Keeping myself motivated

Hey!! To any self-taught developers out there! This may be a question that’s been asked a million times but how did you stay motivated when you were teaching yourself? How did you stay motivated when you thought you figured something out but then you realized you still got it wrong and have to go back to reteach yourself? How long did you give yourself to learn certain topics cuz it feels like I’m I’ve been on HTML and CSS for a month but I keep finding stuff I gotta rework or relearn. Any tips?? I’m nowhere near ready to give up cuz I gotta prove to myself that I can learn this and hopefully change careers, just don’t care for the defeated feeling.


I think the best thing is to find other people with whom to talk. When I was starting out, going to meetups and talking with other developers - some working on the same stuff I was, some not - was a breath of fresh air.

I know it’s tough now, in the apocalypse, but there still are some online meetups. One advantage of an online meetup is that it doesn’t matter where everyone is. Check and facebook for groups.


Hi @Ltc870 !

What works best for me is to build projects outside of a class.

I like to build projects that interest me.
My background is in music, so my projects will naturally center around that.

I have also built the typical class projects like drum machines, and calculators but solo projects motivate me more.

My advice is pick something you are interested in building and go for.
It doesn’t need to be some complex application or original for that matter.
Just something you enjoy.

Right now I am building a fake online music store.
I am having a lot of fun building that out and adding new features, researching, etc.

I would also suggest getting involved with developer communities.
I have only been to a couple of online meetups but I really enjoy them.

Hope that helps!


You will always find stuff you can improve on over time. Don’t focus on how much time you spent = learned. Not all time is equal, and time spent reviewing/going back and improving could be spent moving onto more difficult/complex topics. The enemy of progress is perfection. Learn what you have with HTML+CSS, pick a “point” of what you want to be able to do as your goal, something more specific than “learn it”. Once you get to that goal, then move onto other topics.

You can always come back and improve, you can also integrate improvements later. Just don’t expect to be perfect, or seek out perfection at this stage. Just seek out improvement, understanding and context. This applies to just starting out, all the way to day 1 million of doing this stuff. There’s always more to learn and room to improve :slight_smile:

Good! Just understand learning this stuff isn’t a bar you suddenly pass, it’s a path you continue to hike. You learn stuff, and keep learning stuff and might feel that “defeated IDK whats going on” feeling from time to time, now and later, but the fact you don’t let it get to you and make you give up means your already well on your way!

Continue hiking that path, and good luck! :+1:

1 Like

Sorry, I missed the part about “how did you stay motivated when you thought you figured something out but then you…”

Jessica and Brad give some good advice, but just to tack on my thoughts…

Don’t worry about it too much. Just keep learning and moving forward. If you try to learn everything perfectly, you will never get anywhere. You will forget things - all developers forget things, a lot. I have to hit up google a dozen times a day. Don’t sweat it. Everybody struggles with something. Just keep moving and learning.

1 Like


One thing I learned recently was that tracking your progress helps you to stay energized for it gives us an instant gratification boost of endorphins. Plus, celebrating the progress and the good work is important (I use to express that as if I see a goal scored on a game: I jump, I scream, I punch the air, I play with my three dogs).

Now the question is what to track. We need quantifiable measures that we can count the small increments of. I’ve been using the time I spent on the effort and things I do with what I learn. (But I’ve been experimenting with topics mastered from learning tracks I can find elsewhere, like ticking them from a list. I didn’t have much success, though.)

Focusing on the things you’ve done also gives you some peace of mind about the time spent on each topic, for you’ve proven to yourself you can do something with it. The hard part is to find something creative every time. Because I don’t mean to follow along with some step-by-step tutorial, I mean trying something out from scratch.

Still, I’ve been struggling to be consistent with all that. These aren’t definitive solutions, are humble ideas about this topic I think may be worth it.

@jwilkins.oboe @flavio.hferreira @kevinSmith @bradtaniguchi thank you all for the advice!! I plan on making a career change by the end of this year so without a doubt I’ma keep on trucking. I found a couple of meetups in my city so I’m hoping I can join them eventually. Thank you all for the advice, I really appreciate it!!

This topic was automatically closed 182 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.