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Name: Libby Atwater

Role: Junior Web Developer

Why do you love what you do?

For me, it’s the combination of creativity and opportunity to learn something new. There are so many different ways to solve a problem, and every project requires you to pick up a new skill, whether it’s adding to the knowledge of something you’re already familiar with, or getting to learn a new language or tool. You’re always growing, and that’s part of what drew me to tech in the first place.

I also love it because it’s an opportunity to create something that can have a positive impact on peoples’ lives. When you think of all the apps you use in a day, the websites you visit, and how they add value to your life, it’s pretty cool to get to be a part of that as a career.

Favorite food?

I have to pick just one?! Probably breakfast food (at ANY time of day).

You’re a self taught developer, what was your “aha” moment when you knew you were on the right path?

I was building a National Parks Quiz using JavaScript. Up until that point, I had been following along with tutorials and just reading about code like “How to use template literals” and “Tips for Clean Code”. This was the first project where not only did I write all of the code myself (instead of using a tutorial as a template), but I also was able to figure out the problems when I got stuck. I was so excited and proud to have created something from top to bottom and that’s when I knew I was going in the right direction.

Fun Fact?

I am an avid collector of terrible Dad jokes, and I’ve done multiple RAGBRAIs (Register’s Annual Ride Across Iowa).

What made you decide to join We Write Code?

I have a friend who used to work here, and she had nothing but amazing things to say about WWC so I knew it had to go on the list when I was ready to start interviewing.

Do you have any tips for someone who is also on the path of becoming a self taught dev?

Portfolios are your friend, and don’t let application rejections stop you from applying. Portfolios show that you have put in the work, and can actually produce something. Even if you feel that your projects “aren’t good enough” or “too simple”, they’re still something you put time and effort into, and you should be proud of that. As for applying for your first coding job, be prepared to hear the word “No” frequently, but try not to take it personally. There are a LOT of reasons why a company may choose not to move forward with you, and often it can have absolutely nothing to do with you personally.

What hobbies and activities do you do outside of work?

Travel, biking, cooking, reading, salsa dancing. I love trying new things, recently I did yoga with alpacas (10/10 would recommend) and am currently taking a photography class.

Anything else we should know?

I’m a huge live performance nerd. I love going to musicals, plays, improv shows, concerts, you name it.