re: I switched careers to Software Engineering in my late 30s while nursing a newborn, Ask Me Anything! VIEW POST


Hi Arit,

Thanks for your offer of assistance. You certainly are keeping busy responding to people. You can reply to me in a few days or a week if you need a break.

I am 61 years old and have not worked for the past 2 years because of health conditions. My goal is to obtain employment as a front end developer at the begining of 2020. I have plenty of time to study on weekdays. $ are tight so I am using free resources: YouTube, library books, free online courses and doing Google searches. I am using a small tablet to practice coding.

I have been studying html and css concurrently because they are integrated. After two months of study, I am feeling overwhelmed with all there is to learn. It seems like one should know the essentials and be familiar with what other kind of things can be done and then look them up as needed. The question I have is what resources are available that list the essentials of html and css? Even with the essentials, I think trying to memorize everything is not realistic.

I know how to create databases, but learning to code and programming are more challenging for me.



Hi John,

Saturday is my veg-out day 😆 which is why I posted my AMA when I did, knowing I'd have all day to answer questions in a timely manner. But thank you for caring about the effort it takes.

First off, congratulations on your developer goals! That's half the battle. I hear you on how overwhelming all the information is.

This is my advice: rather than just taking tutorials and lessons, think up a cool project you'd like to build. Or if creativity fails you (like it does me sometimes), choose a cool website to replicate.

It doesnt matter in the least whether you think you have the skills to build said website. Just start with the HTML and then add the CSS. This approach does two things: (1) gives you a continual point of focus, so you're not feeling like your learning is random (2) forces you to start learning the important skill of troubleshooting and finding solutions on the internet.

For example, the website you're building has a button that changes color when the mouse hovers on it. You may not know about :hover in CSS, but maybe you Google "change button color when mouse cursor touches it". Then you click through all the links until you find some code snippet (or demo) and then you integrate this snippet in your code, and then....

This learning approach may be slow at first, but it's more organic and allows you to develop several skills at the same time - reading and understanding code, modifying code, troubleshooting bugs, etc. And as your project grows, you will feel a great sense of accomplishment. Plus, it give you organic stories to talk abut during interviews 😀

I wish you all the fortune and favor in the world. Please connect with me on Twitter - I'd like to see where your journey takes you 🤗

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