loading...
Cover image for Journey to My New Career: Learning & Practicing

Journey to My New Career: Learning & Practicing

ryan_furrer profile image Ryan Furrer Updated on ・4 min read

In today's entry I wanted to share how I learn and how I practice those things so I can say I've truly learned something.

Does this mean I don't forget anything? Of course not! However, I feel that these skills are something not taught or spoken about often enough.

How I Learn

Being a musician I learned a wealth of practice techniques. We'll touch on a few later, but as you can see above I like to do a lot of practicing.

Treehouse is my first stop for learning something new, even before Google. I know there are free options out there such as freeCodeCamp or Codeacademy (which also has paid tiers) but I enjoy the structure that Treehouse offers. I have also tried using Codeacademy in the past and was not happy with it - even with the paid membership.

Treehouse has provided me with a place to easily pick up something new with great videos and workspaces. Whether I put in 30 minutes or 6 hours I can achieve something on Treehouse no matter what. So why is structure so important to me?

Well it's because I've never been a good student. What I mean by that is I have always wanted to jump from A to Z, never having to learn the other 24 letters in the alphabet. Following the Front End Web Development track has kept me on course and going through the entire alphabet.

When deciding to devote 110% of myself into learning Web Development I told myself I wanted to have as solid of a foundation as possible before adding anything else. That meant learning HTML really well before adding CSS, then learning CSS really well before adding JavaScript. I'm currently (trying) to learn Vanilla JS really well before adding a library - I'll be learning React first.

Over the last 2 months I have gone through over half of the above mentioned track. While the track is only a total of 56 hours, I have spent a lot of time working on projects as well as practicing what I've been learning. On top of working a full-time job, maintaining a relationship, re-finishing my apartment, and more. My story isn't unique and I know people that are working in this field now that had less time to learn than I. This is my journey.

When I'm at work I often can't devote more than 10 minutes at a time to coding, although I'd love to devote the entire day to it. When I started using flexbox I would just create a new project in VS Code from scratch and practice not just the HTML side of things, but also learning how to properly use flexbox. Side note - I'm still not a master but I'm much better than I was.


Google

"Ok Google..."
Google is also a great place to learn, however, you need to be smart about what information you listen to. The internet is an expansive space, and working in a field where things are always changing makes it extra important to make sure you are looking up and learning from the most up to date and credible sources.

Some of my favorite places to look for answers are Stack Overflow, CSS-Tricks, and of course, DEV Community.

I also want to give a shout out to Chris Sean's discord channel, #devslife. Everyone in there is extremely friendly and happy to help.

While the above sites are great, you do have to become proficient at Googling, as any experienced dev will tell you they Google quite often.


This brings me to practicing. A viola instructor once said to me “Practice does not make perfect. Practice makes permanent..."

This is a partial quote from Sara Kay's No Matter the Wreckage and it has rang true for me in so many parts of life. For me, there are many parallels between playing viola and coding. Without further adieu, here are 3 of my favorite practicing tips that you can tryout yourself:

  1. Isolate the difficult parts
  2. Pick apart your code and separate the stuff you can do easily from the stuff you struggle with. Practice the difficult parts by themselves (isolation) and learn them more thoroughly before re-introducing it to the rest of the code.
  3. Slow things down
  4. Don't try to speed ahead just because you are excited. Trust me, I know how difficult it can be but trust the system. You shouldn't go from learning HTML to messing around with Bootstrap in the same day.
  5. Take a break
  6. This has been stated by others but if you are struggling or just not understanding a new concept or why something won't work, take a break! Go for a 15 minute walk, do some bodyweight exercises, whatever will help your brain stop working so hard for a little bit. This has proved invaluable to me.

That's All Folks!

Well, not really. I had more written but I decided to break it up into a couple of articles so as not to keep you here too long.

Coming up next is a look at the first iteration of my site along with the recent redesign I just completed...for now. As I am learning my portfolio site is a constant work in progress.

Thanks so much for reading and if this helped you at all let me know in the comments down below or share it with others you think could benefit from it!

Posted on by:

ryan_furrer profile

Ryan Furrer

@ryan_furrer

I am a Junior Front-End Web Developer looking for his first job in the field. I am learning and implementing the best practices in modern web development using HTML, CSS, JavaScript, React, and SASS.

Discussion

pic
Editor guide
 

Hey Ryan! I am learning at Udemy and am liking it so far. I am spending as much time as possible coding. Today, I pretty much drove all day (Uber) but during wait times I read some DEV articles and did a little Mimo (app). I’m doing a couple practice projects to gain practice and a portfolio.

 

Udemy is an AWESOME resource as well! I haven't used it as extensively as others just yet but I have a couple of courses lined up on there.

Reading is a huge part of what I do every day and making the most of your downtime is crucial. I actually do Doordash on the side so I get it!

Keep up the work on your portfolio - I'd love to see it when you're ready.