This is a post for those struggling with maintaining their motivation and passion.
I’m no code expert and am still learning, but I thought I’d share my own story and hopefully other newbies can relate and perhaps get a few new ideas.
Motivation is bullshit. Motivation is a bastard that will up and leave you when you need it most.
Discipline is your long time lover, feed it, tend to it and you’ll reap the benefits.
Reddit - Screw Motivation
I started coding about 8months ago, looking back, I’m no where near where I wanted to be. But I’m okay with that now.
When I first started I had the motivation, the passion and the drive however I didn’t pace myself. I burnt out fast. I wasn’t understanding concepts as fast as others. The Algorithm challenges?!? I found those so hard, SOOO hard and I even had to check out others code on how to solve them. I was on the fence about giving up. I felt like complete shit. I’d take a day off here and there, those days would then turn into a few days, to weeks and then finally mid way through October I barely touched my laptop/books, and by November I did nothing. Unfortunately I lost a massive chunk of quality coding time. However, fortunately, I had a massive chunk of quality time to reflect on myself and my attitude towards becoming a Front End Web Dev.
I came to realize that I was setting myself up to fail, self learning is fucking hard and if you don’t know how to pace yourself, how much you can do in one day or what goals you can easily reach by the end of the week then you can really screw yourself over.
My advice: Start little and often and build from there, find the sweet spot. Make simple reachable goals that you KNOW you can complete and again build from there. And most of all, Cultivate discipline! That should be your number one priority. Build habits. Set yourself up to succeed!
Try to remember that even the most passionate of Developers are NOT passionate 24/7 365days of the year, so if you find yourself lacking the passion some days you’re fine, it’s normal, it happens. That doesn’t mean you can skip coding that day, make it a habit to code everyday for just ‘5 minutes’ even if you don’t feel like it. If you’re like me then 5 minutes sounds less daunting than ‘Today I will code for 4hours!!!’ It’s an easy attainable goal and those 5minutes will turn to 30minutes, to an hour, to half the day and if you’ve learned something new that day, even if it’s something tiny, then you’re progressing. Think Tortoise not Hare.
Buy a white-board or two, no seriously do it (or as I have, glass picture-frames with a white background. They’re much cheaper). I’m so much better for it, I find them better for brainstorming and writing out pseudocode. I’ll also use them to re-write out what I’ve just learned, I find it helps things stick better
Read lots of books about your chosen language. Read books about how to be a better developer and how to write cleaner code.
Get on wordpress and start a blog (or learn to build your own), I mainly use mine for useful tidbits or for explaining why I used such and such. It’s extremely useful for when you start building projects.
Use GitHub, if you write anything just push it, have a ‘learning’ repo that you can just add your code to regardless of what it is. Get into the habit of using GitHub as often as you can, especially from the command line! Push code everyday.
Setup is key. Have a cozy, comfortable yet organized environment.
If you really can’t solve something by yourself, then maybe find a solution but make sure you understand EVERY single line. Lots of people are against this, but if you learn something new or finally understand something then I don’t see why it’s so bad, just make it’s your last resort. I find sometimes I only have to briefly see someone else’s code and then the light-bulb goes off and I’m good to go.
You can’t only learn from FCC, make use of places like Codecademy, Udacity, Udemy e.t.c.
Heres some links that I’ve found extremely useful:
If you’re feeling lost and confused with your journey, then this makes for a good read, you’re not alone with how you feel! The Cliff of Confusion
Learn Git. Seriously go and do it.
if you’re not familiar with GitHub then get to it, you can even use GitHub to host your own webpages. GitHub Pages is ideal for say hosting your portfolio and such.
Just take it easy, It is not a race, learning to code is an ongoing triathlon not a 100m sprint, and it is bloody hard. Who gives a shit if that guy got a job in 6months and you’re still having a hard time understanding fundamentals. Don’t listen to negative people that say stuff like ‘if you haven’t got the motivation then you wont succeed’ ‘if you don’t code everyday then you don’t really want to be a web dev’ you don’t need to hear that bullcrap because frankly it isn’t true. Everyone is different, everyone learns at different speeds, everyone has a different learning style. Thats been my biggest struggle, finding what works for me, I was so hung up on what and how everyone else was learning that I didn’t stop to think ‘but whats good for me?’. If you can code for 6-12hrs a day then brilliant, if you can only make it to 2? Then brilliant, you’re still learning. Of course if you want to be job ready asap, then you’ll need to squeeze in as many hours as you can, but you still need to learn how to pace yourself. Burning out is horrific.
Learn to forgive yourself, if you skip a day don’t fret just keep moving, keep learning, you got this and you’ll get there!