It seems around every corner, there is a code school attempting to recruit code newbies. After several career tests and several hours reviewing which one was right for you, you find yourself taking the plunge. You spend hours mentally preparing yourself for this new journey, now you are in the group of novice developers trying to transition from "Hello, world" to "Hello, entry level developer position" as quickly as possible. Some of the concepts seem to be simple to grasp and execute. Other times the excitement fizzles out as soon as you find yourself running into a coding mental block that leaves you feeling like you have learned nothing at all, and you are months into your journey. Where to now?
Here are the events that I let derail my progress:
- A nasty custody battle with an ex.
- Ongoing issues at my kids schools.
- An untimely death of a friend and relative.
- Moving to another state.
- Selling a house.
- Closing a business.
All of the above derailments were emotionally draining, and there were many times where coding was just not a priority. I wish I were able to tell you I stayed the course and kept coding from taking a backseat. Sadly, I can not. However, I can tell you that if I could get those months back, I would have found a way to trudge through it all. Staying in the coding space is the best way to begin really comprehending the language you are using to communicate with the computer. Plain and simple.....just like you hoped learning to code would be.
Here are my recommendations on staying motivated and being your own committed cheerleader.
A pep talk with yourself is never a waste of time. Keep affirming yourself. Even if you are doing the same project over and over, you are doing something to absorb the information.
A struggling classmate is a blessing in disguise.
Nothing makes you feel better in the depths of despair like finding out you aren't there alone. I started working with classmates and talking through our mistakes and methods, and everything started to click. Your language gets better and you will learn from each other. So, group Zoom as much as you need to, but network through those pitfalls. You got this!
Pseudocode is your ally.
There were so many times that I stared at my Visual Code not knowing where to start. STOP DOING THAT! Just start pseudo-coding. Your synapses will start firing and progress will begin.
Understanding scope is essential to avoid major coding issues.
Take as much time as you need to really understand function blocks, hoisting, local scope, and global scope. When you start getting those initiation, null, and data not accessible errors, you'll be relieved at how quickly you can fix the issue with a better knowledge of scope.
Life must go on.
You have to take breaks and time out to disconnect and enjoy all things outside of coding. Balance your sanity. There have been so many times where I was able to solve a coding issue just by taking a mental break.
In conclusion, keep believing in yourself. Keep coding and learning from your mistakes. It will all start sticking. I'm proof of the matter. Thank you for reading my first blog. I look forward to improving how I am able to write about code and making these reads a little humorous along the way.