When I started my ‘365 days of code’ challenge on April 7th, I wasn’t entirely sure how well it would go. I’m very much someone who struggles to keep up with such challenges, and I often find that life gets in the way and distracts me from my goals.
This time, however, I was determined to make it stick. I knew when I set the challenge that it would be a big undertaking – something that would require effort and dedication – but I also knew that the rewards would more than make up for any difficulties I faced along the way.
With that said, my first full month of the challenge has now passed.
The journey so far
First things first: this challenge has been difficult for me.
There have been days when I was tired and aching after a busy day and didn’t want to sit staring at a computer screen. Some days, my brain just would not seem to cooperate with my plans, and somewhat ‘simple’ concepts seemed so complicated to me that the explanations might as well have been written in Ancient Greek.
On such days, I settled for a more ‘passive’ learning style – watching lesson videos and writing notes on my iPad, scribbling down lines of code by hand.
Other days, I decided to play rather than learn – on these days, I would design a website page, or practice implementing little snippets of code from videos online, just to see what the results would look like.
The main thing, however, was that everyday I spent at least a little bit of time thinking about, using, or even just looking at code.
After a month, I now know that learning to code is not as easy as many people would have you believe.
There’s a lot to learn (functions, arrays, when to use arrows…) but there’s also a great many ways to learn it.
More than the code itself, I’ve found finding the right ‘path’ to be a pretty difficult series of ‘trial and error’ experiments, involving several books, online platforms, videos and more.
Despite this, however, I can safely say that I am still highly motivated to learn to code and to reach my goals. I simply now know that it won’t be the quick-and-easy process that my naive self had once believed it to be.
The next few weeks will be incredibly busy on a personal note, and at the same time I will be beginning my first ‘intensive’ style coding class. Juggling work, life, courses and homework will be difficult, but I know that I’ll simply need to up my effort and squeeze out every last drop of dedication in order to make it work.
At the moment, my ‘plan’ for the future is as follows:
- Complete my taught coding class, which runs until mid June
- Take the next ‘SheCodes’ course, which follows on from the one I finished previously
- Apply for the intensive, six month ‘part-time’ bootcamp at a local school (a lengthy process of applications, technical interviews and pre-coursework proceeds the course itself, so this could take around 9 months, or even longer!)
- Attempt to find my first job in IT
At the moment, my ETA for arriving at step 4 is April 1st 2022, but I understand that this might be a bit early, depending on how long it takes for me to be accepted to the six month course.
Regardless, I’m going to continue putting all of my effort (and money…) into my learning, and update my plan if and when necessary.
Here’s to the next 11 months!