Article Written by Stephen Bell – Founder/Lead Design @coffeescreative
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Welcome aboard Bahareh! Tell us a little about yourself?
I am a Toronto-based web developer and yoga instructor. I grew up in Toronto and attended the University of Toronto, studying Archaeology and later Education. After graduating, I moved to Korea to teach at an international school. I was living on Jeju Island, a volcanic island just south of the mainland, the highest peak in Korea, and a very popular holiday destination. Jeju was tropical for about half the year, and famous for its white sand beaches, mandarin clementines, and unique museums (like the Teddy Bear Museum or the Hello Kitty Museum). While living there, I was lucky enough to be able to visit other parts of East Asia during my vacation times. I climbed Mount Fuji, spent a week in Tibet, and hiked in Taiwan. I loved the warmth, the beaches, and the nature of Jeju, but I ultimately decided to move back to Toronto to be closer to my family.
Yoga has been a part of my life ever since my early 20s, when back pain kept me from being able to lift weights. In the spring of 2017, I went to India to study Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga in the town of Rishikesh. I received my teaching certificate, and I have been leading classes in Toronto since. I have also recently fallen in love with aerial acrobatics. I try to do at least 2 hours of either yoga, aerials, or cardio on most days, and I get so much happiness from flying, inverting, bending, and twisting. My most recent accomplishment has been hanging off a bar with just one hand (it’s deceptively difficult!!), and my next goal is doing a pull-up from a dead hang.
My mom is a web developer, so I grew up in a house filled with enormous C#, Java, C++ textbooks. I always found it fascinating, but I ultimately chose a different path in university. When I started teaching yoga, I decided to make a website that talked about myself, my practice, and the different classes I offered. I didn’t like the look of the default WordPress themes, so I started making my own website from scratch. Knowing nothing about web development, I made my first site in plain text. Despite the challenges (have you ever been lost in a sea of brackets and semi-colons?), I had so much fun making that site that I started taking some evening classes to learn HTML and CSS, and ultimately I decided to pursue web dev as a career. I’ve loved every minute of my journey (except maybe the stiffness in my upper back), and I so happy and thankful to be a part of this industry.
I love making websites that are clean, minimalist, and accessible. I love text that is black and white, while letting the images, icons, and buttons pop with colour. I love learning new ways to make websites interactive; on my latest project, I chose not to import any libraries other than jQuery, and instead I coded things like an image carousel and scroll effects that I would have otherwise imported. I love learning new languages too. My mom taught me some basic SQL and I’ve been taking an online course on PHP. Finally, I love the colour theme I have on VS Code. It’s called Panda Theme and everyone should download it.
How important is learning to code today’s generation of young professionals?
Learning development is important for anyone in any field. On a personal level, learning keeps our minds active, encourages new neural connections, and opens up new ways of looking at the world. From a career perspective, learning helps you stay relevant. The world of technology is evolving faster than it ever has, and it is so easy to become obsolete if you don’t keep up with the trends. Imagine learning AngularJS and then never bothering to learn Angular2? Despite the same name, the latter is a complete reformatting of the former, and it is so important to know the latest languages. The constant change that is typical of the tech industry can be daunting but also exciting – I know for a fact that in 5 years, I will be working in a language different from the one I am using now, and we know that change is good.
And most importantly, favourite type or style of coffee?
My favourite coffee is a flat white. After that, a latte. I just love the fullness that the milk gives to the drink!