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That *One* Thing That Unlocks the Secret of Learning to Code

alexlsalt profile image Alex Morton Updated on ・2 min read

This post was originally published on July 30, 2020 on my blog.

As we're progressing in learning to code, I think we have this conscious or unconscious belief that maybe there’s just one thing we’re not aware of in the overall coding journey and that if we only just unlocked that special knowledge, we’d be expert programmers in half the time.

The thing is - that one little thing that unlocks the secrets of the coding universe actually doesn’t exist.

What exists is trial and error, consistent effort, being temporarily uncomfortable in not knowing the answer or how to do something, and ultimately putting one foot in front of the other in learning and eventually getting better and better at it.

I used to love perusing all kinds of different articles and blog posts from all kinds of different writers about the best path to take as a self-taught developer.

It felt great to get that instant rush of dopamine when I could think of all the skills I’d acquire one day when I’d designed the perfect blueprint for what topics to learn and when.

But when it came down to it, I don’t think I followed through on those designed plans.

So I learned to not overthink it. To take my time and to keep building one learning block upon another.

There is no blueprint. It can feel nice to try to plan it all out - the books we’ll read and when, the tutorials we’ll follow and when, the targets we’ll hit and when.

But what feels even better looking back after a few months at all the progress you’ve made instead of looking forward to all of the imagined progress in your mind as it follows your too-good-to-be-true plan.


Thanks so much for reading along! Now let's be friends over on Twitter >>

P.S. Did you know I have a podcast with new episodes each Wednesday? Go listen right over here >>

P.P.S. Have a coding project you want to work on in a supportive environment of other creative coding women? Come apply for a spot in my upcoming Ladies Code Collective Cohort (space is limited!) >> More info here

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Alex Morton

@alexlsalt

I'm Alex and I'm a self-taught web developer, writer, and speaker. I host The Ladies Code Collective Podcast and I haven't missed a meal since 1992.

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