Putting my story out here for the first time

Hi campers,
This is rather long winded. Just a head’s up. :slight_smile: I’ve been working toward a goal of becoming a developer/programmer. I’m 42 years old, currently a welder/boatbuilder, and I can offer nothing exceptional in the way of technical knowledge/abilities/aptitude. But here’s the thing: I woke up one morning, and my first awake thought was ‘I should look into web development’. I got out of bed, went to my computer, read some articles, and within a couple minutes found freecodecamp.org. I signed up, started the course, and was almost immediately hooked. HTML/CSS was an absolute blast: creating the structure and playing with the design elements is so much fun, and now learning js (while proving to be extremely tough for me) really appeals to my inner problem solver/inventor. I can literally create tools with keystrokes! So cool!
I know there are a lot of reasons to talk myself out of this (I’m older, blue collar, living a busy family life, having trouble grasping many more advanced concepts), but I’m really determined to see this through. For my family, yes. But once successfully employed in the field, I really want to help others like me. It’s very common for blue collar types like myself to feel like they aren’t cut out for things such as this. I’ve heard that the tech community can be very welcoming and helpful, and I think I see why. Perhaps the feelings that are driving me are similar to what’s driving those that are helping out the most. I can imagine feeling immensely blessed working in such a rewarding field and feeling compelled to share that with others.
So I’ve been doing the program here, Jonas Schmedtmann’s udemy courses, whatever free material I can find by people like Brad Traversy, Wes Boz, Coding Train, etcetera, and consuming a LOT of podcasts. It seems one piece of advice I keep hearing is to reach out and connect with people. This is a challenge for me, as I’m inclined toward introversion. At the same time, I treasure authentic experiences with others. So in the name of self accountability, and getting to know people, here’s my formal introduction that will surely embarrass my future self.
If any of you have any nuggets of wisdom for me, it will surely fall on grateful ears (or eyes, rather). Anyway, pleased to meet you, campers. I hope this is the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship.



Nice to meet you. This is a good forum with good people, but I would recommend other forms of contact too. In pre-plague times, I would recommend going to local meetups. This is of course difficult in our current situation, but many of these groups are meeting online now. And once things are back to normal, check them out. It really is encouraging to talk to other developers/learners, see what they’re working on, show them what you’re working on, hear their struggles, etc. I probably wouldn’t have made it without meetups.

And I can second Brad Traversy - he does good job.

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Thanks Kevin! Yes, thank you. I signed up to some meetups online, but the nearest in person ones are in the Seattle area and East of the sound. I’m out on the peninsula, which makes it tougher. Perhaps I’ll start one. We’ll see…

Hi @doodical, wonderful to hear your story. I am new to the coding journey myself and so far enjoying every part of it. I am a bit intimidated as to how long it will take for me to be employable, but I try to concentrate on what I am learning now and I really like it and can only regret that I have been telling myself that it is too hard for me. How long have you been coding?

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Hi @RReiso, nice to meet you. I started about six months ago, but took over a month off during the last half of the javascript algorithms course. I hit the Wherefore Art Thou problem, and it felt like a brick wall. Since then, it’s been a bit of a crawl, but I want to make sure I understand as much as I can before I move on. You’re totally right, it is intimidating! I know it might sound weird, but the harder it gets, I actually find it encouraging. It confirms that yes, there must be high and sustainable demand, and yes, there must be potential for good pay. It seems the further you push yourself, the more in demand you’ll be. I’ve been having a super tough time with javascript, and some days I have to remind myself that even if I learned the tiniest amount today, that it’s technically more than I knew yesterday. In the end, all of those tiny pieces will come together to form a body of knowledge that will make me more capable in solving problems, building cool stuff, and hopefully employable. I’ve tried to get the idea of landing a job within the first year out of my head. I kind of secretly hope and push for it, of course, but I try to keep my expectations as realistic as possible. Hang in there!

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Yeah, I had the most luck with meetup dot com and Facebook groups. And realize that some may have gone dark during the pandemic.

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thanks @doodical your words are encouraging. Some days I feel I have not learned much, but you are right, if it is more than yesterday, then it is an improvement. Im currently participating in 100 Days Of Code Challenge to give me extra push, have you tried it?

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I need to give Facebook a try. I just kind of hate Facebook, but it is a good way to connect with people.

I’m stoked that you found my words encouraging. 100 days of code? No, not yet. I’ve been wanting to check it out. Is it a twitter thing? I suppose I could look it up… I will be doing the Javascript30 from Wes Boz after I finish the FCC module I’m on.

Yeah it is encouraging - you are talking about not making exponential progress, which is what Im stressed about - am I improving fast enough? So instead of the speed, I need to shift my attention to progress.
Yeah 100 days of code is a twitter thing, that’s the reason I signed up for twitter. Im not really a social media type of person but as you said you gotta get out there. You can easily combine it with Javascript30, you just need to tweet once day as a proof you’re coding.

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Oh that’s a great idea of combining the two. Yeah, I need to sign up with twitter. I’ve been avoiding it, but it does seem like it’ll be a good thing.

@doodical , let us know your username when you sign up! :wink:

this is a late reply, so i apologize for that, but i’ll go ahead and put it out there nonetheless. i will go ahead and say that i don’t have any experience in regards to job experience, but i’m also new to programming/coding and completely understand how overwhelming it can feel (and i’d imagine it’s even more overwhelming given your situation). this is incredibly cliche, but it’s not too late to pursue your passion. i understand why you have your doubts, but i think you definitely have an immense amount of passion for programming which, at the end of the day, you need to even begin learning how to program. i noticed you said that you have a busy family life, and there are tons of free online resources that you can use that function in a self-paced fashion (i’m using this website and codecademy, but if you search up “free online coding course” heaps of results pop up). i also saw where you mentioned that you treasure authentic experiences with others, and it made me think that maybe you’d be interested in a coding boot camp. from what i can tell, boot camps are a bit controversial within the coding community, but if you find one that’s right for you and helps you then that’s great. if you’re not interested in or aren’t able to attend a boot camp, you could also consider joining online forums and programming groups. or, if you want, you could find youtube videos or books from other programmers about specific things you’re struggling with or just about coding in general. basically, there are a multitude of different resources that are available to you. i’d recommend figuring out what best suits you and your learning style and going from there. i wish you the absolute best with your journey! :))

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