I've been coding for a long time, over 10 years
- Always improve
- Learn with projects
- Stay healthy
- Apply yourself
- Don't Burnout
The first thing is to always keep learning early on when I started development, I really didn't take this very seriously. So this meant that while I was tinkering with lots of different projects, I never learned how to use a proper language or framework in full. The game changed for me a lot.
When I actually picked one thing that I wanted to learn, which was react, I decided that I wanted to know it inside and out. So I took out a course and I completed it from start to end. This opened up lots of possibilities for me.
I was finally able to build some of the projects I've always wanted to, and people at work started to realise this too, and came to me when they had different ideas and opportunities, always keep learning is essentially now a motto that I like to keep. And that's why it's first on this list.
After learning react, I decided to continue on I learned WordPress and bootstrap and lots lots more. Once I learned something the journey wasn't over, though, I often had to relearn it over and over even react pretty much changes every couple of years where you'll need to learn how to do hooks, and who knows what the next thing is.
Find a project that you're truly interested in and use that as a medium to continue to learn these go hand in hand because the fact that you will always have ideas and projects that you want to build.
But the problem is learning on its own is hard, you can feel like you're overwhelmed. And sometimes there's just too much to know, there have been so many times in my life where I've just given up on learning a language simply because it just felt too difficult.
I just didn't have the endurance to keep on going. The difference a project makes is that if you're doing something you're truly interested in, then the learning is a byproduct of completing the project.
It took me two years to try and figure out PHP just learning it by itself. But once I had a project where I had to build out a VPN using PHP, I learned it old in three months.
I know that for a long period, when I was in development, I sort of let myself go in the terms that I just ate whatever it was that had, I'd get takeout and I would just get fast food. And this really wasn't very good for my body.
Taking your health into consideration means making sure that you're eating good fruit and good vegetables, making sure that you're sitting properly, all of these things can add up in the long run. So whatever you do, make sure that you take care of yourself.
Apply yourself, this can come in so many different formats. The first is obviously that whenever you do any piece of work, put your heart and soul into it, you'll learn a lot more by doing so and you'll constantly be improving.
The other aspect is that even when you do get a job or a piece of work, always look for the horizon, look for what else you can do, keep applying for better jobs or looking how you can earn more money. And if you keep doing this, the result will be that you will end up achieving those goals.
My goal has always been to give myself a bit more free time to enjoy myself and do the things that I like, this didn't happen immediately. It took me about 10 years to get to where I am now. And for a lot of time, I just spend that time working really hard on all the things that I wanted to. But now that I have, I've got the opportunity to spend a bit more time with the things that are important to me, such as my son, my family, and working on the kinds of projects that I really enjoy.
Build your network.
This isn't just having people that you know, it's actually making friends with them and collaborating with them on different types of projects. When I was starting out as developer, I didn't really try to collaborate with other people, I tried to do most projects by myself.
This meant that when I got stuck, I could be stuck for an entire week trying to solve a problem. After being forced to work with other people in a startup, I actually found that I quite liked it.
Some of my closest friends even talked to me about creating a startup which we built, and it was successful and other people I knew put me in touch with their friends. And they helped me get my very first job in web development to which I'm still working to this day. The power of networking and connections and just friends in general cannot be understated in whatever field you are in.
Burnout is the next item on our list here. And it's a real thing that happens to a lot of developers. burnout for developers might not always be easy to recognise because we get so into the projects that we do. And when we're in that zone. Sometimes it's hard to know when we're pushing ourselves over the limit.
It's important to have checks and balances. I know that sometimes we can be really passionate about a project. But if we don't sleep enough, or if we drink too much coffee, or even if we just work too hard at it, we might lose the inspiration and motivation that gets a project over the line. And trust me I know what it's like having hundreds of projects unfinished, simply because I lost that motivation. When I worked myself too hard.
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