Requesting advice/guidance regarding communities and resources

Requesting advice/guidance regarding communities and resources
0

#1

Hello! I’ve never formally introduced myself here, my name is Ryan, I live in central Washington State. My previous career consisted of performing various duties on container ships and the occasional oil tanker, what is known as the ‘merchant marine’, though I find the term is often confusing to people. Last year I had decided to begin learning how to code and eventually make a career of it, having decided several years ago that I was done going to sea. I think that I have a pretty good grasp of what a person needs to do to succeed at this endeavor, which essentially comes down to just putting in the work, every day, and making use of every resource available (without getting lost amid the vast number of resources, classes, videos, blogs, etc. and having your attention spread thin across too many of them, IOW, pick the ones that will work for you and stick to them). For me, I have decided to make freecodecamp my primary place of learning, and the theodinproject as a secondary path that I spend much less time with, probably a quarter of what I spend here.

The advice/guidance that I am concerned with has to do with the notion of community. I understand that a significant aspect of this learning process, and later on the process of looking for a job or for projects to work on, is a person’s involvement in the online community and the same IRL. My problem is, ever since the days of AOL, I have never been drawn to the world of online social interaction. I never found chat rooms interesting enough to give me the motivation to actually spend any time there and thus never developed any relationships via the internet. Over time, I have perhaps posted a small number of questions on forums that dealt with an interest of mine, but again, nothing approaching involvement in a community. This extends to social media, evidenced by my lack of a Facebook or Twitter account, let alone LinkedIn. This might not be as much of a concern for me, but my location puts me hours away from physical meetups of any coding-concerned groups. So, at least for the moment, it appears that if I am to really take part in this learning process and establish a presence in the coding community, my only option is to suck it up, create a social media presence, and attempt to figure out how to become engaged with the online world.

I know that the answer is very obvious, but beyond the very basic steps I need to take, can anyone provide any advice to a person that is averse to online social interaction? When I first started with freeCodeCamp, I seem to remember there being a chat room, where people would ask questions live? Was that replaced with the forum that this is being posted to? Could anyone suggest place that I should start trying to make this change? I appreciate any advice, or guidance, or criticism, and I’ll even accept cynicism or hyperbole. If you have read to this point, I want to thank you for taking the time, commend your persistence, and apologize for the length, which I assume is a bit long. And thank you to anyone who takes the time to respond.


#2

The chatrooms still exist on gitter. I don’t go there often because I find it too chaotic and not very helpful. Maybe I’m just an old fogey, but 8 conversations going on at once is too much. Others find it indispensable.

I do find this forum helpful and frequent it. But if you don’t, that’s fine.

As far as meetups, are you in a town of any kind? A meetup can be just two people. Maybe you just find someone nearby interested in web development and meet for coffee once a week and code together. Of course this assumes that you aren’t 50 miles from your nearest neighbor. Put up ads on coffee house bulletin boards and bookstores, anywhere where messages are exchanged, in person or electronically. In even small towns, there will be a few people interested.

What about remote pair programming? There are technologies to allow you to work remotely with people, both seeing what the other sees and you pass it back and forth doing the typing. That can be a great way to learn and work with others. Once you get to know each other, you can work on projects together, each working on different sections, having agreed how they will interact. This can be a great way to learn.

I don’t know what to say. I’m sorry if it didn’t help. Some people are lucky and live in places with lots of opportunities. I’m not really an online person either. But I force myself to be because it is part of the job.

Best of luck.


#3

I didn’t think of putting ads on bulletins. This could work for me.


#4

I’m not sure if FCC will work as the primary place for learning… Support & help, yeah I agree 100%. But the FCC map doesn’t cover a lot of materials. It’s incomplete and I strongly encourage you should also look at official sites/documentation sites for your primary source.

I think https://www.w3schools.com/ is good for a 10,000 feet bird’s eyeview of what’s out there, then consult the official docs/site for more detailed/complete information (example: getbootstrap.com for Bootstrap CSS information, Mozilla Developer network for HTML and Javascript, etc.)

Like KS, I can’t stand chat. It seems juvenile for me (at my age). I prefer the forum since I can come and go as I please, look at old or new topics, or interesting topics. There’s just no pressure.

So, at least for the moment, it appears that if I am to really take part in this learning process and establish a presence in the coding community, my only option is to suck it up, create a social media presence, and attempt to figure out how to become engaged with the online world.

It may be counterintuitive, but one of the best way to speedup your learning is answering other people’s questions. At some point in your journey, you will probably be 1 or 2 steps, or even 10steps in front of somebody else. That means, you have enough knowledge to help the people “behind” you.

And by doing this (helping other people, answering their questions, or figuring out their problem), you reinforce what you’ve already learned, you may even learn some thing new, or some new technique, or read some new information that will just add to your learning and experience.

Also, in this line of work, you’d be reading a lot of code made by other people, and trying to “get into their head” and their way of thinking. The more you’re used to this, and the more you can figure out other people’s code, (either to debug, enhance, fix, improve upon, or learn from), the better it is for your own learning journey.

and oh… PROJECTS! — make projects, that’s the best way to learn and not forget what youv’e learned. Make lots of projects, simple, short, some complex. Just keep making something, even if it is for a fictitious business or organization, or a simple website. This will be like your “living portfolio” that you update continually as you learn more. It will be like your testing playground.


#5

Absolutely this :point_up_2:

Explaining a concept or bug to someone two steps behind you is great for clarifying your thinking and seeing whether you do actually understand the thing.

From an educational perspective this is a core element of what we call constructivist learning. This is why communities are so valuable!

The help helps, but the helping helps more!