Coding with Desi: My Journey Unveiled

Dec 12, 2023 | Academic, Career

Learn more about my background in coding, including how I got started, how I developed my skills, and how to see what's next in my journey.
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How I Started My Coding Journey…

When I was in high school at University Preparatory High School (UPREP) in Detroit, I caught the coding bug thanks to an internship in my sophomore year with The Urban Artist Collective through Vanguard Community Development Corporation. At the age of 14, I learned the basics of HTML and CSS using only the Notepad app on a Windows computer, along with learning to use Adobe Photoshop. I soon found myself designing and coding up a storm and loving every minute of it.

As students at UPREP, we had to complete a Senior These Project to graduate. For this project, once we entered our junior year, which was called Senior Institute, we spent the year planning and researching our desired project. The project could be about anything we wanted, so long as we could show that we were actively learning using the predefined Learning Goals that we’d been using all throughout Junior Institute, which was the 9th and 10th-grade years. 

For my project, since the topic of Affirmative Action and minority post-secondary education were hot topics at the time, I chose to create a scholarship education program for high school students thinking about attending college after graduating. I had secured a full-ride to attend Michigan State University after graduation, along with several other local scholarships due to being a Michigan Scholar with a high grade point average and some external scholarships via being a selected applicant. Specifically, I individually hosted workshops with other classes at my school and at the YouthVille Detroit youth center, where I shared information about how to look for and apply for scholarships to fund post-secondary educational endeavors. Learn more about my high school experience by reading this post on my portfolio website. 

Fast forward to my senior year, when I had to start executing my project, as part of my marketing materials, I decided to use the coding skills I’d learned by creating an informational brochure website about the project. Take a look at the project here on my portfolio website. 

Continuing My Coding Journey…

While in college, I eventually landed in the Media Arts & Technology major, specializing in Games, Web, and Interactive Media. My courses and curious nature led me to take my coding game up a notch by exploring additional languages like Ruby on Rails, Java, JavaScript, XHTML, CSS3, and PHP, broadening my repertoire and enriching my coding experience.

As the nature of coding and web development evolved, I settled on learning and perfecting my development skills using WordPress. Even though WordPress can be a no-code environment, having coding skills can help to create more custom and dynamic websites, which I used to my advantage in previous employment experiences and for freelance clients that I took on.

Where I’m At Now…

Now, I’m hitting refresh on my coding skills. Why, you ask? Because the tech world never stops evolving, and I want to keep my skills fresh so that I can adapt. You know what they say, “If you don’t use it, you lose it.”

I’m eager to refresh and deepen my coding knowledge, so I’m revisiting HTML and CSS, getting cozy with the latest web development trends, and dabbling in some other languages like Python, Java, and more!

I’ve started a blog to chronicle my journey and spill the beans on what I learn as I dive back into the ever-evolving world of coding. Get ready for the highs, the lows, and the nerdy in-betweens as I share my coding adventures with you. Consider it your front-row seat to the chaos and creativity of my coding comeback. From coding challenges to triumphs, I invite you to be a part of this revitalized journey at Coding with Desi.

So, why should you care? 

Well, first off, you’re in for a good time. I promise to keep it real, share my struggles, and celebrate the wins. If you’re into coding, learning, or just nosy about someone else’s journey, you’re gonna love it here.

I want you along for the ride, cheering me on, throwing virtual confetti when things go right, and sending a comforting GIF when the code just won’t cooperate. Join me while I get nerdy with the fun, relatable, and maybe a tad bit rebellious side of coding.

Ready for the adventure? Subscribe to my newsletter for updates, and follow the next chapter in my coding adventure (if you choose) at Coding with Desi!


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Desiree' M. Slaughter

Desiree' M. Slaughter

Creative Professional, Solopreneur, Digital Creator

My online portfolio highlights the skills and experiences that I have gained throughout my academic and professional career. Browse around to learn more!

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