Noemi Stauffer

Barcelona, Spain
Founder of @fresh_fonts, a newsletter to support independent type design. Front-end developer. Variable fonts enthusiast.

Who are you? Where are you from? What's your backstory?

Hi, I’m Noemi. I’m a Swiss and Canadian entrepreneur based in Barcelona. After graduating from the Master of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at ESADE Business School, I started my career by working in healthcare innovation. However, I wasn’t feeling passionate about it, so I eventually resigned and turned to tech.

Given my business background, I started working as a project manager in a digital studio. There, I grew more interested in what my team was doing (design and development) rather than my manager’s responsibilities. I soon felt the need to start working on my projects, and with a better understanding of the possibilities in tech, started two:Fresh Fonts, a curated newsletter sharing the newest font releases of independent designers, including free and open source typefaces, and Flow Supply Co, an online gallery of prints and posters made by digital artists.

What made you get into programming?

Working on my own projects, I started making websites using services that are available to everyone, without having to write a single line of code. However, I quickly felt limited, and wanted to ‘graduate’ from templates without having to pay and depend on a developer.

Although the idea had been on my mind for a while, what really encouraged me to get started was to realise that programming is much more accessible than I thought – there are plenty of good resources to help you, and the tech community is very supportive. In the process, I realised that working as a freelance developer could be a well-paid sideline to earn revenues while growing my own projects, which became an extra source of motivation.

What does your process for learning to code look like?

Although there are plenty of resources available for self-learning, I felt the need for some guidance, and wanted a clear structure to learn front-end development. I therefore signed up forthe front-end foundation course at SuperHi, which is fully online, but they also send you well-written book to make sure that you get the basics right. Therefore, every week, I start by reading the relevant chapters in the book, then follow the videos provided in the course to make a new website, and finally, recreate a similar website from scratch, as a homework. Lastly, I ask the teachers to review my homework, just to make sure that my code is optimal and that I didn’t miss on any learning.

Are you currently learning anything new?

Yes, as I’m about midway into the course now, I’m starting to learn Javascript. I’m also fine-tuning my skills when it comes to the Flexbox layout model, and after that, would like to give CSS grid a go.

Advice for those learning to code?

As for me, I struggled a bit to learn how to make multi-column websites using floats, so if it was to do all over again, I would skip that part and go straight to the Flexbox model, which was much more intuitive for me. So if you are learning front-end development, I would recommend doing just that.

Also, this is a bit more random, but I recently found out that I was overpaying for hosting and domain names. So, screw GoDaddy! Just ask experienced developers for their best, cheapest solutions and I’m sure you’ll find something that works for you.

What's your tech stack?

I can summarise it in only three products:

- the SuperHi book(yeah, I still love to learn by reading, I guess I got used to it in college)

- the SuperHi code editor, which is so beginner-friendly (it’s only available for students though)

- Notion. I use it to keep all my learnings and coding resources neatly organised.

PS I know it sounds like I sold my soul to SuperHi, but I honestly really enjoy learning with them. The teachers provide quick and helpful feedback via Slack, and they have a great, supportive community of students doing inspiring work which keeps me highly engaged. They offer plenty of courses, from WordPress customisation to front-end and back-end languages, so if you are interested in learning with them, you can use my referral to benefit from a discount:https://www.superhi.com/?r=Noemi. Or, if you’re not sure it might be the best solution for you, ping me on Twitter and I’ll be happy to help!

Hot Picks

I’m a big fan of typography, so I enjoyed these projects for their simplicity and good type:

- The website of type foundry General Type Studio

- The portfolio of Aristide Benoist

- The portfolio of Devin Hunt

- The portfolio of Denys Loveiko

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