…okay, not so techy! But hey, you gotta start somewhere!
The last two posts were mainly about motivation and the pre-planning and planning phase. In this post, I want to delve a little bit deeper into the technical aspects and knowledge I possess (which is not much [see the image below]), I think I need or I’ve heard or read I need.
This is my HTML IQ according to Pluralsight and no, I don’t feel ashamed LOL.
A little story on the mental process
In the first post, I mentioned that among the things I would be sharing in this blog was about my mental process of the journey. Why? Because I believe that it plays a huge part in this whole process. What one thinks plays a big part in feeding or sucking the motivation or the drive to pursue. It also is a main character when it comes to the ideas behind the curriculum I’ll end up pursuing but choosing on the go. I want that when I or anyone else looks back at this blog, when this journey is far behind, we can see what it was in the beginning, how it was intended to be, how it happened and what it ended up being. Maybe this doesn’t make much sense right now, but I promise it will in the future. Enough with the mysticism and philosophy and on with the specs!!!
What have I done?
Oh my God, what…have I done?! But not in a bad way, you know? It’s like a genuine question like “hey Ed, what have you done?” Get it?
Well, what have I actually done till now to further pursue my goal? Well…I cheated…but just a little bit, I promise! In fact, I didn’t! And I’ll tell you why. Remember that home page paragraph that says that I’ll only have 3 months to study? I’ve peaked a little bit into the studies. But before you accuse me of a fraud, read me first. Yes, that is true, I’ve been skimming an HTML/CSS book, and yes, I’ve been following an HTML/CSS online tutorial (which I highly recommend for the ambitious self-teaching beginning programmers or just anyone starting out), and yes, I plan on watching two sections of a Udemy tutorial on WordPress I already completed so I can best setup an email subscription system for LOF, but I’m far from the full-time studying and getting a job.
Let me clarify: studying full-time for three months and getting a job (preferably a location independent one) is the idea behind LOF. But the idea is not to arrive at the beginning of that three months period (the specific dates will be announced soon but it’s around late September or October) with a zero level of knowledge and achieve mastery. The idea is instead to ramp up as much as possible the knowledge I already possess at that moment—which I estimate won’t be much—and land a job in under three months. As you can judge by this website, my writing skills and my HTML IQ, that is still a leap of faith, wouldn’t you agree? The idea behind LOF is much more than the coding, it is also the change of careers, the change of country (yes, I’ll be spending those three months in another country, surprise!), the financial complications it might bring and the uncertainty of “will I be able to achieve that dreamed and deeply desired goal?”…you see? I’m basically going all in on this. So I’m not such a fraud after all and I didn’t really cheat!
Besides checking out those resources I hyperlinked above, I’ve been devouring John Sonmez’s book The Complete Software Developer’s Career Guide (which I also highly recommend for all programmers regarding their level). I’ve been actually listening to the audiobook version which I also recommend because he throws tidbits here and there that are not included in the print version and also makes sure that the listeners understand the images, graphs or tables presented in the print version. You can learn a lot of things with this book, not only in the technical aspect but also in the soft skills sense: about methodologies—such as waterfall and agile—which I’ve never heard of before, about how important reading other’s code is, about getting a job, negotiating a salary, among many others. I won’t synthesize all of the value I’ve gotten from this book, I really recommend it as well as his blog and his YouTube channel if you really want to know more.
That said, I’ve been also checking a few page sources and their code without really understanding much; I’m focusing on the HTML. The idea I’ve been having for this first months is, for the little spare time to code I have, dedicate it solely to HTML and CSS. Let’s say I have, on average, around 10 hours per month, I might acquire a not-so-bad chunk of HTML/CSS knowledge before the three months. “If you’re already coding in your spare time, why not commit completely in your spare time?” I don’t want to go too hard on it because of two things: first, priority is school and, second, consistency is key. The problem with going too hard now is that consistency could suffer from having to go harder on school (which I anticipate) and I would have to sacrifice the coding practice. Then the lack of consistency would ultimately drain the motivation and even worse, would render useless the previous time dedicated to coding because if I don’t practice code I-WILL-FORGET. It has happened before. I did the full HTML and CSS Codecademy lesson and look at my HTML IQ results.
Lastly, I’ve been listening to a few podcasts in my commute time that have to do with coding or the web developer’s life. Here are a few:
Some communities have said about self-teaching…
I read another article about a self-teaching programming success story (I should start getting into failed self-teaching stories to see what they have to say). And while I’m waiting in line I skim through articles, blogs and forums that mostly agree in one recommendation for self-teaching to-be software developers: read all the sources!
I was checking the learning programming subreddit and I learned two things: that which I just said (and that I will explain in the next sentence); and that there are many people aspiring to be self-taught software developers. Given the amount of threads of aspiring self-taught software developers asking for resources, the feedback was overwhelming on the same point: learn from everywhere. “There’s no curriculum for self-teaching students because we all learn so differently”, they say. And I have to say that I agree.
Among the resources I saw, there was this Treehouse full-stack licensing program. I have to be honest, it’s really tempting to enroll in a course like that because of the content, the instructors, and everything it has to offer. I never say never because you never know (ah-ha! You saw what I did there?) but at the moment, I believe I can acquire that same knowledge with free sources. Only time will tell though.
Some thoughts on the writing
Yes, again, with the mental process. But hey, if you’re reading this post it means you like it, huh?! 😀
Besides coding, the writing is also a work in progress for me. I’ve never written a blog before. The only written pieces I’ve done, besides schoolwork, are some sporadic quotes that hit me when I’m inspired, a few songs, a few poems, but that’s it!
That’s one of the most fun parts about having the blog though: writing (well, duh!). I find myself constantly taking out my phone so I can jot down on Evernote a bullet point of some topic I want to cover in the next blog post. This post, in fact, is being written outside of the predetermined schedule I had set for writing. Because I’m trying to make blog posts shorter but also because I like it! So expect some thoughts on the blogging and writing learning process as well.
Final words and what’s next!
Just yesterday I joined a Slack community of programmers in my area. They were holding a meet up when I found about them and I didn’t have the time to go but they’re meeting every Thursday. Although next Thursday is a holiday, if they meet up, I’m definitely jumping in so expect news on that.
Besides that, during the next weeks expect an email subscription system so you can get notifications every time I upload a new post or make a change to the webpage or whenever I get bored and want to check out what y’all doing (is it necessary to say that I was kidding on that last one?). I’m also working on getting a logo for the website and thinking of other front-end changes to the website so expect slowly but steady progress!
Alright, that’s all for now! Till the next one!