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Brandi Sanders
Brandi Sanders

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Why it has Taken me Five Years to Learn Basic Python

Coding is something that my partner is extremely passionate about, so about five years ago I began my own coding journey. That ended pretty fast. While I love listening to my partner explain the projects he has been working on and finding and fixing problems, I really wanted to be able to have deeper conversations and to have a better understanding about the area he is passionate about. But when I tried it, it was just something that I could not comprehend or even understand how anyone could find it fun or interesting.

When I started to learn code everything felt so overwhelming but at the same time stupidly simple. I couldn’t understand that I was learning the basics so I could eventually start building. It all seemed so silly. How was I going to build something that just prints out ‘hello world’, why wouldn’t I just type hello world, and what was even the point? The levels of frustration I was feeling with myself lead me to have a negative mindset that was keeping me from learning and eventually lost the motivation to learn.

The class I have been taking has given me some perspective and allows me to reflect on myself whenever I first started my coding journey years ago. Knowing what I know now I realize that I had too high of expectations for myself. When I first started I didn’t have any experience whatsoever but I had expected myself to fully understand all the basics and be able to write fun little things within a few weeks. Not only did I have too high of expectations but they were also unrealistic. I didn't allow myself time to learn, or give myself the kindness when I didn’t understand, or allow myself to fail which I have now learned is a major part of learning code. I didn’t understand that failures taught me more than what it meant about my skills especially that early on.

I feel extremely fortunate with my experience this time around learning. I have a professor who encourages us to actively participate and learn, I have a class of peers who give me a sense of community and help me understand it’s okay to not understand and it's always okay to ask for help, and I have a partner who is always excited to help and talk with me about what I’ve learned. I think another of my biggest challenges when I was learning was feeling like so many people learn to code on their own or from a bootcamp so why couldn’t I be one of those people too. This new experience has shown me that I can be one of those people, I just needed an encouraging environment, where I could communicate with people on the same skill level as me and to also be patient and nicer to myself.

Top comments (2)

dawx profile image

I had the same problem, I was learning for years how to code, from courses to all kinds of tutorials and coding challenges. Now that I look at it, the problems were that courses weren't beginner-friendly(even if there was word introductory in the title) in the sense that they taught syntax, but not how to think in programming and coding challenges were just frustrating because when I couldn't solve something I would check other peoples solutions and would see something I've never seen in my life(how was I supposed to solve them then).

But everything sat on its place when I saw a post here, "how to become javascript ninja" or something like that. There was a link to the Harvard free CS50 introductory course which is amazing, maybe because it starts by teaching how to code in C (lower level language) which doesn't have a lot of function and you have to write everything by yourself and by doing so you learn how to think. Also, the community is very helpful, they can motivate you and help in a way where they don't give you whole solutions, but hints instead.

Everyone has a different way of learning and I'm glad you found yours :) Everyone can learn how to code, just don't give up and it will click eventually.

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