Do you think that your background gives you many advantages as a junior developer now? 

I am a microbiologist with a master degree in biological science, I’ve worked in the academic field and industry in different areas, sometimes very unrelated, so I know how to begin a new chapter, to take the challenge on and learn fast. I can bring a fresh look, a user perspective and lots of enthusiasm.

What made you interested in a career as a developer? And do you remember what was the first moment when you realized you want to try programming? 

During my master degree in biological science, I worked on the user side with bioinformatics – I was interpreting the results and applying tools to prove my hypothesis. In that time I became very interested in seeing how to develop algorithms to obtain better results for genome annotation and how to display the graphs in a nicer way, so I started to write a small program that arranges arrows as genes using different colours and directions, to represent a gene cluster. Then I became very interested in programming.

Are there any blogs or books you have read about programming that you can recommend to newbies? 

Those three are my favourites: 

  • Medium, freeCodeCamp  
  • https://javascript30.com/ Is a good challenge to keep learning JavaScript 
  • How to think like a Computer Science (Python) Allen Downey, Jeffrey Elknerand Chris Meyers

Is there any programming language that you think you’re best at? 

I can understand the logic inside JavaScript and the frameworks like React. 

What do you like the most about Full-Stack development? Can you share 3 things? 

Speaking shortly, as a full-stack you can have a global vision of the project and how everything is connected. You get to learn different technologies and tools and how to implement them. Also, knowing the power of both sides gives you more ideas to develop, because you know what can be done easier in front-end and what is easier or more important to do from back-end.

How much time in a week outside classes do you spend on learning and practising coding? 

In average per week, around 25 to 30 hours of reading, doing tutorials and solving the tasks that we have for the project outside class.

What is your dream job after the course? Do you have any expectations? 

I would love to work in a company that uses the latest technologies and agile development, a place where women are welcomed and where they receive a chance to start their new career.

Would you like to develop your own product by using what you’ve learnt during the course? If not now, maybe in the future? 

Yes, I would love to pursue some projects on my own, but still, I have a lot to learn, and maybe with time and more stability, I can come up with good ideas. 

Will you, or are you already, joining any tech events dedicated to women? 

Currently I participate in some events organised by Pink Programming. I would like to join more events and conferences in the future.

Looking from a time perspective, is there anything you would change, do differently, as it comes to start learning programming?    

I would have started earlier, and definitely done more reading and tutorials before beginning the course to be able to understand the project better.

What would you say to a woman, who, same as you a few months ago, wants to become a developer without having an IT background? 

First of all, do not be afraid to learn something new at any age, especially if you have kids and feel afraid to start a new adventure. Everything you learn is going to teach your kids to pursue your dreams and accept new challenges. 

Secondly, don’t be afraid that the IT world is the men’s world. Everyone knows it’s a value to have the women in a team. 

 Last – speak up, ask questions and feel empowered wherever you work or study.

What should all the beginners in programming be ready for? 

Fast learning, lots of concepts in a short time, lots of frustration and eventually lots of solutions. They should be ready to ask questions, to contribute with ideas, get used to feedback and the idea that there is not a perfect way to do a task. You will have to learn a lot by yourself, but in the end, it is very rewarding.

Alejandra