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Suborna
Suborna

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What I am currently doing as a code newbie and possibly you should do too

Originally published here

A little about myself

As mentioned before in my previous blog posts, I am a code newbie with just over 2 months of experience in HTML, CSS & JavaScript. I am currently playing around with ReactJS by following "The Complete React Developer Course (w/ Hooks and Redux)" course by Andrew Mead on Udemy. Other than learning how to code, here are a few things I am currently doing that I believe will help me become a successful web developer.

1. Commit to 100DaysOfCode challenge on Twitter

Committing to the 100DaysofCode challenge will allow you to stay on track, meet people with the same level of experience as you and receive help whenever necessary. But most important of all, you will start to realise you are not alone in this. This is a feeling I had to keep fighting because I thought being 27 is way to late to start programming as my husband Foysal wrote his first line of code when he was 19 and now he is 27 with 8 years of experience. But if you surround yourself with people who are also committed to the same challenge, you will realise people of all ages are learning how to code and it's never too late. I am currently on my 49th day and as soon I finish my first round I am hoping to start a second because I really feel like it just keeps me going!

2. Reduce procrastination

I have come across people who look for excuses to delay their learning process. Some of the scenarios are like the followings:

  • I will start on New Year
  • I will start on my Birthday
  • I will start from the beginning of the month

By the time the day of your choice arrives, you are more likely to loose motivation than gain it. So I highly recommend you to just start, it's as simple as that! Whether you are planning to change your career or look for a job in this sector, today is the day to start learning, not tomorrow, not on your birthday, not at the beginning of the month! It's Today! So let's get going!

3. Consistency

You may have a part-time/full-time job, university, kids, cooking, chores or other things to do in your day to day life and that's okay. In the very beginning, try not to overwhelm yourself with too much information instead do less but stay consistent. The way I am currently learning is by coding for 2-3 hours everyday without any break. I make sure I write at least a few lines of code everyday instead of working for a longer period within a day and end up taking a break the next day. This way the information I receive from tutorials stays short and memorable.

4. Apply to jobs

I don't have a job yet but I am constantly applying and I believe you should do the same even if you are not ready yet. Applying to jobs at an early stage was highly recommended by an author in an article I was reading through once. Sure, you/I are more likely to get rejected than to get hired but at least we get to learn the process of applying as early as possible. Also we both think that we don't know enough to apply to jobs just yet but once we do know enough, it's not like we will land on a job within a week. So why not apply as early as possible and learn both the language and process of job application simultaneously?

5. Join Meetups

I know, I know! We are very shy and we hate meeting people and talking to them about languages we just have basic ideas on makes it even harder but I believe this will extremely come in handy specially when it comes to our first job. A word of mouth always gets you a quicker job than applying online. But that is not the only advantage! We also get to meet people with similar experience as ours, discuss about our projects and most of all make new friends in our local area.

6. Write Blog posts

This is what I am doing right now! I am feeling like everything I have written so far in this post might be useless and wouldn't help anyone but I am still here writing about it. I have been coding for over two months and I have already received a few emails from companies asking me if I am interested in a certain position. Unfortunately all the positions require on-site presence and I will not be able to relocate at the moment but the first thing they mention when they reach out is "hey I have read your blog posts on dev.to....." and that gave me a huge confidence boost so I decided to write more blog posts and would ask you to do the same.

7. Be active on Twitter

Of course within a certain limit so that you don't get carried away. Follow experienced developers as well as developers that are currently learning just like you. If you come across anything that's interesting to you or you have learnt something new from someone's post, make sure you let them know by leaving a comment every once in a while, which can be a starting point to make friends with someone. Don't be afraid to send them a personal message asking more about the current projects they are working on and if they would like to stay in contact. YES! I know it gets awkward at times but that's just how it is!

Now I possibly wouldn't have put this as a point unless I have made a very good friend through Twitter. On November 7th, 2019 Mikey sent me a message asking if we should start our 100DaysOfcode challenge together. I was on vacation in Denmark back then so I asked if he would mind waiting until 18th as I will be back from vacation on 17th Nov, 2019. So we started the challenge together straight away on 18th! Now this was unexpected but me and Foysal had to go to Frankfurt in December and Mikey happens to be living only an hour away from Frankfurt, so we planned for a get together and he was kind enough to come to Frankfurt to meet us both. Right now we are extremely good friends and we share our knowledge about food, country, culture, religion and programming all the time, which is amazing.

That is all from me today and what I am doing currently on my day to day life. I would love to add more to this so let me know if you are doing anything else other than the ones I have mentioned above to become a successful developer.

Discussion (20)

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jkhaui profile image
Jordy Lee

Good work. Here's my 2 cents:

  • Immersion theory. At this stage, a lot of what you don't know are "unknown unknowns". So outside (or in between) your other commitments, try and always be looking at or reading about code, as this will help the unknowns surface faster and help your brain with pattern recognition of common practices and syntax for your language/framework/etc.
  • Applying for jobs: This is the one point, with all due respect, I disagree with. I've also been told it's good to apply for jobs early, which I agree with, but imo, 2 months is far too early. The amount of time spent applying and dealing with rejections would be better spent coding. And even if you got a job somewhere, it probably won't end well. Being a developer is already stressful enough, so imagine how much pressure you'd feel if you started a dev job not even being familiar/comfortable with the role you were hired for. It could end badly which would hinder your future motivation

Take that with a grain of salt, love what you're doing otherwise :)

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iraamoni profile image
Suborna Author

Hey Jordan, Your comment gave me a different insight to how I currently look at things so thank you. I have always read these type of tweets on twitter "15 years as a developer and I still don't know what I am doing" from experienced developers and that made me think, may be I can have a job too where I don't know what I am doing but can learn through the process of a full-time/part-time/internship. Being a developer is definitely stressful enough but shouldn't we get out of our comfort zone earlier rather than later or at least try?

2 months is definitely way too short to apply to any jobs I totally agree. But there are people out there who has a full-time job not even relating to programming. Wouldn't it be better to get a job early even if you are uncomfortable so that you don't have to separately manage time to learn programming?

And also no one would hire me with 2 months of experience even I know that but by the time I do I will possibly have 8-12 months of experience and I already know the process of applying. I know earlier on what set of skills companies want, what I can improve as a developer from now on, what particular things I need to focus on other than coding to do better in an organisation and so on. That is the scenario I actually visualised in my head.

All this aside, freelancing might be the most easiest route to start with as a new developer.

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pauldparadis profile image
Paul D. Paradis

This is great. I have been programming for about two years, but I consider myself to be a complete newbie. Ironically enough, I decided to start blogging about my experiences learning to code when I joined this site, which was about two weeks ago. I will be pushing my first post out soon, and I have received renewed inspiration from reading this. Thanks very much for taking the time to write this. The whole article gave me a lot to think about. Cheers.

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iraamoni profile image
Suborna Author

wow I really enjoyed reading your comment. Comments like this actually inspire me to write more! Thank you and I look forward to reading your post :D

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jscooksey profile image
Justin Cooksey

Interesting to read, and I'm taking a look at 100DaysOfCode now, while I'm on holidays. With the intetion to start when i get back home.
I usually struggle to find time, with a busy job, to learn. So the procrastination comments suit me as well.
Not looming to change jobs, at least not for a while, as I work in IT and do get to use coding more and more in the work I do, but was very interested I the comments that potential employers had read your blog, or dev.to posts.

Always good to read posts like this. Not everyone is looking for just the I've done this for decades comments.

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iraamoni profile image
Suborna Author

I have seen the same pattern too. All the programmers are experienced and they write blogs about how they have come this far and what they did as a beginner but beginners like us rarely write posts about what they are learning and how they are approaching towards becoming a developer. I am glad you found my post useful :) Hoping to see you on my newsfeed for 100daysofcode :D

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katnel20 profile image
Katie Nelson • Edited on

Great post Suborna! Procrastination is one of the things I do best! After reading this post, I’ll try to push it down as something I do less often.

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iraamoni profile image
Suborna Author

haha yeah! Procrastination is something we all do best!

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safinghoghabori profile image
Safin Ghoghabori

Hmm really this is insight full. I love it. I am currently learning new languages but cant choose one.

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iraamoni profile image
Suborna Author

I am glad you found it useful. What language are you learning atm?

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safinghoghabori profile image
Safin Ghoghabori

Actually i just completed php/laravel.

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iraamoni profile image
Suborna Author

that's great! 😊

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safinghoghabori profile image
Safin Ghoghabori • Edited on

Mam currently i am studying BCA so learned many languages also. But now i want to learn complete frontend development and backend development, so give me the best suggestion. I.e.the best free tutorial also.

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codingdive profile image
Mikey Stengel

Great post. I'm honored to be in your post and so glad to be part of your learning journey. 🙏😊

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iraamoni profile image
Suborna Author

hehe I am really glad you contacted me ❤️ Couldn't do this challenge without you!

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dennismusembi1 profile image
Dennis Mwendwa Musembi

This is great work. Am also newbie. Finish learning HTML CSS. now learning JavaScript almost done. About the alone part. You learn new concept and the practice what you have learned. Sometimes it doesn't give the results you expect and you didn't seem to figure out the problem. Sometimes it's take long (half hour to one) before you find the mistake. It can be draining some times.

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Michaela Hunter

Helpful post! It’s encouraging to see where people are at different coding stages. I also think we get so much advice it’s hard to see what’s worth doing—and seeing someone else doing it is encouraging. I hope you continue to post on your journey!!🤗

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slshashika profile image
Shashika

Great post.Its very helpful.

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iraamoni profile image
Suborna Author

thank you :)