On this week's episode of the freeCodeCamp podcast, Abbey chats with Alejandra Olvera-Novack, a self-taught programmer and developer advocate who works for Amazon Web Services in Seattle. She's also the founder of the non-profit SheCodesNow, an organization that offers free programming courses and focuses on educating women, minorities, and disabled.

Alejandra didn't grow up in a typical environment. Her parents raised her in a very conservative cult in Mexico, and once she got into her later teens, she realized she was missing out on so much.

She left her family, moved to Florida, started school, and quickly realized she didn't have the background or resources to continue as she was. So she took a leap of faith and used the last of her money to move across the country to Seattle, WA.

Once there, with a little help from her friends and a tenacious will to learn and succeed, she taught herself basic programming, got a job, and started moving up the ladder. She eventually founded her non-profit and got her dream job at AWS. She's now learning about robotics, teaching people about tech, and working to overcome her traumatic past.

In this episode, Alejandra shares her long and winding road into tech, how she worked her way up to her current job and founded SheCodesNow, how she works to overcome anxiety and PTSD and get better at self-care, and why she loves working with and teaching her community...among many other things!

This interview is a 2 hour listen in your favorite podcast player app - just search "freecodecamp" and you should find it.

If you have an Amazon Echo, you can just say "Alexa - play the freeCodeCamp podcast."

Or you can listen to it right here in your browser.

Find Alejandra on Twitter: https://twitter.com/QuetzalliAle

Learn more about SheCodesNow: https://twitter.com/sheCodesNow.

Check out Alejandra's website.