Am I the only one?

I began learning HTML about a year and a half ago, then gave it up. I couldn’t find the time to commit to it. This Christmas (2017) my wife bought me the "Beginning Programming All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies book in support of my passion for computers and building things with them and as a way to push me to find the time to learn. I began learning C# just two weeks ago. With my work schedule, I only really have 7 days to dive as deep as I can into a language and retain as much as possible.

Today, I stumbled upon this website and began the HTML and CSS course. I love the thought of being able to build my own websites and continuing to learn along with the constant development of the various languages in my field of interest. I just feel as if I’ll never really have the ability to become a developer. I dropped out of high school at 17 and got my GED. School not only bored me, but I had medical issues that prevented me from attending school a lot of the time. The stigma that coincides with a GED as well as not having the funds for college sets me behind many other people who have gone through more extensive educational paths.

Is there any hope for me? Are there any others in a similar situation? What can I do in order to actually chase that dream? Is it worth it for me to continue to try even as just a hobby?


I can’t really comment on most of what you said because I haven’t been through anything similar. However, judging from the articles and questions that I’ve read both on here and freeCodeCamp’s medium publication, the only thing that really stops anyone from going forward is finding reasons and excuses not to even try in the first place (just like everything else in life really).

Yes, of course. :slight_smile:

Many. Try looking through the “Getting a Developer Job” section or the Medium publication for inspiration. There are people in similar situations who went on to become software developers. There are even people who are in worse situations and eventually went on to do great things simply because they wanted it and worked hard for it (I can’t find the reference but I remember reading an article about someone who went from less than ideal circumstances in India, in terms of learning to program, to studying at MIT and eventually working at Facebook).

Make time for it and start doing it now.

That’s arguably the best and most responsible way to do it if you have other more important commitments (such gainful employment).

Bottom line, get started and don’t give yourself an excuse to give up.

Good luck. :slight_smile:


You’re definitely not alone. It seems like someone makes a new thread on this topic every month.

I’m confused. Does this mean you can’t learn anything new after 7 days? If you only have 7 days in the rest of your life to learn how to program, then you’re kinda sunk.

Time constraints and work schedules always introduce challenges, but you’re not disqualified from learning how to code. Just take things a day at a time, work through FreeCodeCamp, CodeAcademy, your book or whatever. You can ask questions on the forum or in the chat.


i work 14 straight 12 hour days, then I get a week off. I do very physical and tiring work so I’m completely drained at the end of the day.

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Ah, I get it. That’s rough. It would help to make some flashcards that you can bring with you. Look through them whenever you have a break. A huge chunk of learning to program is just getting the vocabulary under your belt. Regularly seeing and thinking about the new material will help keep it fresh in your mind and keep your learning velocity up so you can make the most of your 7 days.

You absolutely can do this, but it’ll be hard. Lean on the community.


You say you have a “passion for computers and building things with them”. If that passion also includes perseverance and patience, then you have “the ability to become a developer”. Might your education background make it harder to find a first job as a developer? Sure. Can it be done anyway? Yes. It just means that you have to become a developer before you get a job as a developer. Make things with computers. Make them good.


Hey Gyrotype,

I also used to work for many days straight, and then got 7-10 days off in a row. Sometimes you just cannot commit to learning anything after working for 12-14 hours in a row. Other times your body may be tired but your mind can focus on something other than physical labor for a hour or two.

My recommendation is to try and do a little bit every day. Even if you can only do 1-2 challenges, it’s enough to keep your mind in the groove of programming. It’s very hard to take more than a week off without losing some of what you learned before the work starts up again.

It may help to find someone else to be a study partner with, so that you feel an accountability outside of your personal goals.

Keep at it. It’s easier to do something, even when you’re tired, when you truly enjoy it.


Thank’s a lot! The very first thing I ever built on my own was an Age Calculator program in C# to tell someone how old they were in days. It felt great knowing that I had the capacity to learn how to do that in the short amount of time I was able to commit to the language ( about 2 and a half hours of reading before I attempted this ). When I found this website, I immediately jumped in because I wanted to see if I remembered anything from over a year ago, and it was like I hadn’t lost any of the information I had retained.

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My wife just switched majors at school and is going for a CIS degree. She may just turn into my study partner for some of this stuff. Thanks for the ideas!


first of all, I think you have a great wife and that she is a great support in your learning process. Support from family is extremely important.

I don’t know about your medical issues but you seem fit to work and you have the passion for building things with computer so you can definitely become a developer.

As to find time, we can always find excuses (I have kids, I am drained, I have this and that…) which I believe we all go through, until the moment where “I should learn” becomes “I must learn”. Set up a time everyday for learning, write it down, it’s important. It doesn’t have to be a lot. Half an hour in the morning and half an hour after work. Use your commute to read. Use flashcards.

I do not know your responsibilities after work but maybe have a nap once you are home before studying (if possible).

It doesn’t seem to be a lot but really it will be quite something after a few months if you are regular. Form the habit of studying everyday, no matter what. It doesn’t have to be a lot but regularly everyday.

This is how we apply “compound interest principles” to seek of knowledge.

Also, family is a drive to achieve more. :slight_smile:


That’s awesome! I built my first program in C# too and felt a similar thrill. If your schedule is a constraint, I would recommend you concentrate on HTMl and CSS over C#. It is a lot easier to remember (like you mentioned), and will be easier to learn in a shorter amount of time. You might want to learn C# before JavaScript though, that was easier for me.


I’ll definitely keep that in mind when I get to that point! Thanks a lot!

Just the fact that you are motivated enough to slog through C# should be a sign that you have what it takes…

Not to push you to take another course… but the Coursera course Learning How to Learn is full of spotlights on people who were told they couldn’t learn math, or music or etc etc but with the right techniques were able to accelerate their learning…

TED talk on Learning How to Learn

Two thing to think about. then off you go:

  1. take about 21 days of focused learning to get ‘good enough’ at something

  2. compare yourself to your own progress using the ‘Growth Mindset

and a PS:

For motivation. This guy went from Carpenter to coder


My only suggestion to keep some progress is to do 1… only 1. exercise a day… something like CodeCademy that will reinforce what you learn here. this is what I did back when I was working long days and not very motivated. I joined up the 100 days challenge (an easier one than the fCC one… simply ‘learn 1 thing a day and post about it’).

This will reinforce your learning during your 14 day haul.

Ok ok, I have 2 suggestions. take that time to listen to podcasts when yer busy. driving to work, end of day. If no coding, listen in the background. through osmosis this will keep the neural pathways that are trying to digest and figure out coding active during your non-coding busy time.

If not purely coding, this one is layman’s internet/technology related… and is a pretty easy listen…

If that is your passion and you will die for those dream…then yes…otherwise quit…

I think that everyone is facing some sort of challenges when it comes to learning to code.
After one day of exhausting work it is only natural to feel that all we wanna do is relax and chill.

What I see the things that worry you are two:

  1. You could not finish your study in school and therefore felt discouraged.
  2. You don’t know whether coding is still for you cos it is kind of hard.

Okay, for the 1st question, I completely understand how you feel. And dare I say this, even more than how you feel. I dropped out from school too, due to medical reason. Even on paper it was “failing too many subjects/courses”. 70% of the time I was either at home or in hospital. I won’t bore you with all the details, but you know sometimes in life we just gonna push through. And sometimes shit happens. If you can use some of your feelings as a tool to push yourself forward, one day you will go through this period. It sucks. But we can’t complain. The bright side is that you have your family around you that support you, and me too. If you want some sort of motivation here is an old thread I posted at this forum.

I can’t give you more advice on this cos it is meaningless. I found myself in a better place now when compares to half a year ago. And I am trying to code more (or at least learn more) everyday since I am recovered. I hope you push through too. And I remember someone else posted on the link above, a forum member that was named : code-to-cope or something. I am not making this up. He and I chatted a little bit. I hope he is doing well too. I don’t know whether you have the time to do this, but when it comes to working our own emotions, exercising helps a TON. Just a tip for you. :stuck_out_tongue:

the 2nd question, I will lay it out for you how’s my learning journey had been.

  • October 18th of 2016 I started the 1st free code camp challenge.
  • Have been learning to code since that day.
  • My plan was to code/learn for at least 1 hour a day. And do it everyday.
  • There are a lot of times I achieved my goal. There are a lot of times I didn’t.
  • For whatever reason I did not even touch my laptop.
  • The longest time I did NOT code I think it was a month or two or even more than that.
  • But once I had the chance I go back to coding, I just keep coming back. Then after a few hiatus I am now coding regularly again.
  • I finished all the HTML and CSS challenges in free code camp, and when it comes to JS, I jumped ship to YDKJS. Google it you will find out more info about it.
  • Totally 6 books. I thought I may have never finished it. It is kind of thick or (T H I C C) when you stack them all together.
  • Again only one hour a day, most of the times, 5-6 times a week. (I am gonna be honest here I did not do it everyday.)
  • Now I am at book 4 Types and Grammar.
  • I met a lot of great people here as well as on twitter. A few of them are reading the same book.
  • Am I the fastest learner? Hell no. I try to understand every single code snippet inside those 4 books and write them all down on my notebooks. I have 6,7 of notebooks that are covered with a lot of code I understand and a lot of code I don’t. But I don’t care.
  • Am I worried about learning too slow hence will not become really competent enough? Yes. 90% of the time this is the biggest fear.
  • But every other day I put those worries aside and keep learning. Do I feel that sometimes these books are too complicated? Yes. I do… I have the feeling of tearing those things apart cos "the author is digging way too deep and I am not gonna use those things anyway, cos you know i am a newbie ". But still, I keep coming back to it.

All these things are not for showing off, but to tell you, (hopefully) objectively how I really feel about coding. There are days I don’t want to touch those book again, cos I just get angry because I have no idea what the author is talking about. There are also days where others showed me how to solve a problem that I am so happy I jotted down everything those people said and save it cos I knew it will help me tremendously later on. Do I feel bad about myself during those days I did not code? Yes. I do. I feel that I should learn more, I should do more, but I just really don’t want to do it. And sometimes these feelings tear you apart.

There is a huge gap between “getting inspired to learn coding” and “actually forming a habit of coding regularly/ or at least learning how to code regularly.” what goes in between, only you yourself knows.

And I am pretty sure that there are a lot of people (especially me myself included) DO NOT fall into the group of “How I went from an infant to work at google within 30 days”. You know all those medium articles I am talking about. But I keep learning any way.

Ask yourself this, do you really enjoy learning to code? Do you really like coding? If you do, where it leads you is not the most important thing. If there is one hour of your time today you are free to do whatever you want, do you want to code? If even 70% of the time you want to use that free 1 hour of time to code, you are good to go. Don’t worry much about “speed”, “am i smart enough”, “who is learning faster than me”.

  • Setup a learning plan
  • Try to stick to it
  • Let yourself struggle and doubt, but at the same time learn to put those feelings away as soon as you code (cos coding is cool let’s be honest)
  • Cherish people who respect your dream/life goals. Leave those who don’t. (I cut off a lot of “friends” of mine, you know what, no regret.)
  • Learn to reward yourself. This is really important. Could be small, could be big.

Also here is some chat logs that I have on my hands.