What advice would you give to a young creative wanting to get into the same line of work?
Talk to as many people as possible! Talk to people you admire, and who are doing a job you’d like to do. I generally found that people are flattered and pretty receptive (as long as you’re not nagging them) and you might even get an internship or job out of it.
Do you have any tips on learning to code?
Give yourself a project to work on instead of just focusing on learning everything there is to know; having a bit of context gives you motivation to learn, and enables you to get more of a feel for your own place and style within the industry.
Online courses! There are free ones and paid ones. I used Codecademy and Code School when I was first learning. These are also useful to return to when you’re more confident, to refresh your knowledge and to prevent yourself from falling into bad habits.
Start intensive, then learn little and often. This depends on how you learn best, but I found that the best way for me to learn at the very start was to lock myself away with some online courses for a day or so, and then learn in short sessions every day after that.
Find a mentor! I was really lucky to have Will and Kevin from Multiple States as mentors, as they were brilliant teachers and incredibly generous with their time. They not only taught me how to code, but also taught me why certain things work the way they do. It can be frustrating and a bit demoralising when you’re learning on your own and things are less than intuitive. Having a mentor(s) to support you and explain things in person is a lot more encouraging than relying on stack overflow forums to provide you with answers.
It’s fine if it’s buggy, or you do something wrong, or if you don’t immediately understand something. None of these things mean that you’re ‘not good enough’. Coding is largely a process of solving and refining, and there’s always loads more to learn even for experienced coders because languages and trends can change so quickly.