Want to change careers? Learn to code.

1. You’re in the process of making a career change. How did you decide that?

I decided to leave my job in consulting in October and focus on my next move in product management. I felt empowered (as well as nervous) to pursue something so different, but coding on the side showed me it was possible.

2. How did you get started?

I knew I wanted to try something other than consulting, and I wanted to gain technical skills, so I dived deep into coding — I’m on Codecademy almost every day now for language practice, syntax fundamentals, and learning new things like APIs.

3. What are your next steps?

I’m studying deep business analysis and more on databases while I learn to code. Product management is becoming a very viable track, and I’m exploring developer bootcamps too — I’m tempted to become a full-on developer!

4. What are some of your favorite resources for learning to code?

Why’s Poignant Guide to Ruby It’s totally bizarre and random, but it is the first book about programming that I found dorky and funny.

The Q&A forums on Codecademy Being able to troubleshoot and learn from examples are crucial skills in programming. Developers spend plenty of time exploring the net for information, and getting that experience from a more manageable information pool is a good start.

Women Who Code It’s a strong community in San Francisco that connects women who want to learn to code. It is very supportive and you meet lots of different kinds of people.

5. What advice do you have for changing careers?

Understand what your target position is about - Quora is perfect if you want to ask questions about career tracks, culture, interviews etc.

Conduct informational interviews - Ask about their day-to-day activities and how they got there.

Practice, practice, practice - For product management, that means analyzing websites, features and understanding the pros and cons.


Want to make a career change? Take the first step by writing your first lines of code on Codecademy.