How to Get Good at Talking About Code

With my most recent webinar, I saw a huge surge in signups to my list from recent bootcamp grads who are interviewing for their first role. I'm going to spend the next few emails on advice specifically for them.

So today, I want to tell you how you get really good at at talking about code. Having clear and specific language when discussing software can be the difference between getting to the next round of interviews and getting shown the door.

The simple (and somewhat obvious) answer is that you get good at talking about code by talking about code a lot. That's perhaps unsatisfying, so here's an exercise I would often give my students:

Pick a file from a project you've built, and describe it line by line. Everything from the macro, big picture scope ("this is a class representing an invoice line item, with methods for...") to the tiniest minutiae ("this method takes two arguments, a number and a string, which represent..."). Use the most specific language that you can, and provide as much context as you are able. Just say every single thing you can think of about each line in the file. You'll discover pretty quickly where you lack understanding or vocabulary.

Once you've finished with that file, you can pick another one, or zoom out to the file structure and describe the project architecture in the same manner.


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