Build it, juniors in tech!
Issue #6 - November 14th, 2018
This week's newsletter is a little different. Usually I just gather up stuff on different topics that I find around the web.
But today we have a theme: makers!
If you're a maker, that is, a person who makes things, or you've always wanted to be, then keep reading.
(If you have no interest in being a maker, I still have the usual stuff below.)
This issue is all about making things. Anything! That app idea that's been in the back of your head for months. That newsletter you wanted to start. That song you wanted to write. Your portfolio website. That piece of hardware you wanted to build.
If you're anything like me, you've been putting it off. And maybe that fine because you have, for example, a job, kids, other hobbies, or things to do.
Or, in addition to those things, you're just scared. You have imposter syndrome. You're thinking, "I don't have enough experience to make an app", or "no one will subscribe to my newsletter", or "I don't know how to code/I'm not technical enough." Or just "I'm not good enough, and I can't do it."
Look, I can't say for sure whether those doubts are valid or not. But they're probably not.
Imposter syndrome and self doubt are soooo real.
I almost didn't start Juniors in Tech because of it.
I thought no one would subscribe. Maybe it's not niche enough. Maybe there are already good resources for juniors, so my newsletter can't compete. Maybe this, maybe that.
I kept hearing things that other people might say. You know when you tell someone an idea you have, and they immediately start tearing it apart? Well, that's happened to me before. So when I thought about making this newsletter, I kept hearing what those types of people would say.
And I was also thinking that I'm just a nobody; a black girl who after graduating from a bootcamp was struggling to get past the 2nd step in interviews, and has only been working in tech for less than a year. Why would anyone care about something I made?
But we're 6 weeks in, at nearly 400 subscribers as I'm writing this, and growing a little every week. At least once a week, someone mentions me or the JuniorsInTech handle on Twitter, saying how much they enjoy the newsletter.
So those doubts I had in my head were just loud and wrong. Yours probably are too.
If you're not interested in making, that's cool. You don't have to make things. You don't have to do side projects. (And it sucks that our industry make people seem like we do.) You don't have to be an entrepreneur. You're not less of a tech person for not being interested in making.
But if you do want to make, don't let your self doubt and imposter syndrome get in your way.
Just make the darn thing! Read more to find out how.
Things to read on the subway.
How I Built a Startup on Twitch in 24 Hours
Pat Walls of Starter Story and the 24 Hour Startup Challenge talks about how he built a startup in 24 hours and launched it to be #1 on Product Hunt.
It's not a startup: The evolving definition in a 24 hour, livestreamed, bootstrapped world
Can you really build a startup in 24 hours? Jesse MS explains why you can build something meaningful in such a short amount of time.
Her First Job After A Coding Bootcamp was Her Own Startup
Juniors in Tech with Faye Hayes
I talked to Faye Hayes of Playloops.io about how she founded a startup soon after finishing her coding bootcamp.
Find comfort in a space you belong
How Temi was inspired to create a fitness community for Black women, after years of being the only one in the room.
Finding Ideas for Programming Side Projects
No More "Struggle Porn"
(Just a heads up: if you're a fan of Gary Vee, you may not like reading this piece.)
According to the author, struggle porn is "a masochistic obsession with pushing yourself harder, listening to people tell you to work harder, and broadcasting how hard you’re working." We definitely have an issue with this in tech. And I think it's important that we talk about it, even in the context of side projects. Sometimes you need to work hard to accomplish things, but working yourself to death often gets you nowhere. Whether we're talking about your full time job, or a side hustle, you gotta take a break once in a while.
If you don't follow Stephanie Hurlburt on Twitter you should. She tweets a lot about being a founder & running her own business, and how she does it without working herself to death. Wouldn't we all love to have 3 day weekends every week!
How to persevere after rejection as a designer
Case Study Club with Jason Yuan
"He got rejected by RISD and Apple. Now, he's a student and landed his dream internship, at both. A fascinating story about perseverance from the author of "I Got Rejected by Apple Music… So I Redesigned It" case study."
Learn (how to make) stuff. Get promoted.
Video: Turning Side Projects into Profitable Startups
In this video, Pieter talks about how he made some products you may have heard of, like Nomad List or Hoodmaps. This is more or less a summary of his book, Make, which is all about turning side projects into bootstrapped businesses.
Hustle Crew: How I Built a Global Tech Community and Training Company with No Code
In case you didn't know, you don't have to be a coder to make something. In this piece, Abadesi talks about how she and her co-founder built Hustle Crew, which helps women get into tech, without typing any code. I'd suggest reading this even if you do code. Because not everything needs to be made from scratch.
How I wrote an ebook in 1 month and sold 130+ copies in 1 week
Anne-Laure Le Cunff
Even if you don't plan on making an e-book anytime soon, this piece provides a lot of good advice on writing, designing, publishing, and promoting any digital product.
7 Tools to Help You Build an App Without Writing Code
How to Launch Something on Product Hunt
One of the best ways to promote something you've made is to launch it on Product Hunt. Here are a few articles on this topic:
1) Product Hunt: How to Launch on Product Hunt
2) Nick Timms on Indie Hackers: How to Launch on Product Hunt
3) Natalie Bartlett: The Complete Guide to Launching on Product Hunt
Video: How to Start an AI Startup
How to Accelerate Your Design Career
Case Study Club with Susan Lin
"In this interview, Susan Lin shares her fascinating story of how she methodically used strategy to land a lead design position at Cloudflare. Leveraging tactics such as goal setting and finding a tribe of mentors (friendtors)."
So you want to speak at tech conferences but you have nothing to talk about...
Even if you're a junior, there's probably something you know about that other people don't, and that would make a great talk.
Product Design Exercises We Use at WeWork Interviews
"Use these exercises to practice your product-thinking skills and learn how we test our design candidates."
EVENTS + OPPORTUNITIES
Conferences, scholarships, hackathons, and other opportunities.
24 Hour Startup Challenge
Saturday, November 17th. Virtual.
Exactly what it sounds like. Build a startup in 24 hours while live streaming the whole thing and win cash prizes. Here's part 1 of a 3 part blog post about how to prepare for the challenge.
Product Hunt Makers Festival
Week of November 19th. Virtual
(I'm doing this!) This is Product Hunt's annual hackathon. But you can make anything; it doesn't have to be an app or tech product. It can be an e-book, newsletter, song, or whatever you want. Register by Sunday, November 18th. Here's a blog post with more info.
Find a list of more upcoming hackathons on Devpost.
Latinas in Tech Silicon Valley Summit
TOMORROW, November 15th. San Francisco.
"The theme for this year is “Changing the Conversation: Empowering Latinas to Make an Impact in Tech” and we anticipate more than 200 participants from the entire tech ecosystem to come together for a day of empowerment, engagement, and education."
Black Tech Weekend - This Friday
November 16th. Kansas City, MO
Network with and learn from other Black entrepreneurs, creatives, and technologists.
droidcon SF (Free tickets)
November 19-20. San Francisco
The Android conference, featuring technical talks, workshops, and code labs. You can volunteer in exchange for a free ticket, and the Women in Tech Fund has a few FREE tickets available to women who apply.
European Women in Tech Conference
November 28-29. Amsterdam
"Join 3,000+ tech leaders and professionals at Europe’s vibrant centrepiece for women in tech - hear from the best speakers in the industry, enhance your entire skills portfolio and celebrate gender diversity in the world's fastest growing industry." If you can't make it to Amsterdam, check out when this event series is coming to your city.
GDG Dev Fest - London
London, December 1st. FREE
This is the "UK's largest free community driven tech conference". There will be talks, hands on workshops, networking, and more.
Helsinki, Dec 4-5
"Slush is the world’s leading startup event and prime meeting spot for founders and investors, among top-tier tech talent, executives, and media."
Twilio: Engage + Superclass
December 13th. New York City. FREE
In the morning (Superclass), there's a hands on developer training on Twilio products. In the afternoon (Engage), learn about how leading businesses are using Twilio to engage customers. Superclass is $99, and Engage is free.
Find other events and discounts on the Product Hunt events page.
My top tools and products of the week.
Make and Shine - An Indie Maker's Guide to Personal Branding
Anne-Laure Le Cunff
"The indie maker's complete guide to growing your audience and getting press coverage." I've just barely started reading this but it seems pretty good so far.
Learn how to start a successful business straight from founders who have done the same. Starter Story features articles and interviews from founders who have built profitable bootstrapped businesses.
"The community platform for designers to share their work, get feedback, and stay up-to-date with the latest and greatest design tools and news."
YSYS (Your Startup Your Story)
For makers in the UK.
"Whether you are building the world’s next best app, or working for a fast-growing tech company, YSYS is the place for you to share ideas and connect with like-minded people." They have a Slack community.
newCo (Maker Bootcamp and courses)
In addition to being a community of makers, newCo has free courses for makers, as well as an online maker bootcamp.
This is a community for makers who are women.
Makers by Product Hunt
A community for makers.
Ship by Product Hunt
A tool to help you promote your product and start an email list before launch.
A Slack community for makers.
WIP (Work In Progress)
An online community for makers.
A blog, podcast, and forum for makers. Learn from other makers who have profitable side projects or online businesses.
Uzers - Essentials for Product Designers
"Essentials for digital Product Designers. Learn from curated articles, videos, books and podcasts. Everything in one place."
An intelligent calendar that helps you manage your schedule.
Launch - the roadmap to product success
A free book from Product School. Great for anyone who wants to get into product management.
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This week I'm:
Hope the rest of your week is great and that you #JustMakeIt,
- thinking about what I'm going to make next week