#CNC2018 “Code More” Pre-Mission

Photo by Ash Edmonds on Unsplash

As part of the Code Newbie #CNC2018 “Code More” Challenge, here is my pre-mission homework:

GOAL: Understand what has and hasn’t worked in past attempts to code more, and start thinking about long and short-term goals.

What has worked?

  • Having an accountability buddy / going through a challenge with other people in my network
  • Saying my goals aloud (or on Twitter)
  • Setting SMART goals
  • Writing down my goals so that I can refer to there
  • Having a project where other people depend on me – I don’t want to let someone else down. For example, I was really happy with my Halloween countdown timer project that I did for Hacktoberfest. I didn’t talk myself out of participating. I was so excited to practice merge commits / etc that I was easily putting 3-4 hours in daily to keep it up to date. It was a project I was really excited about, it was fun, I learned a lot and was able to help other people practice as well. I really enjoy sharing what I’ve learned with other people. The positive feedback is a confidence booster too!
  • Based on the above, I know that I am someone who learns by doing. More than that, I like having a project that means something in the end. That is probably why most classes with fake projects don’t go well for me. I work full time so I don’t have unlimited time resources like I did in college

What has not worked?

  • Most free / cheap Udemy classes. The quality can go either way and I’m not as motivated to move through the material.
  • Setting goals that were to vague or unrealistic. I’ve since learned that I do better when I write things down and break them into smaller pieces. Sometimes learning to code every night isn’t realistic
  • Daily challenges don’t work so well for me. My mood, energy levels, priorities, etc, vary day by day, so the daily stuff doesn’t usually happen. For something that has expected checkpoints / time commitments (1hr a day OR 5 hours a week) I do tend to do better. Some days I feel like coding for several hours or I am in a good headspace to learn, others I am not
  • Rebuilding my portfolio has not been a project I’ve successfully completed since the last major redesign in 2013ish. I keep starting with great intent and not really going anywhere. I’m embarrassed at not having a site (or rather, an online presence that speaks to the work I do, etc) but it keeps not being a priority for me. I need to be ok with using a theme and filling it in with some killer content then waiting to build something from scratch that is perfect. I think I focus on the bigger picture and don’t break it down into small enough chunks. The deadlines I set are arbitrary / etc so I tend to scramble to having something up before a conference, etc.

What are your long-term goals?

  • To be a front-end developer! I can do front-end development work, but I feel like an imposter. I don’t feel comfortable as a front-end developer or that I’d be able to make it in a front-end developer role, and I would like to fill that gap. I’d like to learn or improve my skillset in the following areas (to start)
    • AWS
    • Bootstrap
    • Git
    • SASS
    • Javascript / Jquery
  • I’d like to expand my comfort level with design thinking and leadership. I’m torn between sticking with the developer route (which seems hard to get into) and the designer route (equally challenging since I’ve been out of the design game for a while).

What are your short-term goals?

  • By the end of this challenge, I’d like to have my website hosted on either github pages or AWS.  I would also like to make significant progress in the Udacity course I am taking.

 

 

The One Where I Tweeted About Imposter Syndrome

Moustache ! by https://www.flickr.com/photos/marlened/

On Tuesday, I tweeted about imposter syndrome.

I didn’t expect my Tweet to catch on, but it did. My phone has been blowing up with new comments, likes and retweets. It seems a lot of people can relate which makes me feel less alone in the world.

For me, imposter syndrome hits on occasion. I’ve briefly written about it before. Some days, I’m confidence, I’m ready to tackle anything that comes my way. No one can stop me! Other days, like on Tuesday it’s the opposite. Intense feelings of doubt in my coding skills come from nowhere. Am I really a developer? I can code, yes, and I’ve been doing so for most of my professional career, but am I really a developer?

Imposter by Robin Zebrowski | https://www.flickr.com/photos/firepile/15576354231
Imposter by Robin Zebrowski

It can be a crippling mindset to be in.

Which is why the responses, advice, resources, etc I have gotten over the past few days have been encouraging. I’m getting out of the imposter syndrome funk and am moving forward. Heck, any other day, I would have talked myself out of write this post. I would have thought myself not good enough of a writer / blogger to put together this post. Yet. Here it is!

I put this post together as a resource / inspiration board for myself and whoever else may need it. My favorite Tweets / takeaways are included below, but I encourage keeping the conversation going.

How do you deal with imposter syndrome?


Photo by marlenedd is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The One Where I Learned Javascript

Canvas+javascript by https://www.flickr.com/photos/hildeengwenverbouwen/

I’ve been avoiding learning Javascript for a while now. How long? Probably as long as I’ve known HTML & CSS which has been 5-6 years at this point. I’ve known of Javascript but only felt comfortable looking at variables and saying, “Yup, that’s Javascript!” I saw Javascript as an obstacle that would be very difficult to learn, let alone master on my own. At the same time, I knew that not knowing Javascript would hold me back as a developer.

In 2016, feeling held back as a developer was a common theme for me. I felt stuck. I felt like I had gotten comfortable and hadn’t put in the effort to learn anything new. Because of that, I felt behind, out of touch and like I wasn’t really a developer. The imposter syndrome was very real.

So, in the Spring of that year, I started to do something about it. After debating about it, I enrolled in some classes at Skillcrush and haven’t looked back. I boosted my WordPress skills and learned Git/Github. Both of which, like Javascript, I didn’t get when I tried learning it before. When Summer came, I beta tested their Introduction to Javascript class. I got so close to the end of the course, but struggled with the final assignments/project. I knew more than I did before (yay for small victories) but I had a ways to go. I needed more practice, to be in a better headspace, etc, so I planned to retake the course in the future. Which is where I am now!

This week, me and some other peeps are starting over with learning Javascript. I’ve restarted the course and I’m excited to be dipping in! It may still be hard as time goes on, but I need to stick with it. I have no doubt that the payoff will be well worth it in the end.


Photo by nøcomputer is licensed under CC BY 2.0