All About Me...

Hi 👋! I'm Ali Spittel, and I create all the stuff you see on this site. I'm a (mostly) self-taught software engineer, who loves teaching people to code. I am currently a Senior Developer Advocate at Amazon Web Services on the Amplify team. I'm obsessed with: my dog Blair, Taco Bell, and building art with JavaScript.

Me and my dog Blair

My Learn to Code Story

I grew up in a small town of 3,500 in rural New Hampshire - it doesn't even have a grocery store or stoplight! My high school was also tiny, and I graduated in a class of 90 people - there were only a few computers, and they were barely functional. All that to say - I had no idea what computer science was until I stepped into a computer science classroom my sophomore year of college thinking I was going to learn how to format Microsoft Word documents better 🤦🏼‍♀️.

I quickly fell in love with Python; I could type something into a computer, and magic would come out. I was having so much fun that I decided I was going to double major in computer science, and I even landed a teaching assistant position for that same intro to CS class.

And then, the next semester, I took data structures and algorithms in C++. I was pulling all-nighters and still getting grades I wasn't happy about. Plus, I felt like I totally stuck out in that classroom - I hadn't been coding my whole life, and I was one of the few women.

So, I quit coding. I thought I wasn't good at it, and that it wasn't for me.

A couple of months later, I ended up in a data analysis internship, where I realized I could automate a lot of my job through scripting. From there, I got a software engineering job. Here we are almost seven years later, and I still write code pretty much every day!

speaking to a crowd with the slide 'tech students to teach themselves'

Why I created this Site

This site is for the Ali of a couple of years ago - and all the people like me. The people who have struggled at points while learning to code, and who sometimes feel like they don't belong in the tech industry.

I love teaching code, and have had the privilege of doing so in a bunch of formats - from my student teaching semester in college to community events to teaching full time at a coding bootcamp 👩‍🏫.

My goal: I want to make learning to code more accessible and fun for everyone. I have years of professional teaching and programming experience, and I want to use it to help you be the best programmer you can be.

I feel so lucky that my blog posts have been in front of well over a million eyes in the past year, and writing has completely changed my life.

Me teaching a classroom

Still want to learn more?

You can read my more professional bio with my background, upcoming speaking gigs, interviews on other sites, and more  on my portfolio site.

I also have a podcast with two other incredible women:  Ladybug Podcast. We talk about the tech industry, our backgrounds, and go in depth on code-topics. I also do weekly Twitch Streams and  YouTube videos.

Let's keep the conversation going!