This is a serious concern where there are very few people that I can have this discussion with. I am having difficulties finding active online communities where I can share my struggles about this subject. While StackOverflow is a popular forum, this thread is not suitable for it.
A little background…I am a 24 year old male, disabled, and live at home. I haven’t worked a job since April 2017. My sole income is social security disability. I have Aspergers and mental health issues, which has caused significant difficulties for me in the workplace. I have held 17 different jobs; most of them I have been terminated from or forced to resign.
I come from an EMS background. I used to work in emergency services for 2 years. Before that, I worked various other jobs, such as lifeguarding and seasonal jobs.
About October of 2016, I decided to pick up web development. I was still working in EMS at this time. I had an idea for an elaborate web application I wanted to build, and these “drag-and-drop”-type online website builders (like Wix or Weebly) did not offer the features needed to build it. I knew that I would have to learn to code to achieve my goal. In addition, I though web development would be perfect because I could do freelance work and not have to communicate much with others.
I started with basic HTML and I worked my way up. I looked up web development and how to learn it, and I kept getting massive amounts of resources, I did not know what was right to choose. I ultimately started purchasing $10 courses on Udemy.
I moved on to learn CSS and PHP, and then I started building my project.
Fast forward to now…
I have spent months on a project using PHP and have scrapped it, then I started over again. And then I started another and spent months on it, then I scrapped that one too.
I keep trying to learn these new technologies, such as React and Node, and I feel like I cannot grasp it. I cannot understand the documentation whatsoever and reading articles online leave me confused with all the incomprehensible jargon.
I keep jumping from one Udemy course to another. I have probably spend hundreds of dollars at this point on Udemy courses. Some are either too simple; others are way too difficult to grasp. Some only touch up lightly on the subjects, like a basic tutorial. Some are outdated with depricated code. Many promise “this is the only web development course you need”, but this is very misleading. I don’t know what to trust.
I don’t know if I am going about everything correctly. I know only one person who is skilled in web development. However, he is busy with his job and cannot cater to me. I don’t expect him to either.
Research has left me feeling lost. I keep getting pointed in all different directions with little success.
Most say you don’t need a college education to pursue web development, but all I know is that I am struggling trying to learn on my own.
I keep reading all these success stories about people being able to pick up a job after only 6 months or so of learning web development. I have been doing this for 2 years and still nothing. I feel I have barely budged in my progress.
My web design skills suck. I am fearful (and quite burnt out) at this point to start my project over again. My code is difficult to alter because as you know with PHP, everything can become spighetti code and difficult to read and maintain.
I don’t feel confident in my abilities. I feel I am very mediocre in almost every aspect. I don’t know how to rate and gauge my own code to professional standards.
I am a perfectionist and very self-conscious. I have grown discouraged and feel lost. I am embarrassed to show all the incomplete work I have done.
At what point do I realize web development is not right for me? Should I continue what I am doing? Will I eventually hit a point where I will feel confident enough?
What I don’t understand are the people who are able to pick up these skills and learn all these different frameworks, libraries, and technologies with no formal educational background.
Brad Traversy for example, how the hell does he absorb all that knowledge and skill? There are people who know both the MEAN/MERN and LAMP stacks plus more and I am scratching my head wondering how.
You look at all these frameworks and 3rd party modules you would include with Node/Express for example, each has their own mini syntax and approach to it.
The thing is, I have been studying diligently these years. I hate to give up, but I also would hate to be wasting my time too.