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James Palermo
James Palermo

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The loneliness of learning

I sit at my machine, launching my IDE and getting ready to work on my project. I’ve recently made a breakthrough and now the basic functionality of my simple website works. I decide that I’ll focus on styling for a while, and soon the familiar click-clack of my trusty Khail box white keys fills the room.

That is all that fills this room. As I briefly let my attention wander, an existential chill comes over me. How many other thousands of people are learning CSS right now? Are they networked and collaborating and helping each other figure out challenges? Do they have anything in their ears other than the clack of their keyboard and creaks of their chair?

As you can guess by the fact that I’m posting here I am well aware of development communities; I’ve come in contact with many helpful folks who have helped me when I’ve had a question or two. Yet for me, people to stay in touch as we learn escape me.

I write this all to say that if you are learning coding and you see busy open source projects, read Medium posts with lots of views, and see popular YouTube coding channels but don’t feel part of anything you’re not as alone as it feels.

Learning this stuff from home can be very lonely. It can be challenging and frustrating not having human contact to sit down with and solve problems with. It can be exhausting and make you insecure.

But even with all that, you know what? I’m not going to quit. I love making stuff. I love my chair, I love my keyboard, and even if nobody else ever sees the new CSS I’m working on I’ll still be god damn proud that I taught myself how to do it.

Soon the familiar click-clack of my Khail box whites fill the room again, but somehow they sound a little bit more cheerful than before.

Stay healthy my friends,

  • Jas

Discussion (2)

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abh1navv profile image
Abhinav Pandey

Spend time on Twitter. Find people like yourself and learn with them.

Some of them are doing the 100DaysOfCode challenge and learning CSS. Do it together.

Apart from that, I see so many are teaching CSS tricks with Twitter threads...you can communicate with them and find others like you when you interact with those tweets.

You are not alone.

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james_palermo_bc208e463e4 profile image
James Palermo Author

Maybe I should make a new Twitter account that's not all spammed up and try that. I really appreciate your advice. 🙂