I’m Francesco, yesterday(today at 4am local to be precise) I finished the third FreeCodeCamp certificate so I wanted to share some bits about my journey.
I started webdev FCC the 23rd Jan 2016 with no prior experience, I was really interested in coding because I always liked building and repairing things and I had really no idea what the future had for me(I’m 24), I was sort of wandering without a clear goal in mind for my life.
During this year, like you I had obstacles and challenges along the way but the biggest one was not coding related at all: how to keep going while everything is so hard.
I struggled with this more than anything else, be it react or node, keeping myself motivated was by far the greatest challenge, you never really overcome it, it just hides to bite you again at the next bug or project.
There’s no secret, you just have to face the fear and go on without caring about it, the only thing that kept me going was the fact that I really loved and love coding, that shadow of doubt was just temporary, in the end I still wanted to code.
From January to August I was able to complete front and data viz certificates, I did all my projects on codepen and my one and only goal was to make the BEST projects out of everyone that I could find on codepen and I always reached the front page(except you wikipedia viewer) and I really needed that, even if my code was spaghetti someone appreciated the result of me trying as hard as I could.
Then came back-end and the hardest part of FCC started for me, I really hated it, I had to leave codepen to write all my code in local, I couldn’t do anything with node, it wasn’t clicking at all and there were simply too many things to learn all together.
No I didn’t keep going, I was exhausted by it and my progress was really slow, somewhat I managed to complete the api projects but that was it, voting app was a no go, I couldn’t do it.
Motivation started to fade, and yada yada you all experienced or are experiencing that, so you know how it goes, I started a really long tutorial on udemy but I had to find the motivation to do that too, is was hard.
Every day I improved a bit, painfully slow process but still something, until finally in 28 days I completed all the web app projects(voting app & nightlife in one day each!).
So what did I do differently? Nothing, I just kept going on refusing to stop, and now looking back I’m sure of it. I love coding.
I would still be halfway at best though back-end if it wasn’t for Chingu Cohorts, that’s hands down the best and easiest way to improve. I’m not talking about coding, I don’t think I ever asked help there, what makes a cohort great is the fact that you have 50ish devs like you, struggling like you, it becomes a family, a family that supports you when you are back and always ready to start a new adventure with you.
Joining a cohort is the best thing you can do to improve, but you have to WORK to make it worth it! If you don’t participate in the cohort life, it won’t help you so write, help others, ask for help, just use it!
lots of people asked me question in private(from the cohorts) so I’m going to answer the most popular:
Do you have a job?
Yes I had one until Sept 2016, office employee, not IT related, didn’t quit, my contract ended. I’d love to get a dev related job now.
Are you going to do the nonprofits now?
From what I understand it can be a long process, FCC already sent me a form asking my personal infos, they didn’t disclose anything else.
What are you going to do now?
Freelancing to get something, new personal website, learn infernoJS, coding a blog maybe(someone asked me to try to blog/do tutorials) and some super secret projects I’ve been invited to.
What can I do to improve?
Join a cohort. go there and talk, help others, join a project(there are so many on the cohorts!), join #100DaysOfCode
Edit: to join the cohorts you can start here! https://tropicalchancer.github.io/projectus/