5 Things I Learned While Teaching Myself to Code.
I’ve always been intrigued by coding and have tried to teach myself in the past. However, I’ve rarely made it past a few intros to HTML & CSS videos.
After struggling through the first CM class I decided to challenge myself and work with code for our ‘everyday assignment.’ In doing so I learned many things, got frustrated more times than I want to recount, and have come out the other side wanting to keep learning.
Overall that seems like a plus+
Below are a few soft skills I learned throughout the process. They are in no particular order but seemed relevant nonetheless.
1. Ask Google
When in doubt ask the internet. Anytime that I was unsure of how to do something (which was most times) I Googled my question. Sure enough, a ton of answers came to the surface and I was then able to siphon through and find the most applicable answer. I would say that typically it took me less than 10min (max) to find the information I was looking for. Thank goodness for the internet.
2. Ask For Help
There is no shame in asking for help or clarification. I learned this quickly. While Googling everything has its perks, I found that getting an explanation from a real person helped cement the lesson in my mind better. I’m grateful for a handful of people who sat with me and help answer all of my foundational questions.
Also, more often than not people love to share their knowledge. Give them a chance to shine and soak in as much as you can.
3. Change. Save. Refresh.
Coding feels like a pursuit of trial and error. I constantly and consistently found myself making a change, saving, and refreshing my browser. Often times I’d see no change and would head back to the drawing board. While my success rate was abysmal I’m grateful for the instant response of whether something was done correctly or not.
Getting to see the process work out in the text editor and then in the browser gave me a greater understanding of the connections. A good foundational lesson.
4. On a Roll? Don’t Stop.
A few of the days I found myself getting into the coding groove. For some reason, I would call it quits just a bit too early and then have a fairly unproductive or frustrating next day.
Perhaps I ended early because I wanted to finish on a high note, which seems more than reasonable. However, in a few instances, I wished I would have continued. When learning feels good it’s best to lean into that feeling. I think I would have made more progress if I’d paid attention to this more.
5. Know When You Learn Best
This should be a no-brainer and I certainly should have leaned into my learning style more. I know that I can intake the most information before 1 pm yet I found myself sitting down to code after 5 pm almost without fail every day.
Do your most challenging work when you know you work best. Be self-aware.
Ok, that’s a wrap.
I learned a lot and am still excited to learn more!