Since the last time I checked in I have written a lot of code and completed a lot of training! I completed the “The Web Developer Bootcamp”. I have also since started the “NodeJS course ” & finished it as well. Both courses taught me a lot of techniques. During those courses I have also been working on my side projects && learned ES6, which I love (As you can see I’ve been coding so much I some times use programming syntax in regular writing)!
As of a few minutes ago (5:31 AM, Fri. Sept. 1) I completed 99.99% of the Pomodoro timer (you can see this project and everything else I am working on up on Github just click the link for it to the right!). I decided to write it in pure JS no library. I just need to add the functionality of being able to pause and restart the timer(s). I must admit it was a bit of a task. I wanted to take it on though. I challenged myself to write it with 100% of my own code. No copying and pasting from Stack Overflow or any other places I could get code snippets from to duct tape the program together. There were a lot of hard and long all nighters (by choice).
There were times I wanted to quit and give up but I didn’t. I’ve learned how to deal with those times and instead of stopping like I normally would. I forced myself to keep coding and it paid off. Within a day or sometimes within minutes I found a solution.
It has helped me a lot so much so that now when I run into an issue, quitting is the last thing I want to do. I pause and I try to view the code from other angles. I think to my self “the code is doing what I am telling it to do”. So I run tests in my own way to execute each block of code to see where the decision making goes wrong. Usually in the form of a console.log and just work back from there. It is a little time consuming but it is a formula that works for me.
I believe half the battle of learning to code is to actually build projects and write or try to write meaningful code every day without a code along, video or any other tutorial. At some point, you have to take the training wheels off. Get out there and break some code, and then fix it. Try your best to not copy any other code or if you do try being stuck for a few days before copying code.
The experience will teach you a whole lot about looking at documentation and how to debug & write your own code. Trying to hold out as long as possible before grabbing the life raft & coming out on the other side successfully is amazing. Even if you don’t and you need to look it up. That is ok, nothing is wrong with getting help or asking for it at all but you learn during the process of being stuck and fighting your own way out if you can. Trying different code to see if it would work or not. You learn what doesn’t work along the way. That will teach you what not to do in the same situation in the future. It will save you a lot of time later on down the road. It also becomes a big confidence builder too.
For me, it is a little deflating at times when I am unable to figure out a solution and may need to look it up by other peoples solutions. But I understand you can learn from this process too. However, I find it more rewarding to just stick it out, read documentation, debug, think, try, fail and try again and figure it out. It is much more gratifying && well work the wait.
What’s Next — looking for a developer job
As of right now, I believe after another month of working on all the projects I have I will start applying for developer jobs. I believe I am ready I just want to get a few more projects under my belt & for my portfolio too. This has been a life changing and enriching process. It has been a long hard, and some times stressful and emotional journey. That sometimes included doubt and wondering if I would ever get it. If I would ever be good enough to understand and write code on my own without tuts.