Women of JavaScript: Developer, Jessica Cregg

17 March 2022

As we continue to honor women in technology during Women’s History Month, we’re pleased to feature JavaScript developer Jessica Cregg, in our continuing series, Code of Honor: The Women of Software Development, JavaScript, and Cybersecurity. Read more on Jessica’s experiences in the world of JavaScript and her useful recommendations on getting started in coding.

Jessica Cregg, JavaScript Developer

How long have you been a JavaScript developer?

I started learning how to code back in 2018. I’ve been working with JS since just 2019.

What got you into JavaScript development?

Prior to writing code, I was working in a tech adjacent role. My previous career was in marketing. In 2015, I started working with technology startups, spreading the news of their funding announcements and ghost-writing thought leadership articles. I started to feel a level of enthusiasm that I hadn’t felt before. I felt like I’d finally found an area of work that I could get genuinely excited about. I started looking into coding bootcamps but couldn’t afford one, so I stuck to good old Codecademy, FreeCodeCamp, and Udemy to guide me through the basics. I went on to complete a course with Code First Girls aimed at career switchers that was much more focused on the DOM and fundamental JavaScript work. I then noticed so many people chatting about different frameworks and specialisms that it became hard not to get immersed into the industry.

What do you love about this career as a JavaScript developer?

Tech is the perfect intersection of logic and creativity. If you can dream something up then there are likely several ways of bringing your idea into existence. If you work with code then you get to solve puzzles every day. If you don’t work with code, you get to apply human-focused solutions to technical projects. It’s truly the most exciting field to be in, and the fact that frameworks go in and out of style is part of it. We’re all on a collective learning journey that can have you feeling on top of the world one day and defeated by an opaque error message the next.

What advice would you give someone wanting to pursue a career similar to yours?

Start with free resources. Try to build a clone of something you know or a website you use all the time. This will get you used to breaking down problems and understanding what goes into an application. Focus on vanilla JS before getting into a framework. Try to stick to a one-in-one-out rule when it comes to courses. It’s so easy to pile on more and more items on your ‘to learn’ pile but this pile will never end, so try to exercise patience and restraint.

What are the best resources that have helped you along the way?

FreeCodeCamp is brilliant. Codecademy is great and it keeps getting better. Those two are fantastic for having paths and set tracks for you to follow. If you’re interested in a good newsletter, Chris Fernandi’s Go Make Things is really great.

What is one common myth about JavaScript that you want to debunk?

That “React” is the be all and end all. It’s great and was developed by some incredible minds, but if Wordle has taught us anything other than expanding our vocabulary, it’s that web components can be used remarkably well. Also that it’s all about the front end. Node has come on leaps and bounds in the past two years and there are some brilliant projects being made with Tensorflow.js.

What are your hopes for women in this career in the future?

That we continue to take up space and that diverse hiring practices become the norm. Diversity is good for business. Not just for its image, but diverse teams make better products. Let’s keep women in tech and grow representation throughout the org chart.

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