My Favorite Tech & Design Resources
I am in no way an expert in anything tech or design. I can never just pick an area of interest and then master it. I code (for school and personal projects) but I’m realizing that I'm mainly interested in UX/UI design. Even though my major and interest revolve around tech and design, I'm confused about it all. There's so much involved in this tech bubble and it can be very overwhelming. The end goal though is to become an expert so I can know how to back up my ish when I talk about it. Aside from the usual Khan Academy and W3S, I have a couple of resources that are my personal favorites.
I'm going to try my hardest to write this part without being too much of a stan. I used to have a really hard time finding people who looked like me that were doing what I was interested in. I started to think maybe it just wasn't being done by black girls, but then I found Dara. Dara is a Software Engineer, a program manager and a creative. She has a personal blog that is full of good reads, a Youtube channel and she's a portrait + fashion photographer. So yeah she's pretty lit. Also her whole aesthetic is amazing. Not to be dramatic but I haven't been the same since following her. She was the first woman in tech that I found that was doing exactly what I wanted to do. Me following her on Instagram and Twitter alone, introduced me to a world that I didn't know existed. I was now seeing so many underrepresented people in tech and all that they were doing. You should definitely check out her blog and follow her on her socials. I also sense big things coming from her in the near future, so keep a look out for that as well.
Ariciano is another big inspiration of mine because everything she does is literally what I mentioned in my intro. She's a creative technologist amongst several other things. She recently started a youtube channel that focuses on merging art and technology to create visuals . The way she teaches you to explore the two is not intimidating at all compared to other people's teaching methods. In her introduction to her channel she mentions that she plans on making videos on how to use different coding languages, tech reviews on different softwares, learning about different cameras and so much more. I actually really look forward to her videos because I know I'm going to learn something new that I wouldn't know how to teach myself. I linked her most recent video down below so you can go check it out as well as her other videos.
Lenora Porter is one of the many girl bosses I aspire to be. She's both a product designer and front end developer. I found her through Instagram, started actively reading her blog and I've been hooked since. If you're an aspiring UX/UI designer like i am, I highly recommend you go check her out. She shares her own tips on how to get started in UX design as well as shares a ton of other outside resources. Out of all that I've learned from her, I would say the importance of planning stuck with me the most. Since I've been following her, I've seen her plan out new skills she wants to master 1-3 months ahead of time then watch her actually execute them. And every time I see her results I get inspired and actually almost change my procrastinating habits. I'm excited to see what other helpful tips she plans on posting in the near future because I know it won't disappoint.
This one is one of my favorites. If you’re a woman in tech, you will definitely find this magazine very helpful while still being entertaining. Each issue features many different women in tech and a whole lot of different perspectives and tips. This magazine has honestly made me realize that tech doesn't have to scary and overwhelming if you don't let it be. I get overly excited when I find new women in tech that are doing exactly what I want to do in the future and this magazine highlights these amazing women and their come up stories. You can either buy a hard copy or read it online for free. I'm sure with the range of topics they discuss, something if not several things will interest you in each issue.
This one isn’t really a tech resource but it's still pretty dope and I felt that I had to mention it. This idea was so simple yet so needed. TONL has stock photos with underrepresented people including minorities, the LBGT community and disabled people. I don't know how many times I've looked at stock photos and just saw the same people being represented. I'm in love with the whole idea behind TONL and I'm glad something like this exist. So if you're looking for stock photos definitely checkout them out.
The number one thing I’ve been learning since I started building my personal brand is that you need to invest in yourself. If you don’t put in money, you won’t make money. If you're like ok that's cool, but I'm just trying to learn a new skill this works for that too. Udemy has every course you can think of. I'm currently learning how to design mobile apps in Sketch through a course I got for $10 when it was originally $30. Watch for sales and take advantage of them because they're always going on.
If you want to work on your UI designing skills, I recommend you sign up for Daily UI. Once you sign up for their newsletter, everyday for 100 days, they will send you UI prompts. No strict guidelines or rules just a simple one word prompt like "E-Commerce Shop" or "404 Page" and from there, you create whatever you want. This is a great way to build up your portfolio especially if you're a beginner and this is your first time designing. For inspiration you can go on Dribbble.com or Twitter and lookup #DailyUI to see what other people are creating.
Sidebar gives you 5 links a day to different design resources. From typography, UX/UI, branding, animation etc. You get a little of everything but it's not overwhelming because it's fed out to you in only 5 links.
These are just a couple of my favorite resources at the moment. In the future I will most likely update this list. I hope this was at least a little helpful to anyone looking for new resources.