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natalie stroud
natalie stroud

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Code Newbie Wins

Maybe I'm writing this more for myself, or the coding newbies, or the "used to be" coding newbies, or somebody out there.

Also I apologize in advance if anything within my writing is flighty.

I'm so thankful I stumbled across dev.to. It has not been a week and funny enough I don't remember that "instance" where I first came across this site.

For the first time in what seems like forever, I can say I know what I want to do. Let's be real, that question seems to start the minute we all hit pre-school. What do you want to be when you grow up? I can remember my answers. Dancer, nurse, Girl Scout Leader. Growing up I was a dancer for 13 years, blood makes me queasy so nursing is out, and if I had more time maybe I would be a Girl Scout Leader but I'm not sure it would pay my bills.
School continues and that question intensifies when you're in high school. I remember having departments in high school for the 'career areas' students wanted to be in. I was in VPAM (Visual/Performing Arts & Media - or was it Music?). I had a weird time in school, starting around the 5th and 6th grade and leading up to college. This time in my life influenced me to decide on being a Chem major taking the Pre-Pharmacy track. Two attempts at CHE 121 and a major GPA drop later, I dropped out of college for a year. I was $1000 short with no idea what I wanted to do at that point. But given a small streak of luck, I was able to pay off what I owed and head back to college with a clean slate. I took an exploratory class and went on to major in 'Media Informatics'.

This major was a conglomerate. A collection of classes with 2 tracks in mind - web design and game design. I liked playing video games and I'd had this off/on thing with HTML since I was younger. It was the perfect fit.
To this day I don't regret my choice. I got my hands dirty in almost everything Adobe. But even after graduating and walking across the stage, had I been asked what it is I wanted to do - I couldn't answer. I remember my mom asked me days before graduation, even my dad. All I could say was, "I don't know".

After my #SheCoded post last week and the amazing feedback I've received, I know what I want to do! I want to be a front-end developer. Everything HTML, CSS, and JavaScript (albeit I am terrified), I want to be a part of it. I've never been more sure, nor confident about something like this and it feels great. I made my first post on dev.to. I scooted along some more in Colt's Web Dev Bootcamp. Things are beginning to click in my head where I catch a glimpse of a website and begin thinking about how to code it in my head.

Come Saturday, I read this article by Devon Campbell. I left with this crazy amount of inspiration and opened my phone making a mini list of all of these ideas and goals (all dev-related!) I had in my head. All things I wanted to pursue, to keep doing. Complete this online bootcamp, start up all these project ideas I have, re-launch my portfolio, try #100DaysOfCode, apply for dev jobs, write more on dev.to and about my wins.

I guess what I'm trying to say is thank you to dev.to. I know this is post #2, maybe super lengthy, but thank you to everyone who has given me so much feedback. My last post focused so much on Imposter Syndrome and I wanted to write about my wins. Which leads me to #2 - for being such a Code Newbie, I am feeling win after win after win. I know what I want to do and I'm in pursuit of it, I'm accepted but such a wonderful group of people too, I received the opportunity to interview for an Entry Level Software Developer position (say what????), and I put my first project out into the world!

If there is anyone out there new to this like myself, keep pushing through. If you're stuck on coding, no matter what stage you're on, keep going. Take breaks, come back to it. Think about why you started this to begin with. I wish I had started this sooner as it's given me this handful of confidence I've never had and only wish to hold on to. I finally feel like I'm home.

No matter what stage you're in, what are your wins?
How do you continue to stay motivated when you're stuck or down?
What do you tell yourself if you ever end up in a rut?

Top comments (4)

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raddevon profile image
Devon Campbell

Glad the article inspired you, Natalie. Sounds like you're making some big strides and getting some big wins. Be ready for a roller coaster ride, but, like an actual roller coaster, it will be lots of fun. 😄

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hiten3 profile image
hiten3

Great post. I'm a newbie too with the aim of becoming a front end developer. Thanks for the warm words in your post. I got some positive replies from entry level developer jobs this week so that's my win.

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nataliecodes profile image
natalie stroud Author

That's wonderful! Congratulations :) Can I ask, when did you feel ready to start applying for those? I don't feel ready at all. Maybe it's imposter syndrome or my confidence or both but I feel like my coding skills right now are mediocre. I was so motivated to start coding my portfolio site from scratch yesterday and the more I looked at my code the more flustered I started to get. I wish you the best in your journey!

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jess profile image
Jess Lee

Yay! Keep it up!

👏👏👏👏👏👏👏

Also @raddevon 👀

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