"Quality is not an act, its a habit." Aristotle
Today I'm sharing some of the mistakes I made when I started coding back in December 2020. I hope it helps you navigate the murky beginner waters especially as a self-taught dev.
1. The social media lie we all fall for
I used freecodecamp for my journey and I remember hurriedly going through tests without paying attention to what the code was all about. This was driven by the same speed I'd see on twitter. Totally forgetting that this person is possibly re-doing the tests or they maybe had previous background on the same. Pace yourself, do not for a moment think that your progress means any lesser just because you are taking long to understand. Remember that social media is all but a façade.
2. Taking long before building projects
I took so long before I started building projects. You will quickly realize that building as you learn will take you strides ahead. With HTML & CSS you can make a website and if you don't feel ready to build a website, try CSS animations or even a simple navbar. The goal here is to make something that is functional. Forget the aesthetics, you're learning.
3. Taking long breaks
At some point I decided to take a break and resume once I finished my undergraduate studies. Looking back now, that was detrimental since getting back felt like I was starting from scratch. Having to battle thinking that you know only to realize that you forgot!! Haha!
I had forgotten so much. Incase you have to juggle school or career and coding make sure you code at least 3 or 4 times a week instead of closing that whole book for a while. Whichever way works for you, make sure not to stop.
4. Failure to read!!
I don't thing I can overemphasize how this disadvantaged me. I was in my own bubble oblivious of all that's happening out there. There are so many books, articles and free materials online on tech that you can freely access. You want to be knowledgeable on other tech news, new inventions, trending topics, frameworks, basic facts, origin of programming languages and so much more. Do not overlook the value addition from reading! You really don't want to dwell on hearsay! Do you?
5. Not asking questions and being too shy at it
I was always hesitant to ask questions whenever I got stuck. I'd feel as if that was dumb or foolish. Come to think of it, why get stuck for days or hours on end when help is a call or text away? Every pro was once a beginner so, send that dm, reach out to people and by that it even gets more interesting and builds your confidence.
Probably as a codenewbie you're feeling that all this is tough, trust me, it gets better.
"All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare." Baruch Spinoza. Keep going!
What are some of the other dire mistakes you've made in your journey? Comment and let's keep learning from one another. Thank you for reading and I'll see you in my next article. Bye.