My Coding Journey
byAdrianon May 16, 2023
Hi, I’m Adrian and I’m a self-taught developer.
I don’t have a technical background. In fact, I’m the furthest away possible from being technical. To show you what I mean, here are my educational and professional development:
- Football player (soccer, for my NA readers)
- Bachelor’s Degree in Sports
- Bachelor’s Degree in Physiotherapy
- Physiotherapist for children with neurologic conditions
- Logistics specialist in the coffee industry (currently)
I am learning to code in the few hours I have after work and during the weekends. It’s tiring, but I enjoy the process and I want to get the chance of doing it full-time.
I started to learn programming 8 months ago, with an Udemy course I purchased on sale, out of curiosity. If you wonder, its name is “The Web Developer Bootcamp”, taught by Colt Steele. It was a toxic relationship at first, as I was going through the course like I was watching funny cat memes. I had no plan at this point. I watched tutorial after tutorial, thinking I was making progress, but I never practiced those new concepts.
My (faulty) learning loop was something like this:
- watch a tutorial
- watch another tutorial
- take a break for a few days (as I deserve it!)
- come back and try to remember what I’ve learned days ago
- can’t remember a thing; get frustrated
- take another break for a few more days, to recover from the frustration
- watch another video to refresh the concept
You can see what I was doing wrong, and I’m glad I saw it too eventually. I wasted months in tutorial hell. I won’t complain, as it could’ve been a lot worse.
The two main reasons I started making actual progress, were Twitter and iCodeThis. Fortune made it to find out about these two almost at the same time, and they fit together perfectly.
Twitter, through the #100DaysOfCode challenge, made me accountable. I was finally learning daily, without the breaks that hindered my progress. Also, the tech Twitter community was very supportive, and for that I’m grateful.
The second reason for my growth, and the more practical one, is iCodeThis.
Watching tutorials is fine, but you will never crystallise the information unless you put it into practice. The daily iCodeThis challenges provided something tangible to use my newly acquired knowledge.
After each completed challenge, I posted my submission on the discord channel. The community helped me with constructive feedback, and I improved my code very fast!
Every time I would finish a project, a feeling of excitement filled my body. I could, finally, code something AND it looked nice!
This was my first ever submission
To wrap it up, if I would give only one advice to someone learning to code, it would be: practice what you learn.
No matter where you decide to do that, I guarantee it will be the main factor of your improvement.
Watch a tutorial that helps introduce new concepts, but then write some code. Build a project. Apply the acquired information to something that would make it stick for you.
I still have lots to learn, but I'm confident I can do it. And if someone with my background can do it, then you can too!