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Chantae P.
Chantae P.

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The beginning of my coding journey...

My background (2014-2019)

In 2014, I landed my first job working in retail while attending CSU-Northridge. I was pursuing a bachelors degree in Finance. All through out college, I was not clear on what it is I wanted to do after I graduated. I was still working in retail when I graduated in 2016. Still, did not know what I wanted to do. Fast forward to the year 2017, I have finally decided that I wanted to be a Forensic Accountant for the FBI. Pretty bad ass right? But for two years, I have been applying for countless numbers of accounting jobs to no avail. Then in 2019, I was fired. Wamp wamp wamp.


So with the whole pandemic going on in 2020, and having been let go from the only job that I had for over 5 years, I was completely lost and confused with what I wanted to do. I knew for certain I did not want to go back to retail. And was over the idea of working in Accounting. And I sure as hell did not want to go back to school at all So I was like "What do I do now?" That's when I started researching jobs that a) pays well, b) a job where I don't have to interact with people constantly (proud introvert here 🙋🏾‍♀️), c) a career that I can thrive and grow in, and lastly d) a job where I DO NOT have to go back to school. That is when I came across Web/Software Development. So that year, I was researching more about being a Web Developer. So then I started researching on how to get started learning how to code for free. That is when I signed up for my first lessons on web development on codeacedmy. After a few weeks of coding, I was already getting bored 🥱. The farthest I went, was learning basic CSS syntax. Then I took a hiatus.

Fast forward a couple of months, I was again researching on the languages that you need to learn to get a web developer job. And also, the "easiest" language to learn. Then I came across Python. I researched jobs that you can get learning Python. Machine learning caught my eye. So I said to myself, "That doesn't sound too complicated". So I took a dive and bought a Python course on Udemy. Now, learning Python was fun. I actually enjoyed programing using that language. But as I went deeper into the course, that's when I got lost. And to make matters worst, I was not practicing nor was I learning more about Python outside of the course. I was basically following along with the tutorials, hoping I would learn and become a pro by the time I finished the course. Wishful thinking! So after completing the course, I completely forgot what I learned nor could I make basic projects on my own. At that moment I thought I was in over my head, and just gave up learning how to code.

Later on that year, I did participate in Hacktoberfest for the first time. It was really fun. I didn't contribute to any open source projects(I was scared of messing up someone's code). I mainly did projects that was for first timers. Such as learning how to clone and push files on Github. I also created a basic HTML and CSS project using canvas. After completing the four required pull requests to get my t-shirt, I went on a loooonnng hiatus.


In the beginning of 2021, I was still on a hiatus. Didn't care to learn about coding. I figured, since I can't retain the information or learn anything, why bother? But another year and I am still unemployed. I need a job but coding was too difficult for me comprehend.So then I did my research again on entry level jobs that are "easy" to get and pays well without going back to school. Once again, I am seeing Software Developer.Another plus about being a Software developer is that it's one of the top jobs in tech. I was like, oh what the hell? I'll give it another shot. That's when I researched how to get an entry level web developing job and the languages used. That's when I came to the conclusion that I will learn HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. At this time, I bought my second course Web Development on Udemy. Everything was fine and dandy in the beginning. I was actually learning something! I was understanding HTML and CSS better. Then it was time to learn JavaScript DUN DUN DUUUUN!!!. That is when things got real. Once again, old habits do not die hard. I was not practicing outside of the course. Like before, I was hoping that everything would click once I finished the course. That was a big no no. I had to repeat that course three times to finally understand basic HTML,CSS and JavaScript syntax. At this point in my journey, I was still unable to build any project on my own. I was stuck (and still am) in tutorial hell.

At this stage in my coding journey, I was extremely frustrated. Why am I still not able to code on my own and build my own projects? Why is it taking me so long to understand and learn how to code? I should be more advanced at this point right?
I was second guessing myself. But one thing about me, I am not a quitter. I rolled up my sleeves and got to work. After completing the course, I signed up for Freecodecamp.I also bought two books: HTML & CSS and JavaScript & Jquery both by Jon Duckett.I was determined more than ever to finally understand how to code. I was taking notes and not moving on from a problem until I understood it. I was also building basic projects using JavaScript. But I knew being stuck on tutorials is not the way to really learn how to code. By this time, the holidays where approaching and I was ready for my Christmas trip(snap snap). Even though I was getting better at coding, I was still in the beginner phase and had a lot more practicing to do.


Well, well, well. Here we are. Another year. Still on my coding journey. I bought anotherWeb Development course. But what's different this time around, I am doing (virtual) meetups once a week AND I am actually doing projects on my own! Well kind of. I am taking the initiative of coding real projects without following a tutorial(whoop whoop!). I use the newbie challenges on FrontEndMentor to practice. This is the year that I will finally get into the tech industry. I will definitely make sure of that. I am serious and determined more than ever! Yes, I have my days where I don't know what I'm doing and feel like giving up. But crazily enough, I actually like to code. You know it's real when you literally go to sleep and wake up thinking about your code. I woke up one morning having a conversation with myself on how to fix the layout on my web page. So yeah, this year I am all in. Can't wait to see where my journey will lead me in 3 months, 6 months, or even 9 months. Don't give up you guys. We can do it!

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