My experience after doing 20 Coffee Chats in one weekend
• 4 min read
I recently came across an online cohort by the name of 100Devs on Twitch led by Leon Noel. Typically streams in the Software and Development section range around 50–200 viewers for the popular streamers (sometimes more sometimes less). However, one night I saw Leon’s stream at around 4.5k viewers which was quite surprising.
After checking it out I realized it was an online class type deal teaching an entire cohort. Upon further investigation, this community has an entire Discord and hashtag on Twitter! If you look up #100Devs you’ll be able to see a ton of aspiring devs showing off their progress, speaking about their experience amongst any number of things. As well as more experienced devs offering advice and help.
I am more on the side of a self-taught developer so I never really had a mentor. I typically jumped from online courses or Bootcamps to other online Bootcamps or courses. Seeing this entire community motivated me to see in which way I could help!
I decided to tweet out availability, using Calendly to schedule them.
I had the weekend free so I was able to fit in a ton, but it filled up extremely quickly. Within a couple of hours, I had all the times booked out with aspiring devs.
The Coffee Chats
This was my first time doing any sort of coffee chat but it was a lot of fun! I met people from around the world: India, Turkey, Ireland, the UK, Canada, South Africa, the US, and more! Everyone going through their own journey to acquire a developer job. It is quite impressive the number of people Leon has been able to gather for this cohort.
By far the most asked question in these chats was “What was your journey like to reach your developer job?” or some variation of this question. This makes sense, it’s quite common for others to compare their journey to others.
For me personally, I graduated from Systems Engineering, but the majority of what I learned was completely unnecessary for my job. I landed a job in tech support in that same company in the following months a position as a Junior Front end developer was going to open up. After work and on the weekends I studied the tech stack necessary to land the job. By the time the interviews came around, I was prepared and landed a job!
However, this is not the norm. I’d most likely say there is no norm. Everyone’s journey is different and how you land that first job and the road leading up to is probably going to vary wildly. My best advice, in that case, is just to put in the work studying and reaching out to others!
Learning how to code, like most things in life, is just about practicing and putting in the necessary time. It’ll be a struggle at first, as most things are but eventually, people hit that Eureka! moment where everything starts to click together.
Back to the coffee chats, a lot of the members of the cohort were very eager to learn and absorb any information possible. These first few initiatives of doing coffee chats seem like a great way to break into the industry. A lot of the time soft skills gathered by talking with others are just as important as the skills to program/code.
This part of the cohort, the community, seems to be the best part. A lot of other online courses and Bootcamps can feel very lonely.
I’ll probably continue to write some articles regarding the most asked questions from these coffee chats. Let me know in the comments below if you ever had coffee chats and what your experience was like.
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