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Cover image for Pixi Coding with Emily A. Pixi
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Pixi Coding with Emily A. Pixi

Relicans host Pachi Carlson interviews Emi, The Code Pixi about when and why she decided to go to a code bootcamp, Twitter as her main source of networking, starting Code Cafe, how the pandemic has made things, especially attending conferences, more accessible, and that the biggest secret in programming is that nobody ever really knows what is going on!

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Jonan Scheffler: Hello and welcome to Launchies, proudly brought to you by New Relic's developer relations team, The Relicans. The Launchies podcast is about supporting new developers and telling their stories, and helping you make the next step in what we certainly hope is a very long and healthy career in software. You can find the show notes for this episode along with all of The Relicans podcasts on We're so glad you're here. Enjoy the show.

Pachi Carlson: Hello and welcome Launchies, the podcast for newbies, developers with non-traditional backgrounds, and career-switchers. I’m Pachi. I’m a Developer and a member of New Relic’s The Relicans team. And I will be your host for today’s show. You can find me all over the internet with the handle pachicodes because I’m not a creative person. [chuckles] And today, I’m here with Emi, also known as Pixi Coder. Emi is a backend developer at Shopify, working on things like open source libraries, API documentation, and documentation generation. They come from a non-traditional background with a decade of experience in the coffee industry. It was a little step into being a developer. [chuckles] Their love for coffee and code led them to create a virtual community called Code Cafe. And it has an active Discord server with over 200 members right now, and I am one of those members. And her regular coffee shop order is 3 ounces latte with skimmed milk and an extra shot of espresso because you can never have too much espresso.

Emi Pixi: Always need more caffeine.

Pachi: Welcome, Emi. Thank you so much for coming today.

Emi: Thank you so much for having me. This is a huge honor, and I'm very flattered that you asked me to come.

Pachi: I actually met you before I met you on Twitter. You're one of the few people that I actually saw in person, and then I started stalking on Twitter. [laughter]

Emi: I feel like it goes the other way, but we actually met at Women Who Code CONNECT in New York City.

Pachi: No, the first time I saw you was in

Emi: Oh my God, you're right.

Pachi: And then I started following everybody that was there. And I started following you [laughter] So yeah, I saw you.

Emi: That’s so funny.

Pachi: I don’t talk with people. I am the shyest DevRel in the universe. Don't tell my boss that. I'm going to get better, boss, I promise. [laughter] So you came from coffee, as you made that clear. I know that you got into code a bit later, not later, but not right after high school as some people do. So, can you tell me about your background and when did you get into programming and into tech in that life of yours?

Emi: Yeah, I’m kind of like everybody else. I did a very small amount of dabbling in HTML and JavaScript,, and CSS stuff on my MySpace page. And then I didn't really conceptualize at the time that that was what programming was. I didn't think of that as computer science at all in any way. And then when I was about 25, I was disabled for a while, and I was at home all the time and I had nothing to do. And I started trying to learn to code in JavaScript on Codecademy. And I got to the module where they teach you how to write a for loop; actually, I think it was a while loop. I think that was why this happened. I was trying to write a while loop, and I did not put in any break condition, and I crashed my computer 11 times in a row, and I went well; I guess this isn't for me, and then I moved on. [laughs]

But then, when I started working in office jobs, I was in the coffee industry for a really long time because I was so sick in my early twenties. I started working in offices and doing customer service-type stuff. And I was doing customer service for a loose leaf tea company. And I worked really, really closely with the CTO because, as the customer service manager, I was being made aware basically of all of their website issues. I was the frontline for people reporting issues with the website. And so I would frequently stand over his shoulder, just watch him debug things on the website. When I came over to his desk, I was like, “Hey, something's broken,” and I started getting really interested in what he was doing. And so after I left that job, I started self-teaching with stuff like freeCodeCamp and different Udemy courses. And I originally thought I might be interested in web design or graphic design. It turns out I've absolutely no eye for design. But I really enjoyed building API as writing scripts doing that more back-end type work. I ended up going to Flatiron School in late 2019, graduated early 2020, and started my job search in March of 2020, right as the pandemic hit, which was super great. [laughs] But that's basically the full story. And then, I eventually ended up interviewing at Shopify, and I've been at Shopify since the middle of last year, around August, September.

Pachi: It’s been a while.

Emi: Yeah. It's actually close to eight or nine months now, which is crazy. Yeah, it's wild how quickly time goes by. [chuckles]

Pachi: So, when did you really believe and realize that okay, I can actually make a living; I can actually be a programmer as a career? Because I feel like lots of people have little context, especially people that are not males like, they did something when they were younger, but nobody told them that's actually a career that you could follow. And then, like you did, you played with something here and there. But when did you actually say, “Hey, I actually can do this for a living, and I like it.”?

Emi: So I had the advantage of having a couple of friends who worked in the industry, and I would go to them with issues that I was having or when I needed help debugging something. And then I had also gotten really involved in tech Twitter, obviously, and I was just talking to people a lot on there. And I realized that the thing about programming, and about coding, and the people who keep doing it, and the people who really enjoy doing it, and the people who turn it into a career, is we’re are the people where when we're working on something and something's broken, or there's a bug, we don't just go, “Ugh, this sucks,” and quit. We go, “Oh man, that's annoying. I want to figure it out and fix it.” And I realized that every time something was difficult or confusing or hard to get through, I was more motivated to figure it out and more motivated to find solutions. And then, through talking to people I knew who were already in the industry, they were like, “That is the main characteristic that you need to have to be successful in this industry.” It’s that drive to solve problems and not quit because something's difficult or confusing. So I think when I realized that I kept wanting to do it even though it was difficult, that was when I realized that it was something that I was really committed to.

Pachi: That's great. Those bugs won’t solve themselves. You said you did a little bit of Codecademy, and then you stopped, and you did other things. So how did you decide what you're going to learn first? Like, there are a lot of things out there, especially if you’re self-studying; there is so much. Did you just start googling stuff, or how did you choose it?

Emi: I think it was built on different contexts. So I started with Codecademy, and when I went on Codecademy, they gave you suggestions of things to start learning. And so, I just defaulted to learning JavaScript because I at least knew what JavaScript was. Even though I didn't know anything about it, I knew what it was, and I knew what it was for. And so that made it feel slightly more approachable for me and not so confusing. I don't think I would have launched right into learning something like Ruby or Python or something like that. And then, when I came back to trying to learn a couple of years later, I started with a Udemy course that was basically how to build a website from start to finish. And so it takes you through the whole process of setting up HTML and CSS and JavaScript and making things interactive, and making a basic static website. And so that was also a really good foundation of incrementally building something from the smallest pieces to more complex and more complex.

And then, I ended up focusing on the freeCodeCamp curriculum for a long time because they give you a curriculum, which is amazing. [laughter] I got to a point where I was like, I don't know what I don't know, and I need someone to tell me what to study. And when I found freeCodeCamp, I was like, this is the ultimate best resource for somebody who's starting from nothing because you literally can start from nothing and they will just build and build and build. And everything about their curriculum is designed to build on what you've already done. So you will go through their whole Responsive Web Design program, which has all the HTML and all the CSS and that kind of stuff. And then, you move on to their JavaScript data structures and algorithms. And that gives you all of the stuff that you're going to see in an annoying interview code challenge, which is amazing. So that was a really great setup into the bootcamp curriculum that I did. And then I ended up learning Ruby and React, and I felt like I could tell I had an advantage when I got there, having gone through all of that freeCodeCamp curriculum because there were people who had a lot more difficult of a time with some of the JavaScript content when we got to it. And I could tell that I benefited a lot from the freeCodeCamp stuff. So honestly, I'm freeCodeCamp’s biggest fan. [chuckles] I will just talk about them forever.

Pachi: They can sponsor us, yeah.

Emi: When I got my job, I started donating to freeCodeCamp. I give them like 20 bucks a month or something. You can do different -- I think you could do as little as a dollar if you wanted to. They have a prompt that comes up on their website. But I was like, I owe them basically everything.

Pachi: [laughs]

Emi: So I just throw them money every once in a while.

Pachi: When or why did you decide to go to a code bootcamp?

Emi: That had a lot to do with not knowing what I don't know. I got to a point where I wanted to build things that were more interesting or more difficult, and I realized I had no idea what to look for. I didn't know what the gaps in my knowledge were, and there was no way for me to figure that out. Like, you just don't know what you don't know. And so I needed a regimented curriculum where someone was going to be like, “Here are all of the things that you need to know to actually get a job in this industry. Here's how they all fit together. Here are the definitions of all of these really confusing things that make no sense.” And I also really benefited from the structured aspect of being accountable to somebody all the time. The difference between something like a Udemy course or freeCodeCamp, where you're doing it on your own is that you're only accountable to yourself. Whereas signing up for a bootcamp, there were classes I needed to show up to a couple of times a week. There were lectures I needed to show up to a couple of times a week. I had a one-on-one with my instructor a couple of times a week, and it just made me have more accountability in what I was working on. And that was the motivation that I really needed.

Pachi: That makes a huge difference. I have thought about going to a code bootcamp too many times, but I never did.

Emi: [laughs]

Pachi: So you got your first job last year. How long ago was it from the end of the bootcamp to getting a job?

Emi: So I graduated technically the first week of April 2020, and I started my job search pretty much almost immediately. Because of the pandemic, I took it a little slow in the beginning, and my focus was totally on networking and just getting referrals from people that I knew mostly through Twitter. So I started really ramping up in the middle to end of April. And then my first interview with Shopify, I think, was in the beginning of June. And I signed the contract for my job on the last day of July so basically from the beginning of April to the end of July. And I was actively interviewing with other places until I signed with Shopify. So April, May, June, four months, basically. It was actually not too bad. [laughs]

Pachi: I thought it was longer. I don’t know; everything last year felt weird.

Emi: It felt like a decade. It felt so long especially because of the pandemic, I think. The thing about my job search is that I went hard. I had probably ten different conversations a week. It wasn't like I was casually interviewing, or I was only having a few interviews at a time. I was in the middle of four or five different interview processes that I then had to bow out of after I signed with Shopify. I had to be like, “Ah, never mind, sorry.” [laughs]

Pachi: But you were just working as a job searcher basically.

Emi: Yeah. I treated it like a full-time job, pretty much.

Pachi: And it worked out pretty good for you. So what did you feel made a big positive difference in getting the job or the interview process? What is your tip for people looking for their first job?

Emi: Definitely networking. I'm giving a networking talk that I gave last summer for Egghead in a couple of days. I think that networking is the biggest thing that you can do to have an advantage, especially if you're underrepresented or you're from a non-traditional background. I don't have a computer science degree. I barely have a college degree. My resume gets auto rejected immediately, or at least it did when I was looking for my first job. I definitely would have an easier time now. But if you don't have a lot of job history, networking is really the best thing to do because you just meet people and make friends, and then they help you out. If you can get an internal referral somewhere, it makes a huge, huge, huge difference.

Pachi: And was Twitter your main source of networking?

Emi: Twitter, definitely. Twitter was the most -- just because I already had a network on Twitter. I knew a lot of people. I was really active. But I also had Discord communities that I was in. And then if there were specific companies I was really interested in, I would reach out to people on LinkedIn, but LinkedIn is harder because not as many people are actively...unless they're actively looking for work or they're actively trying to engage with people who are looking for work, a lot of people aren't super active on LinkedIn. So I was able to have better contact with people through Twitter. But LinkedIn was good. If there was a specific company I was interested in, I would just pick out a couple of people who were in hiring roles or in the role that I was interested in being in. And I would just send them a message and be like, “Hey, you have the job that I want. Want to tell me about it?” [laughter]

Pachi: Yeah, it’s like making friends.

Emi: Yeah, treating it like making a new friend is probably the easiest way to go about it because if you make it a lot about what they can give you or do for you, it's awkward, and people don't want to interact with you. But if you're just like, “Hey, we're in the same industry, and what you do seems really cool,” basically, if you vibe with somebody, they're going to want to help you get a job. It's going to work that way.

Pachi: Yes. Sometimes I see people on Twitter, and they’re looking for jobs, and people are like, “Hey, I want to give you a job. But I don’t have a job. But I do want to give you a job. If I had a company, you’d be hired right now.”

Emi: [laughs] Yeah, I think that's the thing that people forget is everybody wants to help other people. People are really excited about the idea that they can help somebody get a better job than they have now.

Pachi: Especially in tech, you have to know the right people.

Emi: Yeah, absolutely.

Pachi: If you know the right people, you talk, and you listen to them right now.

Emi: Oh yeah.

Pachi: So you have been on Spotify for almost nine months now, right?

Emi: Shopify.

Pachi: Shopify, I’m sorry.

Emi: [laughs] I typed my own email address as Spotify the other day, so don’t feel bad about it. [laughs]

Pachi: So, what were the biggest challenges in your first job, like in the first month?

Emi: Oh gosh. I think at Shopify, part of it is that Shopify is huge and Shopify is growing really, really rapidly. So the engineering team has doubled in the past year or something, crazy. So a lot of what was really hard at Shopify was that there are just so many different things to get context on, and things that you need to learn, and internal practices, and where documentation lives, and how to find answers to questions, and where to find proprietary information when it is located all over the place, that was really challenging. And then I think also because I'm remote and because we're in the middle of a pandemic and so everybody's remote. And I work for a Canadian company, and I live in the United States, so I'm always going to be remote. Something that was a big adjustment was that I had to be really proactive if I needed help or if I wanted to be more hands-on or pair with somebody or whatever was going on. You're not in an office with other people where other people can check up on you. And most of the time, people aren't going to reach out and check up on you. You have to reach out if you need help with stuff and that was something that I was not good at, but I have gotten better at. And you have to just be okay with the vulnerability of reaching out to people or in an entire Slack channel and just being like, “Hey, I'm confused,” or “I don't know where to find X, Y, Z.” That was difficult, to just have that vulnerability of being like, I'm new, and I'm confused all the time. [laughs]

Pachi: I don’t know what I’m doing.

Emi: Yes. And what's nice, though, is there are plenty of people that are not as new as I am who were maybe around six months to a year when I started who even now are like, “I never know what I'm doing.” They're like, “We're all just figuring it out together. It's fine.” And it's nice having people who are really real about that and just being like, “Yeah, it's fine. We're all confused.”

Pachi: That’s the biggest secret in programming; nobody knows what is going on.

Emi: Yeah, no one knows what's going on. We all just use Google. It's fine. That's the secret: is that we're not smarter than anybody. We have better Google-Fu. [laughter]

Pachi: You just really want it so hard. So we talked about networking. And you had Code Cafe that didn't start as an online thing, right?

Emi: Right.

Pachi: In the beginning, it was New Jersey Cafe. When did you start that? What was the idea behind that when you started?

Emi: I actually started Code Cafe before I started the bootcamp that I went to. It was while I was still applying to different bootcamp programs and figuring out what I wanted to do, but it was when I realized that I wanted to commit and have tech as a career. I was spending a lot of my time online in different communities and on Twitter and stuff. And I just wanted tangible tech friends and people I could hang out with in real life. So I think that was probably the summer of 2019, maybe before that. But for a while, it was just me. And then, for a while, it was me and one other person. And then for a while, it was me and two other people and then three other people and then four other people. And then, at our last meetup, before we stopped being able to see people in real life, we had, I think, a dozen people just at one table in a cafe, which was so cool and so fun. But I really wanted to be able to…not even just for networking purposes but just to make friends. I just wanted to tech friends, and so I just made them come to me.

Pachi: [chuckles]

Emi: I was like, “Hey, come hang out with me and drink coffee. We all can bring our laptops and sit silently and work on projects together.” And it worked out great. [chuckles]

Pachi: But then COVID happened, and you had to change everything.

Emi: Yeah. We tried having a slack community for a while, but it was not ideal. Slack is much more enterprise. It was much more business-designed. And so then I saw other people using Discord for various things. And so I tried Discord out, and Discord worked out so much better. And after we made the Discord community, the quantity of people who were in Code Cafe just ballooned. And now it just boggles my mind how many people are in Code Cafe.

Pachi: Great.

Emi: It's amazing. It intimidates me sometimes because I feel very responsible for everyone. And it's like they're my little code babies, but everyone in Code Cafe is the nicest people you'll ever meet. So it worked out really well.

Pachi: What do you do to engage? Because when you started, it was just you and a few friends that you know in person, and now you have 200 people. What do you do to make sure you know who is there and they know you?

Emi: I think I just make it part of my routine. And also, I'm extroverted and outgoing, and I need people to pay attention to me all the time. [laughter] So I'm just always on Discord being like, “Hey, how's it going? What are you working on? What are you doing?” And also it comes and goes. So I've put a lot of effort into having a really good group of moderators who are really committed and understand that the point of the community isn't necessarily like, we're not code bros. We're not pushing a specific technology. We're not necessarily there to always talk about technology stuff. Honestly, the conversation has become less technology-focused because of the pandemic. It's like a nice place for people to just hang out. But we also have a focus on being really non-judgmental. So I think people are really comfortable asking questions and getting help with stuff too, which is nice. So I think leading by example and being like, “Hey, I'm confused about a thing. Does anybody know what this thing is?” And then sharing different projects that I worked on and sharing links to things and that kind of stuff. If you just start doing the things that you want other people in the community to do, they'll just take after you essentially I think. And then the nice thing about Discord is that they have all of the audio channels that you can hang out with and talk to people, and you can do video and all kinds of stuff. So it is really naturally inclined to encouraging activity, which is nice.

Pachi: It's great. I spend too much time on Discord.

Emi: Same.

Pachi: Just being quiet in the voice channel, just co-working.

Emi: That's actually one of my favorite things to do, honestly.

Pachi: It is. So, how do you think Code Cafe is going to grow?

Emi: Oh gosh. [chuckles]

Pachi: If we ever go back to getting out the house, do you think you’re going to keep growing, or are you going to stop? What do you think?

Emi: I don't know because I would really like to get back to being able to have in-person events. But I feel like the concept of the community has changed so much since now; it’s not just a local thing. It's like, there are people all over the place. Like, we have a bunch of people who are in the UK, actually, which is really awesome. So we'll see. I would like to do more structured online events where we have presentations and talks or maybe classes like workshops kind of stuff. That would be really cool. So maybe something along those lines in the future. But we'll see. It depends on what I have time for. [laughs]

Pachi: Time. And one thing I admire about you is you’re very active on Twitter. But sometimes it’s like, you know what? I don’t have the energy for this right now. So you close your Twitter, and you’re going to come back a while later and say, “Hey, I’m back.” So, do you think it’s really important to have this boundary for yourself and just close out your socials when you need to?

Emi: Oh God, absolutely. Yeah. I took a month off Twitter recently because of everything about everything going on in the world. I was just so overwhelmed. And I felt like every time I opened Twitter; I was just depressed, honestly. You become inundated with just all of the bullshit and all of the sadness and all of the bad things that are happening that it just drowns out all of the good. And I think it's really important to maintaining your mental health and protecting your mental health to understand when certain things are affecting it and being able to disengage. And I think social media also gives people the idea that they need to do or be or believe certain things. And I think removing that pressure from yourself can be really important. I was definitely getting into a place where I was just playing the comparison game and comparing myself to other people's best versions of themselves because that's all that people put on social media: “I wrote a book, I got a promotion, I'm getting married, I make a million dollars,” whatever it is. And I definitely was in a cycle of comparing myself to other people and being down on myself. And I was like, you know what? I need a break. I just logged out. I didn't touch Twitter for a month, and I felt so much better. So I highly recommend a Twitter vacation if you've been feeling bummed out by social media. Instagram is really bad for me too. I'm not as active on Instagram in terms of posting. But I spend a lot of time on Instagram, and Instagram is toxic.

Pachi: Actually, I prefer Instagram, but I’m not a big Instagrammer because I have to take pictures and post the pictures.

Emi: [laughs] That's why I'm not active on there. I'm like, I am rarely presentable enough to look in the mirror. You don't need to be taking selfies all the time.

Pachi: I have to because of the stream. But even in the stream, it’s like um...maybe some makeup, I don’t know.

Emi: I feel like all of my co-workers will be really shocked if they ever see me in person because all they see is me with no makeup and my pajamas. And if I ever have to go to the office for an event or something, I will look like a put-together human being, and I don't think they'll recognize me.

Pachi: That's very interesting. We have a co-worker, Ali, that asks everybody, “How tall are you?” Like, I’m tall, you know.[laughs]

Emi: I always wonder that.

Pachi: “Are you tall? Are you not? You don’t know?”

Emi: [laughs]

Pachi: I just think if you started working last year, all your co-workers, you have no clue. Even if they tell you exactly how tall they are, like numbers, sometimes the brain doesn’t really know unless they’re exactly as tall as I am. I don’t know; I cannot really think about it. So once we see people in person, that’s going to be quite interesting. “Hey, you’re taller than I pictured.”

Emi: Yeah. I'm tiny. And I think I default to assuming that everyone is about my size. And I found out really recently that one of my co-workers is a full foot taller than me. [laughter] And I was like, “Wow. I have only ever seen you from the waist up in Google Meet meetings. I had no idea.”

Pachi: Like, they do have a body outside that. We don’t know. [chuckles]

Emi: Yeah, no one I work with has legs. They just don't exist.

Pachi: That's so funny to think about how everything changed from normal to less normal, I guess.

Emi: [chuckles] Yeah.

Pachi: And people say, “When things go back to normal,” but I think the normal is not the normal.

Emi: Yeah. And honestly, I get bummed out when people say that because it's like when people talk about oh, the good old days, and it's like, was it really that great? Like, do we really want to go back to that? Maybe we should just make a newer, better version of things. I want the newer, better version of reality, please and thank you.

Pachi: I’m pretty happy staying at home. [laughter]

Emi: Honestly, I do enjoy some things about the pandemic that are a positive thing or that a lot more things are way more accessible now. And I feel like we also respect people's mental health needs a lot more, and there's just a lot more empathy happening. And I will be very, very sad if and when a lot of that goes away.

Pachi: Yes. I don't know. I personally think that we can’t go back to that. Let's take, for example, the conferences that were online this year, and they got new people to be there because it was online. So I guess it’s going to be a mix of online and offline, like a hybrid. We’ll find out next year if we’re still here and meteors are not falling.

Emi: [laughs] We’ll see.

Pachi: We’ll see. Pay attention. But it feels like things are slowing down.

Emi: Yeah, hopefully. Fingers crossed.

Pachi: I see that some conferences are planning to actually happen in person.

Emi: Yeah, I've seen that. What's funny is I've seen that, and then I feel like I've seen -- and maybe it's just I'm in my bubble of people who behave the way that I would behave. But I feel like I see that these conferences are happening in person, and everyone that I know who would otherwise go to that conference they're like, “No, I'm waiting until next year.” I can't imagine that, the turnout is not going to be great. I feel like it's not going to be worth it to have it in person because so many people are just not going to go.

Pachi: Yes. It's just people are still afraid. And nobody knows how things are because you don’t–– but can you still carry it? Like, how does it work?

Emi: Like, I'm fully vaccinated, thank God, very privileged, very happy. But I'm still like, I really want to go visit a friend of mine who lives in California because she is also fully vaccinated, but I am not comfortable with the idea of traveling yet. I'm just not comfortable with the idea of getting on a plane. And part of it is I am not comfortable with the risk that I might put other people at. I'm not comfortable in that me doing that is almost like encouraging that behavior and everybody else. I don't want to take part in something that I don't think people should generally be doing. So it's probably better to stay home.

Pachi: Yeah, that’s my to-go thing. Stay home. [chuckles] But yes, hopefully. I’ve gone to three conferences in my life. I miss those three conferences I went to.

Emi: Honestly, I feel like I've been to more tech events since March of 2020 because they're all online. They're just so much more accessible. There are a lot of events I feel like I wouldn't go to because I wouldn't have the stamina for a week-long conference with talks all day long. So being able to attend a whole conference on my couch is pretty great.

Pachi: Yeah, for me, it doesn't work because my ADHD doesn’t like ---

Emi: Oh yeah, I struggle with that too.

Pachi: I try so hard. But then I just think about my cats.

Emi: [laughs]

Pachi: I actually think about the cat food. So I just have the food for cats website open. And then when I see it, I just get lost on the conference part.

Emi: I definitely have that.

Pachi: But it’s more accessible and people from all over like -- But right now it’s just in English and English -- I gave my first talk this year, and it was in a Brazilian conference that I wouldn’t been talking there if it wasn’t online.

Emi: Great.

Pachi: So yeah, happy talking to you. And my last question, not a question, but what are your top tips for code newbies out there that are starting, or they haven't even started yet, but they want to get into programming?

Emi: Wow. Okay. So tips, I think one thing is definitely to find community or people that will support you while you're learning. If you can find someone who's at least slightly further ahead at learning than you are, even if it's only one person, having somebody that you can go to and be like, “I'm confused,” and get help from is really amazing. And also, for me being on Twitter and active in the tech community on Twitter, I have made a bunch of people my mentors, and they just don't know it. Being able to learn from the wisdom of others via social media has been really incredible. So getting involved in tech Twitter or on or joining Discord communities, getting involved with other people who do what you want to do or are learning similar things, having a community is really helpful.

And then I think also giving yourself some kindness in that what you're learning is really difficult and really confusing. And you're going to have times where you spend hours and hours debugging something, and it turns out that you made a typo or you were missing a semicolon or a curly brace somewhere, and that's fine because I've been working in my job for almost nine months, and I still make all of those mistakes. There are people I know who've been working in this industry for nine years, and they still make a lot of those mistakes. It happens to everybody. It's totally fine.

And then the other thing that is an actual tip is to keep some sort of learning journal so that you can look back when you're having imposter syndrome and being like, I don't know anything, and I'm bad at everything. And you can look back at the very little that you knew a week ago or a month ago or six months ago or a year ago, and then compare where you are now and remind yourself that you're actually learning, and you're actually advancing and doing really well, keeping track of what you've learned, even if it's just historical Git repos. And you look back at the garbage that you wrote a year ago, being able to see that progress is huge and will help keep perspective of where you're at and also just keep trying to build things. You can follow tutorials, and you can follow courses and stuff online, but if you don't build your own stuff, you're going to have a harder time feeling independent and feeling like you really know your stuff. So if you have an idea for anything, just build the minimum viable version of it, build whatever version of it you can with what you know right now, and then you can always iterate on it later.

Pachi: I’m totally guilty of that.

Emi: Me too. [laughs]

Pachi: So many tutorials, oh dear. I have unfinished tutorials, too. Thank you, Emi, for coming to talk to me today. That was great.

Emi: Thank you, Pachi, for having me. This was great.

Pachi: I'm really happy. And tell us, where can people find you online?

Emi: I'm @TheCodePixi everywhere. So it's TheCodePixi with no e at the end, just P-I-X-I, on Twitter, on GitHub, on My website, which is currently being updated, is And I am giving an Egghead talk soon, which may be in the past by the time you listen to this, which is fine. It'll still be there. So come talk to me on Twitter. That's where I am most of the time.

Pachi: Yeah. And they're going to see, I think, in the link for the Discord channel.

Emi: Yeah, absolutely. I'll make you an exclusive link. What I try to do is when I do an event, I'll make a link with a limited number of uses but with no expiration date. So I'll get you an exclusive invitation link.

Pachi: Now I feel special. [laughter] Thanks again. It was a pleasure talking to you today --

Emi: Thank you, Pachi.

Pachi: See, I am on a podcast, and I cannot speak.

Emi: [laughs]

Pachi: But it’s awesome. You can do it. And thank you for listening.

Jonan: Thank you so much for joining us. We really appreciate it. You can find the show notes for this episode along with all of the rest of The Relicans podcasts on In fact, most anything The Relicans get up to online will be on that site. We'll see you next week. Take care.

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