Practice, practice, practice

I was super nervous to enrol in a full-time web development bootcamp for many reasons. First, it would mean living off my savings and being unemployed for two months. The last time I was unemployed I was 15 and even then I babysat every weekend. Second, it would mean returning to school after 10 years of working full-time. Could I handle the long days at school and long nights of homework? But the main reason I hesitated was because of JavaScript. I truly believed that I would never get it. If I’m being honest though, JavaScript is also the main reason I enrolled at HackerYou. I wanted to get it.

I took some JavaScript courses in the past while I was working full-time. The classes were one night a week and were my first introduction to the language. I’d been working in HTML and CSS for years, but I’d never touched JavaScript. In the courses, I learned about functions and loops and APIs and angularJS. I completed some cool projects and passed with good marks. But I didn’t retain any of it. Because after my classes ended, I didn’t practice.

To prep for the bootcamp, I logged into Code Academy and started introduction to JavaScript from the beginning. I wanted to reacquaint myself with the concepts I’d forgotten. It helped me remember the basics, but I was still scared.

We started JavaScript and jQuery a few weeks ago and I managed fine with the code alongs and the first few practice examples, but I struggled on my own. Like what needs to be stored in a variable? And what order does everything need to go in? So I bought JavaScript for Kids and read chapters each night in addition to practicing the examples we’d completed in class. Pretty soon, JavaScript started popping up in my dreams and in one instance, I couldn’t move on from what I was doing until I called a function.

Last week, it all started to click. The concepts are sticking and I’m feeling a lot more confident. Because I practiced. And I will keep practicing.

Everyone says that you have to practice something in order to get good at it. And now I’m saying it too. Practice, practice, practice!