Hi! My name is Mia, and I'm not technical... yet. :)
I'm a member of The Relicans, and my background is unique on our team because I came to DevRel from marketing. (That's a whole other blog post -- let me know if you'd be interested in learning more about my journey to DevRel!)
During my career in tech, I have tried a few times to learn how to code. I love working with technical folks, and while it's not my goal to become an engineer, I want to be able to build interesting projects and have more in-depth conversations with members of the developer community.
My friend and fellow Relican @pachicodes suggested to jumpstart my coding journey by trying #100DaysOfCode, which is a coding challenge. The premise is simple: 100 days in a row, commit to one hour of coding. The official challenge also encourages you to track your progress on Twitter.
It's a little scary to commit to doing this challenge. I was worried about failing to keep up with it and everyone knowing that I didn't accomplish my goal. But I realized if I didn't do something, I'd find myself with little to no progress on my goal to level up my technical skills.
Pachi also suggested starting with Free Code Camp, which has been a really great experience so far. I like that the first course is frontend, because I feel more comfortable with that and it's helping me build up my confidence.
I also decided to modify the goal of the challenge a little bit to fit my lifestyle. I can't commit to doing 100 days consecutively right now -- I'm pregnant, which apparently takes a lot of energy, and my work day is filled to the brim. Also, to be frank, life happens. Texas was impacted by a winter storm that left most of the state without power and water, and I refuse to guilt myself over missing a few days over things like that.
But even if I only code every few days -- or once a week -- I am still committing, in public, to continue learning how to code. By the end of the year, I will have 100+ hours of coding under my belt that I wouldn't have had otherwise. And truly, that is my real goal!
I'm also livestreaming my progress every Wednesday at 1 pm central on Twitch. This is not a requirement for the official challenge, but I have been really enjoying it! Streaming makes sure I get at least a few hours of coding time in each week. I really love the community there too -- they have been so helpful in checking for missing semicolons and cheering me on when things go right :)
It turns out that even when I can only code once a week, I am still making progress by being more consistent.
If you are stuck on where to get started learning to code, or you want to level up your skills in a specific language, I highly recommend committing to your goal publicly. You can participate in something like #100DaysOfCode, write some blog posts here on Dev.to or TheRelicans.com, start a Twitter thread or Discord community -- anything that tells others what you're working on. Talk about what your goals are and how you're planning to achieve them.
Even if you don't achieve everything perfectly, you'll definitely be closer to your goal than when you started. And, perhaps more importantly, you'll have a community of people behind you to support you along the way.