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Continuing the Mid Life Coding Journey

Will
In my 40s, committed to learning to code. Ideally, want to live/work overseas. My goal is to succeed at and promote middle aged, beginner, self educated coding.
・3 min read

Obviously understanding that I can't continue to blog down a journey of the past forever, I want to get it all out there as to where I am and how I got here. Having messed around with it as a kid here and there, that didn't really make the potential sink in, obviously. Fast forward to college, I was in a large university and was roomed with a CS major. You would think that this would have piqued my interest and inspired me to explore it. However, even at 18, I knew, or assumed that due to my limitations in math and science, it was probably not best to venture down a path that is heavy in at least one of these. So I moved into other directions with my career.

Back in 2017, I found Freecodecamp.org. Over the course of the last 10 years+, things like internet education and
online teaching platforms, etc. have become more and more prevalent and less and less taboo. This site spoke to me because I could try it for free and if I stuck with it, I could create a decent portfolio while helping non profits develop websites, win-win. However, after a few months, I didn't really stick with it as much as I would have wanted to. I went back to it from time to time, but nothing with any substance.

Over the last several months, I've gone back to it again, having played around with it from time to time over the last few years. I figured that if I wanted to really learn it, it was going to take time and if my plan was to retire and do this as side income, time I had. So why worry as to how long it took. The problem was that I didn't know what I did or didn't remember from the lessons I had taken. So, instead of just starting where I left off, I reset the whole thing and started over. Some of the content and lessons had changed, so it was a good thing anyway. I learned new topics while reinforcing the lessons I'd learnt already.

I'm now at the projects section for the first certificate and I thought I was at a good place with my lessons. But I still don't feel like I really know anything. The last project has a certain set of criteria to pass that can leave you fumbling and it feels like I'm just guessing as to how to find the answer. I could simply look at the example code and I've done that for some answers to past challenges. However, on this one, I refuse to do that. I am looking to Google, my past code projects, W3Schools, or wherever else, but I'm still struggling. This is where the real test for me comes.

As I get older, I begin to understand myself more and know certain signs to look for. One of them is that when things get challenging and I don't NEED to do it for any reason other than personal fulfillment, I will stop and move on to something else. However, this time, I am refusing myself that option and it is really hard to move on. So instead of doing so, first, I'm going to give myself a break for a bit, to not get overly frustrated. Second, I'm going to buckle down, go to W3schools, back to FCC, Google, wherever I need to to figure it out. This is the only way to get through it. If I stop now, it'll be another pause in my progress that will prevent me from getting to my goal.

Blogging in this manner and style is helping me to stay focused on coding during those times I'm not actually coding. Hopefully along the way, others are inspired or can feel similarity and connection. Remember, life is complicated and busy. Don't forget to put down what you're doing and do something else for a bit. We all need a break and variety in life. But don't forget to go back and finish what you started!

Discussion (3)

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ash_bergs profile image
Ash

Taking the time to write these kind of posts is a gift to yourself! A year or more down the road it will be there, for future you to see and smile, or kick themselves about.

FreeCodeCamp is a fantastic resource that's helped me so much on my own development journey. I made the switch to the tech industry at 30, and wish I'd done it sooner too, but it's really never too late to totally change and increase your forward momentum.

If you ever need help, especially where JavaScript, React, and CSS/SASS are concerned, please feel free to reach out sometime! The chance for me to flex my memory muscles is valuable, and I'm always looking for more people to chat about code with.

Good luck Will!

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filatovv profile image
Yuri Filatov

wonderful job

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rusredmi profile image
Rusredmi

I feel you Man!
Its hard to focus hahahahaah!
Any way at least you're aware when to stop and to strike! Keep it up! I'm waiting for another episode of your blog 🤗