How to Find Your People and the Work You Find Exciting, with Scrimba Student Anna

Anna Ha (00:00):
Find your people and try to find challenges that seem exciting so that you can keep going because that's what really can well change the path of your career so much.

Alex Booker (00:14):
Hello and welcome to the Scrimba Podcast. On this weekly show, I interview successful developers about their advice on learning to code and how to get your first job in tag. Today I'm joined by Ha, Anna, who recently got their first developer job. After growing up and studying in Poland, Anna moved to Korea where she decided to learn Korea and code at the same time. It wasn't easy, but with support from her husband and community, Anna managed to land a job at an exciting technology startup called Learn Korean in Korean, where she's learning lots including AI.

Today we're going to be reflecting on her journey learning to code. She's going to share the tools that made her successful, including an innovative website where you'd participate in an eight-week remote team project to simulate what it's like to collaborate on a real world project as well as the advice she wished she knew when getting started. You are listening to the Scrimba podcast. Let's get into it.

Anna Ha (01:14):
To be honest, most of my life I thought I would go into much more artistic side of the world. I was really into drawing and design, et cetera. But actually in university I studied English as my major and I also studied Chinese because I really like languages. And then suddenly, somehow I stumbled into coding, to be honest. But it also started a bit earlier than that because when I was a teenager, I had my own blog and I tried to make my own theme. So I played with HTML and CSS a lot, but at that moment I never thought, oh, someday in the future I'm going to work as a developer professionally. So it's kind of a surprise to me that I'm doing that now.

Alex Booker (02:02):
I guess looking back is the fact that you were focused on languages and even though they were natural languages, you could say coding has a language and then the creative aspect coding often seems quite analytical and scientific, and it is to a degree, but it's also hugely creative when you start building visual applications or solving problems in creative ways. Looking back at it, does the change look as surprising as it might've felt originally?

Anna Ha (02:28):
Now I feel like I was born to do this, so actually no. But it's still surprising how much I like it and how much I enjoy not only the coding aspect, but also trying to solve all of those issues that come up and just having this cool experience of learning something new every day and not only doing well, I mostly do front end right now, but I also have to do some of backend stuff. So every day is a bit challenging, but so exciting.

Alex Booker (03:00):
Were you working before you started learning to code or did you maybe finish studying language and then start looking for something new?

Anna Ha (03:08):
In my case, I was graduating during Covid. Because of that, I was stuck at home and also because of that, I couldn't move to South Korea where I live right now, I was stuck in Poland. So I finished my studies and then when I finally could move, I moved. And at the beginning I could not get any job because of course it was covid and I also wasn't sure what can I do in South Korea since I am not a native English speaker, and this means I cannot really teach here. They have those rules in government for the teachers, et cetera.

Alex Booker (03:43):
Yeah, that's quite a common path for people to work and get started in other countries it is teaching English. Sucks that you couldn't do that when your English is obviously perfect.

Anna Ha (03:52):
Thank you. So because of that, I started thinking, okay, I should learn Korean. I started learning Korean and that was taking a big amount of my time, but it wasn't taking all of my time. I started thinking, what else can I do? What skill can I gain to find a nice job where I can, well maybe still communicate in English and partly in Korean because I assumed path to fluency is not that easy. That's when my husband told me, why don't you learn a programming language? You like languages so much, maybe you should look into that. And I started laughing, but program languages are not really languages, ha ha. But in the end I thought, well, why not? I should try. And that's how my journey into it started really.

Alex Booker (04:41):
So you are originally Polish, but you immigrated to South Korea. What brought you there?

Anna Ha (04:47):
Well, me and my husband, then we were just boyfriend and girlfriend obviously. We met in Poland and we used to live there, but then he had to graduate also here from university and also he wanted to find a job here. So because of that I said, okay, then let's move and see how it goes. Maybe I can find a job here and we can just live very comfortably here. But yeah, you can say it was because of love that I'm here, but I guess that's true.

Alex Booker (05:16):
Yeah, that's a great reason to move. Was it ever an option for you to stay in Poland and work or was it the case that you wanted to try something new anyway?

Anna Ha (05:25):
All of my life, I really wanted to move to a different country and experience living there for at least four seasons. So for me it was a great opportunity to do that. And well, I believed that even though there are some challenges, if we move together and we do stuff together, I can overcome them. So because of that, I thought, let's just do it. And that's how I ended up here, which when I look back, I am so happy that I took this challenge because now every day when I wake up and go to work and I'm so excited and everything is just such a dream, to be honest, something I never imagined.

Alex Booker (06:02):
That's so incredible to hear. And I think it's so motivating as well because oftentimes when you're doing something hard like learning to code or navigating and move to a different country, you can lose sight of why you're doing it. But once you settle in and you get rewarded for your hard work, it can be a really amazing thing. And that sounds like what's happening here. So you studied in Poland, you moved to South Korea where you started to wonder about what you could do for work that was going to enable you to integrate in South Korea, but also meet people and work on interesting problems and those kinds of things. How did you actually go about teaching yourself to code Anna?

Anna Ha (06:37):
I tried so many things and I tried so hard to be honest. As I mentioned previously, I already knew some HTML and CSS from when I was a teenager, but honestly speaking, it's been so many years ago that when I started, I did not realize how things have changed, which was exciting but also very scary because of course there are so many frameworks for front end now and so many new tools that you can use and people talk about many other things like responsive web design and accessibility and web apps and everything. And the first time I started reading about this, I was like, huh, I am not sure if I can get into it. But because I was really interested in accessibility especially, I was like, okay, let's try.

So HTML, CSS, that one's great as it goes for many people because usually that's the easy part. But then I started getting into JavaScript and I remember doing a lot of just code writing and not seeing really anything on the web because it was more related to backend stuff or something. And at that point I thought, I think it's not for me. So I struggled a lot and tried many different resources of course. And then one day I saw Scrimba and I saw [inaudible 00:08:02] course about JavaScript and I thought, okay, another course, let's try. And after I tried it, I was like, oh, finally, finally I understand. And finally I can see some changes on the web happening. I was like, I have to finish this course. And I started to get into Discord and I met so many people and they answered all of my questions about JavaScript and also gave me so much feedback on how to do things better. And I was like, yes, okay. Oh, now I get it. And that's how literally I got hooked on it and now I'm here.

Alex Booker (08:39):
You said something really interesting that I want you to expand on, which is that at one point you felt like it wasn't for you. That's a really hard place to be I think, and probably the point where a lot of people lose interest and give up. How did you feel at the time and what kept you moving forward?

Anna Ha (09:00):
Well, I already got into it so much, so I thought let's try a different approach. And since I am a person who learned several languages, I know that sometimes you just have to try a different approach. So because of that, I knew that in the end I can find some resource that will finally help me get what's going on. So that's why I try not to give up. But I know for many people it's hard to keep being motivated like that. What I think usually is also very helpful is having a community that supports you. And I think I also struggled a lot at a certain point with React, but during that time I already had the Scrimba Discord, and I knew that okay, I can complain to my friends and they understand because they're also going through this. So because of that, I just kept going and that was so helpful.

Alex Booker (09:51):
It's almost a superpower whenever you learn one hard thing in your life. It could be something like a language, it could be something like a skill like woodworking or cooking, or it could be a physical thing like swimming, I don't know. But when you go from being a total noob at something to being quite good, I think it gives you such immense confidence that you can do it again. And you also realize there are tactics and tools that are learning tools that are agnostic. It doesn't matter what you're doing specifically taking a break and coming back or trying a new medium or maybe instead of doing just theory, getting more practical, all these ways of switching it up, like if they've unblocked you in the past, they can do it again. But of course you don't know these things unless you've done it once. And for many people, coding is their first time learning something academic or learning anything like coding where you're sitting at a computer all day. So I think that's an immensely helpful perspective.

Anna Ha (10:45):
That's very true, and those experiences from the past helped me so much when I started my first job because of course I struggled. We have a different approach to how we do PRs or how we just deal with our code. So at the beginning I was like, there's no way I can work here. I just cannot get it. But I thought, let's calm down, do one step and then another step just let's take it easy.

Also, because I had a really good support, the person who took care of me at work, who's still taking care of me also, we are working on things together. She helped me so much and thanks to her just being kind and knowing that when you start you always struggle. So you just need a bit of a push and explanation and then you can do it on your own and you can help other people too later. Thanks to that, I was just like, okay, I got this. So I really appreciate that my work environment was and is so nice.

Alex Booker (11:46):
Coming up.

Anna Ha (11:47):
I never go like, oh, I have to go to work, but oh yes, I wonder what challenge I will have today and what great thing we managed to finish today.

Alex Booker (11:57):
I'll be right back with Anna in just a second. But first Jan the producer and I have a quick favor to ask from you.

Jan Arsenovic (12:04):
Yes. And that is if you're enjoying the show, please share it with someone or post about it on your social media. Word of mouth is the best way to support a podcast you like. The more people hear about us, the better and bigger guests we'll be able to get on the show.

Hi, I'm Jan, and in every episode in this segment I read some of your social media posts about the show as well as your reviews from various podcast apps on Twitter. Sarah Greer said "Multiple people on the Scrimba podcast say they felt employable as a developer after studying for 400 hours. Today, I am wondering if four hours hyper fixating on gradients counts towards that number." It probably does. I'm not a developer, but as a person working with sound and video, I tend to hyper fixate on seemingly minuscule things very often, but they all just add up in the end.

Also on Twitter, Emmett Pennington said, "Scrimba courses and podcasts are game changers, learning to code and staying motivated through Alex and Jan's interviews in one, I heard Vanessa Vaughn did a hackathon. It inspired me to enter my first, placed second. Wouldn't have done it without Scrimba and Vanessa's words. Thanks." Well, thank you for listening and keep up the great work.

And on LinkedIn, Allison [inaudible 00:13:25] wrote "For anyone who like me needs to hear this today, don't compare yourself to other new developers. I repeated this message to myself all weekend, thanks to a great Scrimba podcast episode with Sylvia. My little one was sick and it was hard to put in time on my coding projects. I found myself worrying about falling behind or questioning whether I really have the drive to make the transition to software development if a little upper respiratory virus could throw me off. I just had to keep reminding myself, everyone's life and career paths are different. Over the past year, you've kept coming back to coding even when life has been hard and that shows your interest in and dedication to this field. Back to it today."

If you would like to get a shout-out on the show, just post about it on social media. As long as your Twitter or LinkedIn post contains the words Scrimba and podcast, we will find it. And if you're feeling super supportive, leave us a rating or review on Apple Podcasts on Spotify or really wherever you listen to podcasts. If your app has the option to rate and review what you're listening to, please rate and review us. And now we're back to the interview with Anna.

Alex Booker (14:41):
I love everything you're saying because you're describing breaking a big problem down into small problems, not getting overwhelmed by thinking about how much further you have to go, but appreciating how far you've come and just focusing on the next step one day at a time, one module at a time, something like that. And you're also describing I think this sense of community and supports where not only do you put yourself amongst similarly ambitious people who are doing the same challenge as you, but hopefully you can help each other, right? It's not just about emotional support, but it could be advice or reference points or specific help with some pesky bloody CSS problem, if that happens to be what's plaguing you that day.

Anna Ha (15:22):
Yes, exactly. This experience is so great. I have no words to be honest.

Alex Booker (15:28):
Well, the Scrimba Discord community is still there and anyone's welcome to join. That could be a good place to start off. And speaking of Scrimba, I'm really happy to hear that it had a big impact, but I happen to know it's not the only sort of platform and service and learning tool you were using. I think I read you were using Code Wars and 100 Days of Code. You also got involved with Chingu, which maybe you can talk a bit more about, but more than that, I want to understand how you structured your learning on a day-to-day basis and also pulling in different resources.

Anna Ha (16:00):
Well, when I was learning how to code and how to deal with all of those front-end backend stuff, et cetera, I was in a very privileged position because I did not have to work during weekdays. So of course I studied et cetera, but at certain point I stopped studying Korean and I could focus on learning how to code. So thanks to that I had a lot of time. So every day I try to do things for at least eight hours and because I had so much time, I tried different things, right? So as you said, 100 days of code and I did Chingu and Front-end Mentor and of course also Leanne's JavaScript challenges. And of course I also did Scrimba and I just could really focus on this.

So thanks to that it was, well, I would say pretty easy for me to just keep going and because I could see myself getting better day by day and learning more. So I know not everybody can do that because many people are still working their other jobs. Well, it's a bit challenging in that situation I can assume because now that I'm working, when I come back from work, I don't really want to do more. So if someone is working their other job and they come back and they still have to study, I think those people are superheroes. Totally different level to be honest.

Alex Booker (17:20):
We have some great interviews on the podcast of people who've done it alongside a full-time job, but every time, just like you, Anna, I'm like, wow, mad respect for this. I think that's so impressive. But I think anyone learning to code is impressive actually, regardless of their schedule. And that extends to you as well. You said you could spend eight hours a day. How would you split that time up between different initiatives? The thing about Scrimba, which is kind of cool I guess, is that you're not just watching and learning, you're also probably coding as part of the interactive challenges. But I know some people they might specifically make an effort to mix it up, right by doing some lessons, some work on a side project, some group contribution like via Chingu for example, this kind of thing. How did you think about that?

Anna Ha (18:02):
I tried to keep my focus on Scrimba for a long time, but since, well, it's something that I can do on my own most of the time. I also applied for Chingu. They have a pretty tight schedule for their voyages. So when I had a voyage, I probably tried to focus a bit less on my own personal coding and try to do things with the team.

To explain Chingu shortly, it's an initiative that's free and that anybody who is learning to code can apply to. They have voyages, I think at least four a year, but maybe they have even eight of them. I'm not sure about their schedule right now, but they have three tiers.

Depending on your skills, you can apply for the one that fits your level the most and they find other people with a similar that also apply to the same level and team you up. And then you can create your own project in a team and learn a lot about how to work as a team, how to develop as a team, how to use GitHub as a team and how to just do something together with other people and how it works.

And what's also amazing is they help you on your way. So there's always a moderator that you can ask questions and they will try to deal with your issues. For example, if one of the members does not show up. So they are always there. And also after you finish, you get a certificate that you can show off that you completed it and well, you can basically put it on your CV as experience because it takes about six weeks.

Alex Booker (19:39):
Yeah, I think I read is something like six to eight weeks, and essentially if you've done Scrimba or you've graduated a bootcamp or something, you verify your coding skills to prove that you are capable of fixing coding problems I guess. But you don't have to be super advanced either it's for beginners and then you get put in a cohort with other similarly skilled developers where you could call it almost like a job simulator in a way. You do a weekly standup, you work on sprints, you all collaborate on these projects, and then you're not just learning coding skills, right? Like getting better at solving the coding problems. You're also using tools like gits probably in order to learn how to collaborate and you're practicing your communication skills, your people skills, problem solving, time management, all these kind of things. And then like you say, if you get that, I didn't actually know this, but if you get that certificate at the end, well that's a representation of all the things I just described and that's going to matter to an employer. Just out of interest, what is it that you built with your team?

Anna Ha (20:37):
I did tier one and tier three. So tier one is basically HTML, CSS, et cetera, very basic things. And tier three is more of a full stack up. So as a tier one, we build a memo app, which we call Note Me. You can create your own notes and just leave it on your browser and it's all saved whenever you open because we used local storage, et cetera. And as a tier three, we build something that actually is not finished. We promised that we'll still keep working on it because we want to make it through, but everybody got jobs and everybody's busy. So it's a bit tough right now.

Alex Booker (21:15):
Good problem to have by the way. Good problem to have.

Anna Ha (21:18):
Yeah, that's true. So we built something more based with crowdfunding and geolocation when basically we want people to create posts on the map when they see stray animals that need help. So people in the area can basically connect with each other and help the animal in need. So for example, if you see a cat that does not look healthy, you can team up with other people and try to take it to a vet, catch it, et cetera. So that's what we've been trying to build, but it's still a work in progress.

Alex Booker (21:51):
Really cool, but you get so much from that experience and it has to help with finding a job.

Anna Ha (21:57):
Oh, it helped me.

Alex Booker (21:58):
Well, let's talk about it. How did you get your first role in tech?

Anna Ha (22:01):
I was very lucky. My friend knew that I'm looking for a job and I've been applying for jobs. I'd been doing coding interviews, which here are on the next level. I feel I had never experienced a coding interview like this. Basically he sent me a post that there is a company looking for a front end developer, and I thought, okay, then let's apply and see. And I was very lucky and they messaged me back and we had an interview and we also had a coding interview where they asked me to build an app with View, like a To do list app. Then of course we had a review and we kept talking and I got hired. But I feel I was very lucky because I also know a lot about design and UX/UI design, which I often mention in my CV. And also I mentioned to the hiring team, and since they were looking for someone with those skills also, I stood out and I think that's how I got hired because I had additional skills that they were looking for too.

Alex Booker (23:05):
That's very interesting, and we should touch on that in a moment I think. This all happened in South Korea, right? Within the context of everybody speaking a different language, how are you feeling about your Korean at the time, and did you maybe worry if you'd be able to work with a team where they're speaking a professional level of Korean? While you'd only been there for a little bit it sounds like.

Anna Ha (23:27):
Yeah, I was worried, and I also knew that my skills are at the moment not enough because well, business Korean is on another level than just conversational Korean, of course. But what was very lucky was the fact that my dev team, the main person is also a foreigner, and at the moment she cannot speak Korean. So they were looking for someone who can communicate in English, even though they are a Korean company.

Alex Booker (23:59):
Do most Korean people speak good English?

Anna Ha (23:59):
I would say most of young people they do, but they are often a bit shy about speaking, so it's not that easy to get them to speak, but after you get to convince them that they can do it, they're really good. They're just shy, and I totally understand that because I'm also very shy when I speak Korean.

Alex Booker (24:19):
Let's talk a little bit about the interview process. I really appreciate the high level overview there. What do you think they were trying to get from you and find out from you during the interview process?

Anna Ha (24:32):
What I felt was that they're looking for someone who is flexible and is not afraid to learn the new things because the company I'm working at is a startup, so we are not that big of a company, so they need people to be able to do many things and not say I cannot do it, but more of a I can do it, even though I don't know yet. I will find out how I can do it.

Alex Booker (24:54):
I will find out. That's great.

Anna Ha (24:55):
And during my interview, I also mentioned that I want to become a full stack, which was a big signal to the tech hiring person that this person might be a good fit for our company because they knew that they need someone who wants to do backends too.

Alex Booker (25:12):
And it also maybe touches on your desire to keep improving and letting new things which could be attractive.

Anna Ha (25:18):
I hope so, yes.

Alex Booker (25:19):
So the current company is called Learn Korean. I assume it's a language learning product, right?

Anna Ha (25:25):
Yeah. Actually our name is Learn Korean in Korean. We want to teach people Korean in Korean so they don't have to worry about knowing English for example, because not everybody can speak English.

Alex Booker (25:37):
Oh, I see.

Anna Ha (25:38):
So if you can only learn in Korean, which is the language that you want to learn, it solves many issues of not understanding English, for example, and English explanations of certain things.

Alex Booker (25:51):
Do you use the product if you're still leveling up your Korean?

Anna Ha (25:53):
I do actually, because of course I also have to test many things and we are building things around it, but I was really impressed because it's pretty hard to teach someone how to pronounce things and how to speak online even though there are some apps that try to teach speaking, it's not that easy. But our company tries to approach all of the speaking, listening, reading, writing, et cetera together, which I feel makes us stand out because we focus on all of those things and that's really impressive. And now we are building another thing which is supposed to help Korean learners converse in Korean, and we are using AI for that. So we want to create an app that helps them have a conversation in Korean without worrying about being judged so they can just try to speak and then get feedback that will tell them, oh, okay, this is the way you said it, but to say it better you can say it this way.

Alex Booker (26:55):
Very interesting project.

Anna Ha (26:56):
Yeah, I'm so excited to be working on it.

Alex Booker (26:58):
It's interesting to me because you mentioned that maybe it was an advantage that you knew a lot about UI and UX already and you felt lucky for that, but I suppose because you had this background in studying English and Chinese and you're inter linguistics and you're a polyglots and you like learning languages, obviously it probably seemed like a really good fit when you came across a company called Learn Korean in Korean.

Anna Ha (27:22):
I am not sure, but I think the idea of what they want to do and what they're trying to achieve with their company really spoke to me. So I was really excited to join and I think that excitement showed that I might be the person they should be hiring, which I am really thankful for because honestly, it's so exciting to build those things that I also can see myself use in the future.

Alex Booker (27:49):
I've remembered in the past looking through LinkedIn or Indeed or whatever job site, and I see all these jobs about developer jobs or whatever, and when I read about the company, I'm just like, I just am not interested at all. I just couldn't imagine working there. I think it's like a cash cow. It's not appealing to my personal interests or missions at all, and I'm not alone in that, and that's a hugely, hugely privileged thing to say and get to say by the way.

But what I'm getting at is really the same thing as you, which is when you do interview at those companies that aren't as exciting, maybe you reason that they are a good provider, you will learn on the job, you'll get mentorship. There are lots of great reasons to work at lots of companies, don't get me wrong. But when you find a company that really does align with your purpose and your mission and the things you are interested in, I think it definitely contributes to your enthusiasm and motivation to succeed in the interview process. You might smile a bit more while you talk. You might go a bit above and beyond in the coding challenges.

And of course, it's always interesting to me. People ask, what questions should I be asking at the end of the job interview when the interviewer turns around and says, "Hey, do you have any questions for me?" I think there's maybe two parts to a problem there. Maybe some people don't feel so comfortable doing a two-way interview, and that's very fair enough. That's a very fair thing and a very valid thing to ask about. But in terms of what specifically to ask, I would kind of hope that you do have questions because if you have questions and you are genuinely interested in the company and the team and the dynamics and the product, not only does that probably send you a strong signal that it's something you care about that's going to come across to the employer as well. They're going to be like, "Oh yeah, Alex was really enthusiastic. He'd done his homework. He clearly cares about the success of the company." And it sounds like with Learn Korean in Korean and it was a similar kind of thing.

Anna Ha (29:37):
Yes, I did feel like that, and I also tried to ask many questions and find out more things, and in the end, when I finally got my confirmation that I will be working with them, I was just ecstatic. And not only because of that, but also because I got to meet a part of my team and I already felt that we have a really good bond. So I could imagine myself working there and I could feel us working together really hard and just doing our best together and building something amazing that we are both really excited about. It was just really great, and that's why I feel every day when I go to work, I never go like, oh, I have to go to work, but oh yes, I wonder what challenge I will have today and what great thing we manage to finish today.

Alex Booker (30:29):
That's such a good distinction between, oh, I have to work and I get to work. It's a really important one. All right, Anna, what'd you say? We do a round of quick fire questions before wrapping up here today.

Anna Ha (30:41):
Yeah, sure.

Alex Booker (30:43):
Okay, so question number one, what is one learning resource that has been the most impactful?

Anna Ha (30:49):
I should say Scrimba probably because that's what it is for me.

Alex Booker (30:51):
If that's your truthful answer, we'll lock it in. I won't push back on that at all.

Anna Ha (30:54):
Yes, it is. It is.

Alex Booker (30:56):
What's your favorite technology to use at the moment?

Anna Ha (30:56):
Right now? Vue?

Alex Booker (31:00):
What is the technology you'd like to learn next?

Anna Ha (31:01):
I would like to learn, oh, that's a hard one. Oh, one second.

Alex Booker (31:07):
There's just so many, right?

Anna Ha (31:08):
Yes, there are so many. Now that we started working with Flutter, that was my next goal, but now I'm kind of doing it, so I don't know if that's a correct answer, but-

Alex Booker (31:17):
You're learning it. Yeah, that's a pretty cool one.

Anna Ha (31:19):
Okay. Then Flutter would be great.

Alex Booker (31:21):
What music do you go to, if any?

Anna Ha (31:23):
I usually try to listen to really upbeat songs so I can just get really excited and get into the vibe. So usually I try to listen to probably a lot of Korean pop songs because they're very energetic.

Alex Booker (31:38):
I've avoided K-pop for no good reason. I hope you'll send me a couple to check out and I'll see how I code to it.

Anna Ha (31:42):

Alex Booker (31:45):
Anna, that's it for the quick fire questions. Thank you so much. Tell me a little bit more about how the job offer came your way. I mean, first of all, after you finished the interview, did you feel confident that you'd get an offer or were you not sure how the interview went?

Anna Ha (31:57):
I feel like it's really hard to feel so confident. In my case, I usually tend to doubt myself a lot, but because I could feel those really positive vibes, I would say from the interviewer, especially after the coding interview review, I was very hopeful that I can get this job.

Alex Booker (32:19):
How long did they make you wait to hear back from them and what's the story there? Where were you and what were you doing when you got the offer?

Anna Ha (32:27):
I think it was just a few days since our company is not that big. It took a bit to discuss certain things, but in the end it took I think maybe one week overall, and I think I was at home because I'm a bit of a homebody, so I don't really go out that much.

Alex Booker (32:42):
Did they email you or was it like a phone call?

Anna Ha (32:44):
I got an email.

Alex Booker (32:45):
And your reaction?

Anna Ha (32:46):
My reaction was yes,

Alex Booker (32:48):
Jumping for joy.

Anna Ha (32:49):
Yeah, I was [inaudible 00:32:52] to open a champagne or something, I don't know. I was so excited and I got also the message close to my birthday, so I felt like it's such a good news.

Alex Booker (33:03):
Your husband had been a part of this journey with you from the beginning, almost nudging you to try coding since it's a type of language. What was his reaction?

Anna Ha (33:13):
He was also very excited for me because he knew that I really want to start working and I want to start doing something that I really enjoy, and I always show him my projects and what I developed or what I've been working on, and I keep telling him about how much fun I was having with the community, et cetera. So he was really looking forward to me finally getting the job that I can enjoy and just feel the challenge to basically keep learning and keep growing. So part of me thinks he might've been even more excited than me. He just understood how important it is for me I think.

Alex Booker (33:50):
Amazing that you have someone in your corner like that.

Anna Ha (33:51):
Yes. I'm very thankful.

Alex Booker (33:53):
I think as well, this company is not only perfectly aligned and fascinating and clearly you're really happy there, but it sounds like you're getting lots of growth opportunities too, right? To learn Flutter and this thing with AI in the app to help someone have a conversation without being judged. Is that something you'll be working on?

Anna Ha (34:09):
Yes. We are all working on it, so I will get to experience all parts of it, which is really amazing.

Alex Booker (34:15):
Well Learn Korean in Korean. I'm sure there'll be a few people listening who want to check that out regardless, and I think they should check you out as well. Is it okay with people if they connect with you on LinkedIn, we'll put your link in the description?

Anna Ha (34:26):
Yes, of course. I'm always happy to get to know more people who are also trying to get into tech.

Alex Booker (34:32):
And you're still in the Scrimba Discord community, right?

Anna Ha (34:34):
Yes. Yes, I am. Although I did not send many messages nowadays, but I try to see what's going on and how people are doing.

Alex Booker (34:42):
We'll pop your Discord handle in the show notes as well along with a link to the Scrimba Discord community, since I know you've done a very good job pitching the value of community and support today, so I'm sure people might be tempted to check it out.

Anna Ha (34:53):
I really truly believe that having a great people and great community to support you on your journey is so life-changing and so important that I really hope many people who listen today will try to join our Discord and try to join maybe other Discords of other companies that also teach coding, et cetera, and maybe they will even try to go to meetups and meet some people who are also trying their best because that's what really can well change the path of your career so much.

Alex Booker (35:26):
Is there any advice that you wish you had when you started learning to code that you can share with people listening today?

Anna Ha (35:33):
Just find your people and try to find challenges that seem exciting so that you can keep going and there are so many different resources now available for free that if something does not appeal to you, just go to another one and keep looking, because if you keep doing that, you'll find a place that really resonates with you, where you can learn and grow so well and so fast and just become the person you want to be.

Alex Booker (36:03):
I like that a lot. It's like sometimes you pick up a book, for example, and you feel this obligation to finish it because you started, but if you get 10, 20 pages in and it's not working for you might be a good book, it's just not for you. There's no harm in switching to something else. And I think the same is true for many types of coding education, although I would caveat that by saying that it's better to generally stick with one programming language once you start, otherwise you might end up sort of getting nowhere as you keep starting from scratch. But generally, I think that's a great perspective, Anna, and a really wonderful note to end the interview on. Thank you so much for joining me today. It's been a pleasure.

Anna Ha (36:39):
Thank you. It was amazing to be here and just thank you for this opportunity. I never expected that I will be participating in a podcast, Scrimba podcast at that.

Jan Arsenovic (36:49):
Thank you. That was the Scrimba podcast. Check out the show notes and subscribe if you haven't. We are a weekly show. We haven't skipped a Tuesday for two and a half years at this point, so you can be sure that there's going to be a lot of great interviews coming your way. The show is hosted by Alex Booker. I've been Jan the producer. You can also find our Twitter handles in the show notes. You see how I stopped calling it X? Is anybody still calling it that? I don't know. I mean Elon Musk does. Anyway, thanks for listening and we'll see you next week.

How to Find Your People and the Work You Find Exciting, with Scrimba Student Anna
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