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May 04 2017

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My Journey Into Programming: Part 1 – Rock Bottom

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~ 4 min read. ENJOY!

What am I doing?!

Programming is difficult, but you’d be surprised how daunting it is to do something as simple as picking a programming language to start get your journey started. From what I’ve found, there are about 256 different programming languages… yes I said 256. All of them can potentially, one way or another, accomplish anything you need on the web or in an application.

Now, once you decide on one, it’s time to learn. And boy-oh-boy is learning stressful. This is the pickle I’ve been in for some time now. You never realize how difficult learning is until you’re out of school without instructors guiding you through a syllabus. It takes a ton of discipline and self motivation, believe you me!

Reality Check

Here’s to realizing I make too many excuses, and don’t work hard enough. How many of you can honestly say you’ve been 100% honest with YOURSELF about the type of person you are? As humans, we tend to settle into the easy way of living, yet pretend we don’t. For me, when it comes to business and web development, I’ve just started scratching the surface of honesty. 

Thinking “I go to Google University” is a cute thing to say, can easily kill your growth and what you learn if not used properly. I’d get stellar A’s if copy/paste was a legit way of building things. In reality, I have no clue what I’m doing most of the time. Why? Because you can never really learn much by copying and pasting everything. All those bits and pieces of information I’ve seen hasn’t really added up to anything significant. Basically boiling down to me just winging it. When in doubt, send it out, I say! It’s fun, but a terrible way of growing. Knowing this is just not enough though. Not anymore.

The smartest people in the world are those who actually do something about the things they don't know.

Do Something, NOT nothing

This is why I’ve come to writing this article. I need to set some actionable changes in how I approach programming, and learning in general. I’m using this as motivation for myself, and hopefully to motivate you to set out and properly learn some new skills to add to your arsenal.

Most of the time it feels like I know as much as someone who has taken an intensive one month course in HTML, CSS, and jQuery. Terrible!

I started this journey back in 2008, and it most definitely hasn’t felt as productive as it should be. I think I’m a front-end developer? Right?

The front-end of an application (or website) is distinctly human. It’s what the user sees, touches and experiences (developed in HTML, CSS, and Javascript). bloc

Yea, yea, front-end developer, of course I am! Maybe … ?

I do want to be a full stack developer. Which includes back-end development.

The back-end of an application is responsible for things like calculations, business logic, database interactions, and performance. Most of the code that is required to make an application work will be done on the back-end, running on the server, as opposed to the client. bloc

In a perfect world, I’d be able to know ALL programming languages … but maybe I’m just too hard on myself? Nah, I suck considering how long I’ve been doing this. The truth hurts. Don’t mind the self bullying, it’s a process… 

Understanding where I go wrong

It’s been a long road of “settling” or blaming others for my lack of progress. Telling myself, I know enough to get all my client work done, do I really NEED to learn anymore? Such a horrible thought process. All that, couple with excuses, equals epic failure: 

“What’s the point of starting now, I’m way behind the curve.”
“I’m never as good as so-and-so who’s been doing it since forever ago!”
“It’s been done already, and better than I can do it.”
“No one cares about what I’m doing, 
I’m going to just give up.” 
“I’m tired, blah blah blah. I’ll do it later”

YA BIG BABY!! The list can go on, excuse after excuse. All comes down to one thing … I’m a big dummy, lazy, and maybe … I don’t want it bad enough?

I’m all about brutally honest self-assessments these days. They keep you in line, they keep you honest. Most of all they help gauge your strengths / weaknesses in order to begin moving forward to fix and enhance both. 

Once you start to fully understand where you stand, it’s possible to keep strengthening what you excel in, but most importantly, allows you to confidently ask for help where help is needed, without feeling embarrassed. 

Take a minute, a year, whatever it is. Take some time to start being honest about where you are in life, what went wrong, what went right, and what you’re going to be about where you want to be.

So what are the next steps for me?

Find out in my upcoming articles, as I continue diving deeper into my Journey to becoming a master programmer.

Would love to hear your stories too. Comment below if you’re willing to share your story, or provide some great advice!

Topic(s):

  • Life Chronicles, Programming
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    I’m the development half of Variety Studios with a passion for photography. With Randy Hadzor, we are are a web and graphics company based out of Syracuse, New York. Working with our clients and marketing agencies, we set out to create unique branding and website solutions that allows each client to broaden their presence as a company.

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