Student Stories: Meagan Carter

Currently studying Front-end Web Development

Q: Tell us about yourself!

My name is Meagan Carter and I live in Toronto, Ontario. I am currently working as a waitress at a very busy establishment in the downtown core. Also, I recently graduated from a 3-year Business Administration program from George Brown College. In my spare time, I enjoy scuba diving recreationally which has me traveling all over the world exploring new ocean life. My long-term boyfriend and I recently got engaged last August, and we are also beginning to plan a family. This is a big year for changes, and I can’t wait to see what is in store!

Q: Why did you decide to learn to code?

Living in Toronto, the job market is extremely hard to break into, entry-level positions still require at least 1-2 years of experience in the field. With my background in general business, I was getting nowhere fast when searching for a career to settle into. That’s when I decided to take matters into my own hands and build my own business as a freelance web developer and digital marketer. As I began my journey with Altcademy, I began to realize just how passionate I am about coding. I can honestly say that choosing this course has made me feel confident moving forward in my life.

Q: How’s your experience going through Altcademy?

I absolutely love my experience with Altcademy! The text-based approach has really increased the knowledge I have been able to attain. Personally, watching too many video lessons has a negative effect on my learning ability. I find I tend to space out and miss large chunks of the material being taught. By actually having to read the information I am able to stay engaged and interact with the lessons. I also really enjoyed the cloning assignments from the first course. As a person with 0 previous experience, those assignments really forced me out of my comfort zone and pushed me to really learn what needed to be done.

Q: What are the challenges in learning to code? How did you overcome them?

I have never coded a day in my life, so pretty much everything has been a challenge so far. The way I approach these situations is by breaking things down into the simplest context to prevent getting overwhelmed. I like to attack challenges in smaller pieces which results in the challenge as a whole being overcome. When I reached my first cloning assignment, I kind of just stared at the computer with a big question mark hanging over me for the first few minutes. I really liked how the program gave me a guideline on the best way to work through building the assignment. I was able to use that guideline as a starting ground for breaking my challenge up into smaller pieces. Once I organized each section of the site into a different category, the challenge of cloning my first site was nowhere near as intimidating as it was when I looked at it as a whole. Plus as you move through each smaller section of a larger challenge, you get to feel a sense of accomplishment that helps push you through the next part!

Q: What are your studying habits? How much time do you spend studying for a week?

I live by my day planner because I enjoy being able to visualize my accomplishments, I achieve every week. At the start of the week, I create a learning goal based on how much of the course I want to finish by the end of the week. After I have chosen a realistic learning goal for the week, I then schedule blocks of time to work on the material. I aim for 3 hours of work at a time, but sometimes I get so into it that hours will pass by without me even noticing. With my shift work as a waitress, it is impossible for me to sit down with the work 7 days a week (double shifts can be a nightmare at the restaurant). However, I find that most weeks I can manage at least 5 days of coursework a week. Overall, daily planners are essential to my success!

Q: What’s your end goal in learning to code?

As I said earlier, I want to build myself up in the freelance world to a point where working for myself is sustainable. Something I have taken from this whole learning experience is that I love being on my own schedule and working from the comfort of my home. I also mentioned that starting a family is something I see in the near future. I want the freedom to better balance my work and family life. Another bonus is that the freelance world allows me to continue traveling. Working shift work as a waitress has made taking time off for travel extremely attainable, as long as I am not trying to request off busy seasons. I want to continue living life the way I do now but on my own terms.

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STUDENT STORY

"I dream of creating my own software and app"

STUDENT STORY

"Start a business when the opportunity comes!"

STUDENT STORY

"I realized that I enjoy the challenges and that my thought process meshes well with programming"

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