New to code and a little lost

Hello everyone, my name is Jimmy.

I am currently enrolled in college and I have no clue what I wanted out of it all this time. I have been on and off with college since 2012. I have been working in the food/hospitality service for 10+ years and I recently got a non-food/hospitality job at a warehouse here in Cleveland Ohio (where I am located). Unfortunately, I have not been too enthused with the work life I have been working in for some time. I have 5 classes left in college to obtain a basic associate of arts towards universal arts. I am kind of telling myself to complete college and get these 5 classes done since I would be the first one in my immediate family to obtain a college degree in anything.

There is just one problem I am facing… I recently fell in love with the idea of wanting to code. I was nervous to approach it once I start looking into JavaScript. After some podcasts and research, I started utilizing Free Code Camp. I finished up 2 items on the first curriculum list from the 300-hour responsive web design course I have been working on. So far, I have completed the HTML and HTML5 section as well as the Basic CSS section. I am currently inside of the Applied visual design section as we speak. What I am doing now is not considered a language I have been told, and that intimidates me. I am not scared to approach an actual language, but I am intimidated.

I never had much experience with code in the past besides good old myspace. I only remember having to use some hex codes to change the background and border colors. Other than that, I have no experience in coding whatsoever. One thing I do recall is that I had a friend of mine years back that got into coding and I always saw him doing it when we would be around social events. He would show me things he was learning on his own from open-source courses like khan academy and Free Code Camp. At the time I was younger, and I was not as intrigued, but I did respect him for the motivation and commitment he had. This was back in 2010 I believe when I got my first glimpse of what coding looked like. My friend was working on JavaScript at the time I believe.

Now, the main problem I am facing is that I want to code every day and I want to continue coding every day, but I have my next semester of college coming up with a full-time job that I work at 5 days a week at from 7am-4pm. I start this semester of college with 3 classes on the 19th of this month. I have a family and a significant other I have been in a relationship with for 7 years now that I love making time for. She has been super supportive and patient with me during my discovery of code. So how do I balance work, school, life, family, and my relationship while still learning to code? I really am trying to figure out what to do. I want to continue code and I code every day to stay consistent on my journey. I also to want to finish college since I have 5 classes left.

I usually do coding 1-3 hours a day. Maybe I could reduce the time since I will have to finish schoolwork first after my day job then attack code for at least 1 hour. I obviously need to pace myself at this point and be patient. Regardless, I am new to all this and I am learning the best way I can on my own with no one who can relate or mentor me. I do ask my coding buddy questions on occasion, but I do not want to annoy him. So, anything helps if anyone wants to lend some advice and support. I will be sure to try and do the same for anyone else that needs some support along the way.

Thank you for taking the time to read about my situation and my journey. I hope everyone is ok during these tough times. I am hoping to hear from everyone soon and I want everyone to be successful for themselves. I am humbled by the experience I have endured so far. I know staying positive is the key to accomplishment (at least for me) and everyone just keep your heads up.

~Jimmy

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Hi @gabora94!

Here are my thoughts.

I do want to clarify that html and css are languages there are just not programming languages. Html and css are considered markup languages that serve as the content and design of your website.

I think the key here is to be smart and productive with the time you are given.
It is better to have 1 consistent productive hour a day for coding than wasting 3-4 hours unfocused.

If you are focused and actively learning during that 1 hour each day, then it will add up over time.

Take you time to learn and build a healthy foundation to grow from.
You might not have 6-8 hours a day to code but that doesn’t mean you can’t be productive with 1-2 hours.

Consistency is key.

FCC provides a great start to web development with the curriculum. And then from there you can supplement that curriculum with other sources as needed.

Patience is key.
Your time is valuable and there are only so many hours in a day.

So there is no point in trying to compete with someone who has more time in their day to code.

Your schedule is the way it is.

You just have to remember that 10 years from now when you are a successful developer no one is going to care how long it took you to learn in the beginning.

Just take it one day at a time.

There are plenty of people that are willing to help.
You don’t need to feel embarrassed to ask questions.

I am a beginner(7months in) and I am always seek out advice from professionals.

Just last week I reached out to @nhcarrigan for advice on my career path and I also reached out to @ArielLeslie for advice on good computer science classes to take.

They both gave me in depth information that I am extremely grateful for. :grinning:

You can’t code alone.

You need a community to learn and grow.

Hope that helps!

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Hello Jimmy,

Being able to juggle all the things important to you starts with setting priorities.

So for example, I’d say finishing college should be one of the top priorities at this current time as your rather close to finishing. Having a degree is better than no degree, and quitting now would only make sense if you really can’t finish those last few classes.

With that in mind, if you want to spend time with family then that also probably is important, so it should take priority.

Finally something like code can be a priority as if you enjoy it then yea go for it, up to a point your other priorities are taken care of.

So yes its possible you have a limited set of time to devote to yourself, and if such is the case I’d follow along with what is said above. Which is to use your time wisely and effectively.

Its also important to realize you have to pace yourself. Learning might be in decent chunks, and planning stuff out so you can keep some kind of momentum with the time you have. Just don’t expect to learn everything super fast if you only have a limited time to learn it. This isn’t a problem, or anything to be worried about, as long as you keep progressing you will get it done. Just be sure to devote enough time to review and learning new things so you don’t forget to much between gaps.

I usually say anyone can learn to code, but it takes time, grit and an internet connection. If you don’t have much time to spare, or just have limited time over a longer span, then it will just take longer. That isn’t anything to worry about IMO as long as you keep chugging along :slight_smile:

Good luck, keep building, keep learning :+1:

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@jwilkins.oboe @bradtaniguchi

Thank you both so much for these words of wisdom. I am going to implement a schedule to utilize my time wisely and effectively like you said @bradtaniguchi because that is super key right now for sure. Thank you for giving me a good construction of goals to look at too man I really appreciate it.
As for school, work, and life, I will make sure I set time to devote to myself. @jwilkins.oboe Thank you for specifying programming language vs html and CSS markup languages. I guess I am just so new I was a little lost as to what me thinking it was not considered a language really meant. I will also take your advice and start giving myself 1 hour a day dedicated to practicing and working on code. I start school this coming week, so I am for sure going to make a healthy foundation to grow from. My schedule really is the way it is ha-ha.

Once again thank you both @jwilkins.oboe @bradtaniguchi for responding to me. I do not feel as in the dark throughout this journey as of now :slight_smile:

I also started a GIT hub (which I am kind of confused on), a twitter account, and I utilize stack overflow a lot to learn definitions. I use a lot of google too :wink:

Thank you both so much though. It really does mean a lot and I will for sure take both of your advice legitimately. I hope you both are doing good during these tough times and I’m excited to let you know how everything works out once I get adjusted :slight_smile:

~Jimmy

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