Avoid what you don’t need; learn and practice what you do

Like many self-taught coders, I had no actual plan to teach myself to code. The decision came when I lost my Customer Service job in 2015, and it was a rather rash one.

But, the transition came as organically as falling in love with a soulmate. We were old loves—I had tried to make it work in college, but the timing wasn’t right. Not to say it was easy! But, it was so much easier with so much emotion to drive the experience.

I got my first job in tech in about 10 months after I started teaching myself web…


An #InternationalWomensDay reflection

I entered the tech industry in 2015, when I was unexpectedly let go from my job at a mobile POS app startup. I stood outside on the corner, genuinely unsure of what my next steps would be.

I had attempted a major in Computer Science at Wellesley, but was ultimately discouraged because I just couldn’t keep up with the abstract information I was expected to retain.

Getting started

After being let go, I decided to teach myself to code. I’d always loved dinking around on the web. I built my first online blog at 14 or something, and was over the moon…


And how it boosts our growth opportunities as self-taught coders

Image description: Man and woman sitting next to each other, using a tablet and a laptop, respectively.

Whether or not you know it, if you’ve been teaching yourself to code… you’ve had exposure to Educational Technology (or “EdTech” for short) in some way or another.

It can be a challenge to understand what exactly educational technology is, and what it isn’t, since it’s a relatively new conjoiner area in both education and computing technology.

Allow me to shine some light on what Educational Technology actually is, and how it can or probably has already benefited you in your web development education. Then, we’ll talk about some of the great careers EdTech has to offer.

What is Educational Technology?

EdTech is an…


My Bipolar 2 depression survival guide

Hey, future depressed me

I know you feel like shit right now — as I do while I’m writing this — but I promise you it’s going to get better. I just chugged a 5-hour energy shot, so there’s hope for me yet.

Apparently, between that and the marijuanos, it’s at least providing enough energy and motivation for me to write this.

Listen, Bipolar depression is awful. You know this.

It’s like living Flowers for Algernon on repeat. Every painful moment of slipping is just replayed over and over again throughout your life.

Plus, the ups and downs of entrepreneurship certainly doesn’t help.

This…


A series on adapting to life with an Autism diagnosis

The test sat on the table, waiting for me to begin. My neuropsychologist had just tapped a sequence of blue blocks protruding from the square base.

I tried to remember the sequence as she had tapped the 8 squares. And I quickly realized that I was already unsure of the first 2 or 3. Unfortunately, those were the last I had to tap in order to reverse the sequence, giving me even more time to forget them.

I began tapping the fingers of my left hand fingers nervously under the table as I reached forward and began repeating the sequence…


The benefits of learning with the goal of teaching others

Hey freeCodeCampers and others!

I’m Nicole, one of your fellow newbie web developers.

I’m active in the freeCodeCamp community as organizer of the MetroWest MA freeCodeCamp Meetup, and host of the La Vie en Code Podcast. I was just recently awarded 2018 Top Contributor status by Quincy, which basically made my entire year. 😍

I love giving back and sharing whatever I can … which is actually what this article is about!

A little of my story

Like I said above, I’m a self-taught web developer like you may be. I’m not even fantastic at programming or anything. I totally own that. …


A series on adapting to life with an Autism diagnosis

Photo credit: Treeshelf [DeviantArt]

Last week, I moved into a new apartment. My place is beautiful, a big step up from anywhere I’ve lived before. It is a reflection of my hard work and efforts finally paying off.

But, it was a move to a place that causes my compass to spin. While I remain in the Northeast for my dwindling family for the unforeseeable future, I surprised myself with the choice of location.

The apartment complex is up in the woods a ways, a stark contrast to my previously noisy location by a main road. …


I’ve been standing in the doorway for months now, holding onto the frame for dear life. The wind is strong on the other side. The view is beautiful, but also terrifying.

10,000 feet below me, I see the ground — but I’m not doing this for that. I’m here for everything that comes in between this moment and the moment my feet touch it.

I know why I went up in this plane to begin with. I am standing in this doorway for my own very personal reasons, and they are mine. I don’t need to justify them to anyone.


A series on adapting to live with an Autism diagnosis

Exiting the gate, my legs begin to regain circulation. As I’m passing by them, I notice that the people waiting to board at the gate are, on average, 30 times more attractive than anyone who has ever existed in Massachusetts.

I pick up my luggage at the carousel, eager to complete the last leg of my journey. This part is one of my favorites.

It’s around 1:15 in the afternoon, and I’m already feeling jet lagged. Stepping out with my carry-on and a pink and brown giraffe-print duffel bag, the first thing that hits me is the temperature difference. It’s…


A series on adapting to life with an Autism diagnosis

I began suspecting something was different about me late last year, at 32 years old.

It must sound funny to other people, that you just kind of “suspect” something is “different”. Like, even I get that it doesn’t exactly resonate out of the context of Autism. But this distinction is important—because up until that point, I had felt that something was just plain wrong.

In reality, the clues are there right in front of us, like road signs. With my Autism diagnosis early this year, I felt like I was able to look back at my life through a new…

Nicole Archambault

Weaver of code and beautiful stories. 👩🏽‍💻✨

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