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Brenda Michelle
Brenda Michelle

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5 Changes that Propelled My Progress

Self-learning Full Stack Development

My interest in coding 1st started a few years ago when I wanted to create a blog. I tried making a blog with WordPress but was overwhelmed and stressed with the design. No matter what I did I could not customize it to my liking. That is how my Google search lead me to HTML and CSS. I then decided to start learning HTML. Long story short I learned HTML and when I started learning CSS I stopped because I felt I was not smart enough to learn computer science. Let alone on my own.

After my 1st attempt, I returned to CSS and once again did not find the right online resources and felt I was not making progress at all. I would constantly read, follow CodeAcademy’s courses and take word-by-word notes, try to memorize and nothing helped. I still felt like I did not really understand anything.

In 2020 I found a PHP course at a local school and decided to give coding one last chance and the 3rd times a charm. Although COVID hit at the beginning of the year and I ended up being hospitalized with COVID it did not stop me. I made the commitment and I am still learning every day. The progress I have made this year is 100 times more than the last two attempts put together. I have learned and feel very confident with HTML and CSS. I am learning Javascript and hope to start learning ReactJS soon. My goal is to become a Full Stack Developer and it feels so much more attainable now.

In this post, I want to share with you all 5 changes that propelled my progress and have made a world of a difference in my self-learning journey.

Changed my self-learning approach

I completely changed my way of learning. I stopped taking physical notes and moved to digital note-taking with the Notion App. I am a lot more intentional with my notes. I do not take word-by-word notes. Instead, I try to explain the concepts that I have learned to myself and write them out as if I am teaching them. I also include code blocks (snippets) for future reference.

I no longer focus on only studying I also take time between courses or sections within a course to create a project. My projects are not huge or post-worthy but they help me understand the concepts.

Made my own curriculum

With the help of the internet, I have created a curriculum (more of a list) that I am following. It includes free resources and project ideas. This curriculum is ever-changing because as I learn something new I discover other concepts and technologies that get added to my curriculum. But of course, that is a part of the job; ultimately we are lifelong learners.

Share your knowledge

Sharing what I learn has helped reinforce my knowledge and understanding of concepts. When you share with others you want to ensure that the information is correct and that you actually know what you are talking about. The best way to do that is through research. The combination of research, writing out concepts, and teaching leads to better understanding.

Learned how to Google

Learning how to Google is a skill in itself. One that every developer needs to master. As you learn more concepts you will learn the necessary keywords needed to optimize your Google search and find what you need.

Joined the community

One of the most important changes that I have made is joined the community. I have joined the Twitter dev community, various dev discord channels, Instagram dev community, Facebook groups, Linkedin community, and much more. Seeing others coding and working in the industry on a daily basis is amazing. The community is very supportive and has helped me a lot when I am feeling discouraged and also when I am excited and hopeful. Reading about other self-taught dev success stories encourages me to keep going. It proves that success is possible and attainable.

This post is episode 1 of my #SelfTaughtSaturday Series where I will be posting tips, tricks, resources, anything and everything that can hopefully help anyone out there interested in self-learning to code.

If you are even a bit intrigued and are interested in learning to code lets connect! I would love to help in any way I can.

Photo by Windows on Unsplash

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