From Nothing to Coding

I have decided to write this for any newbie coders who are looking to change their careers and feel lost at times. I know most of the time when I search for advice, the results I most often come across are people who have some sort of Computer Science degree or who dabbled with coding as a teen and now they want to turn it into a career. This blog is for the coder who doesn’t know that they are a coder. This is for the person who has never touched HTML or CSS before yet want to.

Learning a new skill (in this case skills) is hard enough, learning new skills to change careers while you are trying to maintain the skills you have for the career you are in is hard work!

I am currently a Certified Dental Assistant, which is not an easy job. In my line of work you need to have patience and good communication. I deal with all types of people, some are nice some not so much yet seeing patients leave the office happier because they have their smile back is a reward you can’t imagine. Now working with the Doctors is for a whole different story(kidding).

I started this journey to become a Front End Web Developer back at the end of September 2016. I heard about a program called Albany Can Code, at that point in time I had no idea what coding was. The first thing I did was google “what is coding?”. I thought to myself “wow this looks hard and complicated” yet I decided to try it out and see how I felt afterwards. The next step was to google where to start, that was a crazy time because so many languages and frameworks ( I had no idea what a framework was) to choose from, it was over whelming. I stumbled upon a site called FreeCodeCamp (you can become a full stack developer with this site), I also found Codecademy and The Odin Project. These are really great places to start and if your anything like me and your on a budget they are FREE!.

I started learning HTML, CSS and JAVASCRIPT. I started feeling confident in my ability working with HTML and CSS. When it came to JAVASCRIPT, oh boy that’s when the pressure was on. I can tell you there where many times when I just wanted to give up, I felt like I was wasting my time because I was never going to get this. I was (and still am) working a full time job as a Dental Assistant, trying to spend time with my 2 children and also finding the time for my husband. I had found all the reasons why to quit, then I would think to myself “what made me want to do this in the first place?” I knew I no longer wanted to do what I was (still am) doing. I also wanted to make more than I make as a Dental Assistant and a better life for my family. These are my reasons and they got me back on track and kept me going. If your new to coding and there are times when you just want to give up, just ask yourself these questions:

  • Why did I want to learn how to code?
  • What will I get out of this?
  • If I can’t do this for myself, WHO is going to do it for me?

I eventually signed up with and was able to get into Albany Can Code, which was a 12 week course. That was such a great experience, I got to meet such knowledgeable people. I became even better with HTML and CSS, I even learned SASS which is a CSS library. I learned about GIT and GITHUB, AJAX, JSON and some ANGULAR and REACT. I am still learning about these libraries as well as Javascript. I got the experience of a team collaboration on two projects I was a part of, there is so much to learn and working with people who have strengths in different areas was great. I got to learn so much from everyone.

I am still learning everyday, I also still get those feelings of stopping but I keep pushing through. At the end of this journey my goals will be met and exceeded and the learning will keep going. Hang in there and remember you are never alone on this journey. Happy Coding!!!