Learning to Code: Building a Career by Learning Web Design

Leicie-Piscitelli-2Leicie Piscitelli is resilient. Completely on her own at age 17, she worked retail jobs to support herself while finishing high school. Her father died when she was 16, forcing her from her homeschooled background into the public-school system.

Although she attended five different schools before graduating, Leicie still managed to get her diploma and even attended some college afterwards. She ultimately decided that her college program wasn’t a good fit, however, and focused instead on her work.

Leicie stopped working in retail and started working in Human Resources. She enjoyed learning how to navigate the customized HR software at the companies where she worked.

Being a visual learning, Leicie was able to quickly pick up and master these systems. But she wanted to move to the other side of these programs building and designing the software that makes businesses work. She started teaching herself to code and sought opportunities to continue her training and build her portfolio.

“I really wanted to implement in my career being able to code and also design,” says Leicie.

“Oregon State really pushed me to feel confident in my skills and what I can do.”

Online Coding Classes Enable Career Advancement

This desire to improve her coding and design skills led Leicie to the Web Development and Coding Certificate at Oregon State University. After researching a number of options, she signed up for the program and started her online classes while working full time and also developing her portfolio with side projects. This hard work paid off and Leicie started fielding job offers through LinkedIn while still in the program.

“Three months into the program I was able to get a job as a graphic designer for a small company as a contractor,” says Leicie, which is “where I learned print design.”

Leicie credits her recent positions to the guidance she received from instructor Kevin Hanegan. Kevin and others encouraged Leicie to apply for new jobs while pursuing her education since much of the advanced training she needed is done on the job. The course gave her a base of knowledge, but the next step required stepping into a new role to take her skills to the next level.

“If you have the portfolio and you can show your work, then you’re able to get a position,” says Leicie. “Oregon State really pushed me to feel confident in my skills and what I can do.”

From Leicie’s background and story, it’s clear there’s no end to what she can do. She recently secured another design position at a female-owned startup while still pursuing her Web Development and Coding Certificate. Plus, she launched her own business doing web design, branding and marketing for other companies. With her training and grit, who knows where she will end up next.

Connect with Leice

Click here to keep up-to-date with Leicie and connect with her on LinkedIn.


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