My Frustrating Journey so far into the Dev World…
I read a seemingly innocuous post in Medium late 2018, Learn to code in 2019, get hired, and have fun along the way by Andrei Neagoie that piqued my interest. Was it possible to learn coding from zero? Reading the post gave me hope. I have a science degree which I got in the last century, and most importantly, I am 40+ working a full-time job with wife and teen. So you can imagine why till then the idea of web development as a career never occurred to me. However, the life of a developer seemed magical to me — work on your own time from anywhere in the world on some of the most interesting and futuristic projects!
Andrei Neagoie’s post made sense to me. I live in a small town located in the foothills of the Himalayas in India. There isn’t much opportunity here, but plenty of time. Since, I had both interest and time, I thought it best to utilize it to the utmost.
Getting into a confusing state
So, interested I got. I decided to learn and be a web developer. I spent countless hours searching for the right MOOC in Udemy, Coursera, Udacity, and others. Plenty of choice but no one to guide me.
However, the more I researched, the more confusing it got. Should I learn HTML/CSS/JS or go straight into Python? HTML/CSS wasn’t even considered to be a language. JS seemed complex with too many libraries. Python was touted as the language of the future. Should I be a front-end developer or attempt at full-stack development? There were too many terms which didn’t make sense to me. I was like the four blind men in a room with an elephant. In fact, I didn’t even know whether there was any animal in the room!
This is the dilemma of a beginner, I am sure, but not being so young contributed more so considering that my goal was to pick the language, learn it inside out, and land a remote coding job.
Too many choices may seem nice at first, but it is frustrating when you don’t know the criteria and don’t have the mentor to decide it for you.
Deciding the Course
Finally, I stuck with Andrei Neogei and gave his original Udemy course a try. His viral post on Medium seemed trustworthy and genuine. Plus, he was also a self-learned developer with a previous job not at all related to coding. This made sense. And, it was the only mental support I had at that time to latch myself to.
The Vicious Life Cycle!
I delved right in. Watched the videos, did the exercise diligently. I learned some interesting facts about computers, networks, and the internet in general.
Till then I had almost zero idea of how websites were made. Not quite exactly. In fact, before I joined the course, I had built and ran a blog site “TheWiseHermit.com.” I got a domain name, chose a hosting site, and then built a simple Wordpress blog site. That was it. No coding required. Zilt. Nada.
But it did get me thinking. If I can do that for a living, that would be wonderful. I enjoyed building the site. It was a lot of learning even without having to do zero coding, just to learn some of the CMS features.It was basically a blog site where I reviewed non-fictions that I had read. Then I stopped.
My pattern over the last 10 months has been this: I dive right in the course for few days with full force, learn about HTML/CSS, do some learning in Codeacademy, read related publications, and then something comes up and I am away from the coding world a few weeks which stretches to a month or two.
Then, I feel guilty, remember the dream I have, get back in, and realize I have almost forgotten what I had learned in the last few months. So, I start from the beginning!
This has been a frustrating, vicious cycle, which I want to break.
Committing to Finally Commit
So, this month, October 2019 to be precise, I realized I have to do something about the partly-finished course. Inconsistency has been my problem. Believe me, just to get to that decision and accept my human failing was a task in itself.
I am making the following commitments to myself:
- Study 2 hours each day, i.e., commit 14 hours a week.
- Document my progress through this blog and hopefully encourage some who are contemplating to walk this path.
- Find some great friends and mentors out there and get encouraged by their stories.