My First Year in Tech

Starting out

1st of September 2019, I decided to get serious with coding and software development. I had initially started out in April 2019 using SoloLearn. I didn't find it interesting. I literally found pleasure in hearing the 'ding' notification after I had answered a question correctly.

After finishing the HTML course on SoloLearn, I evaluated myself and I didn't remember nothing. Truth is I was confused and frustrated. I repeatedly told myself that coding wasn't for me. I dropped out of SoloLearn and found W3School. Using W3School was quite easier because it felt like I was going over what I had learned with SoloLearn. That didn't last for long anyway and I was off again.

Building projects

During this period, I didn't have a computer/system/laptop - whatever you want to call it. I was using my phone. I used the QuickEdit application to write code. I didn't have a great experience using my phone but I just continued the cycle - dropping out and getting back. I started using my phone to code, it was kinda rough because I had to write out all the code in one file. I had to use inline styling and boy - it was terrible. All the same, I still wrote my code and I was so happy every time it worked out the way I wanted it to.

I built out some really scrappy websites. Recently I found the file of the code and I was looking at my 'garbage' code that made me happy. I remember the first time I wanted to deploy one of the websites I had built with my phone, it didn't have meta tags and head links. I knew nothing about that at the time. Thinking about it now, it's actually very funny I wanted to deploy it. πŸ˜†

It didn't work out - just in case you were wondering. I dropped out again...the cycle had to continue. There was no breaking off the cycle. Sometime around July 2019, I got back again and created my github account. I remember I created my github account on the 31st of July 2019 and deployed πŸ‘‰ this. I tried to clone google website. I had a lot of issues getting it to work. I struggled a lot with knowing the difference between margin and padding. I eventually got tired and abandoned it. From then up until September 2019, I dropped off again.

Motivation

Before August 2019 came to an end, I found this website. It curates stories of people who learnt to code without a computer science degree. I highly recommend reading the stories there. They are really inspiring. This πŸ‘‰ article was the one that inspired me a lot. I decided I was going to get serious from September 2019 and I did that.

Getting serious

September 2019 came and I got serious. I also got a laptop. I started out checking youtube for code tutorials and this was when it began to stick. I found The Net Ninja on youtube and oh boy, it is one of the best youtube channels I have found so far. I became hooked. And yes, I did have struggles but I didn't stop. By the end of September 2019 I had worked on some projects and also created this portfolio. It isn't perfect but I was happy with my progress. I even applied to jobs with it.

In October 2019 I found Frontend Mentor. The challenges were really interesting and I was able to come up with this. I was thrilled with the feedback I got and I went on to do some other challenges. You can find them here.

Learning JavaScript plus Imposter syndrome

By December 2019, I had become pretty much confident in HTML and CSS so I decided it was time to learn JavaScript. I dreaded it so much, but I couldn't run for long. Every time I wanted to implement something like a navbar, majority of the tutorials were in JavaScript and I didn't understand JavaScript. I hated copying code because everytime I did, the copied code would scatter the code I had written myself. It would get so annoying to navigate my way around and undo what I copied. So I always found a way to do everything I wanted with CSS πŸ˜…. I got WesBos beginner JavaScript course and started learning. JavaScript has been my biggest monster in coding so far. By January 2020, I was dropping off and getting back on. I was really frustrated. I would usually work on HTML and CSS projects to console myself while learning JavaScript. By February 2020, I gradually started figuring it out, I was able to manipulate the DOM and do some fun stuff.

Sometime around March/April 2020, imposter syndrome kicked in. I started feeling like I didn't know anything. All the projects I had worked on looked shitty to me. I started comparing my projects to bigger projects that I saw and I felt I wasn't doing enough. Before I knew it, I started jumping from framework to framework to make myself feel good about doing big projects.

Beating Imposter syndrome

Long story short, I got my senses back from imposter syndrome, got back on learning JavaScript seriously again by May 2020. This course from Mosh Hamedani helped a lot. Then I later bought the full course here. After building some projects with JavaScript I became confident and ventured into working with API's.

This became so much fun for me, consuming data from external API's and displaying it on the front end with the coolest UI I could come up with. Moving on, I started working with ReactJS and I most say, it's been quite easy. Having that understanding of JavaScript has made it simple for me I'll say. I was able to build some projects without getting scared. Reading the documentations, blogs like πŸ‘‰ this and bumping into errors has made learning quite fun. You can find my current portfolio with all of my recent projects here.

It's been a year and I must say I've learnt a whole lot. I constantly told myself previously that coding isn't for me. Reflecting on my "WINS" and "LOSES", I've realized I have come a long way from where I was. I'm not where I want to be yet but I'm getting there.

For the new year, I plan on going deep with the projects I have at hand. I'll be looking into working with some more technologies. I'm currently focused on working with ReactJS and animations. I'll be including databases and testing. I'll also be writing some more blog posts hopefully. Talking about tech and cake too πŸ˜‰. Just in case you didn't know I'm a baker. I transitioned from baking to tech.

If you've gotten to this point thanks for taking out time to read this. I didn't envision this post to be this long. Writing a blog is a lot harder than I thought.

If you ever want to reach out to me, you can find me on Twitter. Don't hesitate to reach out to me. I'm looking at getting new friends and meeting amazing people like you ☺️.

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