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Skillcrushing It

Skillcrushing It

Seems like the blog on my portfolio page would be the right space to share how I learned what I have learned about website design and development and how far I’ve come in the last 12 months with it. As I’ve mentioned before, last year in the winter I started itching for a new hobby or something new I could learn and be challenged with. It needed to be something I could pick up and put down at my choosing, as a toddler in the house means that my schedule is not quite my own. My husband, who works in affiliate marketing online and is an SEO expert (I’m so proud!), had told me that coding might be a good fit for me, as I am a language nerd at heart and HTML, CSS, and other coding languages are just that: languages to learn. That made my heart flutter with joy.

So, I started to research different online coding bootcamps and programs. It ended up being a Goldilocks experience. Some were wayyyyy to pricey, others too in-depth for a beginner. Some weren’t user friendly or designed to be flexible. Some wanted prerequisites that I just didn’t have. But Skillcrush ended up fitting in all the right spots. Skillcrush is an onling coding school marketed mostly to women, but men are totally welcome too. They offer various programs, from Visual Design and Branding to Front or Back-end Web Development, to UX/UI design. My inexperience and pure beginners mind told me to go big or go home; I chose the Break into Tech Blueprint program, which leads you at your own pace through all aspects of website design and development. Why jump in the deep end? I didn’t know where to start or what I would like the best so I figured I should try it all and see what I liked.

I started out learning basic HTML and CSS, and coded out a few Photoshop design comps that you see in my portfolio today. I LOVED them. Loved the challenge, the journey, the end product that I created, all of it. Then I moved through the visual design and branding classes. I learned a lot in these, but also discovered that designing logos and such is a skill that I have, but not one that I truly enjoy doing. From there it was responsive design, which is learning how to make a website look great on all platforms, from your tiny iPhone screen to a regular desktop monitor. HUGE challenge that made July 2018 quite busy, but I felt awesome when I completed it and learned a lot. Through the fall and winter of 2018 I took a beginner’s class in Javascript (YIKES.), as well as made my first portfolio site, a much different site than you’re looking at now. Finally, I moved through two WordPress classes to learn the ins and outs of what is one of the most popular website content management systems out there, and I came out with so much knowledge that I was actually able to help my husband with a few things!

Once I finished the WordPress classes, I took a few months off. I needed time to figure out my next step. Look for jobs? Start a side hustle? Leave it be for a while? I ended up starting Skillcrush’s freelance intro class where a learned a bit about working with clients and offering your services to a specific niche. Reflecting through all that caused me to spark the fire to do something with my skills. It also made me realize how strong imposter syndrome can be and how nothing could convince me of my abilities until I tried it. So I got to work on a new and improved portfolio site to market my services, narrowed my focus to non-profits and small business people, and then one Saturday without much thought and on a complete whim, I put it out there, made a Facebook page, and let the world see what I have. It’s been a learning experience in so many ways, and I’m grateful that I not only learned some new skills, but was able to go at my own pace and do my thing. The Skillcrush setup allowed for me to take the classes when I could. They offer lots of support through a slack page where you can get questions answered by your instructors within 24 hours, so you’re not left hanging. They are great at answering your questions while still challenging you to do it yourself and problem solve. 

While not at all a sponsor of this post, I give Skillcrush a great recommendation. You can check them out @skillcrush on social media or at http://skillcrush.com

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