I have always wanted to code. Actually, I have always been interested in learning about computers, my desire to learn code arrived much later. As a student, I had a friend who was studying computer tech, and whenever I had a problem with my computer (be it a software update, hardware issue etc), I would watch him work on it, take mental notes, and the next time something similar occured, I would try to fix it myself. I was so intrigued about all things tech and computers back then that whenever I heard words like "program", "developer", "internet", "code", etc., I felt totally curious and wanted to know more about them. However, as an accounting professional with a hectic work schedule, I had no time to indulge my curiosity about an industry I was so passionate about. Additionally, due to my lack of background in STEM, I thought there was no way I could break into tech.
Then came the pandemic, and the lockdown left me with extra time on my hands. I started reading online and I discovered that lots of developers are self-taught and (like me) had no formal background in tech. This motivated me greatly, and I realised that maybe there is hope for me after all. So I started researching how to learn to code and while doing that, I heard about freeCodeCamp, and coincidentally ran into this article about a virtual meetup for developers to learn together on Discord. It was amazing that I stumbled upon that post at the time I did, because before then I had never heard of Discord and not long after joining, I learned about the Stanford Code in Place free Python course. It was during the application process for this online class that I first discovered what programming was all about. I don't know if anybody else remembers their first time learning code, but it was so exciting for me, I decided to blog about it. I promised myself I was going to pick up other learning resources at the end of the class to continue my coding journey but that was not to be.
Prior to enrolling in the Code-in-Place course, I created an account on The Odin Project and freeCodeCamp where I started taking basic HTML lessons. However, I took a break once the Python class began, so I could concentrate on the course fully. As I mentioned earlier, I wanted to continue studying web development after the class. However, between my still-exhausting fulltime work schedule and other life dynamics, I never went back to coding. I signed up for courses on PluralSight through the Google Africa Developer Scholarship 2020 program but later dropped out because I selected the wrong learning track. My freecodecamp and The Odin Project courses were waiting for me but I kept pushing back my start date, until there were no more days left in 2020, and I realized I had not actually done any coding at all.
On my list of resolutions for this year, learning to code was at the top. The first half of 2021 came and went and I realized I hadn't managed to do as much coding or learning as I really wanted. Other commitments and hindrances kept cropping up - there was always something else I had to do. But I was determined to learn how to code. Each time I receive a newsletter from a developer community (like Hashnode, Devto or Quora code groups) I've subscribed to, I'm reminded all over again how much I'd like to be a part of this.
As the second half of 2021 approached, it dawned on me that another year was drawing to a close without me accomplishing my dream. I didn't want that, so I decided to make a new plan, which is to commit to learning to code for at least one hour every day. I've been trying out this new plan since mid-July when I finally logged into my The Odin Project account again for the first time since leaving it last year. However, because of my tendency to procrastinate and not finish things, I'll be employing a commitment device to learn in public by blogging on what I've learned each week.
To this end, I have created a series on Hashnode titled #mytechjourney in which I will be documenting what I learn each week. I already drafted five posts on what I've learned since July, however, I wanted to post this article first before publishing them. Having done so now, I'll be publishing every week. 🤞 I realize that this is not going to be easy; distractions will arise as usual, and other commitments (work, life, etc.) will require my time, but I intend to see this through.
Hey, thanks for reading!
Originally published at dev.to on Aug 15, 2021