4 Mistakes I Made When I First Learned How To Code

thealiilman profile image Ali Ilman Originally published at ali-ilman.com ・2 min read

Originally published on https://ali-ilman.com/blog/4-mistakes-i-made-when-i-first-learned-how-to-code.

With my two-year anniversary of working permanently coming soon, I took a look into the past and thought of what were the mistakes that I made in the very beginning.

1. Let completing a course influence how I feel

I was a course champion in the beginning. It felt good knowing that I have completed a course, but I kept going through courses without an idea of which path I wanted to take in the tech industry. I had completed courses on Codecademy and SoloLearn, a couple of tutorials on freeCodeCamp, and the courses were sort of similar.

2. Not writing down notes in my own words

Instead of using my own words, which can test myself on whether I understand what I've learned, I wrote down courses' content word-for-word, including the exemplary code snippets! And I did this for more than a few courses on a few platforms. Ouch!

3. Not going in-depth with concepts I found difficult to understand

I feel this go hand-in-hand with number 1. It felt good completing a challenge for a tutorial, so I continued onto the next tutorial without thinking deeply whether I understand what I've learned.
Because of this, I relearned JavaScript in the second-half of 2019 because I mostly learned JavaScript in the beginning.

4. Built barely anything with what I've learned

When I first started learning, I didn't build much in the first 2-3 years. I can only remember two projects, and they were on Codecademy. For these two projects, I had wanted to mimic the landing page of Twitter and Lowyat. And that's about it. It was only in 2017 in which I started to build projects.

Finishing a course doesn't mean you understand everything you've went through. And remember, learning is lifelong. 🧠

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing. - Socrates

Cheers for reading! 🤓

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Ali Ilman


I am Ali Ilman, a 19-year-old software engineer focusing on Ruby, Ruby on Rails, JavaScript, React.js.


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Ali great article and quote you put and the end of your article. That quote you mentioned by Socrates is now my second best quote I like ever so far. My favorite quote ever, I personally like is by Socrates also it’s at the bottom of page. Reason why sometimes when people talk to me about computers they think I know so much then I interject that quote when talking to them. Btw my very first comment in any community or forum.

I know that I am intelligent, because I know that I know nothing.


Thank you! 🙂

I’ve been playing Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey and I was impressed with their portrayal of Socrates, which led me to knowing deeper about Socrates.