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Michael Kienbusch
Michael Kienbusch

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Learning Programming for Web Development, One Year In


I recently graduated from an online web development programming course. Before that, the only programming experience I had was from a semester long course I took my junior year of high school. Seeing as I am 30 years old now, all I remember from then is <div></div>. In this post, I want to go over the things I've learned this year, and what I hope to learn in the future.

What I have learned

Over the past year, I learned HTML, CSS, JavaScript, React, Redux, Ruby, Sinatra, and Ruby on Rails. When I say "learned", I mean I was able to complete lab assignments, projects, and live coding challenges which demonstrated competent knowledge and understanding of the languages and frameworks we were using in my course. I have not mastered any one of these tools, but I do have a solid grasp on them and understand the logic behind programming.

As I worked through the curriculum and projects of my course, the tools we learned early on were used to help us understand how the frameworks built on them work. What would require an effort level of 10/10 to implement then, became an effort level of 2/10 because of helpful libraries and frameworks. However, I have less confidence in my ability to write vanilla JavaScript now than I did three months into my course. So, one of my goals moving forwards is to go back to JavaScript, get more practice with the concepts I am familiar with to gain fluency, as well as learn new concepts.

What I hope to learn in the near future

You do not really ever stop learning how to program. There are always new frameworks and refactored libraries coming out in the massive programming community. Even as I was between projects in my course, React updated <BrowserRouter /> and I was able to learn how to use their newest version of it on my following project.

Each time I would look up documentation on how to implement a concept in whichever language, I would find myself going down a rabbit hole of linked documentation for relatable problems or concepts that I wanted to explore. However, I think my next main focus will be implementing Redux fully with my React based application I built for my final project.


This past year has been a fulfilling experience of stressful times with difficult concepts, and amazing highs when I would get those concepts to work and make my ideas come to life. Now that I have whet my appetite for programming and web development, I am excited for the future and learning as much as I can!

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