Past college dropout

Hello FCC community! I’m just starting my coding journey after a few years of being out of the saddle. I originally went to college for coding and ended up dropping out of my classes due to my living situation following through during the next semester. Up until now, I believed that it was something I couldn’t do without a college degree, and then I discovered things like FCC! I can’t wait to start and really hope this takes me towards my goals.

I live in the midwest in an up and coming tech city and truly feel hopeful that self-learning will take me somewhere. I’ve been coding a little bit every day for the past 3 weeks/keeping a time log of my progress and really enjoying it already.

Any advice for a star eyed newbie? Especially organization/progress tips!


Hi PMHern1993,

Welcome back to coding!
There are many professionals without (the right) college degree, especially in web development.
You’ll get there if you just keep coding, learning and problem solving every day.


You are already on FCC, so getting the certificates will be a good first step. Try to not chew so much at once. I was also not able to finish my studies due to personal reasons. If you can afford it you could always get a degree later on.

I wrote a blog post about not getting overwhelmed while learning webdev

Hope this helps you out. Good luck on your journey.



It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Pace yourself.
Take breaks, don’t burn out. Don’t burn both ends of candle.
There’ll be many cool tech, new things, new software, new tools to learn – Resist jumping from one to the next… or learning so many different things all at once. You’ll get overwhelmed and burn out.
It’s not necessary to know every software/tool/tech out there.
Build a solid foundation. Learn and understand the basics.
Sometimes, it’s more important to know the “why”, than the “how” of doing things.
You can google the “how” of doing things – it’s not necessary to memorize them all.
But with repetition, you’d eventually commit them to memory and become natural to you.
Doing code is more important than reading or listening or watching videos about code.
Pick a computer language, any language and understand concepts like computational thinking, conditionals, loops, data structures, algorithms.
Once you know that well enough, it will be easy switching languages in the future because now you’ll just be concerned with the new syntax and maybe some specific features of that new language. But the basics/foundation of programming, you already know.
Math is overrated. Not much needed except in a few specific fields. Logical thinking is more important.
Don’t neglect aesthetics and design know-how. Learn some.
After all, people will more likely to see what’s in front of their browser than the hidden code behind the scenes.
Have fun!


Joke, Horv87, and owel all had great insights and advice. A few additional tips:

  • Don’t compare yourself to others.
  • Do compare yourself to a past time frame. Do you know more, or can you do more, than you did 2 weeks ago? If so, you’re doing great!
  • Don’t be embarrassed by your past code. (Very much related to the previous tip. Instead of being embarrassed, just realize how much you’ve learned since you wrote that code!)
  • And share what you learn, both to help the community, and to help solidify your own knowledge.

If you get, give. If you learn, teach. ~ Maya Angelou

When one teaches, two learn. ~ Robert Heinlein


@Joke @Horv87 @owel @metasean

Thank you so much for the kinda advice! This is really looking like a realistic goal for me and I appreciate that the community here seems to be so encouraging


I caught myself trying to learn all this “cool tech, new things, new software”. I find myself working my butt off and accomplishing nothing.
I have decided to give this month up to being linear with FCC.


If you are inclined to- there are a lot of Slack groups/channels dedicated to Web Developers (as well as Meetups. I don’t know where you are in the midwest but I do know Salt Lake City is a rapidly growing hub for Web Developers.

If I could I’d be moving back there (I was there for 3 months last year)… or to Washington (the state- DC is further down on my list lol).

Can’t add much more to what the others said but bears repeating on 2 points.

  • don’t be afraid to ask for help and/or google. Even the best still needs help via a person or google (or your choice of search engine).
  • Definitely take breaks- pamper yourself when you can- and get plenty of sleep. The code will still be there in the morning/next day. :slight_smile:
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@Ducky - Salt Lake City isn’t typically referred to as “the midwest” (more the “mountain west”), but thank you for acknowledging us as, “a rapidly growing hub for Web Developers” :smiley: The marketing people bill us as the “Silicon Slopes”.

Regardless, we are definitely a web dev friendly area. We recently added a Salt Lake City Study Group here on the forum. We haven’t listed all of our events on the FCC forum yet, but they are listed over on the UtahJS Meetup page, including a study group tomorrow night and another one this Saturday.

Anybody who’s in the area and interested in dev is welcome!