On this week's episode of the freeCodeCamp.org podcast, Abbey interviews Ariel Leslie, a software developer and avid contributor to the freeCodeCamp community.

Ariel's path to becoming a developer was not particularly direct. After getting a degree and then trying her hand at managing a used bookstore and selling knives, among other exploratory ventures, she found her way back to school and to the world of tech.

She believes that being a non-traditional student gave her an important perspective on education, and she didn't let a single opportunity pass her by. During school, she tackled several internships that exposed her to many different languages and technologies. It was her goal to graduate with a job lined up, and she made it happen. Today, she works for LGS Labs in Colorado on top secret projects she can't really talk about.

Outside of her busy work life, Ariel loves helping new coders get started. Her tireless work on the freeCodeCamp forum allows her to support people all over the world at the beginning of their programming journeys.

When she's not hashing out issues at work or offering guidance to members of the freeCodeCamp community, you might find her playing Dungeons and Dragons, learning the Appalachian Mountain Dulcimer, studying for her motorcycle license, or, every once in a while, just relaxing at home.

In this episode, we talk about how Ariel tackles her insecurities, why she loves the challenge of a tough problem, the importance of good mentors and community support, and why it's critical to keep talking about women in tech...among many other things!

It's a 1-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. Enjoy the interview!