How I stayed focused on learning programming

The responses to my recent tweet prompted me to write this post. The tweet was on my achievement in completing the full stack certification offered by freecodecamp. Usually, I don’t write any blog posts, and for the first time, I am sharing my story of learning programming and how freecodecamp helped me in that journey to the fellow campers. Before I start writing on that, let me introduce myself as a chemist, a materials scientist, and an aspiring data scientist. Currently, I am a postdoc researcher at Korea University, Sejong, Korea. You may find my academic profile at Scopus and at researchgate. As you may see that my research profile is not that bad, at least my RG score is higher than 85% of all ResearchGate members’ scores. Then what did motivate me to think about a career change? Well, that’s a long story; I will write on that in another post. It occured to me in early 2013 during my PhD studies.

Briefly, I had been desperately looking for an additional income source like a remote job. So, I started working on fiverr, but that was a tedious job with a little outcome. Instead of focusing on short-term easy earning, I tried to find out a long-term goal that would allow me to work from home even from my village in Bangladesh with a decent salary. It turned out to me that data science would be something that could be done from anywhere in the world if I had a network-connected PC. By that time, I became familiar with programming in Python and visual basic for add-ins; I used to apply my newly developed skills in my research activities and to automate my everyday tasks. Later on, I involved myself in learning programming on major MOOC platforms - edX, coursera, udacity,, etc.

Even though I had set my goal in my mind, I couldn’t believe that I wanted to be a data scientist until I shared my thinking with the people around me. As I am writing this, I remember how hard it was to mention “aspiring data scientist” to my linkedin profile. Being a postdoc researcher in my forties, I had to overcome my prejudice and embrace humility with my new identity.

In early 2016, I came to learn about freecodecamp. Though freecodecamp mainly focused on web technology, I found it immensely helpful to narrow down my focus on a particular area (web development) that I thought a pre-requisite to becoming a data scientist. To me, freecodecome is like a “light house”. Whenever I moved away from learning programming and involved in my research works, Quincy’s email reminded me of my pending tasks and forced me to spend some time on freecodecamp or any other MOOC courses or books that I was following to learn web development. That was my story of how I completed freecodecamp’s “Full Stack Certification” in four years. Now it’s time to dive into data science.

If the above story doesn’t blow your mind, then let me inform you that I am a husband, a father of a six years old boy, and an active researcher. Hope anyone who is of my type (a marathoner not a sprinter) will find this helpful. If I can do this, then you can do this too.

Stay motivated, stay focused.




Hi Picklu! Thanks a lot for sharing your story. Very inspiring indeed.


Thanks for sharing! Can I ask, where you successful in getting a remote data science position? I’m also currently studying online and hope to get into this field. Good luck to you!

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Not yet. But, now I am hopeful.

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Hi Picklu, Interesting story. I too am on research gate. I will look 4 u there. Thanx 4 sharing.

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Inspiring ! Keep going

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@picklu you are so inspiring! I suppose that you had to “eat” your pride as researcher and embrace with humility that new identity, that was hard enough.
But in the long game, I think you will find synergy between your researcher skills and your full stack developer skills, maybe you find a business model and run a new startup.
keep going and let us know your progress

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Well said. Thank you.

This story is awesome, I like it

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Thank you for your story :sweat: :imp:

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Very interesting, thanks for sharing an entertaining story.

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