Learn to Code With Me

The Learn to Code With Me podcast, created by Laurence Bradford, is for aspiring techies and self-taught coders looking to transition into the tech industry. Want actionable insights on how you can get paid for your coding skills? Then you're in the right place!
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Learn to Code With Me



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Mar 13, 2018

Ashu Desai is the founder of Make School, a computer science college in Silicon Valley that trains students for careers in software development.

After a childhood in Singapore and Hong Kong, Ashu moved to Silicon Valley at age 10, where he was bitten by the tech bug. He has been building apps since age 16 after getting involved in the computer science program at his high school and self-teaching coding languages.

Ashu attended college for a year, but didn't find the focus practical enough, and dropped out to build his own projects. This experience is also what inspired him to found Make School, a product-based approach to learning that focuses on teaching real-world skills.

In our conversation, Ashu talks about the importance of a practical education, how Make School works, and tips for getting a job once you're ready.

Mar 6, 2018

Elvis Chidera is a software developer who grew up in a rural part of Nigeria and taught himself how to code on a Nokia phone.

When he was only 11 years old, Elvis became curious about how websites were built and wanted to download games on his Nokia phone. That curiosity led him to coding tutorials, and he began using a simple notepad app to code.

Eventually he was able to save up enough for a laptop and begin freelancing, but before that, he managed to develop microedition apps using only his phone and Java.

Today, at the age of 19, Elvis is an Android developer at dot Learn, an MIT startup that builds educational apps for students in emerging markets like Africa. He has also worked on over 50 apps which collectively have millions of downloads from the Google Play store.

In this episode, listen to Elvis's story, his experiences programming on a phone, what he's  been doing career-wise, and what the future holds.

Feb 27, 2018

Chris Castiglione is the co-founder and CEO of One Month, a professor at Columbia University Business School, and a bitcoin and cryptocurrency enthusiast.

The classes Chris teaches focus on coding, digital literacy, and cryptocurrency. He also hosts a podcast and has written for several online publications, and is passionate about using education to inspire positive change in the world.

During his twenties, before founding One Month, Chris traveled the world working as a digital nomad, building websites and doing consulting. This is one of the things you'll hear him talk about in the episode!

When bitcoin and cryptocurrency caught his attention, he got excited about its potential. Now, he's teaching a course on it. Listen to the episode to hear Chris explain what crypto is, how he sees its future, what his course covers, and how to get involved.

Feb 20, 2018

Mike Tombor is learning to code while working full time at a health insurance company. He also has two kids and a fiancé.

Mike’s goal is to become a full-stack web developer and designer. As he learns, he shares his journey in Medium blog posts and at community meetups to help others balance their own life demands with their goals.

Learning to code while working full time (and raising kids) is no easy feat. In our conversation, Mike shares how he balances work, coding, and family. He also explains what drew him to tech, tricks for staying motivated and managing your time wisely, and how to build a supportive community during your journey.

Feb 13, 2018

David Yang is the co-founder and lead instructor at Fullstack Academy, and has 17 years of programming experience.

The summer after graduating high school, David became the youngest software engineering intern to ever be accepted at Ernst and Young, and went on to earn bachelor's degrees in computer science and electrical engineering.

Before founding Fullstack, he worked as a software engineer at Microsoft and Yahoo, among other companies, and taught at Columbia University as an adjunct professor.

In our conversation, we talk about whether a coding bootcamp or college degree is the best choice for aspiring techies. He tells his own story, including what led him to create Fullstack, and gives advice on how to prepare for coding bootcamps, succeed, and impress employers after graduation.

Feb 6, 2018

David Venturi is a former chemical engineer who began pursuing a tech career in 2015 and found a passion in data.

Recently, David used online resources to create a personalized data science master's program, to help others learn data analysis in a well-structured way.

The program encompasses courses from top institutions including Harvard, MIT, and Stanford, and focuses on topics like machine learning, software engineering, and back-end development.

David also works at Udacity, where he creates and teaches his own courses on data analysis.

Today, we discuss the importance of going for your passions, how he came up with the idea of building a personalized master's program, how to teach yourself data science, and how to stay positive and disciplined while teaching yourself tech skills.

Jan 30, 2018

Vidya Srinivasan is an engineer, speaker, and singer, who works as a program manager at Microsoft and holds bachelor's and master's degrees in computer science.

When she's not on the job, Vidya stays busy with tech-related volunteering and activities. She loves to hack-for-good, and has won multiple awards at the Microsoft One Week hackathons. She has been part of the Grace Hopper Conference leadership since 2014 and regularly speaks about tech at various conferences and presentations.

Vidya is also passionate about music and her family. She holds a degree in Indian classical music and performs with Seattle bands to raise funds for nonprofits. When she recently became a new mom, she added time with her daughter to her busy schedule--and carried on doing the other things she loves as well!

In our conversation, I speak with Vidya about how she's balanced her career and passions with her experiences of pregnancy and parenthood. She gives advice on juggling responsibilities, staying involved in activities, and being transparent with your colleagues and company while starting a family.

Jan 23, 2018

Allan Leinwand is the CTO at ServiceNow. Over his career, he has built a reputation for managing the world’s most demanding clouds.

In his role at ServiceNow, Allan is personally responsible for overseeing all technical aspects and guiding the long-term technology strategy for the company. He is involved in building and running the ServiceNow Enterprise Cloud--the second largest enterprise cloud computing environment on the planet.

During college, Allan knew he wanted to be involved in tech, though he wasn't sure in what specific capacity. His first post-graduation job was at HP, where he fell in love with computer science and networking. He then worked at Cisco, and now ServiceNow, where he has delved more into machine learning and cloud computing.

In our conversation, we talk about how Allan pursued a career in tech leadership, the difference between AI and machine learning, what to do if you want a career in machine learning or technical leadership, and more.

Jan 16, 2018

Lillian Pierson is a freelance data scientist for SMEs and entrepreneurs, as well as a trainer, speaker, and coach for people who want to get into data science and analytics.

Before she got into data science, Lillian worked in engineering. However, her interest in the tech space began early: she started teaching herself basic code in sixth grade, and always enjoyed working with data. When she decided on a career change, data science was the natural choice.

Lillian is also the author of Data Science for Dummies and the founder of Data-Mania, the company through which she offers data training services to professionals seeking career advancement. She works remotely as much as possible, which allowed her to move overseas to Thailand, where she's currently living the island life with her family.

In today's episode, we discuss freelancing as a data scientist, how to manage remote work and travel, the importance of building your personal brand, and more.

Jan 9, 2018

Bill Sourour is the founder of, the founder and president of technology consulting firm Arcnovus, and a frequent consultant for the Canadian government.

Through DevMastery, Bill offers a weekly newsletter full of tips and resources to help developers program better and advance their careers. Bill has 20 years of experience as a programmer and architect, which he uses to help both individual developers and large organizations as a teacher and consultant.

Bill's secondary passion was for acting; after studying theatre at Concordia University, he balanced both pursuits for years until he decided to fully commit to his tech career.

In today's conversation, we talk about the early days of Bill's career balancing his tech and theatre passions, how he got into consulting and started a business, his advice for people who want to work freelance, his goals for helping developers with the DevMastery newsletter, and more.

Jan 2, 2018

Bridget Kromhout is a DevOps professional with a passion for giving back to her community.

In her professional working life so far, Bridget spent 15 years as an operations engineer, and now works at Microsoft as a Principal Cloud Developer Advocate.

Her spare time is full of tech-related and volunteer activities: she leads the worldwide conference organization Devopsdays, runs community tech events in her home city of Minneapolis, co-hosts the Arrested DevOps podcast, and frequently participates in tech conferences as both a speaker and committee member.

In our conversation, Bridget talks about how she worked her way through college, what the day-to-day of being a tech advocate looks like, her experiences attending, chairing, and speaking at tech conferences, and the various side projects she's involved in to do her part in helping others.

Dec 26, 2017

Fernando Hidalgo is a self-taught data scientist who went from being a teacher’s assistant to a data scientist in just one-and-a-half years.

After studying economics in school, Fernando held a variety of jobs, unsure of what he wanted to do. One day, he started researching data science, and it captured his interest. Using trial and error, a bunch of online platforms, and a data science bootcamp, Fernando completely transformed his career path.

Now, Fernando works as a data scientist at Discovery Communications, and in his spare time helps others hack their careers at

In the episode, we talk about how Fernando started from zero to teach himself data science, what resources he used, what technologies aspiring data scientists should learn, and his tips for marketing yourself to employers or clients.

Dec 19, 2017

Josh Doody is a salary negotiation coach and author who helps software developers receive more job offers and negotiate higher salaries.

In addition to helping clients one-on-one, Josh wrote the book Fearless Salary Negotiation, which includes his best strategies and tactics for getting paid what you're worth. The principles in this book can be used by anyone, not just software developers!

Our conversation covers how Josh got inspired to pursue the art of negotiation, how to stand out during the interview and hiring process, some of his top salary negotiation strategies, and how to get promoted at your current company.


Dec 12, 2017

By day, Christine Chapman works as a software engineer at Audible, where she's been ever since leaving her previous role as a full-stack Android developer at Amazon. But her love of tech doesn't stop when she leaves the office: Christine is also passionate about giving back and spreading computer science literacy to her community.

Some of Christine's favorite organizations to get involved with are ones that make an effort to increase diversity in the tech world, like Black Girls Code, Girl Develop It, and Women’s Coding Collective. She teaches courses for Girl Develop It and volunteers at Uplift, a nonprofit dedicated to combating sexual violence online.

In our conversation, Christine talks about her early experiences studying computer science and interning in competitive programs, gives advice for a job at a company like Amazon, and encourages us all to volunteer outside our day jobs, with actionable tips for getting involved.

Dec 5, 2017

Neel Mehta is a co-author of "Swipe to Unlock: The Non-Coder's Guide to Technology and the Business Strategy Behind It." At time of this interview Neel is a senior at Harvard, studying computer science, and has held internships at Microsoft, Khan Academy, and the U.S. census bureau.

One of Neel's greatest passions is using technology for social good. He started by launching an education app with a quarter-million users while he was still in high school. More recently, he founded a civic technology nonprofit, Coding it Forward, empowering young coders to use their talents for good.

In our discussion, Neel shares what drew him to technology at a young age, how he landed his competitive internships in college, why it's important to understand technology even for professionals not in tech roles, and more.

Nov 28, 2017

Ben Collins is a spreadsheet developer, data consultant, and data analytics instructor. He blogs and creates courses at, focusing on how to work with data using Google Sheets, Apps Script, and Data Studio.

Ben has taught workshops on data analysis, as well as doing freelance and consulting work. Prior to striking out on his own, he spent seven years as a forensic accountant focusing on data analysis.

In this episode, we talk about what a data analyst does, how Ben taught himself how to code, why demand is high for data professionals right now, the tools a data analyst uses, and the first steps to take if you want to get started in the field.

If you want to step up your spreadsheet game, you can get 20% off Ben's Google Sheets Training Bundle using my affiliate/commission link at LearntoCodeWith.Me/sheets. Going through this link will automatically apply the 20% discount on this course and send a few bucks my way at no extra cost to you.

Nov 21, 2017

In just one year, Madison Kanna transitioned careers from fashion model to software engineer. She is now a fullstack developer at Conversio, and in her spare time blogs about development and life at Madison has also created a Udemy course, JavaScript For Beginners.

Listen to the episode for the story of Madison's journey from homeschooler to college dropout to fashion model to frontend and then fullstack developer. Along the way, she shares thoughts on productivity, working remotely, pursuing your passions, landing that first job, learning by teaching, and more.

Nov 14, 2017

In today’s episode I talk with Alice Zhao, a senior data scientist at Metis. We talk about her background in analytics, the importance of storytelling in data science, and her advice for anyone who wants to get into data science.

Nov 7, 2017

In this second episode of Season 4, I talk with Dr. Nicole Forsgren, the CEO and Chief Scientist at DevOps Research and Assessment. We chat about what DevOps is, the skills a DevOps career requires, and how anyone can get started in DevOps.

Oct 31, 2017

Mark Price is a mobile app developer and the CEO of Devslopes. He shares how he got into app development, what makes a successful app, and how he started teaching online.

Oct 31, 2017

Welcome to season 4 of the Learn to Code With Me podcast. In this episode, I tell you what you can expect from this season, who I’ll be talking to, and how you can keep in touch.

Aug 8, 2017

Chris Wysopal is the co-founder and chief technology officer at Veracode, where he oversees technology strategy and information security. In our conversation, he talks about challenges and career options in the field of security.

Aug 1, 2017

Anant Agarwal is a professor at MIT, as well as the founder and CEO of edX - an online learning platform founded by Harvard and MIT. We talk about how and why edX was started, trends in online learning, and Anant’s advice for high schoolers.

Jul 25, 2017

Laura Medalia is a software engineer and avid Instagram user. She majored in english, but taught herself code on the side. From college she got a job in a health tech startup. Laura shares how she crushes the coding stereotypes through her Instagram.

Jul 18, 2017

Matt Lane - the co-founder and lead instructor at Rithm School - shares how he created a coding bootcamp in San Francisco. He also gives us some great interview tips.

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