- Have a Clear Goal. This is what will drive you when nothing will make sense.
- Prepare as much as possible beforehand. You will always get back to your plan and adjust it but it will help you in times where you will want to ditch the journey because it's hard.
- Mastering a skill requires effort and dedication. Just think how much effort you put in mastering insert one of your skills here.
Hello everybody, my name is Andy and I am new to the development scene. I recently started my journey into web development and here are some observations that I have for everyone starting this path.
Also, this is my first ever article written, and this is a major milestone for me, as I always thought that I cannot write so please be kind :).
I have other things to say, but this turned into a longer story than initially planned.
- Have a clear goal
Why do you want to learn web development? Do you want a better-paid job? Do you want to build your own business? Do you want to have the freedom of working from anywhere?
For me, it was the latter. I am working in tech for more than 13 years but my job is harder to do remotely and when possible it implies a lot of meetings, which I don't necessarily find useful or love. I want to have the freedom of traveling and choosing the projects and people that I want to work for and dedicate my time to.
As you get older, you really understand how precious and limited time is.
I know that I barely scratched the surface during this month, but whenever I feel discouraged I always remember what my goal is, and that helps me a lot.
- Prepare as much as possible beforehand
a) What to learn In order to learn you need to know what to learn first and stick to it. The internet is such an amazing and dangerous place if not used properly. You will start learning something and the next minute find yourself starting a tutorial/course for a code framework that you don't even know.
Ideally, you will also set a deadline for different steps of the process, this will keep you on track and focus on what matters now. Like any plans that you do in life, work, etc, it will not be perfect and it will need adjustments along the way as soon as you uncover new information, but it's better to adjust something than to work in zigzag for your goal.
b) How to learn
There's a reason why I don't trust the public education system, at least from where I am (Romania). You are awarded based on what you memorize and not what you understand. Maybe this way of learning helped many years ago when the information wasn't at your fingertips as it is now, but now you need a different skill set to be successful in our day and age.
There are many articles and lessons out there that teach "learning how to learn", and I will not enter the subject deeply in this post. What I want to emphasize is this part is a must, if you want to succeed on your journey, from my point of view.
Don't be discouraged if you finish a course and then you find yourself in front of your code editor and don't know where to start. Most probably, you will not remember most of the information. What you can do, is decompose that information into smaller bits, and practice individually the s* out of them. Play with different proprieties, incorporate the last lesson with the one you practice now, and so on.
Another great approach that you can use in conjunction with practice is to write what you have learned like you are explaining it to a 5-year-old. Trust me, you will need to master that subject as well as possible in order to summarize it for an infant or non-tech adult.
c) When to learn
Now that you have a better understanding of what and how you will need to plan the time needed for this. I am not a strong believer that anyone can do anything in life, but I do think that if you like what you are doing and put the effort in, you will be pretty good at almost anything.
I don't want to put numbers behind the time you need to dedicate for development as each person is different than the other one, but please keep in mind that you will need to put constant effort in order to solidify, in your brain, the vast amount of information.
If you put some time today, sometime next week, and continue like this, the chances to give up because "it's not for you" are pretty high. What you can do, is to think of how much time it took to master a skill that you poses. Most probably, if it isn't something really simple, the answer is years!
Give up, when you can look back, and you are proud of the time and effort put in.
I will end this with a question for everyone reading this. If you were to give one piece of advice and only one to someone just starting in, what would that be?