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One year coding: what I did wrong and right

Nadine M. Thêry
At my 30s I found out that there was a developer inside a Political Science Graduated. I've been COO an CMO for 4 years but I decided to persue my dream and become a Front-end developer:)
・4 min read

It's been a year since I decided to give up my CMO and COO positions to focus on my career as a developer, a passion I knew I had but ignored for so many years.
Looking back, I can tell there were lots of things that I did wrong. But hey, there were lots that I really think I did right.I wanted to share with you, newbies and also seniors, what I learned through-out this year.
One year later, I am working as a developer in Salesforce (APEX) and personally developing VUEJs projects with Nuxt (learning). I couldn't be happier.

What I did wrong

1. Jump over to things too advanced too soon.

I wasn't realistic about my capabilities. I first started with some Vanilla JS and wanted to jump over to React right away, because I felt I was doing things too "old school". This was a big mistake. Trying to learn React only 3/4 months after starting just led me to frustration and getting stucked.
Some months later, I switched to VUEjs instead, that seemed more newbie-welcoming.

2. Not making a study plan or project.

You really need to get organized in order to advance. I constantly felt like jumping from one dev article to another not sure about what I wanted to do. Starting and leaving projects all the time.

3. Not looking for a mentor from the very beginning

At the beginning I thought I could take all the answers from the Internet, but in the end, I always ended up asking to my dev friends. I am a lucky girl, with amazing developer friends that encouraged me to go on and, in a certain way, ended up being my mentors. Because sometimes you just need somebody to talk to. Or somebody to put you in the right direction.

4. Forget about the MVP

When you start designing apps, or new functionalities you end up with a bunch of things to do. And when you are new it all feels like a huge mountain to climb that discourages you to even start.
You don't have to avoid hard things. You just have to squeeze your project and really extract a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to start with.
If you want to make an app to save notes, that also sends you an email and has an alert system, maybe your MVP should be just saving the note the database.
We do need little victories to celebrate to keep going.

5. Not valueing what I actually did right

This is kind of a consequence of the above said. When you try to make a lot and too hard for your level, you always end up the day with a sense of failure on your back.
Be gentle with yourself. You still have a lot to learn, but remind yourself what you actually achieved that day, what you've learned. Set a single goal for that day and celebrate it.

6 Avoiding working with git for solo projects

I particularly find git (Github) soooo complicated to understand. But it is a "must" in the developing environment these days. Start working with git as soon as you can and force yourself to work with version control. The sooner the better, since when you arrive to a company this knowledge is almost assumed.

What I did right

1. Writing and sharing

Ok, I had absolutely nothing technical to share, and there are lots of people better than me to explain. But writing and sharing knowledge and experiences made me realize that I actually knew more that I thought. I also help you build you personal profile.

2. Make my own website from the very beginning

You need a playground, and a CV, and a project. This was my first project and the one I really enjoyed it. No one will judge you but you, you are your own client.
This is my website, BTW:
Nadine Thery's WebSite

3. Going to meetups even when I didn't understand anything

Push myself out of my comfort zone and going to chats I didn't understand anything about. I am so happy now, because thanks to that I met amazing and supporting people that were in the same situation I was. That was very encouraging.

4. Making a bootcamp

I love studying. But I am the kind of person that needs to have a goal further than just learning. So I bought this amazing Web Development Bootcamp from the App Brewery for just 10 € and went through it as if it was my work (wasn't working in that moment). I also went for the CodeCamp Responsive Web Certification. It felt great to have a title in my hands, and to feel that I was actually going somewhere.

5. Accepting simple coding jobs

Web developing for clients is kind of stressful. They usually don't know what they want or they will change constantly their opinions... but you know what? It gives you a lot of things back beside the money, of course. One of them is confidence. And the other is putting yourself in a real work scenario that forces you to solve things as fast and as best as you can.
Always be honest about your capabilities and timing though. It will save you bad experiences with your clients.

6. Updating Linkedin

If you want to be seen as a developer, then you need to show yourself to the world as one. Update your Linkedin, share your achievements and let the world know about you.

What about you? How do you feel about your path, what would you share with your code-newby self?

Take care XX

Discussion (6)

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shanif profile image
Shani Fedida

I also think you should you a source control for solo projects. I gave this advice not long ago to someone I was helping with its solo project. I guess a lot of new developers don't think about it, or think it doesn't have a value for solo projects. Would you like to write a post about this?

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Nadine M. Thêry Author

Sure! I am still struggling with it haha

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Nico S___

Very important point about mentorship. The internet is full of information, and also full of strong opinions. Cutting through the cruft and getting to whats important is very hard when you are new to anything. Finding someone you trust to help you navigate a new domain will get you faster and safer to your destination.

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samprabhu1443

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Rocky

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Rocky

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