A few weeks ago I completed my first real project 🎉🤸🏾♀️ and couldn't have felt prouder of myself in that moment if I tried. That may sound like bragging, but if you're a new developer you know the endless tweaking, feelings of imposter syndrome and like you're not good enough because you know it's not "the best project ever". Yet, in your mind you know it's your best effort right now - at this point in time with your current knowledge. Eagerly I shared it with the community beaming with pride. Then after hitting the "Send" button I immediately started thinking about the criticisms my project would receive and how it would be torn down by all of these experienced developers. To my surprise (and relief) everyone congratulated me, said they liked it and gave great feedback 😌. I was even commended for having alt text for all the images and links.
Then I had a 1 on 1 review with a senior developer, which I was nervous about and dreading 😰. Though in my head I was proud of myself, I kept thinking "They're not going to like it and pick it apart." Surprisingly they liked it and said I did a great job for my first attempt at a project 😌. It turned out to be a great discussion about the things I did well and the areas I can improve. Want to know the real kicker? I didn't realise it was a code review until hours after the call 😲. We were so busy discussing different coding and industry-related things that it just transitioned into my project, and we just talked away. What stood out to me when I realised it was, in fact, a code review was that the senior developer didn't approach it from a "This is right, this is wrong, know-it-all, I'm better than you" way. It didn't feel like a code review like the horror stories I've heard where the hard work of developers was torn down or not given constructive feedback. Needless to say I was on a high for a good week or two...or three 🙃 - and still proud of my first project, of course.
No matter how small or simple your idea is for building and cementing your knowledge on your coding journey, create that project. I've been building a list of project ideas to one day be able to create and let me tell you, they're all complex and I haven't the slightest clue where I would even start. However, I'll always remember being extremely proud of completing this first project and it'll be the first thing I talk about if asked "What have you built?" or "What was the first project you ever did?"
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