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.