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alec huang
alec huang

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Hello world!

It would make most sense to use this first post as a way to introduce myself.

What is this blog about?

My journey in learning software development and also writing about things that interest me, project ideas I have and whatever my curiosity leads me to! Also to interact with the developer community. Teaching myself to code can be lonely at times so I’m putting myself out there to meet other new developers and learn about the latest trends and interests in the developer community.

A little about me

I’m a recent college graduate. I went to Michigan (Go Blue!) and I studied Economics and Art History. I LOVED my art history classes. Renaissance art, French impressionism, American Modernism, Art Deco and the list goes on. Economics on the other hand, I studied just because it just seemed like the most practical and straight forward degree. I’ve lived in a lot of places from Taiwan to New York to Delaware and then Michigan. Now I’m back at my family home in New York.

My decision to learn software development

Before COVID happened, the plan was to start working in July at the firm I interned with last summer in New York and the job entails a mix of finance and accounting. Solid job with great people in an amazing city full of energy. But obviously things changed and I was told back in May that my start date would be pushed back to December. Honestly, who knows if there's still going to be a job for me by December, the virus has taught us that so many things are just beyond our control. When I found out I wasn't working for another 7 months, I felt kind of lost because I didn’t know what to do with myself for such a long period of time. I was moping around at home feeling purposeless and resentful. Then my siblings asked me “What is something you’ve always wanted to do but never had the time to do it?”. A light bulb went off.

I had taken a couple of introductory computer science classes at Michigan, I remembered I really like the feeling of creating and developing that those classes gave me but I didn’t continue with computer science because I just thought I wasn’t smart enough. But now, I realized that it is the perfect time to pick it back up. I found out about freecodecamp, a free online resource/curriculum that teaches people to code, and I just ran with it. It’s been an extremely rewarding and exciting journey learning to code.

Some of my recent projects

I push all my projects on to Github. Please feel free to follow me, I will follow back! I would love to see the interesting projects that people are building. Here is the Random Quote Generator I built and most recently, the Markdown Previewer I built which I used for writing this blog post! Currently working on a web app that users can create beets with(just kidding, I meant “beats” as in musical beats). Next up is an interactive Javascript calculator and then a Pomodoro clock. Afterwards maybe a wikipedia search web app where you can search for wikipedia pages. That would be really cool.

What have I actually learned

It’s easiest to explain what I’ve learned by breaking it down to technical and non-technical Topics


Languages - HTML, CSS, JavaScript

Libraries/Frameworks - React, Redux (kinda), JQuery, Bootstrap & Sass


I’ve observed a really big shift in the way I deal with adversities.
A few years ago when I first learned computer science, when I would spent hours on a single function in my project that still refuses to work I would have been really frustrated at myself. Berating myself for not being smart enough to solve something that seemed so straightforward to my class mates. I start to wonder if I can even solve it and question whether if I’m even cut out for this.

Too many "if"s and not enough self-belief.

But now! it’s so different. My mentality has changed to “It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when." So for example, it's not a matter of whether if I can write the right function that correctly works with this data structure, it's a matter of when I will write the right function that correctly works with the data structure. I now know that if I stick with something for long enough, I will solve it.

Decision to be self-taught

Going to a bootcamp is a really popular and respectable route. It works, people get jobs, and you’re surrounded by people who are also passionate about learning to code. Not to mention it’s also less lonely because what ever struggle your going through, your peers are probably struggling with it as well.

However, I made the decision to be self-taught (at least for the foreseeable future) because

  1. I have no income and I would feel terrible asking my parents to pay for it after they’ve already given me the gift of graduating college without debt and now helping me with expenses so I can focus on learning.
  2. I don’t want my learning to be confined to a syllabus. I feel like with graduation in May, I’ve finally been able to jump off the academic treadmill and begin to follow my own curiosity. With freecodecamp there’s a curriculum that I am following, I make sure to not skip through any of the challenges or projects, but I’m also free to follow my hunches. For example, recently I’ve been digging into the animate.css library and trying to implement it in my upcoming project.
  3. I’m super satisfied with my rate of improvement. Everyday I am just learning, absorbing and pushing myself. The things I am building now I thought would have taken me many more months to learn.

If you're currently teaching yourself to code, I would love to hear about your experience as well!

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