it's easy to share your knowledge, share your

Clifford:

experiences, share your creations.

Clifford:

And I still remember from the beginning when I was learning a.

Clifford:

I would see people on YouTube talk about technologies and the hope that

Clifford:

one day I could create something useful or clean like those people.

Clifford:

Kept me, kept me going.

Clifford:

So those are just some things that keep me excited about the front end.

Eddie:

That's really cool.

Eddie:

And that kind of speaking of things that we enjoy, um, I think that kind of brings

Eddie:

us in, you know, every episode we always talk about something that brings us joy.

Eddie:

So I just kind of wanted to ask what's something that brings

Eddie:

you joy in particular and something that you'd like to talk

Clifford:

about?

Clifford:

So one thing that that brings me joy, Centered around learning and,

Clifford:

and the work that I do is getting more people involved in, uh,

Clifford:

programming and, and web development.

Clifford:

In particular, when I went to a coding bootcamp, I actually stayed

Clifford:

on to continue mentoring people.

Clifford:

I still do that.

Clifford:

To this day, I still remember those challenging days in the beginning, and

Clifford:

I wanna try and continue to alleviate some of those, those, those feelings and

Clifford:

and challenges for, for other people.

Clifford:

Just be a mentor and have somebody to talk to.

Clifford:

So, and the way I've gotten involved with that is there's various ways I

Clifford:

still volunteer at my coding bootcamp.

Clifford:

I share on Twitter sometimes about the stuff that I'm learning.

Clifford:

I get involved in open source.

Clifford:

So there's, there's a few ways that I, uh, get involved there.

Clifford:

I love

Eddie:

that, right?

Eddie:

You went through a journey and you're kind of reaching back and giving back to

Eddie:

people who were in your position, right?

Eddie:

Trying to help them through coding boot camps, and.

Eddie:

Share on Twitter, right?

Eddie:

Where people might be where you were back in 20 14, 20 15,

Eddie:

something around that time.

Eddie:

Right.

Eddie:

And like, yeah, right.

Eddie:

They might be in some random college class and be like, uh, I don't know.

Eddie:

And then see your tweets and be like, oh, hey, maybe y'all, maybe

Eddie:

y'all check this coding thing out.

Eddie:

. Clifford: Yeah.

Eddie:

Because I feel like, um, it can seem very intimidating jumping

Eddie:

into the world of code, how it.

Eddie:

You know, it's very abstract.

Eddie:

Initially we're used to it because we've been coding a long time, but I

Eddie:

remember seeing the faces of, of some of my friends and some of my peers,

Eddie:

and I remember why they got excited.

Eddie:

And being a mentor allows me to kind of like how the coding bootcamp folks

Eddie:

helped me remember, like, you know, my goals, like when I had initially left

Eddie:

cuz I was facing imposter syndrome.

Eddie:

I like to help other people.

Eddie:

Overcome that and, and, and just help them along their way.

Eddie:

Cuz I do feel like programming is an art.

Eddie:

I think it's one way to express yourself, you know, building

Eddie:

stuff online and sharing it.

Eddie:

So yeah, so helping out in volunteering is one of those

Eddie:

outlets that I have for, to do that.

Eddie:

That's awesome.

Eddie:

You know, what do you think, like some keys to like getting into web

Eddie:

development are kind of today, right?

Eddie:

If someone.

Eddie:

Is listening to this and they're like, yeah, I, I am curious thinking in web

Eddie:

development, like maybe they've kind of started, but they haven't really taken

Eddie:

a big step or any big successes yet.

Eddie:

Like what do you think would be helpful for them to try

Eddie:

to just get started learning?

Clifford:

Yeah.

Clifford:

Somebody is interested in web development.

Clifford:

There's lots of resources online, but it can often feel like, A ocean

Clifford:

of, of, of content out there and you can easily become overwhelmed.

Clifford:

But some resources for folks who, who do wanna dive into developing for the web, I

Clifford:

recommend first checking out, uh, YouTube.

Clifford:

One coding, uh, channel that I like is, it's called Coding Tech.

Clifford:

And the interesting thing about it is they showcase.

Clifford:

Coding videos from different areas of, of programming, web

Clifford:

development, iOS development.

Clifford:

So you get to see, uh, this, this broad spectrum of things and then

Clifford:

that could give you an idea of what area you wanna lean into.

Clifford:

So just building a little bit of the broad picture mentally.

Clifford:

And then as far as like getting into web and.

Clifford:

I'd recommend Code Academy or West Boss's JavaScript 30 free course.

Clifford:

I feel like those will give you a taste of, uh, The, the awesome parts of web

Clifford:

development and in, in a structured way.

Clifford:

Cause I feel like in the beginning, especially structure, actually not

Clifford:

in the beginning, just in anything structure just helps you focus on

Clifford:

building what you want that end goal.

Clifford:

And so definitely JavaScript 30 Code Academy at least are on the

Clifford:

top of my list if you wanna learn web development for free from

Clifford:

awesome and engaged folks, so that's

Eddie:

great.

Eddie:

You know, how would you compare things to, like for people getting

Eddie:

started today compared to like when you were trying to get into it?

Eddie:

Do you think it's easier?

Eddie:

Do you think it's harder?

Eddie:

Have things changed dramatically or is it pretty similar?

Eddie:

What?

Eddie:

What do you think there?

Eddie:

This

Clifford:

one is, is tough.

Clifford:

I thought about this one a lot.

Clifford:

I do think now there are more resources and in 2014 and 2015, especially for

Clifford:

people who are coming from kind of like a non-traditional background, they're, they

Clifford:

wanna take the self-learning route or.

Clifford:

You know, maybe they don't have the resources or time to

Clifford:

do a computer science degree.

Clifford:

There are more resources now to, to get into, uh, the field faster especially.

Clifford:

So the one thing is since there's so many resources, it can feel overwhelming,

Clifford:

but I would say it's gotten a lot easier to, to learn more because people are

Clifford:

sharing more, people are creating, more people are on Twitter, people

Clifford:

are creating more YouTube videos.

Clifford:

So I think.

Clifford:

Definitely shows the, uh, that there are more opportunities to,

Clifford:

to learn in different styles too.

Clifford:

So

Eddie:

that makes a lot of sense.

Eddie:

It's interesting because when we kind of start talking about this topic of

Eddie:

learning, you know, you mentioned that you kind of try to give back and help people.

Eddie:

You know, in the way that you were helped, and you mentioned that

Eddie:

when you kind of left the bootcamp that you were facing kind of an

Eddie:

imposter syndrome and so, right.

Eddie:

Like that I guess is a challenge that is consistent.

Eddie:

Right?

Eddie:

In some ways it's like, okay, people have more resources, but they

Eddie:

can be overwhelmed by resources, but at the same time, , like

Eddie:

something's never change, right?

Eddie:

And so part of that is like this idea of imposter syndrome that frankly everyone

Eddie:

feels, but you actually have a very specific, like oftentimes it's internal,

Eddie:

but yours actually became external, right?

Eddie:

Like you left the bootcamp and mm-hmm.

Eddie:

, someone had to kind of reach out and kind of pull you back in.

Eddie:

What was that like for you to kind of go through that and

Eddie:

what kind of comes to mind?

Eddie:

So

Clifford:

to your point about, you know, the imposter syndrome, you

Clifford:

feel it internally and I actually, uh, externalized it by, you know,

Clifford:

deciding to leave the bootcamp.

Clifford:

And I would say that first I wanna comfort people and let them know

Clifford:

that even for me, at how many years I've been here developing 7 20 16.

Clifford:

So it's about six years, seven years since I've been developing, you still

Clifford:

can get imposter syndrome sometimes because you meet phenomenal people.

Clifford:

In your programming journey, and you might be like, wow, like these

Clifford:

people can do amazing things and, and I don't know how to do that.

Clifford:

So you can fall into the trap of comparison, but at the same time,

Clifford:

you know, you need to stop yourself and remember that that's also maybe

Clifford:

possible to achieve by asking for help or, you know, spending some

Clifford:

time, uh, learning those things.

Clifford:

So, you know, even till this.

Clifford:

And imposter syndrome comes out like somebody tells me to, to do something very

Clifford:

ambiguous that I've never done before.

Clifford:

It may come out for a little bit, so I still get it till this day, and I

Clifford:

feel like asking for help is something that I started doing a lot more in

Clifford:

my career after that experience.

Clifford:

Just letting people know how I feel and that really helps a lot because holding

Clifford:

it all in, I don't think it does anybody.

Clifford:

It doesn't help you too much.

Clifford:

But whereas if you verbalize that with somebody else and it, you may be scared

Clifford:

to appear, maybe less competent or, I don't know what you might think or

Clifford:

what somebody might think about that.

Clifford:

At least that's how I felt.

Clifford:

Maybe this person's not gonna think I'm competent.

Clifford:

There might think less of me, but that's not the case.

Clifford:

Times I've opened up, people have, it's made my work environment more relaxed

Clifford:

because now that person also kind of becomes an ally in your journey.

Clifford:

They're like, okay, you know, Clifford was able to open up to me and we had

Clifford:

this shared experience and most people I've run into, into my career, They're

Clifford:

very helpful and, and nice people.

Clifford:

And somebody opened up to me about facing imposter syndrome.

Clifford:

I definitely would wanna help that person, so I, the majority

Clifford:

of people will do that too.

Clifford:

So

Eddie:

that makes a lot of sense.

Eddie:

I think it's interesting because, yeah, we think if we kind of stay

Eddie:

closed off and we don't share what we're struggling with, like people

Eddie:

will think we're awesome and amazing.

Eddie:

But it's funny because I've like.

Eddie:

Psychologically, you think that someone will like you more if you do things for

Eddie:

them, but actually it's the opposite.

Eddie:

Like people actually become more attached if they do things for you.

Eddie:

So it's like the people who you do things for you are.

Eddie:

Attaching yourself even more so in that same way, like by kind of

Eddie:

dropping the water line and saying, Hey, I need help to your coworkers.

Eddie:

You are actually creating more of an attachment from them to

Eddie:

you because they are then helping you and now they're invested.

Eddie:

In your success.

Eddie:

Right.

Eddie:

And they, it's interesting how all that psychological stuff works.

Eddie:

Like oftentimes it's opposite of the way we think it would be.

Eddie:

Yeah.

Eddie:

But that, that's great to hear cuz I think so many people would

Eddie:

be able to push through where they're at if they would just.

Eddie:

Ask people for help, but there's always that fear and like being able to hear

Eddie:

like, oh no, Clifford's told people, and like no one has shut him down.

Eddie:

I've talked to people that I work with in previous jobs and

Eddie:

like they've never shut me down.

Eddie:

Like that's one of the things.

Eddie:

Like in the last two jobs I've been at, I've been in more engineering manager

Eddie:

positions, and so having been in imposter syndrome myself, like as we have new

Eddie:

people onboarding, like one of the things I always try to emphasize is I'm

Eddie:

like, ask all the questions you want.

Eddie:

Like there's no dumb question.

Eddie:

You can ask anything because it's like ultimately, If you don't know

Eddie:

something, like you can spend a lot of time spinning your wheels and you

Eddie:

could have figured it out and actually moved on like in one fourth of the time.

Eddie:

So it's like lots of times by asking a question, you're, you're not

Eddie:

only helping yourself progress, but you're actually helping the company

Eddie:

and the team move forward faster.

Eddie:

And so actually everyone's benefiting.

Eddie:

It's not even.

Eddie:

About you, like you are helping everyone benefit by asking that

Eddie:

question and by putting that out there.

Eddie:

So that's

Clifford:

awesome.

Clifford:

Yeah, he just reminded me also this, the past three months I was helping, I

Clifford:

onboarded an intern on my team and on the topic of learning web development

Clifford:

in 2022, he was actually learning web development from scratch in 2022.

Clifford:

I just remember going into it, thinking, putting myself back.

Clifford:

My position when I was starting at tracing back, like, you know, we get

Clifford:

exposed to so many technologies that through time, you probably remember,

Clifford:

gold, grt, Webpac, all these things, what they are, and I'm like, it can

Clifford:

be overwhelming to somebody who's new.

Clifford:

And while I was going into this mentorship with this new intern on my team, I re

Clifford:

immediately thought about my struggles and I want them to see the beauty.

Clifford:

Of web programming, such as I see it cuz I've seen people who only seen a

Clifford:

glimpse and they've gotten stuck and maybe they didn't have the, the time

Clifford:

resources and mentors to stick it through.

Clifford:

And I'm like, oh man, we, we lost one here temporarily.

Clifford:

So timely to talk about learning, uh, the web in 2022, when I helped somebody

Clifford:

learn how to do that from scratch in 2020.

Clifford:

And maybe I could talk a little bit about that internship experience.

Clifford:

So, yeah, one thing that I think the technologies have gotten a lot better.

Clifford:

Since when we started, I started in 2016, and one technology that comes

Clifford:

to mind, and there's a lot of other alternatives, of course, is remix.

Clifford:

So remix the React, full Stack React framework.

Clifford:

And actually this intern, their task over the summer was to prototype remix.

Clifford:

For us, uh, at LinkedIn and what I really liked about Remix is that this person

Clifford:

could get a taste for the front end and the back end at the same time, back end,

Clifford:

meaning, you know, working on the servers for people who are new to all of this.

Clifford:

But it was just a, a nice experience seeing them become

Clifford:

a full stack software engineer.

Clifford:

In three months and come out wanting to explore more of the world of uh,

Clifford:

just full stack web development.

Clifford:

It was an awesome experience.

Eddie:

That is awesome.

Eddie:

Yeah.

Eddie:

I actually am right now the website that.

Eddie:

Host this podcast is just like a random service provider, but I'm actually

Eddie:

building a website from scratch and I'm actually using Remix to do it.

Eddie:

And uh, yeah, it is really enjoyable and really easy, like

Eddie:

you said, to like do both things.

Eddie:

You're not having to do these crazy hops back and forth.

Eddie:

It's not like you're like, have this Java that's.

Eddie:

Spins up this, you know, angular web app or reactor app or whatever, like it

Eddie:

feels more like you're in P H P or like something like that where hey, it just

Eddie:

does everything and you know, you've got.

Eddie:

PHP everywhere.

Eddie:

And with Remix, like you just have a bunch of React and JavaScript everywhere

Eddie:

and uh, it's really fun to use.

Clifford:

Awesome.

Clifford:

Glad to hear you using Remix, and it's, I've had a similar

Clifford:

fun experience with it as well.

Clifford:

Nice.

Eddie:

Well, hey, as we wrap up this episode, um, we always love.

Eddie:

Here, if there's anything that you've been involved in or anything you've

Eddie:

worked on that you'd like to share with the community, that might be

Clifford:

helpful.

Clifford:

Yeah, so for folks wanting to get into web programming, software engineering

Clifford:

in general, There are a lot more resources now for, for breaking into

Clifford:

the industry that I, I wanna share.

Clifford:

So at my company LinkedIn, there is a apprenticeship program called Reach.

Clifford:

So LinkedIn Reach is for folks trying to break into programming.

Clifford:

It could be project management as well.

Clifford:

There's like a data science track, there's an analyst track, but,

Clifford:

uh, LinkedIn has an apprenticeship program that you should check out.

Clifford:

You're trying to break into web programming other companies like Airbnb,

Clifford:

Amazon, there's a whole list now that also offer apprenticeship programs.

Clifford:

So I highly recommend you, you, uh, look into those, just the name

Clifford:

of the company, apprenticeships.

Clifford:

I think those what I'd leave off with, but feel free to reach out to me.

Clifford:

I'm eager to, to answer questions for, for new programmers and people

Clifford:

trying to break them to the industry.

Clifford:

Happy to be a resource

Eddie:

too.

Eddie:

That's perfect.

Eddie:

And.

Eddie:

Yeah, I will include a link to, you know, some of the various apprenticeships

Eddie:

that are easy to find in the show notes.

Eddie:

I know in previous episode we've actually heard Twitter has one.

Eddie:

Um, Alex shared that in episode three.

Eddie:

He was at Wayfair before that, and Wayfair had an kind of.

Eddie:

Apprenticeship program as well.

Eddie:

So include those as well as LinkedIn and, um, some of the other popular ones.

Eddie:

So if you all are interested in checking that stuff out, head over

Eddie:

to the show notes, access that stuff.

Eddie:

And Clifford, thank you so much for just joining and chatting.

Eddie:

It's been a pleasure to get to know you, hear your story.

Eddie:

It's, it's really unique, so I've really just enjoyed

Clifford:

chatting.

Clifford:

Yeah.

Clifford:

Thanks Eddie.

Clifford:

Uh, it was a blast talking.

Clifford:

Glad.

Clifford:

Here are some shared history in the development journey as well.

Eddie:

Yeah, for sure.

Eddie:

Thank you for joining us for episode 36.

Eddie:

I left the coding bootcamp a week into it with Clifford for Harteau you can find

Eddie:

out more about Clifford on his website.

Eddie:

Clifford dot com and you can find him all across the interwebs.

Eddie:

You can find links to everything we talked about in this episode, as well

Eddie:

as link to Clifford's website and social media accounts in the show notes.

Eddie:

And if you enjoy this episode, why not help others discover it as well?

Eddie:

Go ahead and give us a shout out on your favorite social media platform and

Eddie:

tag that friend or coworker that you know, would find it really enjoyable.

Eddie:

Don't forget to follow us where ever you hang out online or go ahead and

Eddie:

subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date on all the episodes.

Eddie:

Thank you for listening and have a great day.