Resources for learning to code and what makes a “real” programmer anyway?

I’ve been slacking on my own personal journey to learn programming. This week has inspired me though to get back on the horse and keep it moving! In case anyone is in the same rut, here are some motivational resources that I found.


Our latest issue is out! Data collection, processing, and analysis are in the background of many activities we take for granted. This issue explores how we work with data, keep it useful over time, and understand its civic importance.

Preorder The Responsible Communication Style Guide! It covers how to write about five key topics: race, gender, sexuality, religion, and health and well-being.


Greater Than Code Episode 024: Seeing Programming Where Other People Don’t with Felienne Hermans: Teaching programming as a language, what constitutes “real” programming, and digital literacy were only some of the topics touched during this awesome episode.

The Frontside Podcast Episode 063: 63: Growing New Developers with Saron Yitbarek: Saron Yitbarek talks about the CodeNewbie Community, the upcoming Codeland Conference in New York City, and helping junior developers move up in the programming world.


I’ve been a developer for six weeks. These are the code school skills I actually use.: This article by Ashly LaMarr covers how to read code, how to focus among a gazillion distractions, how to learn and ask questions, riding the emotional rollercoaster of dev work, and how to talk to complete strangers.

In your community, online and in the classroom: Learn to code with these resources: A wonderful aggregated list that puts all the coding resources (complete with descriptions!) on one page.

The best career decision I ever made: I’ve been in a similar situation where I was left jobless and scared. Coding is an invaluable skill that if you put in the work to pick up, will give you opportunities that you never knew existed.

Conference Talk of the Week:

This talk is part of our “Favorite Talks” YouTube Playlist. Check it out and subscribe! 

“What Makes a Coder?” by Omoju Miller

What are truck drivers going to do in the age of driverless cars? Omoju Miller’s work puts forward the idea that we can scale adult technical education for workforce readiness while leveraging that opportunity to equalize participation.

Upcoming Events:

All conferences have been screened and abide by clear and strict Codes of Conduct.

React London:
Tuesday, March 28th: London, England

MagmaConf: (Save 30% Now! Includes conference, housing & meals)
Wednesday, March 29th – Friday, March 31st: Manzanillo, Colima Mexico

Render Conference: A 2-day conference for front-end developers – Scholarships Available! Apply by January 13th, 2017.
Thursday, March 30th – Friday, March 31st: Oxford, UK

Saturday, April 1st: London, England

DjangoCon Europe – Financial Assistance Available! Apply by January 16th, 2017.
Monday, April 3rd – Friday, April 7th: Florence, Italy

An Event Apart: Seattle – Three Days of Design, Code, and Content:
Monday, April 3rd – Wednesday, April 5th: Seattle, Washington

Women Techmakers Montreal:
Saturday, April 8th – Sunday, April 9th: Montreal, Canada

Codeland (a CodeNewbie Conference):
Friday, April 21st – Saturday, April 22nd: New York City

Capital Go Language Conference:
Monday, April 24th – Tuesday, April 25th: Washington D.C.

Wonder Woman Tech: London
Thursday, April 27th – Friday, April 28th: London, England

DrupalCon – Scholarship Opportunities Available! Apply.
Monday, April 24th – Friday, April 28th: Baltimore, Maryland

csv,conf,v3: A community conference for data makers everywhere
Tuesday, May 2nd – Wednesday, May 3rd: Portland, Oregon

DevOpsDays Austin:
Thursday, May 4th – Friday, May 5th: Austin, Texas

!!Con: The Joy, Excitement, and Surprise of Computing
Saturday, May 6th – Sunday, May 7th: New York City

Salt Lake City DevOpsDays:
Tuesday, May 16th – Wednesday, May 17th: Salt Lake City, Utah

Continuous Lifecycle London: DevOps, Continuous Delivery, and Containerization
Wednesday, May 17th – Friday, May 19th: London

Wednesday, May 17th – Thursday, May 25th: Portland, Oregon

Friday, May 19th – Saturday, May 20th: Detroit, Michigan

Monday, May 22nd – Wednesday, May 24th: Austin, Texas

Monitorama: An Open Source Monitoring Conference & Hackathon
Monday, May 22nd – Wednesday, May 24th: Portland, Oregon

PHP[tek]: The Premier PHP Conference
Wednesday, May 24th – Friday, May 26th: Atlanta, Georgia

Music City Code:
Thursday, June 1st – Saturday, June 3rd: Nashville, Tennessee

CircleCityCon 4.0:
Friday, June 9th – Sunday, June 11th: Indianapolis, Indiana

O’Reilly’s Fluent Conference: Building a Better Web
Monday, June 19th – Thursday, June 22nd: San Jose, California

O’Reilly’s Velocity Conference: Build Resilient Distributed Systems
Monday, June 19th – Thursday, June 22nd: San Jose, California

We RISE Women in Tech Conference: Super Early Bird Tickets Available until March 12th!
Friday, June 23rd – Saturday, June 24th: Atlanta Georgia

GopherCon: The Largest Go Conference in the World
Wednesday, July 12th – Saturday, July 15th: Denver, CO

Kansas City Developer Conference:
Thursday, August 3rd – Friday, August 4th: Kansas City, Missouri

Wednesday, August 23rd – Saturday, August 26th: Portland, Oregon

Call For Proposals:

GORUCO 2017 – Closes March 28th 11:59 EDT
All Things Open – Closes March 28th
Øredev – Closes March 31st
Open Source Bridge – Closes March 31st
Code(her) Conference – Closes March 31st
7in7 Digital Nomad Conference: Closes in April
We RISE Women in Tech Conference – Closes April 01, 2017 02:59 EDT (Offers Travel Assistance!)
360|AnDev – Closes April 7th
DjangoCon – Closes April 11th, 08:00 EDT
EuRuKo – Closes April 14th
ZendCon – Closes April 14th, 11:59 UTC
NCDevCon – Closes April 14th (Offers Hotel Accommodations!)
PyCon CZ – Closes April 17th (Financial Assistance Available!)
Write/Speak/Code – Closes April 23rd, 19:00 EDT
LISA17 – Closes April 24th, 11:50 PDT
Wonder Woman Tech – Long Beach: Closes June 1st; Washington DC: Closes September 15th

Do you know an upcoming conference or CFP that should be included? Email leads to

Want to hear more?

Mandy Moore, also known around the Internets as @therubyrep, is a podcast production expert, mother of orange tabbies, and sucker for bad reality television. She adores her 7-year-old daughter, Reese’s peanut butter cups, and sitting around fire pits while listening to country music. She is a huge advocate for STEM education and women in technology.