Ask an Instructor: Jumpstart Your Tech Career (Time Management Edition)


Are you considering one of the many careers in tech? Maybe you’re switching from an entirely unrelated field or you’re a university student just getting started. Either way, you’ll want to join us for this AMA-style conversation with Codecademy’s very own instructors, Alisha, Ada, Melanie, Alex, Hisham, and Adam.

So how is this going to work? We will unlock the designated forum thread at 1 pm EST on July 20th. You’ll be able to post your career-development questions in the thread from 1pm until the thread closes at 2:30pm. EST.

“What kind of questions?” you ask.

How about:

-What should I put on my LinkedIn profile?

-What kind of projects should I showcase?

-Do completion certificates really matter?



When: Thursday, July 20th, 2023, from 1-2:30 pm EST

What: An AMA-style conversation w/ Codecademy’s Alisha Grama, Ada Morse, Melanie Williams, Alex DiStasi, Hisham Touma, and Adam Herman.

Where: On the Codecademy Forums [Click ‘Join Event’ on the event page here on Bevy to participate]

Our Guests

Alisha Grama is a Senior Instructional Designer at Codecademy. She majored in Computer Science and minored in Ethics at the University of Rochester, where she gained experience as a Teaching Assistant. Before joining Codecademy, she taught STEM concepts to secondary students, including as the Lead Algebra Teacher at a Brooklyn charter school.

During Alisha’s time at Codecademy, she has worked on a variety of courses, including the Pass the Technical Interview paths (in Python, Java, and JavaScript) and two courses for the Computer Science Path, namely Data Structures and Algorithms and Discrete Math. She also led the development of Intermediate and Advanced Java.

Ada Morse is a Data Science Instructional Designer at Codecademy. She has a background in mathematics, with a Ph.D. focused on the design of self-assembling DNA nanostructures. DNA has incredible potential as a material in biomedicine and biomolecular computing, but the unique geometry of DNA makes designing nanostructures computationally difficult. In her Ph.D., she developed new mathematical tools to understand when a given nanostructure can or can’t be built using DNA.

Prior to Codecademy, Ada worked as an Actuarial Systems Analyst, taught mathematics and statistics at Champlain College, and conducted research supported by NASA/Vermont Space Grant Consortium. Ada has worked on courses across our Data Science catalog, covering topics including Python, Excel, and Data Engineering.

Melanie is a Product Instructional Designer at Codecademy, and she has built web development courses such as Connecting Front-End to Back-End and Learn MongoDB. She has also implemented updates to Codecademy’s JavaScript and React content.

Melanie has a background in biomedical science, previously conducting research at the National Institutes of Health and Mount Sinai’s Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. After completing the Full-Stack Web Development Fellowship at Pursuit in New York City, she went on to work in software engineering and tech education before joining Codecademy.

In her spare time, Melanie enjoys rock climbing, reading, treasure hunting for vintage, and working on jigsaw puzzles.

Alex Distasi is one of Codecademy’s Curriculum Developers. For the majority of Alex’s career, she worked in the edtech space with the goal of making technology-based education a fun and interactive experience for everyone. Alex taught technology-related skills in person, virtually, and through online, asynchronous courses.

Alex works within the computer science domain, helping create courses like Introduction to IT, Introduction to Operating Systems, Computer Architecture, Java for Programmers, Learn Swift, and more.

Adam Herman is the Curriculum Manager at Codecademy. He is a former special education teacher that is excited by the opportunity to help people work towards careers in tech! In his free time, he enjoys hiking, reading, and playing board games.

Steps to Attend

Click on the RSVP button below.

Enter your first name, last name, and email.

Remember to check that box to join our chapter!

Your RSVP will guarantee your entry, whether you have a free or paid subscription. However, failure to attend the event will decrease your chances of attending events with limited availability.

Check your inbox for updates, and make sure to log into the forums before the event.

Attendance Disclaimer

At Codecademy, we are committed to empowering all people, regardless of where they are in their coding journeys, to continue to learn, grow, and impact the world around them. By participating in our event, you agree to the following:

Be Respectful: Harassment, bullying, or threatening will not be tolerated. We welcome learners of all backgrounds here, and we ask that you respect each others’ viewpoints and assume positive intent.

Be Authentic: While you are not required to provide your name and are always welcome to go by a username, please refrain from misrepresenting yourself in the community in a misleading way.

Adhere to the Law: Please only share your code (if relevant to the event) or content unless you are crediting the original author or source. Do not share code that infringes on others’ intellectual property. Do not share harmful code or anything that violates local, state, federal, or international laws.

Questions? Comments? Email [email protected]. And if you can’t attend this event and would like to attend more in the future, join our chapter.

A few ground rules:

-Stay on topic. Our instructors will be discussing how to jumpstart your career in tech. Any account-specific questions such as billing questions should be sent to our customer support team .

-Be patient. Our instructors will be taking it in turns to answer your questions, and it may take them a moment to craft a detailed, helpful response to some of your questions. If your question has not been answered yet, please don’t clutter the thread by repeating the question. We will do our best to answer as many questions as possible.

-Be kind. Learners are all at different stages of their learning journeys. What may seem obvious to a more experienced coder may be completely new territory to someone just starting out.

Without further ado, I’m thrilled to welcome @adamorse, @adamh1991 , @hishamtouma1 , @melaniepwilliams , @alishagrama , and @adistasicc !

Is completing one of the career paths enough to get a job in tech, as someone with no other prior coding experience? Other than creating projects to practise, what else should I be doing to land my first role? (I’m doing the Front-End Engineer path and hope to be done in October ish.) Thanks!

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Hi why i can not attend the event

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Where is the Link? It sends me to this page not to the zoom meeting

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Hey there! You’re in the right place; this is the event.

You should be able to post your questions in this thread, and our Instructional Designers will do their best to answer!


Oh! Thanks. I tought this was a Zoom meeting :slight_smile:


same here also i tried to attend the event but it sent me here

Thanks for having this Q&A, this is my first one!

I know that it might seem like a silly question, but how do you decide what branch of tech to get started in? Should one just play around with some different languages and try a few courses to see if something really resonates with them?



Considering the past ten years of the economy, what’s the most important thing a coder must do now? This includes interviews wise and career-wise.

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What we can we do differently, including learning wise?

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Hey Lizzie,

Unfortunately, I can’t give a super direct answer to that. I will say that we have seen Codecademy learners who did not go to bootcamps or university programs land entry-level positions, so it is possible!

However, there are a lot of factors that impact one’s ability to get their first job:

  • How they represent themselves in a personal portfolio (website, Github, or a combination)
  • Quality of their resume
  • The professional network one builds

Therefore, in addition to the work you are doing on the career path, I would recommend taking time to build out and iterate on any projects you create to a point that you feel like it is a strong representation of your work.

I would also recommend beginning to network. You can look for meetup groups in your area, as in person conversations are the most impactful in my opinion. If that is not an option, I’d look for people who have jobs you’d find interesting in companies you may want to eventually apply to and ask for informational interviews. These conversations will give you better insight into the professional journeys of others, as well as someone you could potentially contact should you choose to apply to that company at some point.


What kind of things can you do in order to show activity on your LinkdIn profile?

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Hi, I am completing the Data Scientist, Machine Leaarning path.
Hopefully, I will complete all the courses before the end of September.
Next step is finding a job?
What kind of portfolio do you recommend to have more visibility?

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My question is somewhat tangent to “jumpstarting” a career in tech, but I’m hoping nonetheless to get your guys’ input!

I’m already a Software Engineer in Test, and although I find my work challenging I don’t think i’m as passionate about it. I’d like to be more involved in the design and architecture of my company’s software, but I’m so overwhelmed by what there is to learn. On top i’m afraid to stray outside of the guard rails of my current position since i think it can be seen as disruptive.

Any advice you’d recommend?


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Hello, Everyone: I am thrilled to be a part of this event!

I am completely new to coding. I am taking the front-end engineering path. I often worry about the future of this path and if what I am learning will get me a tech job one day, because tech is the future. So what is the future of a person who studies to become a front-end engineer from a code camp? Are employers interested?

I also want to know what soft soft skills are essential? I have a long work history and I come bearing transferrable skills.

Thirdly, how can we expand our networking opportunities?

I have loads of questions. But I don’t want to clutter.

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Hi, thanks for hosting this session.

I am in my mid-60’s, and have been an IT project manager (app dev, network infrastructure, data storage, etc.) for the past 20 years. The last 5 years I have been contracting. I have extensive work experience using many different types of project management tools (MS Project, Jira, ServiceNow Project Mgmt, MS Dynamics 365’s project management suite, etc.). Industries I have worked in include heavy equipment manufacturing, life insurance, capital markets/banking/investments and finance, mortgage insurance, consumer products, higher education, and pharmaceutical support.

I am planning to work till I am at least 70…maybe more if my health is still good and I am so inclined.

I am, frankly, tired of project management and am toying with the idea of retooling myself into the data analytics space.

I am currently taking the Codecademy SQL intro course and find it enjoyable, and I plan on taking Python, advanced MS Excel and Power BI courses … all online.

Question: Is it feasible to make this kind of transition this late in my work career?

Question: What other things should I be doing to position myself to start looking for a job or position where I can leverage these skills that I plan to develop?


What is the best path for a junior, self-taught front-end developer to obtain a job in the industry?