A version of this article was first published here, on Medium.

Intro

Earlier this year, I made the decision to better myself by learning a new skill; so, I picked coding/web development and decided about a month in to blog about my life, what got me here and what’s helping me along the way.

For more info on what lead me to pursue self improvement, check out this post.

Once I got clean and invested in myself that way, there was no shortage of ways that I thought of bettering myself and pursuing a job in tech made its way onto the top of my list.

I had an established career in Project Management and I loved it most days, but I was not in love with the BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) industry. I decided to improve my relevancy by learning to code.

He who knows not and knows not that he knows not, is a fool — shun him!

He who knows not and knows that he knows not, is unlearned — teach him!

He who knows and knows not that he knows, is asleep — awaken him!

He who knows and knows that he knows, is enlightened — follow him!

 

— Arab proverb

How I Started:

On May 1st, 2020 I decided to commit myself to coding. I spent the next 8 days trying to figure out how to start.

There’s no shortage of resources if you google “learn to code”…

search results for learn to code
Over 5 billion results!

…and if you use social media as much as me, you might start to notice targeted ads doing their work (I know I did).

targeted facebook ad for coding resources
Hey Siri, are you reading my messages?! 😅

Eventually, I figured out how I would start coding. I settled in on a years subscription to Codecademy Pro, a few other “bootcamp” courses on Udemy and then various free sources.

So far, I’ve been focusing my energy on the Web Development curriculum path in Codecademy and supplementing with frequent visits to YouTube and developer documentation on MDN.


Coding I’ve Accomplished:

Web Development Path Progress: from May to June it was mostly HTML5/CSS and some very basic JavaScript, I made it to 16% complete which equated to about one lesson per day. I also decided to flesh out a very basic prototype of a personal website to show my progress and it allowed me to play with the Codecademy exercises on my local machine.

Udacity CS101: I came across a recommendation for this course on day 1 when I read this article.

It lead me into some mid-level difficulty searching for it, as the first link in Google now points to another course but if you go here you can still access the material.

NOTE: You have to sign into your Udacity account before you paste the link in your browser.

After 5 lessons in, I got stuck on a for loop problem in Python and put it aside. (Keep your eyes peeled for a future article on syntax related to solving this problem)

YouTube: I found this tutorial on Git/GitHub extremely helpful once I had a desire to develop on my local machine.

Gwen Faraday is a wealth of knowledge!

Books: 

Design of Everyday Things (By: Don Norman) — It was an easy read in my opinion and my first look into the science of design, I will definitely read more in the series.

Living by the Code (By: Enrique López Mañas)— Another interesting and easy read, it’s an interview format with other developer talent and so I came away with lots of book/podcast recommendations on top of finding new people to follow.

Apprenticeship Patterns (By: David H. Hoover & Adewale Oshineye)— A relatively short but information packed read. Definitely something I’m going to pick up in again for a re-read.


What’s Next/Summary:

gif of Codecademy learning progress

Yayyyy JavaScript! 🤘🏻🤓🤘🏻

There have been bumps in the road, motivational challenges too, but the community that I’ve Involved myself in on Twitter and some of the forums has been so far from toxic that it’s pleasantly surprising. There’s no shortage of resources or advice if you actively seek it.

I live in an area with low population (<=10k) so there isn’t really a thriving tech community.

I plan to seek out meetups in nearby metropolitan areas to attend occasionally and I’ve gotten active on Twitter and in a few programming discords.

Considering COVID, I might even try and initiate my own virtual meetup.

ABC… Always Be Coding! 🤘🏻🤓🤘🏻


None of the links to products in this article are affiliate, I do not intend to make money off my suggestions made here.

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