#63: Saron Yitbarek – Self-taught Engineer & Founder of CodeNewbie Podcast

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From New York to San Diego, Saron has launched one of the biggest coding podcasts called CodeNewbie. The show has over 1.4 million downloads and listened to over a hundred countries.

With a Twitter community of over 27,000 people, Saron hosts the #CodeNewbie Twitter Chat happening every Wed @9PM EST. She organizes meetups in ATL, Philly, New York, and DC. She caters to an early audience to get people to recognize that there are multiple ways to learn how to code.

Saron is also the producer of Codeland Conference, an annual event that gives a whole new light to how tech conferences should be done.


Years in Tech 4+
Lives In: San Diego, CA
Current Job Founder
Date Recorded 8/16/2017

Show Notes:

[04:48] Born in Ethiopia, Saron came to the U.S. at three. Having pharmacist-parents, Saron initially took the premed route until realizing it wasn’t for her.

[08:25] Saron’s next steps: She considered everything except engineering and ended up working at NPR fresh out of college.

[11:00] How she discovered coding: Influenced by a Steve Jobs book, Saron began exploring startups and cold-emailing CEO’s, One of her coffee dates turned into an internship that turned into a job.

[12:40] Working on the business side of startups for three years, she felt she was only giving limited value so she considered learning how to code.

[14:33] Saron describes learning to code through an MIT open course versus resources like Codecademy, Treehouse, and Codeschool.

[19:55] Saron talks about her coding experience at Flatiron School and why she created the CodeNewbie Twitter Chat which has been running since 2013.

[25:06] Saron shares her secret to building a community and why she finally decided on using the podcasting platform.

[27:50] The key to a successful job search: How Saron booked seven interviews during the last week of her bootcamp experience and finally landed a job at Microsoft.

[31:05] Sharon shares her insights into the bootcamp model and what the future holds for the system.

[37:35] What makes Codeland Conference so magical. Saron cites one of their speakers who built a research project that brought mental health and coding together

[44:50] Want some first-time bootcamp tips? Listen to CodeNewbie Episode 137 with Briana Vecchione – Intro to Data Science. Plus, some career advice from Saron!

[47:33] The power of saying things out loud: How Saron overcomes her personal challenges

Contact Info:

Saron Yitbarek

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/saronyitbarek

Twitter: @SaronYitbarek


Articles & Mentioned Resources:

Learning Resources





Code School

Flatiron School



Market Place Tech Show

Codebreakers Podcast

CodeNewbie Episode 137

Personal Projects/Partnerships:


Codeland Conference

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