Tonight, I just earned my Front End Development Certificate by turning in my last project. I started back on November 28th, 2016 and I will be honest, I thought I would be further along. Between working an IT job that requires overtime, being newly married, and planning to move from rural Missouri to Seattle, WA I had my hands full. Learning was also incredibly challenging for me. I have had horrible study habits all my life. Horrible is <= none. I got started in this because I played a game called “Human Resource Machine” and found it relaxing. From that, a couple of friends who work in Front End suggested I try getting into web development. After a lot of long nights, here I am.
I have had some pretty heavy motivation to continue, but I have never had a passion for learning like I have experienced on this site. Coding projects has been more fun than PS4 and reading…. this has never happened. I attribute a lot of my success to the structure of this site. It is not perfect, but damn, it teaches you to teach yourself. You open a link or ask a question and realize you are standing over a bottomless pit of knowledge that you can dive down. It was almost overwhelming learning something new and realize that you barely scratched the surface of utilizing it. I am just now feeling comfortable with the basics. If you are new to the site and reading this: STICK WITH IT! Take that leap, watch videos, and read books. It gets under your skin and becomes addictive. There have been a lot of long nights where I forced myself to stop so I could be ready for work, I would end up using my breaks to code (yes you can get a lot done in 15 minutes), and I would plan time on the weekends to learn new things.
You are going to run into situations where you are lost. You might not have the answer, but you can always take a step back and think about it. This has helped me with a large amount of my problems, but if that doesn’t work, you have the community here. My wife and I just paid off all of our debt (including student loans) and honestly, I couldn’t sink that kind of money / time back into college right now. But I have the incredible luxury of being able to come here and learn from others. So once again if you are new and still reading: use the resources available. I have bought several books to learn, but nothing compares with being able to ask questions. Especially when the community is full of all ranges of experience and logic.
This was a lot longer than I intended. I have earned this certificate, I have an interview at AWS in the coming weeks (for an un-related position, but it’s a start in the right direction), and I am getting ready to move. Learning to code and structure of this site have helped shape my future into something that I am extremely excited about. Now to go start polishing my old work and then to move on to the next cert…. which means more long nights. Bring it!
Thank you freeCodeCamp and the community.