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Late beginner

gornickimichal profile image π•„π•šπ•”π•™π•’π• π”Ύπ• π•£π•Ÿπ•šπ•”π•œπ•š ・4 min read

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It all started an over a year ago. After over 11 years in Call Center I wanted change. An opportunity came when they were dismantling the Night Shift and I took it.

My last day in January of 2019 was terrifying and exciting at this same time. Terrifying because: "How am I going to pay the mortgage? Am I too old to go back to school? Is it too late to change my career path?"

On the other hand I had this other thought - I am starting something that I always wanted to do, I am starting to learn how to code.

I signed up for Information Technology Traineeship - Software Development with my local agency for mature students.

I decided to do it that way because I thought that I need a school structure.

I learned a lot but there was one bit missing - coding. At one stage of the course we were coding every day, but later everything focused on theory.

So I decided to seek help elsewhere. I was lucky enough that my younger brother - Lukasz, has a great IT experience and I asked him if he would like to become my mentor. Thankfully for me, he said yes (I bet that he is questioning his decision now πŸ˜‰).

After initial chat we decided that I will entirely trust his judgement in relation to coding and direction of future projects.

Because GitHub is so important to programming community, he suggested to use it in our first project. We decided that we will create a GitHub Action which will post on Twitter timeline every time when an event triggers on user's GitHub repository. Initial event which we focused on was push.

We decided that we will Zoom every two days. First we code and then he will give me some "home work" to go through.

First day I tagged Git cheat sheet to the wall beside my laptop.
I'm not going to bore you with what I did exactly after that, but over next few days, there was loads of reading and hair pulling (even though I am bold).

Next step I created a Twitter app. The whole process is explained here.

Now that we had the foundation - we dived into coding.

And... Excitement was slowly fading away,replaced by anxiety and frustration. I was so angry with myself when I wasn't understanding what we were doing or if I couldn't create something without my brother's help.

In my head there was this constant drumming: "You are no good, you are too old, you are too stupid..."

I had few moments when I was contemplating to quit. To tell Lukasz to stop this nonsense. The easiest option. Sure, I'll be pissed off with myself. I'll be quitter again but at least this damn drumming will stop.

Feck it!

We soldier on πŸ’ͺ. I went back to basics. I started to be happy about small things. If I guessed where a bit of code has to go I was delighted with myself. I lowered my expectations, but I also asked my brother to Zoom every day in order to get into coding habit.

Every day sessions were the best decision ever. I felt that I was going in the right direction.

That first tweet that went on my time line. Oh wow! What a great feeling! Then a quick decision to add two more events: release and pull_request. Now that we had that first bit done - I was able to add these two events myself. Even typing about this now, feels me up with positive emotions.

Next step of the project. My brother explained to me the importance of great README file and he kept telling me one thing every day:"Feck sake Michal! Will you stop reinventing the bloody wheel?!"
Every time I was like: "Ehh.." πŸ‘€β“
"This is the beauty of the Open Source. Go online and research. Find similar projects and get the code and use it to your benefit. But never forget to credit creators if you use entire code"

That's what I did with some bits within my project (or this post). Where I used plenty ideas, I made sure to give links to creator's original work. But what I also learned is that looking up someones code can inspire, trigger an idea which then can move you in the right direction with your own code.

Two days ago we published our GitHub Action πŸŽ‰. I called it GitHub Twittction. Before I published it on GitHub marketplace I was very nervous but after it was done I was very proud of myself as well.

I am not sure whether this post ticks tech standards, but I just wanted to share it so people can learn that it is not too late to start coding.

Our journey is just starting and we will experience more downs than ups at the beginning. So what? As long as we are moving forward it is all that matters.

I would also like to use this post to thank my "baby" brother Lukasz for his patience and persistence. Thank you🀝.

This is also my first ever blog post so please be gentle.

Oh, I almost forgot. If you wish to see the project we were working on, just click here.

Posted on Jun 5 by:

gornickimichal profile

π•„π•šπ•”π•™π•’π• π”Ύπ• π•£π•Ÿπ•šπ•”π•œπ•š

@gornickimichal

I must be mad! I am in my forties and I decided to learn how to code. I enjoy computers and learning new skills.

Discussion

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Awesome stuff brother!

Next to do: Slack bot that gathers all messages from public channels and puts them into a database/s3 so you do not have to worry about slack limits for preserving the history and can easily find old decisions.

Exciting!

 

Feck sake Michal! You are doing just great!

 

I have 15+ years coding and I still pull my hair out every day. It’s part of the gig. Just don’t give up and you’ll make it

 
 

Great work and great post. Welcome to programming :) congratulations on your first project, and well done on making it version controlled and open source. Your mentor sou da like they really know what they are doing too!

 

Fantastic read and very motivational, way to go!!

 

What an endearing post. I love how your brother helped you get into coding and the rollercoaster of emotions you went through - totally normal! Good luck😊🀞🏽

 
 

No worries! You will get there. I am still at the very start. Some bits of the code are still like "magic" but I'm doing it. Tough going but in the right direction.

 

You're doing great, Michal. This is more about persistence than strength. Keep doing what you're doing! πŸ’ͺ