Ep10 - Transcript
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Ceora Ford: From digital marketing to software engineering
Fabio RosadoHello. Today, I am joined by Ceora. She's a software engineer... There's so many things I can say about you. So I'm going to try to keep it concise, if possible! A software engineer and egghead instructor and learner advocate, technical writer at Digital Ocean, creator of 100 project days and AWS community builder amongst many many and many other things.
Fabio RosadoHow, what are you doing today
Ceora FordIt's really nice to be here.
I'm good I'm good I'm really excited to be here. Today's a busy day, but this is like the highlight so I'm happy to be here.
Fabio RosadoWell I'm glad that you think that this is a highlight. I really appreciate you being here and taking the time to speak with me, and with us with the audience. To get us started, I guess the question that I have first is, how was that journey to become a software engineer. So you were a digital marketeer, and then software engineer.
Ceora FordYeah, this is like this is gonna... I'm gonna try to keep this story short, every time I tell this story it's like super long I've been interested in tech since I was like 12, I didn't really know coding was a thing until then, like, one of my teachers, when I was in sixth grade played a video, and it was like Bill Gates and a bunch of basketball players and a couple other... I think maybe Mark Zuckerberg was in the video too and they were like talking about how we're coding. And they were like, oh, like coding is like the next big thing everyone should learn how to code and I kinda was like, Oh, this sounds kind of cool but then I forgot about it I didn't like return to it again until I was a junior in high school, I was like trying to figure out what I was going to do like what was going to be my next career step, all this kind of stuff. And I met someone she was a software engineer, or IT professional I should say, and she kind of was telling me about what the tech industry was like and I was like, Oh, I think I could do that. And again, I kind of just left it on the backburner I didn't really pursue it. Like seriously, until I just graduated from high school, and I was accepted into this programme called Code glossy, it's a, like a nonprofit in the US where they have these two week camps in the summer, where they teach girls how to code. So I did that, and it was really fun. It was really hard, we had to build a website with HTML, CSS and Ruby. I didn't know what I was doing, but we pulled something together like it just worked, and then I was like oh this is really cool like I think I really want to do this now like that was my first taste of coding. And I was like, I think I could do this, but at that point I wasn't like enrolled in a university that wasn't like a real option for me. So I was like okay, the only thing I could see myself doing is a boot camp and boot camps are really expensive I didn't have any money like I was like I don't know how I'm going to pull this off. So I ended up just kind of like self teaching I guess I do like freako camp, I like bought like a course or two on Udemy and never finished them was super inconsistent started and stopped and started and stop. And I somehow like stumbled into digital marketing a friend of mine was just starting a business and she was like, I need somebody to help with digital marketing so I like joined her and I just kind of picked it up from YouTube videos and stuff so I was like doing the digital marketing in the software like learning to be a software developer. At the same time, but I ended up getting sidetracked, I started to focus more on digital marketing because that's just where my career was taking me, and then I ended up doing like freelance digital marketing I was pretty I was okay I didn't like I wasn't the best but I could like pull some strings together with something that digital marketing, and then... So where am I now this is such a long story I feel I tell differently than it has to be.
Fabio RosadoIt's fine!
Fabio RosadoYeah... It's interesting sometimes when everything seems to go wrong. For some reason, things are falling in place and start going well for you. And it's like, it shouldn't be happening, but you know I'm happy that it's happening, it's fine. So, I think I remember you joined party Corgi, in March? I don't know I remember... I think we joined more or less. Around the same time, I believe so. And I saw that you got into egghead, and you became an instructor I was like wow this is amazing. So, congratulations for that.
Ceora FordThank you. Thank you. Yeah, I've really enjoyed teaching and I get nervous when I have to do it because I'm like I don't know what's going on, either but it's something I really enjoy and it like when you teach others you In turn, teach yourself, so that's been kind of like my own learning technique is like if I'm going to learn something. I have to teach somebody else, whether it's through an egghead lesson or through a blog post or whatever the case may be. That's like my new routine is like I'm going to learn this, but I'm also going to write a blog post about it. So, yeah,
Ceora FordI know...
Ceora FordYeah. Yes, yes.
Fabio Rosadoespecially when you're self taught. There's so many things that you have to learn. There's so many things that seem shiny and there's so many things that seem interesting, and so many fields that you can say, Oh, I think cybersecurity might be cool. And then you go into that rabbit hole and then you keep on going. and you're like, Oh wait, but I should maybe do some websites because I should have a portfolio or something.
Ceora FordYes! Yeah.
Fabio RosadoAnd then, oh yeah this everybody's using AWS let me learn AWS and then you are learning for a full departments, because it's what you said, if you're a self taught, it's very hard to focus, which it seems in your case, that scholarship was the thing that really said alright here's a clear path. It might not be what you want to do in the future, which is that's going to be my next question but might not be what you do in the future but it could be something to say okay I have like a specialisation and then I can learn a few other things just for the sake of learning.
Fabio Rosadoso going with that, do you want to be DevOps engineer, kind of thing, or you have no idea.
Fabio Rosadomake sense. And, you know, I heard you episodes on AWS podcast
Ceora FordOn screamig in the cloud.
Fabio RosadoYes, that's the one I couldn't remember the name. One thing that the host said was, you know, there's so many things that you can do just on AWS alone, that it definitely can't get tired of learning new things just on that field. Anyway, I agree with you, DevOps can be very tedious. That's why you should automate all the things that automating the big thing in DevOps world because it's like, I don't want to write this damn script, every single time, or I don't want to deal with the same sort of yaml configuration all the time. Just out of curiosity, when you deal with yaml. How annoying are the spaces. I know right?
Ceora FordI don't want to talk about it! Im having nightmares right now. Oh flashbacks! Some of those assignments what is happening right now. Oh, my godness. And then, and when you, when you're doing infrastructure as code its really confusing because you can't really visualise what's going on, sometimes because the the cloud stuff is literally like you can't see it, especially when you're dealing with someone else's servers that you're supposed to be like configuring or whatever. So I had a really hard time like okay I don't know what order these things go in, I don't know how to like list this this service and provision that server and all this kind of stuff because I don't, I can't see it so that was like a really difficult thing for me and I'm a very like for certain, I'm a very visual learner and I need to like see what's happening to understand what's going on so I was like, I. That's another part of it that I'm not sure if a fan of this. But like I'm not going to abandon AWS or like cloud completely, but I don't know if that's if I want to be like I want to be a cloud engineer like I don't know if that's exactly what I want to do I know Site Reliability Engineering is kind of you do a little bit of both, you code a little bit and you do the server stuff and all that kind of stuff. So, yeah, there might be an option in the future. I'm really, as far as future plans. I really think that the thing I most want to go for is developer advocacy or Developer Relations because I feel like it combines a lot of what I know I like to do together in one rule. So right now like doing technical writing, I get paid to do technical writing but all the writing I do outside of that is like just my own free time and it's hard to make time for that. And, but I enjoy so much that is something I want to keep doing or like video content creation. Those are things I want to keep doing but in Dev Rel. That's all your time is spent on so I kind of want to do something like that and like right now if I do a talk, that's my personal time, and it's hard to fit all those things into one it but I like it so much I still want to do it. So I'm thinking that dev advocacy or dev relations is like maybe the next thing I want to go for, I don't know, we'll see.
Fabio RosadoI think it's, it's hard on one of the interviews that I've done the person that was interviewing me asked; So what are your long term goals in tech, and I'm like, I don't know I want to deal with home. I have no idea. And it was clearly the wrong answer and I've told that story before but yeah, it's like I'm applying for a junior position. I can say, maybe I want to be a full stack developer because I've been doing backend stuff and front end stuff but I'm not sure if that's what I want to do for the rest of my life. You know, it's hard, and when there's so many things, and you just enjoy learning and practising, it's what you said there's so many things to say. Maybe I want you to do this thing with cloud for a bit and then I don't deal with that or I couldn't enjoy it as much. So now I'm going to do this thing. And, you know, and I think nowadays, you don't really have a career for life, it's very easy for you to just jump roles, from one thing and another and, in tech, there's so many roles available that you don't have to stay. branded as a back end developer period, unless is what gives you pleasure and that's it. It's hard to say this is the thing I want to do, and I'm not going to do anything else. That's another thing. Yeah. And that's another thing that Kevin said we should try it all to try to become a T shaped developer, which is, you know, a little bit of everything, but then you specialise in the few little things, so then you sort of become a T shaped developer which I really like that analogy so it makes a lot of sense.
Ceora FordSo do I
Ceora FordI think that's like the beauty of the tech industry is that it's like a blessing and a curse right like there's so much out there so if you do feel like I don't think I like this so much. There's always something that's pretty adjacent that you can jump to that's not far fetched that won't be too difficult for you also means that it's super hard to focus and like stay on one thing and kind of like focus on that but I think once you kind of like get good at one thing, you become a really strong back end developer are really strong like Python developer. Then once you have those kind of skills, it's much easier to jump around, it's almost like learning a language right like if, if you have two languages learned, the next one is going to be easier the next one's gonna be easier so that's kind of how I look at it. I learned Spanish in high school and I really took it seriously I'm like I'm going to really learn and become fluent and it was hard. The first language learned is like super super hard and difficult and I didn't know what's going on. But once I got that down pat. Now, the next one is going easier the next one after that is going to be easier and that's kind of how I look at it and it's going to be hard to focus the first year or two. It's going to be hard to find that thing that you want to stick with and that even though you hate it sometimes you're just gonna like try to get good at it. But once you do get through that and you get to a certain level where you know what's going on. Once you decide to jump around and do whatever it's going to be much easier so that's how I keep. That's what I can try to run myself like stick to one thing right now get pretty good at it and then you can move on to whatever else you want after that. So,
Fabio Rosadois what people say, learn the basics very well, first, before jumping around, unless you're jumping around just to see what kind of language you'd like best, but yeah, like you said, you found Python. Python and made sense. And then, you learn basics from that. to talk about languages. So, are you still trying to achieve your dream of becoming a polyglot.
Ceora FordOkay, so, I feel really why become a pilot when I was like 15, I was like I'm gonna learn six languages and I want to travel the world. But this year, I've been like pretty focused on like tech stuff so I haven't been, I think, I think my next language though is going to be Portuguese, I have this weird routine of every morning I wake up and do my little morning routine and I listen to YouTube videos and a bunch of different languages and I listen to YouTube videos in English, Spanish, French, Italian, and Korean. And I do that to kind of train my ears to like at least get used to the sound so at least when I decide to start learning a language, I'll have that, because you know, a kid spends their first two years not talking and if you count in the womb, it's almost three years right and they just listen, so that's how I'm doing right now I'm just like listening and trying to pick up the noises so whatever when I do decide to learn. It's just that I have to again get to a certain level of proficiency, with the tech stuff so that I can focus on other things that I'm pretty I'm almost fluent in Spanish, almost. If I try hard enough, I think I could be fluent. So the next thing was I learned I want to be able to dedicate like a nice amount of time so I can really learn it well because I don't like doing stuff, and not doing it well, I don't want to learn a language and just know a little bit of Portuguese and a little bit of French, I want to like know the language. So yeah, I'm not as far ahead as I thought I thought by now I would know six languages, and I'm not there yet.
Fabio RosadoHey you still have plenty of time! it's fine. And if you need help with Portuguese, let me know I can help you. So, but I think if you know Spanish, you probably will be able to pick up, Portuguese, slightly easier. I think as well. Italian might be a little bit easier than Portuguese, but you know they are quite similar the three languages. So I can go around with Spanish but I don't say I speak Spanish because I'm speaking of mixture of Portuguese and Spanish, which we call in Portugal portunhol, and with Italian. I used to be better because I was living with Italian people, and I used to practice, but now I don't really practice so I kind of lost it. And that's one thing with language if you don't pratice It just goes fairly quickly.
Ceora FordI know... It's very time consuming, but I think my little YouTube routine in the morning helps.
Fabio RosadoI think that's a good idea.
Ceora FordYeah, I actually learned it. So, oh my goodness now I'm about to get really nerdy because I'm like a linguist. I was like, obsessed with polyglots and I used to watch all these videos of these guys who like spoke like 20 different languages and stuff like that. And I would like watch their videos of how they explain how they study and how they keep up with it. And like some of them would say like one thing which is a method I want to try. I was born, speaking English, and my second language was Spanish my third language was French but I learned French from Spanish. So you get to practice your Spanish while you're learning French and then if you decide to learn Chinese Next you'll learn Chinese from French. So that's something I've thought about doing, but one of the things they mentioned was like they have this routine of regularly taking in the language so they'll watch the news in Spanish. Watch cooking shows in French, those kind of things so they, they get accustomed to hearing the language because that's like a big part of it. So I was like, Okay, I'm gonna do that like I don't have international TV but I have YouTube so I'm gonna use that. And I find that French is a little hard for me to understand but Italian and in Portuguese. I can pretty much listen and know what's going on. I'd be like, Oh yeah, without having to watch the video I'll know that putting on her makeup or that he's cooking or whatever the case may be. So, yes, it's one of my favourite things and I get really nerdy when I talk about more people in my area. There aren't that many people who speak different languages, there are different sections of Philadelphia where this is very diverse but not my area, and nobody in my family speaks a different language which I really hate I'm like I need everybody to learn how to speak Spanish so you can speak with me and talk together, but yeah it's still like one of my, my biggest hobbies and I hope that like one day I can reach that six number and know all those languages and be able to travel and like talk to people and have fun post Corona, that's definitely something I'm gonna try. I'm gonna try to travel around and speak Italian speak French here and all that kind of stuff.
Fabio RosadoIt's Like a good goal to try to achieve. Or if you can't achieve six languages... spoken languages, maybe we can do six languages as in coding languages.
Fabio Rosadowhich makes sense. What's your opinion on learning in public. How important is it for people because you know sometimes when I speak with someone that's trying to get into coding. I always say create a blog, right post about it, and it will help people in the future. And this is one thing that folks that Party Corgi keep saying, just put it in writing, because you will help someone in the future. Yeah,
Ceora Fordthat's another thing that I think is why I've been able to progress the way I have is because well first of all, I'm the kind of person who needs external motivation to get things done. I'm not the kind of person who can say, Oh, I'm going to code every day for an hour and like Only I know about it and I'm going to do it because I am super self mode I'm not that person. So the only way for me to get things done is if other people know about it and I know that they're waiting for a blog post or they're waiting for me to finish this project. And I know that people are watching and they're like, oh yeah I'm super excited about this project you're building, so that will kind of motivate me to at least, not forget about what I'm what my goals are so I'm a huge, huge proponent of learning in public I think it's super important even if you decide, oh I want to be a generalist and I want to know a little bit about everything that's totally fine too that could be the path you want to take. But I think learning in public and putting those things that you you you're learning out there and solidifying it in your own mind and writing about it or making a video about it, or whatever you decide to do it helps other people, of course, but I think it helps you so much like even if, if I write a blog that nobody reads about, it's totally fine because for me to write that I had to learn a whole lot to be able to write about it. There are lots of things I know, but I can't explain it so do I really know it. And I think when you learn in public, it kind of helps you to get to that point like learning through teaching is a great way to really know, do I really understand what's happening here am I just going. Am I just following instructions. So it's something that I really love and I'm trying to embed it in my like learning routine even more. My new thing is if I'm building a project, while I'm building it I also have a markdown file when I'm writing down everything that I'm doing so that I can write down, have the steps outline, create the blog post put it out there so people can read and also I can reference later. If I decide to build the same thing again and I don't know what I'm doing. I think it's like a super great thing to put into your routine of learning. I know it's like nerve wracking for some people but it has helped me a tonne, you don't even know.
Fabio RosadoThe worst thing is, when you try to put things out there, and you have these gatekeepers where they say you shouldn't be writing about that because you don't have your 10 years experience yadayadayada, which Yeah sure, you have 10 years experience but can you explain me how to do a list comprehension in Python. The person will say, Yeah, sure. you have to do it this way. And as I yeah I still don't understand it because I never seen it in my life. You can't relate with someone that's starting. People are going to complain, people are going to say that, it sucks. It's fine, it's what you say, I'm doing for myself, if I can help someone else in the future. That's perfect. I'm just wants to put stuff out there. And I'm not sure if I'm wrong in assuming this but I think you are similar to me where you start, lots of new things, to just learn and to get started, although there's a huge difference between you and me, which is you actually finished stuff, and mine are staying somewhere, and that's it.
Ceora FordOh do I finish stuff tho? I definitely don't.
I have so many projects in the works that are like just sitting there looking at me waiting for me to finish them and. But, like I keep lying to myself and saying I'm going to finish this one day, but there's one project I'm working on right now that I'm super hyped about and I have like I really want to finish this because it's, it says everything about me in one project, I'm building a meme API.
Fabio RosadoOkay, yeah.
Ceora FordI don't know what I'm doing but I'm like learning a lot along the way. And I hope to finish it soon and I want it to be basically almost searchable so that I connected to a front end so that I can search, a phrase get the perfect meme to fit what I'm looking for because right now all my memes are just in a folder on my phone. And if I'm looking I want to cat meme right now I have to search through and like, sometimes I missed the meme I'm looking for. So I want to be able to make it searchable and we'll see if that. But I'm learning so much about API building and schemas and all that kind of stuff right now so hopefully I'll get that done soon, it's the next big thing I'm working on and then I have other things I have to return to that, like, I'm gonna get done I promise I'm going to get it done. I think project building and learning and public are the two things that if you want to learn how to code. Those are things you should start doing early and often because even if you don't finish your project you still gain so much from doing that, it's something about practical knowledge that is just different me learning, and reading about it is totally different than me actually doing it. That's why I'm like, Alright, project building learning and public are the two things that I'm like focusing on right now if I want to learn something new I have to build a project, and I have to write about it. Those are the two things are part of my routine now that I'm hoping are going to have good results. We'll see I think so, though I think so,
Fabio RosadoI mean you are progressing so I'm sure that you will get something from that, you know, In lockdown. So in March to June, I guess, April, May... whatever it was time was a blur. I created this. I created this thumbs up news project, which I followed a Twitter classifier tutorial. And I thought, you know what, it might be really cool to try to get the same thing, classify headlines and just get positive headlines, and I've learned a crapload from that project.
Fabio RosadoI haven't done anything with it. I have an idea of creating a way for you to register and then you can subscribe and use the API, which I started adding stuff and then I just like, Oh, another shiny thing I'm going to go that way. Now. Which you know... That's how it is. You could start so many things, and you have so many things at the same time. How do you manage your time. Do you have like a special sauce, that you can share.
Ceora FordI'm really bad at time management I don't know if I'm the person you should ask, but the one thing that helps me at time is the Pomodoro Technique. I swear, that is the only way I get anything done ever. If I finish something is because of the Pomodoro technique, which is basically 25 minutes working five minute break and I'm a huge procrastinator, like, a lot of people but it's a huge problem. And the Pomodoro Technique kind of helps me get over that get over those yucky feelings you have when you know there's something you have to do but you really don't want to do it. So I really use the Pomodoro Technique but other than that, like, I, I think sometimes I use project as a way to procrastinate on finishing another project so I'm not the person to ask about time management at all. But if I get anything done it's because of the Pomodoro Technique I don't, I actually probably need more tips from other people about time management because I'm not good at all. And it's starting to get to the point where I'm like, okay, somebody needs to get this schedule in check because I'm just not good at time management, I need to get better desperately but if you have a tip...
Fabio RosadoSo this is one thing that I want to do with the podcast so the website for the podcast is to write a bit more about the soft skills, and I'm going to include some time management stuff I've tried the Pomodoro Technique. But I was struggling sometimes, so my brain works a bit weird, sometimes it's like, let's do all the things, other times is like, nope, so when it's on this let's do all the things drive or mode. If I started the Pomodoro Technique. I really find it distracting when I have to take a break I'm like no I need to keep on working. But when I am procrastinating that really helps because I'm like, it's just 20 minutes, it's fine. I will, I can do 20 minutes, and then it kind of gets me started.
Fabio RosadoAnd then after a while I just ignore it. The thing that helps me, and this is one thing that I've been trying to get back to, because I've been on holidays, and my habits and routines has just gone, as you do, you know is the night before, I tend to take at least half an hour to write a to do list of things that I want to do the next day. And then when I wake up I look at them and I see if it still applies, and then I try to say from all of these things that I want to do. What's the three top priorities and I start working on that first. That's what usually helps me. Another thing that helps me is I have a bullet journal,
Ceora FordOh cool
Fabio Rosadoand I'll try to divide my, my days. So, each square, it's a hour, and I colour code this hour. So sometimes when everything is red because I use red when I am wasting time when I'm playing games, and I see the whole day red I'm like crap I need to work tomorrow as hard as hell, that sort of tends to help but it's it's a habit, and it's a routine. Like I said, I had three weeks off, and I just didn't do anything. And sometimes it's fine. Sometimes you need to have rest because when you're creating so many things, it's, it's very easy to get burned out so that's another thing you need to have a look.
Ceora FordYeah Yeah, actually really need to start doing the method you were just talking about writing things down, and then the next morning, you look at your list. I am also very inconsistent with that I've tried that before and it worked wonders and then I just stopped doing it. Um, that's probably my biggest problem is inconsistency is really hard for me to like do something like every day like I'm supposed to, but I'm gonna try to do that again because I found that right now. There's so many things lying for my attention, and it's hard to give them to the right thing. So...,
Ceora FordSo I've been like struggling with that a little I probably would say that's like one of the biggest struggles, when I first first was getting back started, probably. In March, the biggest thing was probably like imposter syndrome, but right now it's time management. I'm really bad at it, it's really not funny. I'm really bad at it, it's really not funny. It's really bad and then I do this thing where I hyper focus on things and sometimes if I start reading a book that's really good. I have to finish it, or watching a TV show, I have to finish the whole show, I know what's gonna happen next. So, if I'm doing that well I have a whole long list of responsibilities that need to be met, they're not going to get done. And it's very hard for me to kind of set myself out of that mindset like put the book down or stop watching the TV show and get your work done. That means that usually I try to reserve the weekend for stuff like that. I try to stick to weekends for watching TV shows and I can binge watch a TV show in a weekend pretty easily, but I can't do it on a weekday because I have stuff I need to do, and I will not get it done I guarantee you when I get it done. If I have a good TV show that I'm watching. So that's one thing I'm trying to start doing to kind of help with it, because it's so bad. The way I just ignore my responsibilities. And it's really crazy. I can't believe I do that but I do I do, and I'm working on it but I'm gonna use your tip.
Fabio RosadoOne thing that I want to start doing, or I want to start becoming more consistent is something that I've seen on a video from Tim Ferriss. He says that he does things in batches, and he schedules it on his calendar, those days for that particular batch so let's say that Monday, the 15th, all I'm going to do is, write. That's it. I'm not going to revise, I'm not going to code, just writing day, you're going to be exhausted at the end of the day, but you don't have that context switch, so then it ends to help. And then the next day, just do revising all of this stuff that you wrote, and then the next day do a course, the next day to do that. And that's one thing that I've been trying to do is to try and to just say, Okay, this day I'm going to allocate the whole time for this particular thing, it works. I just haven't got into the habit of doing that constantly and,
Fabio Rosadoyeah, consistently. yeah.
Ceora FordOh yeah, I have to try that. I think that will actually work because I do feel like, I don't know if this has ever happened to you but sometimes, finish writing an article and I'm like wow that was so amazing. Now I'm going to just take off for the rest of the day. I'm not going to do anything for the rest of the day. And that's another thing like I get so excited when I finished I just finished this project so I'm just going to like relax for the rest of the day knowing I have a whole lot of things I need to do so probably if I try that it'll probably work out a lot better for me. Yeah, that's probably the biggest thing that I'm like, I need to work on it I need to work on it fast because it's going to start affecting my performance at work. It's like that. If I don't get it under reps,
Fabio Rosadothere's something that can happen when you have your to do list with prioritisation because let's say that you have 20 things on your list and you only have two high, prioritized tasks, you tick those two it's like okay, I'm going to have a break now. So, you have to keep on like forcing yourself to keep on going. And I do exactly the same thing as you so I think it's normal to do that. You said that you struggle with imposter syndrome, which I think it's something that we've all dealt even now, I still do. Streaming helped me, and we were talking about that before we went live that you should start streaming when you can. How did you surpass that.
Ceora FordOkay. So, I don't know if I've actually surpassed it because I still feel like, Oh, I kind of snuck my way in here, and people just didn't realise I still feel that way a lot at the time, but the difference is that now I don't necessarily let it stop me. I have a story to tell and I hate this story because it makes me so mad at myself but when I was first learning to code like a year and a half ago, there was a company in Philadelphia that was hiring for an internship in the summer, and I applied for it and I got like an interview they were going to interview me and then we were going to do a technical challenge, and I got so nervous about it, I cancel I emailed the lady like I'm sick. I can't make it I don't think I can do this. I'm really sick, and she was Oh, can we reschedule? and I told her like I don't think so I'm really really sick and I ended up missing out on the opportunity, which I probably could have gotten if I really just put my mind to it and practice and studied, or you know whatever the case may be, to this day, sometimes I think about that and if I would have taken an internship I could have been much further along, right now, and I don't ever want to repeat that. So the feelings come all the time. All the time every day something I had to deal with. But now my mindset is yeah you're an imposter but so what still do it still do the thing still apply still submit the CFP still do whatever the whatever I'm feeling nervous about because it's better to do it and get a know than not to do it, and you could have had it yes you know if you don't want to have that. I feel like I could have had that internship at a company in Philadelphia and like been much further along and all this kind of stuff and I don't want to have those doubts about any other opportunity or any other position or whatever the case may be. So that's kind of what I'm where I'm at now is that, yeah, I might be thinking it, and I might be a fraud, but I'm still gonna go for it. I'm still gonna go for it and I'll let them tell me you're not ready for this. And when they tell me that I don't get really upset. I try to like, whether it's a job or a proposal for a talk, I tried to ask for feedback and work with it, you know, why didn't you want to hire me for this position. Oh, you didn't know git enough, okay well I'm going to try to learn it now, like I'm going to try to get better at it now those are the kinds of things that I like to look at the feedback and take it and run with it so that the next opportunity that comes, I can be even better. of course like things happen you still get upset sometimes, and even now like there are some opportunities that I have like in the works I'm like, all I really shouldn't be doing this, there are a million and one people I can name that could do a better job at this than me, but so what I'm the one who has opportunities, I'm going to take it, and that's what I have to keep repeating to myself, and sometimes literally, this is gonna sound really corny and little weird, but sometimes I literally look in the mirror and be like you're good at coding, like you're, you're great at Python you're great at this you're great at programming. And I know those are really true, and sometimes like if I have a technical challenge like for an interview I'll look in the mirror and be like, you're really good at technical challenges you're so good at them. You're so good you do so well and I know that's not true, but it does wonders for my confidence for some reason and I'll go into the interview and be like yeah I got this in the bag. And usually I don't but still it still really helps there even I've heard people say like they do the I forget what you call it, but like the the superhero stance, you have like,
Fabio Rosadooh yeah
Ceora Fordyeah and like they like do that and you'd like improve their confidence so those are the kind of things I do sometimes help, and it sounds silly but it works, it really does work so I would say that I haven't necessarily gotten rid of the imposter syndrome, but I've definitely changed the way I react to it, which helps. Yeah, it helps
Fabio Rosadowhich I think you might think it's silly to do that, but I think it's a brilliant way to do it, and to quiet down, even if just for one minute that voice in your head saying you shouldn't be doing this, you're going to suck it, you're not going to get the job, so just doing that to say okay that voice is going to shut up for a moment, and it's going to help you. So I think it's a good thing too that you do that. And I think it's a brilliant way to see yourself and your skills, it's like yeah sure maybe there's someone else better, but maybe they're not applying for it. And if you don't know something, it's what Kevin said, when I had to talk with him, you can learn it. That's it. And you know what, what did Kurt say, on one of his interviews that the person ask him a question. And he was like, I will just Google that I have no idea how to answer that. And they were like, Huh... didn't expect that answer but I guess that's correct.
Ceora Fordso it's not necessarily a bad thing to not know everything there might actually be something that you can use in your favour which, again, it's like another thing that I was okay with imposter syndrome like I have an ongoing running list of everything that I'm good at everything like literally it doesn't even matter if it's not related to tech but like if I had a moment before I give a talk, or before I'm interviewing whatever. I'll read that list I'm really good at cooking, I'm really good at memorising lyrics. I'm not great at singing, but I still have a great taste in music like I have this list of just silly things that I'm like, I'm good at this. And I use that
Fabio RosadoI am going to interupt there. Everybody's a great singer in the shower.
Ceora FordIt's true! I actually agree with you.
Fabio RosadoThe neighbours might not like it but we are always sound amazing when we're having a shower and we are singing so you know.
Ceora FordYeah. It's like a bunch of just silly stuff, and it might not even have anything to do with tech, but I have it there, because it makes me laugh, and it boosts my confidence and then I can go into the talk or the interview and kind of have a sense of confidence which goes a long way. So, so yeah I have no tricks now for for managing imposter syndrome and it doesn't... I don't think it ever goes away. I hear people with tonnes of experience who have been in the industry for years still saying like I get it sometimes still, and I think that's okay. It's just a matter of managing how you respond to it. So,
Fabio Rosadodefinitely. I'm a maintainer for open source project, and I had the creator of that project on the podcast, as well. He works for Nvidia, and he did say sometimes I feel that I suffered the imposter syndrome, and it's Nvidia so it's like a big company, he clearly knows his stuff so yeah it's exactly what you say we all deal with it. I've been a flight attendant for six and a half years, and sometimes I'm looking at the things I'm like, do I really know what I'm doing. And then I do an exam, we have to do like monthly exams, and I pass - 100%, I guess so, I don't know!
Ceora FordYou feel like I don't know if I did it was. But like I think more often than not we really know a lot more than we think, you definitely do a lot better than we give ourselves credit for. And sometimes, another thing too, they can help, ask somebody in party Corgi to hype you up or something like that.
Ceora FordGuys, I'm feeling a little bit of imposter syndrome like I need someone right yep and so not people will be, you did this and you're really good at that and you're great at this and it'll like really help because sometimes it's almost like if your mom tells you you look really nice, but you're my mom Of course you're gonna do exactly if someone else tells you, it makes you feel a lot better so sometimes that's how I feel too like of course I'm gonna tell myself I'm gonna, This is me, I'm talking to myself! But if someone else tells you, oh I must actually be good at that. I must act be good at coding and someone else is saying it so yeah
Fabio RosadoI just wanted to ask you, you were a digital marketer you. You gave a lot of good tips in egghead about Twitter, and how to become active on Twitter, how to grow on Twitter. So, I would like to ask you, just a few tips for people that wants to grow their presence online especially as a junior, that's a great way for you to create your own network and community.
Ceora FordSo I would say that Twitter is probably the place where I get most of my opportunities. And of course, it's not a requirement for getting into tech it's not a requirement for the tech industry at all, but it does help, especially if you come from like a non traditional background. And when I was a digital marketer and I was still kind of learning how to code, I was not active on Twitter at all.
I just was there just because someone told me I should be. And sometimes, I was doing Twitter and Social Media Marketing for other people so I didn't feel like coming home and doing it for myself too, but when I lost all my clients in March. I was like, Okay, I should use this to my advantage now. So, one thing I will say that helps a lot more than anything is I know people say tweet consistently, and it gets discouraging when you're tweeting consistently and no one's responding. So one thing I can say is, interact with people kind of treat Twitter like it's a big chat or like a big Discord server where you just interact with people so sometimes that means just responding to people other people's tweets, which can go a long way. And then, not only do you gain followers, but you also gain like a community of people who are willing to help you when you need it. If you're looking for a position they're willing to vouch for you and things like that. So it's really I really have like a more community focused view of social media then I just want to have 50,000 followers, that is not such a big deal to me because when you have a lot of followers then things can get messy, but I think thing that you should really think about is community so interact with people and once you start interacting with people, they'll start to follow you and they'll start to promote your content too and they'll start to root for you so when I have 300 followers I'm tweeting articles that I'm writing. No one's going to see it, but once I start interacting with people who might have more followers than me, and they start to follow me and they start like me and like my content, once they see that I'm writing an article, they'll retweet it and share it and it'll get more attention so I think that's the best thing is to kind of focus on the people focus on reaching people and reaching in building a community through Twitter and it kind of seems weird to say that since it's such a big platform, but it has helped me a tonne and then once you kind of get a following after a certain number, and it's different for everybody, whatever you consider that to be. I do think it's good to be authentic and be you. This is your platform right this is your space on the internet is even sometimes people will ask. I'm creating my blog Should I include emojis or should I do this should I do that and it's like Do whatever you want, like it's your it's literally your space, and this is the great thing about it, you get to be you like authentically you so that for me, that means I talk about Hamilton a lot. I tweet a lot of memes, when I write articles I have a lot of memes in them a lot of corny jokes. That's because it's me. And if somebody likes it they'll follow and they'll still keep up with my content and that's the thing that's gonna make you unique a lot of people are like, well, it's so many people on Twitter, or there's so many people writing articles about this subject but nobody you and you're different from everybody else. So, look at it like that, put your spin on things. I feel like sometimes I'm a little too. Too authentic, but I try to be like myself because this is my space and if you are following me I want you to get like a glimpse of what I'm like so that's what I do. Yeah, yeah. And so I think that's, that's a, and that's the kind of people I follow like and I enjoyed since entertaining to see people act like themselves and people talk about things that they like and even if it's outside of tech it doesn't have to all be tech, either. So that's what I would say is community and just be authentic and be yourself, are two things that I think really helped me a lot and it takes time you have to be patient like you're not going to get 1000 followers overnight, and it's a long game, but if you put in the work, and you be yourself and you build that community, you will get the, the traffic and the attention that you want. Yeah.
Fabio RosadoYeah. And I would say as well just to add to that, don't do things for others, expecting something in return. Just do it because you want to help others. If you do good things good things will follow suit. You will grow from that anyway. Simple as that
Ceora FordBe nice to people online. Yeah, nice people will be helpful and that goes a long way like being nice and helpful goes a long way because some people are just mean for no reason. Don't be like that. Be nice. And if people are mean to you you're allowed to do whatever you want in that case but don't be mean for no reason. Just be nice and be helpful, and that's another thing that I think helps because it's so rare Actually, it's so rare for people to just be nice. When people are nice, they take account of that and again it's kind of a part of like building community then people will start to really like you. So, yeah.
Fabio RosadoJust to finish us off. If you're looking at a 16 year old Ceora, what kind of advice would you give yourself,
Ceora FordWhat would I give myself? I would probably say, spend a lot of time with your friends because in four years, you'll be stuck inside and you won't be like you want to, and travel as much as you can and learn as much as you can, and keep learning languages
Fabio RosadoSound a good piece of advice or a few good piece of advices. People wants to get in contact with you, where's the best place to do so I'm assuming is going to be Twitter but
Ceora FordAt ceeoreo_ so that's C E E O R E O _ my DMS are open, and I also have a contact form on my website but like I don't ever checkthat so it's better to reach me through twitter.
Fabio Rosadoawesome thank you so much for spending the time to speak with us and share your story, and I hope you have a good day.