Welcome to the “CodeNewbie Community Spotlight” — a series where we interview an individual from our community and highlight all that they’ve accomplished. We can’t wait to celebrate our CodeNewbie community in a new and different way each month!
Name: Mike Rogers
When I was first introduced to the internet (Many years ago!), I spent a lot of time on a site called Neopets. I remember it having lots of Flash games and stuff, but the coolest thing it had was you could customize your profile with a little HTML & CSS.
Neopets had some pretty good tutorials on how to do the basics of HTML, but I figured out pretty quickly I could just click “View Source” on other people's profiles, then totally copy the bits I liked onto my own profile. It was so fun!
Pretty soon I wanted a “real .com website”! I totally convinced my parents to let me buy a domain & hosting somehow. Out of pure luck, the hosting let me run PHP files, so I went to a physical book shop and found a book on making websites with PHP & AJAX. I read it cover to cover in an afternoon, I was totally hooked.
My dream role would be something where I’m surrounded by lovely, smart, and motivated people, as they really bring out the best in me.
Truth be told I’m kind of in my dream role already. I’m a developer, I can build anything I set my mind to & I have an entire network of awesome people around me. If something is wrong, it’s not the end of the world and it’s almost always fixable.
I would love to be able to find more time to ski when the snow is awesome, though!
I’m a freelancer and independent founder. Quite often, I end up working with pretty small teams where I’m the only developer working on a project. Over time, I started to feel professionally isolated and I wasn’t happy.
I remember a day where I hadn’t been able to talk about code to anyone for a while. I looked at my work and it felt like I was just staring at a dark stagnant pond — I just wasn’t excited about coding any longer.
I joined a bunch of communities to fix this predicament. The first few were just empty Slack channels and I was really discouraged. But then I found some absolutely incredible groups (Virtual Coffee, Ruby Australia & of course CodeNewbie!) which have some of the most amazing people, who are all doing interesting & different things.
Joining coding communities has been incredible. I’m waking up in the morning, fizzing with energy and I’m constantly excited to try out new technologies. I’m also excited to share what I’m learning. In short, coding is exciting again.
I’ve had a really big dive into Docker the last few months & I ended up making a template that I could use for all my Ruby on Rails projects. I decided I’d just push it up to GitHub & anyone who wants it could just have it.
The response I’ve had from the community has been incredibly positive! I received a few emails from people saying “Thank you, this helped me!” which is so fantastic. Receiving messages like that makes open source totally special.
I’m my own worst critic. I will build something, then tear it apart finding everything I hated about it. Then I'll start fixing everything, only to just see a mountain of work ahead of me, get totally discouraged, and then just give up.
This has been the worst pattern to overcome. I’ve made so many half-projects where I decided they weren't good enough, only to find a few weeks later someone managed to create something similar & it’s getting a bunch of happy users.
I’m slowly getting better at saying “It’s not perfect, but let’s ship it & see if people like it”.
I’m consistently lucky at golf. I can completely slice a shot, and it’ll almost always bounce off a tree right back onto the fairway.
To read more about Mike’s coding journey, you can follow him here on CodeNewbie Community and DEV @mikerogers0.