Tips/Advice for staying motivated?

Hi all!

I’m Maya, I’ve been learning Front-End Development for about a month now. When I was about 13, I use to play around with HTML and CSS so that I could build fansites. Never thought to delve further into it because I definitely intimidated by the concept and I stopped building sites after a few years. Here I am at newly 24 after countless, terrible, minimum wage jobs and being on/off again with college, I’ve definitely decided this is something I’d really love to do for the rest of my life for so many different reasons.

I’ve been jumping between FCC, using MDN frequently for references, and recently bought Colt Steele and Andrei Neagoie’s web developer courses. Recently though, I’ve been beginning to stall with my knowledge and it is causing me to be less motivated. I gave myself a goal to code every day but I’ve been falling off, mostly because I feel like I can’t create anything without any help and I’ve been having a hard time retaining some information.

I’m just wondering what keeps you guys going and how do I get out of this stump?


I felt the same way before.
I came to a few conclusions

Asking for help is very natural. No one is a living lingo dictionary and, even if they were, they would still enjoy looking at solutions from different perspectives.

I tend to enjoy the end result far more than the process and that is a big problem. I think breaking my goals down to smaller tasks is a very rewarding way to keep myself motivated. Instead of “today I will make this entire page look awesome”, I make more humble goals like “today, I will fix the header position”. After accomplishing each task, I feel rewarded and get some motivation to do the next.

Find someone to code with you. Working in pairs/groups is fun and a great learning experience. There are nice tools like zoom, or online working spaces that help. Look out for your FFC community in facebook. In my town, we have monthly meetings.

Finally, follow some professionals in YouTube who are fascinated about coding. Their passion can be really contagious. =)

Good luck and happy coding.

The main problem occurring with you is that you have set a goal to do coding or learn something new every day
But what you are lacking is you are not applying what you are learning
Let me get this straight
I am 18 years old
I did not know anything about web development a year ago
I first started with MDN and later with freecodecamp
And to be honest, the learning period was too boring for me too
I got discouraged many times
But once I learned enough about HTML, CSS and Bootstrap and somewhat little javascript
I published my first website
My first website is rather too simple to make but the satisfaction I got by publishing my 1st website is fascinating
that motivated me to do more
Try to make one working project for yourself like a portfolio of you or your own blog
once you do this you will no longer require any motivation

My background on how I got started in software development was interesting. When I was kid, I used to watch my brother work on his computer when he was still living with my parents. Often times, he was spending more effort installing games then actually playing them. So, from the time I was six until I was twelve, I was exposed to the old dos terminal.

Eventually, I came across a HTML book while we were an electronics store with my parents. I always wanted to program, so I picked up the book and started reading it. Then came geocities and I went off to build my own website. From there, it had been an off and on thing.

I spent the last two years of my high school at a technical school which offered information system classes within the business unit. I wanted to build games like the type of games I played with my friends. However, it didn’t work out like that. And I started not liking my class.

However, I was at a time in my life where I was afraid of following down the wrong career path and wanted to pursue something that was more glamorous in the health and wellness industry. Thus when I graduated, I went to college for health thinking this would make me more happier.

Fast forward about 7 years later, I was working at a call center wondering what the hell happened? Why is it I am here? Where did the passion go for health and wellness? What happened to my motivation for that career?

That’s when I realize my drive wasn’t so much in teaching others how to be healthy, but building things that made things that at least worked or made it work better.

Drive is when it takes serious amount of effort to start something, in an environment which is out of your element, yet doesn’t require much conscious effort to just do it. That mental intrinsic inertia is more powerful than “motivation”

When you’re motivated to do something, it’s because there are outcomes that you want out of it. And when those outcomes don’t come to you, said motivation starts to wane. Thus, it is a finite source. However, when you have drive, there is no outcome you are dependent on. Thus, regardless how many obstacles you encounter, you still keep working regardless.

If you need the drive to help you reach your goal (a job, to become master, or etc…) here’s what I would do:

1.) Don’t bother tutorials, and walkthroughs. Just think of something and build it. Set a time limit for yourself. Don’t make it a month or a week. Set a limit of 24 hours. Heck, set it for 30 minutes. The whole idea is that when the pressure is on, are you still going to want to keep coding even after failing?

2.) Find a client and do the work for free. I’m not saying you should do a bunch of projects for free (because your time is valuable) but figure out if you still like coding when you have someone demanding features out of you and you’re completely stuck on how to build it… without getting paid a dime.

3.) Sit down and ask yourself confronting questions about yourself, “Do I really enjoy coding web sites? or do I enjoy the side effect of building websites (i.e. lucrative salaries, remote work, awesome companies, and etc…)?”, “What am I willing to deal with while being a developer?”, and finally, “Would I still want to code if I was being paid the same amount from my minimal wage job?”

Most people in successful careers don’t realize they have drive because they didn’t have to grit their teeth and tell themselves they want to be this. Most of the time, they failed over and over again but mistaken stubbornness for drive.

I’ve found two techniques that really helped me. The first and most important is to find a life goal that you will be able to achieve once you become a web developer. The second is to drive your learning with personal projects you care about completing.

The path to becoming a web developer is long and hard, but it’s definitely worth it. The task in front of you is to make sure you remind yourself of that fact and find ways to trick your brain into breaking through the hard stuff even when it wants to quit. :slight_smile:

Keep a coding journal (or blog, if you like sharing).

Every day, try to answer the following questions:

  1. What did I learn today?
  2. What did I find difficult today or what did I get stuck on?
  3. What is the most important think I need to learn and how can I learn it?

Reflecting like this on a regular basis can really help you to solidify your knowledge and set learning goals.

My advice is to take a step back and not rush it, The problem with colt steele and andrei course is that they are too rush and they dont dive into details into certain parts like css etc. Like just abit of css and then go towards bootstrap etc. I have taken colt steele course b4 and i feel i didnt learn much so i was in a slump for a month +.

The problem with tutorials and videos is that they are hand holding , you need to apply what you learn in projects to really understand it. I started off a mess 2 months ago rushing colt projects and didnt learn much and worse forgot alot of it.

Till 2 weeks ago i took a deep dive learning css again and build projects. I bought the complete course for css which has everything about css. And just build pages using html and css. The key here is to understand how something works before moving on.

When you learn something play around with it, see what else you can do and apply in your projects. Projects are the best way to keep yourself motivated, and you will improve tremendously. So just start by building something small and improve on it

Here is my own journey for 2 weeks. just learning html and css. So i just bought this course as a reference to html/css before moving on to other things
(it covers everything about css)

my first tribute page
my survey form

As you can see i started out simple, then i find that my survey form can be improved and redo it again

survey form redo:

All this while learning the tutorial from the video , after doing the survey form page again i worked on my product landing page for a few days learning sass and git. I became more confident

product landing page:

In summary my 2 weeks.

html /css /flexbox/.grid/sass and git

So as you can see , building projects is the best way to learn things. Its okay if its a simple small page with the bare minimum and have mistakes , you will learn from those. You can always redo the project again and again.

Sarting small and building things is the best way to build your confidence and improve yourself. We all have this fear of being wrong or judged for our work. But by accepting that we make mistakes and learn from it helps us improve further.