Welcome back to another one of these subscriber spotlight articles. This time, I’m featuring Anders Rydholm!
If you’d like the opportunity to have an article like this written about you, head on over to Patreon and join one of my subscription tiers. After that, you can fill out the survey, and I’ll get straight to writing one of these articles.
Table of Contents
Today, we’ll get the chance to meet Anders Rydholm, one of my longtime supporters. In fact, Anders is currently one of my only supporters that I don’t know personally. Based on some of their answers to this survey, there might be a few opportunities to grow this relationship a little bit.
At any rate, as a bit of a refresher, each of my Patreon subscribers has the opportunity to fill out a survey which I use to generate these articles. Of course, the survey looks a little different depending on how you fill it out. In this case, Anders self-identified as someone learning to code everyday.
In the following sections, we’ll take a look at the responses.
To kick off the survey, I like to ask a few introductory questions which you can find below in bold.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hello, my name is Anders Rydholm. I run TypeTrail Media, a digital marketing agency from Mankato, MN. For a while I’ve been interested in learning about technology relating to web design, marketing, and advertising. It would also be fair to say that I’m obsessed with SEO. I would describe myself as belonging to a generation that, “had to live without the internet for a little bit,” and, “was the first to be able to learn to code for free,” by using open educational resources online. In 2012 I made a new years resolution to learn to code. There was no formal curriculum at my University so I googled resources and started with Khan Academy and Codecademy, and later used many other resources including Free Code Camp, Treehouse, Udemy, and Lynda.com.
How did you find The Renegade Coder?
I found The Renegade Coder on Twitter while working through the #100DaysOfCode challenge. Jeremy is constantly keeping up to date on the latest technologies, which is something I relate to and admire. There is a lot more to running an agency than just coding, and The Renegade Coder touches on a lot of topics I find interesting. I’d say it took me well over a decade to adequately learn the skills to be an expert in my field, and I still continue to learn and perfect my skills every day while I search for better solutions to different projects with help from resources on The Renegade Coder.
Why did you decide to become a paid subscriber?
I’m a creator myself, and I know how much time, particularly unpaid time, goes into putting together a website like The Renegade Coder, and the value extremely outweighs the cost of support, so I became a Patreon subscriber and I highly recommend subscribing to The Renegade Coder for the exclusive content and other awesome benefits, but I mostly subscribe to support the time and energy put into creating The Renegade Coder. I would really like it to be sustainable and I’d also like to be a part of the growing community.
New Coder Questions
In the next phase of the survey, Anders said they were learning to code. That said, I wouldn’t say they’re a new coder. Instead, they seem to have a positive relationship with the code (i.e. learning something new every day). As a result, I decided to ask them a few questions about their learning process.
How has The Renegade Coder helped you learn to code?
I think data science will play a giant role in the IT industry over the next thirty years, so I’ve been particularly interested in learning Python. I’ve personally found the videos and downloads on The Renegade Coder useful, maybe one day The Renegade Coder will solve the riddle of why Richard Hendricks codes in Python and prefers tabs over spaces! I am absolutely a fan of everything The Renegade Coder is doing as far as teaching others to learn to code.
What is one tip you’d give to anyone interested in learning to code?
It’s a long never ending road, so just start immediately. The old saying that, “the best time to start was five years ago, the second best time to start is today,” is true. Also don’t get discouraged if you are confused, because you need to immerse yourself for a long time where it seems like nothing makes sense and everything is just way over your head before a things will start to fall in place. Once you get the hang of it, a lot of the separate parts of a framework will start coming together and it’s an awesome experience when you reach a moment where things just click and you suddenly have a new valuable skill set to add to your expertise.
Everyday Coder Questions
In the following section of the survey, I asked Anders to tell me whether or not they wrote code every day. As it turns out, they do! Naturally, I then asked about some of their coding projects and how my website helps them out. Then, I asked them to share some advice for folks who might want to do what they’re doing.
What sort of coding projects do you work on?
I do a lot of web development projects, so I work on custom WooCommerce websites, and I also create a lot of marketing emails. I’m also a big fan of writing programming scripts and solving data problems. Using programming to make sense of data for analytics purposes, and making the complicated operations in that process as easy and as automated as possible.
How has The Renegade Coder changed the way you approach those projects?
I’ve progressed more from front-end developer to full-stack developer. The days of creating complete desktop, tablet, and mobile comps in PhotoShop are gone. Web developers are now owning more of the design process that designers used to own anyway. Getting websites and progressive web apps into the browser as soon as possible and baking responsiveness into that process is now more often one person’s job, and that presents a highly rewarding challenge for anyone that can acquire the full stack developer skill set.
What advice do you have for people looking to get involved in the same type of projects?
I’m cautious about this advice being evergreen or how it will age over time, but for web developers I would recommend learning WordPress, that could change and you have to adapt. For software engineers, pick a technology stack suited to the projects you will be working on. There are a lot of flavor of the month programming languages and frameworks, get a foundation in a few languages so you can see the similarities and shared concepts between between them. Then master the plain (aka vanilla) languages most suited to you and specialize in the frameworks where you can complete rewarding projects. There are different languages for web development and programming, so I think getting a sense of the technology stack or learning path that you are going to pursue from the beginning is a really smart idea.
What is your go-to programming language and why?
Any additional tips you want to share?
It’s really two tips, but it’s kind of one tip because actually they are connected. Number one is start immediately and number two is don’t give up. I believe a strong desire to learn along with persistent determination is the main contributing factor to success, it’s rare to hear a programmer say, “I was very comfortable when I started out and I never wanted to give up, after a few months I knew this was something I could do.” The story I commonly hear is, “I was met with a lot of obstacles, and I kept trying until I found the solution, over time it got easier and it was definitely worth it, enduring the pain upfront to learn the skills to get to where I am today.”
Finally, I asked Anders to share their thoughts on The Renegade Coder. Then, I gave them the floor to share whatever they wanted.
What is your favorite article on The Renegade Coder and why?
5 Great Strategies For Learning to Code is my favorite. When I first started out, I got stuck a lot, all I wanted was to find someone who could point me in the right direction, and there were a lot of pitfalls to avoid. Each generation now has incredible access to resources compared to the previous one, but a nudge in the right direction is still the number one thing I wish was more available for someone new who is interested in learning to code.
What is one thing you would like to see more of on The Renegade Coder?
I’m a big fan of The Renegade Coder YouTube channel, I really enjoy watching the videos. I would like to see that series continue to get made. I hope to one day have my own video channel with guests, it would be great to do a hangout and get to ask The Renegade Coder a few questions some time.
Do you have any shameless plugs for the community?
Thanks for Subscribing!
And with that, I just have to say thanks! I really appreciate all your support, Anders. Perhaps, we could hop on a call to kick off your YouTube series soon! Also, it looks like I need to start watching Silicon Valley.
For everyone else, if you’d like to be featured in one of these articles, you’re welcome to head over to Patreon to join the community. I’m happy to write as many of these articles as I get patrons, so feel free to make me very, very busy.
Also, if there are any questions you’d like to see on this survey, feel free to share them in the comments. I’m sure Anders (as well as Robert) wouldn’t mind following up on them!
As much as I love to write, I don't read nearly as much as I should. That's why when I recommend an article, you should probably check it out.
If you're looking to learn some Python, I have plenty of practice problems to get you started.