He’s helped THOUSANDS of people learn to code [Leon Noel of #100devs on freeCodeCamp Podcast #117]

On this week’s episode of the podcast, freeCodeCamp Founder Quincy Larson interviews Leon Noel, founder of 100Devs and head of engineering at Resilient Coders.

Growing up, Leon had it drilled into him that he had to become a doctor, lawyer, or dentist. But his ambitions grew and he went on to have an exciting career in tech.

After a successful exit from a startup, Leon wanted to help folks who were struggling during the pandemic. He started 100Devs, a charity which has helped 10,000s of people learn to code.

We talk about:
– dropping out of Yale
– getting into the selective Tech Stars startup accelerator
– Getting involved with Resilient Coders, a charity that helps court-involved youth learn coding
– Starting 100Devs and building a Discord server with 60,000 people learning to code together

Quincy recorded this podcast live and hasn’t edited it at all. We want to capture the feel of a real live conversation, with all the human quirks that entails.

Can you guess what song he’s playing on my bass during the intro? It’s his arrangement of the intro to a 1990s cartoon.

Be sure to follow The freeCodeCamp podcast in your favorite podcast app. And share this podcast with a friend. Let’s inspire more folks to learn to code and build careers for themselves in tech.

Also, we want to thank the 8,427 kind people who support our charity each month, and who make this podcast possible. You can join them and support our mission at: https://www.freecodecamp.org/donate

Links we talk about during the interview:

The video that changed Leon’s life on Spaced Repetition, by Ali Abdaal: https://youtu.be/Z-zNHHpXoMM

The official Anki app, which is free on web / desktop and doesn’t lock you into a subscription. Leon’s advice: “Only create cards on one device, but review on any to save you from weird syncing issues.” https://apps.ankiweb.net

Dr. Barbara Oakley’s Learn How to Learn course, which Leon calls “a masterpiece”: 

The 100Devs website (new cohort starting in early May): https://100devs.org/about

Trailer for X-men ’97: https://youtu.be/pv3Ss8o9gGQ

Thelonious Monk [pianist Quincy mentions] “Straight No Chaser” documentary trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dx0E9-ThvKc

Leon on YouTube: http://leonnoel.com/youtube

Leon on Discord: http://leonnoel.com/discord

Leon’s Twitch for his live streams: http://leonnoel.com/twitch

Leon’s website: https://leonnoel.com/

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Learn to code for free and get a developer job: https://www.freecodecamp.org

Read hundreds of articles on programming: https://freecodecamp.org/news


This Post Has 34 Comments

  1. @SiriusScaper

    This was so awesome! I really started my coding journey with FreeCodeCamp (Say Hello to HTML Elements Aug 10, 2015) and while my road has been long and winding, finding #100Devs has been a great boost to my confidence and helped me in so many ways over the last couple of years. Not the least of which was Leon telling the community about RAD and that leading me to finally having long term therapy and getting evaluated for ADHD. Both Quincy and Leon have done so much for me in my life and they inspire me to want to give back. Thank you both so much!

  2. The one thing that this program has than any other is it’s all encompassing. You’ll prepare for the job market, have accountability partners, learn how to prioritize mental health, and of course learn how to how to code. It will truly change your life. I know it has mine. 😊

  3. @koltuz

    Como alguien que habla español, me encontre con 100Devs a través de reddit y una de mis metas era mejorar mi habilidad para escuchar en ingles y para ver como aprendian a programar los americanos, quede muy satisfecho, a Leon le entiendo casi todo lo que habla, su forma de explicar es divertida y las horas se pasan volando, es una muy bonita experiencia, pero lo mejor viene despues con sus reuniones por discord, lamentablemente debido a la diferencia horaria me perdi varias y no es como en twitch que quedan grabadas, aun asi, lo recomiendo, en especial por la comunidad que ha logrado construir en discord. Dejo este mensaje en español para que si algun hispanohablante lo lee sepa que con Leon va a aprender si se toman el tiempo y esfuerzo que requiere <3

  4. @JohnestOfPauls

    100Devs has been a HUGE life changer for me! I used to work in the construction industry and got burnt out pretty quickly from the constant deadlines and feeling like everyday was a whirlwind. 100Devs is a great way for people to transition their careers into software engineering that is completely FREE! A few months after quitting my job, I was hired to a startup company, and I've had such a healthy work-life balance ever since. Thank you Leon and thank you to all who make 100Devs possible!

  5. @user-oc2lp4go9q

    I just have say that #100Devs has given me another chance! Without getting into too much detail, it has been a wonderful blessing for me, in particular, but to my family as well. I am so grateful for the opportunity to become what I have wanted to for some time, but just got a little lost along the way. So, I have to say thanks a gazillion to Leon for his great big heart and generosity to make something that would have costed thousands of dollars – FREE! Many blessings to Leon and his family a gazillion-fold, because I don't think he REALLY has ANY idea as to the IMPACT he has made in all of our lives!!! ❤❤❤🙏🙏🙏👼👼👼

  6. @DMtech895

    I went from 0 to Freelancing developer thanks to what I learned during this course. The knowledge that I have gained while learning has changed the course of my life and have created new opportunities for my family. For anyone who has the opportunity, I would strongly encourage you to join the community

  7. @adelnasr576

    Leon and 100Dev community is the greatest experience that I have in my life. I'm speechless to say how grateful I am for Leon and all what he is doing in 100Dev

  8. Two goats on the same screen. Thank you both for all you’ve done and continue to do.

  9. @JasonFator

    ❤ Leon and 100Devs! My 17-year-old and I are working through the cohort 2 bootcamp right now with the catch up crew. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

  10. @galitdances5195

    100devs is the best! Leon, ALSO the best! I went from dancer to working as a software engineer in 1 year!!

  11. @johnz3624

    As someone who was previously incarcerated a job hunt was super scary especially hunting for a good paying job. Never did I think it would be possible to almost triple my salary post incarceration. But I did! Through 100Devs, managing frustration, being consistent and taking care of myself I am now working as a Software engineer at one of the largest tech companies in the world! Much love to Leon and the community!

  12. @techissexy

    I love Leon Noel, 100Devs opened the door for me in so many ways. Although, I am not a software engineer, my path ended differently, I’m now in cybersecurity

  13. @floraetteh1516

    As a current student of 100Devs, given this opportunity to learn Full-Stack free from Nigeria, still growing everyday, I am so grateful to Leon. He is an angel in our midst.

  14. @ncg89

    This is so cute! I love that these guys are like, “I wanna be like you.” “No I wanna be like you!” I was part of cohort 1 (came in late after doing a different bootcamp). I love the 100 Devs community and Leon. I love that he makes sure we treat each other well and support each other while also helping us to achieve financial security.

  15. @ElliottWatson

    100DEVS litterally jump started my career in programming! So thankful of LEON

  16. @NA-sq1pt

    100Devs is an amazing community! I hope more people discover the program and get hired to do what they love!

  17. @brentdolan1515

    The 100Devs program has been a life-changing opportunity for me. As a single dad of two young kids, I was stuck in a toxic situation, working in an industry that didn't align with my strengths. My struggles with ADHD and the monotonous nature of the finance field led to frequent mistakes, and I felt like I was constantly swimming against the current.

    My mental health problems were spiraling due to not being in a role that allowed me to provide for my kids adequately. The constant feeling of being a deadbeat dad took a significant toll on my well-being.

    However, since joining 100Devs, I've found a newfound sense of freedom and hope. Even though I'm only on Class 11, I'm already loving the creativity and problem-solving aspects of web development. The thought of building things each day and watching my work come together is truly exciting.

    More importantly, this program has given me a path toward providing for my family in a sustainable way, alleviating the mental health struggles that came with my previous situation. As a single dad who couldn't afford traditional schooling or bootcamps, I'm incredibly grateful for the opportunity that Leon and the 100Devs team have given me. Their commitment to making web development accessible has opened doors that seemed permanently closed before.

    The structured curriculum and the supportive community at 100Devs have provided me with the guardrails I needed to navigate this career transition successfully. Thank you, Leon, and everyone involved in this incredible program. You're changing lives, one line of code at a time.Shaka🤟🤟🤟

  18. @VeganCaribun

    I already commented, but this video is so inspiring I had to comment again LOL. Thank you both for all you do to empower those of us without the privilege of money and opportunity! 💗😊

  19. @nategr88

    100Devs helped me land a job in tech and taught me how to learn at a basic level. Big fan of Leon's mission, free education is the future!

  20. @elehdivine4519

    Please I would love to know the brand of headsets you guys have on, you went almost two hours without being connected to a charger

    Mine only last for 100 mins at most

  21. @blars

    100Devs changed my life! I was able transition from a career as a musician to a software engineer. If you put in the work, the community and teaching from Leon and 100Devs is 100% worth it.

  22. @keepjukin07

    The best to ever do it!! This interview with my two faves was amazing 🎉

  23. @Suresh-iu2tx

    Is there going to be another 100devs cohort or should i start the last one?

  24. @TyrWinterHD

    #100Devs allowed me to start a new career during the pandemic. I was a drop out from medicine in south america. And after finishing the bootcamp, and grinding the hunt, i was able to land a job at a fintech! Now, i am currently going through my 2nd year working as a Full stack developer, started as Front End. Leon, and 100Devs changed my life! I owe it to them! Glad to see them get a spotlight <3

  25. @chrisament9962

    100 devs is an unbelievable source and Leon is a saint for all of the selfless work that he does for us.

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