Learning anything new can be very difficult. Self-learning is difficult and quite frankly it is a pretty lonely path. We suffer things like impostor syndrome, inconsistency, tutorial hell, being overwhelmed e.t.c. For full disclosure, this is not focused on how I got into learning web development or picking up programming as a skill. It is advice and a niche I found that went a long way in my programming journey. I felt I could share with people that could relate or have thought about picking up programming as a skill in the nearest future.
If you are like me, you have probably heard that with no experience in the field you have to build real-world projects, and building these projects can show you can do the work. It accounts for that lack of experience before mentioned. Trust me, lack of experience is one of the issues self-taught developers have to face.
So I pick up the skills watching one tutorial video after another, and like everything in life that has its pros and cons. I build complex enough projects, maybe even scalable ones. But then that’s all the knowledge I have at that point. It ends in that project. Don’t get me wrong I am not saying you need to re-invent the wheel or anything but honestly building those cant be enough. I found that out the hard way.
I’m a front-end web developer. I have watched tons of tutorial videos and built quite a few complex and cozy projects. But until a buddy of mine told me to focus on learning and building things that could improve my day-to-day life, I honestly had no enthusiasm to keep going. That advice turned everything around for me.
I then found out that most tech companies have in-house projects that they use to improve their productivity within. Learning this gave me a sense of direction. Coupled with the advice I got from my friend, I looked at my day-to-day lifestyle and tried to figure out how I could use the skills I had gotten from these tutorials to improve it. And from the go, the first thing I could think of was the meditation app on my phone with a monthly subscription.
I was not excited about that, so that was the first thing I had to improve.
One skill a good developer has to have is problem-solving & researching. I had a problem and I found a solution. Going back to what I said earlier about not re-inventing the wheel. The internet has so many resources and materials to make it so that you never have to build anything you want from scratch again. Knowing this should be all the inspiration you need to get going. I found so many ideas that were similar to what I had in mind and compiled all those and built upon them. I like to be in-depth so I tore it down and rebuilt it again and again(tweaking it over and over).
After building my meditation web-app, I realized I could also improve the skills I had learned by involving the people around me in this new process of mine. so I built a recipe book app for my best friend who is a chef. She always had to search for various recipes on different sites. The app made all the recipes she could think of be one click away.
Those two simple projects did a lot for me and improved my excitement towards not just the learning but the building projects process. You could call them side projects if you’d like. To me, they are my in-house projects. Doing this made me interested in building a lot more things and learning new technologies.
Teaching yourself anything can be difficult and draining but when you care about what you are learning it becomes part of your everyday life and it inspires and motivates you to do more.
Thank you for reading.