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Anita Olsen
Anita Olsen

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How do I Know I am no Longer a Beginner?

I have some burning questions which I been wondering about for a long time now. When am I no longer a beginner? How does one know when one is no longer a beginner? Where does the line go?

I first started coding in HTML when I was 16 and kept at it for a couple of years, had a break and started coding in C++ for many months (until I got stuck), then I had a break for a few years and started again with Blockly (of all things!), I have also tried out a couple of other languages like CSS, Ruby, SQL and JavaScript among a few others and eventually settled with Python and an ASM-like pseudocode called EXA programming from the programming game, EXAPUNKS.

I have made simple websites, created several profiles, created stickers, made several pure CSS images (one of them got published on Popular Pens on X), made a simple Ping Pong game which I uploaded to a game sharing site and also wrote a few other small games, I participated in and completed Hacktoberfest 2018 and 2019, I have earned 1st place on Sololearn a couple of times, I created a couple of games during my game development lections on CodeCombat (two of them can be played on my website), I completed the #100DaysOfCode on X and not too long ago, I won my first and only hacker battle.

Am I still a beginner? How do I know I am no longer a beginner?

Top comments (17)

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern

I felt like I was no longer a beginner when I could look back on my old self and feel like "wow, I am so much further along than that and I actually know things I always thought would be a mystery".

You can probably go through this feeling at many steps along the way, but when you're no longer a beginner is the first.

Another sign: You have existential dread about how much you don't know — perhaps more than you used to.

Sometimes being a beginner comes with a blissful ignorance and the stage after this can be the hardest.

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montyharper profile image
Monty Harper

Okay, well I've felt that existential dread lately, so maybe I'm not a beginner anymore. Thanks for that nice way to turn an unpleasant feeling on its head!

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shameel profile image
Shameel Uddin

You are always a beginner to someone in some domain =D

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danbailey profile image
Dan Bailey

You've hit the nail right on the head.

I think when you've truly arrived as a developer is when you can be a beginner in a new technology, compare it to what you already know, then apply what you already know to give you a leg up over other noobs with the same tech.

Expertise isn't knowing one thing inside and out -- expertise is having a large scope of knowledge that can be applied to new technologies and methodologies in a meaningful way.

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anitaolsen profile image
Anita Olsen

That is so true 😊

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thomashighbaugh profile image
Thomas Leon Highbaugh

Maybe its better to remain convinced you are a beginner, even as you rack up skills and write code in modal text editors because being a beginner eternally makes one immune to the arrogance that over confidence in experience develops into, the boxes we must think outside that such becomes. Being of a beginner's mind, we stay hungry to learn more, we question things in ways that build deeper insight and we make sure to check ourselves.

As many of my university professors said like a mantra, "the more I learn, the more I realize how little I could even hope to know." May we all be so wise.

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ingosteinke profile image
Ingo Steinke • Edited

In my opinion, "beginner" becomes an arbitrary term once you have left the obvious "absolute beginner" stage of anything, much like "junior" vs. "senior" developer is an insignificant attribution mostly used related to career and salary decisions in conservative companies. There is a similar discussion about learning languages - is there any point where someone could claim to "have learned" a language (completely)? Even the most advanced university professors are (hopefully) still learning, and those who feel that they're done are probably, yes, beginners suffering the Dunning-Kruger effect of illusionary competence.

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montyharper profile image
Monty Harper

Such a good question. I'm wondering the same thing about myself. Can't wait to see what the more experienced people have to say about this.

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sukkergris profile image
Theodor Heiselberg

Nice question! The second you start delivering code for production which gets shipped to the customer - and actually works. That's the second I stop calling people juniors 😊 (Not even as a joke) But as someone commented before - we are all learning every day.

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getsetgopi profile image
GP

Well in IT we always remain beginners as trend changes in less than 6 months and keep learning new syntax/framework. I'm into IT for 24 years and the learning has never stopped.

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anitaolsen profile image
Anita Olsen

Ah, you got a point there!

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mrlinxed profile image
Mr. Linxed

Ask yourself the following questions:
What comes after being a beginner? And what does this look like?

Then see if you fit that description :)

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anitaolsen profile image
Anita Olsen

That was an awesome one, thank you! 😀

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thatcomputerguy profile image
Griff Polk • Edited

I’d say when you know a lot of the commands, but not quite how to execute them you are intermediate, but when you know most commands and when to execute them… except for the most obscure commands that will somehow come into play in your program and which you need to learn otherwise you can’t pull your code off but you can’t find any tutorials except for a 10 year old tutorial with someone with a super heavy accent that you can’t understand and there are no subtitles on YouTube!!!then, you are an expert.

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officialphaqwasi profile image
Isaac Klutse

No, You're got real world projects that solves problem. Learning doesn't stop either

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anitaolsen profile image
Anita Olsen

Are you trying to say that one needs to make projects that solves real world problems? Do you have any suggestions?

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justintcase profile image
Justin Case • Edited

as a beginner myself i've learned that apparently its until we die.

so yeaa