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Nevertheless, don't quit coding - my advice to you ❤️

There may be many obstacles and challenges that you may face as a woman in tech, but Mónica shares her experiences to help you navigate these.

Mónica has worked as a Frontend Developer since early 2019 and is currently also a teacher and a mentor for women in a tech community. Her background is in marine biology. When she started as a developer she had so many doubts and she learned as she went through situations. Her goal is to help drive the difference in someone’s life as she wished she had when she started.


Mónica Fidalgo: [00:00:00] Hello everyone. So thank you so much for joining our conference day. I’m Monica algo I a front end developer at story block. And I want to talk about, nevertheless, don’t quit coding my advice to you. So I’m going to go around some advices that I have that are also advices that I give myself when I’m a little like.

Nervous or I just need some guidance. First of all, a little a little context about why I choose to have this talk. So my background is not in the technology field. My background is in Marine biology, so I came from a science back. and I still love animals by the way.

But things didn’t go very well at shield. So I decided to go for a different course. I thought I really liked web design for user experience. So I went for a course with that. It was also [00:01:00] with the mark digital marketing and a little of programming. And after all, what I loved the most was the programming part.

And since then I just didn’t stop coding. I found so I found a job like two months after I finished my course, and I felt that I wasn’t prepared for getting into the to the market and so my idea is exactly that I know that there are some of you that are struggling with the same.

You have a different background and you want to do the switch, but you are a little afraid or you start to code, but it’s, it looks so scary because it’s different from everything that you were doing before. And there are days that things are a little. Wrong or you feel a little sad.

That is totally normal. I also feel the same. I even feel this the same, like after four years working at this field and [00:02:00] maybe just to help a little also. I used to also talk about my age. So I’m 34 years old. I did the switch at five years ago. So it was one year to, for the switch. I took a course five years ago, and then I started to work at the field four years ago.

When I started. I didn’t know any framework, any like VJs or react. I wasn’t very good at JavaScript either, but I knew one thing that I really wanted to work at this field and I love to creative part. I love to, to write lines of code and. Suddenly we have something on our screen that we that was created by us.

That is amazing, right? this is what I felt. And at least on the front end side, we are also able to style a little to put some sparkles on, on our website or on [00:03:00] our application. And that is. Awesome. And we can also improve code that we did years ago or on on or the week.

Sometimes it’s a week and we already improving, learning new things that we project. But things are not only like roses and rainbows and like that kind of stuff. There are. In which I feel a little dump or stupid, or I don’t know, or that I don’t belong in tech. And I just want to quit.

But that is a phase, like when I when I start to feel like that, I just usually what I do is a break from coding. And I go and I just walk my dog or I take care of my plan, or I start to do some hobby or I go to the gym. I like to just do[00:04:00]

it. It is so relieved to, to, to that kinda stuff. Be away from the computer a little. And besides of that, one thing that. It helped me a lot was joining communities. So when I first start to, to start to looking for jobs, I found front end foxes. It was 1, 1, 1 of my first VJs tutorials.

I did one workshop the liking app with all the foxes. And since I’m crazy about foxes. Yeah. I even have one on my arm. It was I felt in love and so I joined also the slack and the slack has it’s not a support channel, but if you have any doubts or anything that you want to share, you can do it there.

You can also share your experience or any fears that you have or your code and someone is gonna give you feedback. [00:05:00] I, after working at the field for two years, I also joined a community here in Portugal, where I started to just mentoring people at the beginning, what was like just to help some, somebody that was also going through a career change.

So another point is also so the first point is joining community. The second point is become a mentor. So even that you think that you don’t know enough you always know. Enough to help somebody else, even that is not technical skill, but maybe a soft skill. You can help by sharing your experience or with somebody else.

So that is quite amazing. Another thing is so when I joined that community I was also invited to start doing some workshops very Simple ones. And then by doing that by teaching, I was also able to learn. Because I needed to also explain why the things worked like [00:06:00] that.

So when I was doing classes and doing all the PowerPoints and the presentations and the coding exercises, I needed to explain a little better that by doing that, I was learning as well. Another thing that I want to share with you is to also have a mentor. So not you being a mentor, but you finding a mentor is very important because a mentor is someone that is going to guide you through all the process or giving some tips or as some, for example, we are, you are having doubts or you can organize what is more important for you. A mentor can just say to you, everything is going be okay. You just need to go by step and can help you setting goals. We can, we are now getting to my four point. I always really lost myself.

Which is to also set goals. It’s normal that we don’t have motivation every day. So by setting [00:07:00] goals, we are like having something that we need to do every day, even that we are not motivated. It’s like going to the gym, not every day, we are motivated to go into the gym, but we have like that goal.

So I ha I. To be strong enough to lift this table with my computer on top. So I, so to being able to do that, I need to go to the gym and get stronger harms like okay. I’m gonna to so much when I see my recording of this, but never mind . And one tool that I use a lot is also notion.

So I set my goals. I set also priorities. I, so I set due dates in order to also get email notifications when the date is coming soon and I start to work. So I just grab a task and put it in progress and then start to work on. On that task. And when I finish, I’m able to see on the finish [00:08:00] column, all the things that I was able to do, and that is pretty, pretty awesome.

What else? Oh I’ve been talking only about things that you can do related to your progress, but it’s very important for you to also have time to rest. I think that I found very important is to have a hobby. Like I already told sometimes being always coding gets me a little sad or nervous because I’m not or anxious because I’m not able to finish this or that, or I just need rest from coding.

So by having hobbies, it’s it’s another thing that we can just address our Our mind too. For example, I love to take care of plants. I love Legos, so I just love to, to build Legos. I also love to walk my dog. I I have a dog, I spend a lot of time at home I just adopt a dog. Yeah. I’m also a volunteer at the dog shelter.

That was pretty easy follow better to follow, to just [00:09:00] set up the dog. I also go to the gym. I also love to go and to eat a lot of seafood and Sohi and that kinda stuff or drink a beer yeah but hobbies are very important. But, oh my God, I even spoke Portuguese here in between.

But I was looking at the time and it’s already pass little what to end the this this light talk I just want to share with you that you can. P me on LinkedIn. So my LinkedIn is Monica algo. I also have AAB, you can follow me there Twitter, or if you are in front end foxes, just ping me on slack.

Just feel free to, to contact with me. If you have any doubts or you are feeling the same or. Share your experience with others. It also helps a lot other people that sometimes are just going through the same as you. And that [00:10:00] is it. Thank you so much for having me and anything. Just write on the comments that I will just check in order to, to you all.

And when I say bye, bye .

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