In my journey of teaching myself how to code, I have faced (and still do) lots of problems and frustration that could be avoided if I had been more disciplined and focused. And that is something not so easy, at least it was not for me since there are several sources of learning material (YouTube videos, online free and paid courses, books, pdf, Github... it is impossible to name all).
So, after I decide where I wanted to start (Web Development- Front End) it was time to look for online courses and tutorials, paid or free, take all the pros and cons and go deep into learning. I heard about Udemy (I do not remember but it was probably some advertise) and decide to check the courses they have, "The Web Developer Bootcamp" was my first pick, as I read about the course, I was definitely certain that I would go through the course and achieve success at the end. Well, what happened was not really what I was expecting.
The topics of the course are well explained and you can easily have an idea of what will be learned and at what point you will reach certain skills.
As I went through the course, I was, of course, looking for more content on different sources. That was when I heard about freeCodeCamp and started also to take the lessons, which I do highly recommend. At the beginning I decided to start all over and redo topics I was already comfortable with, my goal was to review and possibly learn new things. I think the idea is not wrong, but it is a big “waste” of time in my opinion since I have now the philosophy that we need to learn how to use our brain as a processor and not an HD. The ability to search online is precious and must be mastered in my opinion.
Time goes by, I was learning more and more, from different sources and was also starting with my first personal projects, couldn’t be happier with I was able to do with the small I have learned.
On this time, I was doing #100DaysofCode on Twitter and was doing good. That was also the time I made my first mistake: I was so excited about writing code and creating my personal projects that I put the courses on stand by, so I was like 2 weeks without watching tutorials and doing exercises to continue my learning curve. After this time I decided to come back and continue with my courses. So basically I lost another week to get on track and remember where I have stopped and how to do simple things that I have already learned.
My job also steals a lot of time, and there were days where I just did not code at all but read a lot, that was my second mistake: if you are learning something new, it is important to get in contact every day with a constant basis.
So, after that, I realized that to succeed on learning, a time table and a schedule should be included in my study plan. It is very important to know on the beginning how to balance the subjects and to keep everything “fresh” on the mind, or to know where to look for answers.
This is of course not the only solution or the only way to learn but in my view solid tools that can be applied to keep on track of the learning process. There are also different tools that can improve productivity, like the Pomodoro Technique and others.
So, if you think you need more focus and organization, setting time and divide this time wisely can help a lot!