I started out my programming journey in 2015 when I got bored of playing games with my computer at the time. I read a lot of articles on where to start and how to begin. I kicked off my journey with Java. But you'd be surprised that today there are only two programming language I really know, Html and Css - which are not regarded as true programming language per say. After four years, how I am at where I am is what I want share with you.
Remember I said earlier I started out with java. Well not quite, the first language I learned was C++. I read a lot of books on it and did a lot of practise using eclipse. But it was a big struggle for me as I couldn't wrap my head around the whole thing. When I talked to most of my friends they suggested java was way easier. Besides, Java and php were the most popular languages around. At this time, I hadn't even come across html or css although the web was were I wanted to be. Java opened my head to a lot of things - I usually regard Java as my first programming language. Through java I learnt object programming models: abstraction, classes, objects etc - thanks to Lynda.com and Headfirst Java. It was very cool. But at a point I couldn't cope with all the language and I gave up too easily. So I sought something easier and less daunting. You guessed it, Html and CSS. At first i thought Css was quite easy. So I learnt basic stuff and quickly moved on to php. Because php involved a lot of html/css too I was always unhappy when I faced certain css challenges and I couldn't help myself . So I then decided to master css before moving forward to any other language.
This has been my story so far. Along the way however, I have discovered that the biggest challenges begginers have is not with the coding itself but with our psych and attitude when approaching a challenge - something that's mostly to do with where we coming from. So I want to share with you my biggest challenges I faced over the years as I switched from one language to the other before finally settling for one.
The One-Way Method.
For a very long time, I struggled with this feeling that there was always a particular way of doing things - the right way. I guess its from my upbringing. So I usually got easily demotivated and discouraged when I see am not starting out like my tutorials did or its taking me much more lines than they did during my tutorials. At every hang point, I felt discouraged and gave up, just like that. I stuck on to Css because there was nothing more I could quit to. Nigerians would say i had to learn it by fire, by force, as there was no other alternative. So it took me quite long before getting grasp of css. The one-way method was hell. I was deep in tutorial purgatory. What I failed to realise then was that everyone went through hell. While I had little faith and kept burning, people went through and got out at the other end. Coding is like life itself. There is no one way of living it. There is no one way to code it. If you think your code has quite the line, keep revising it. With time you get there and the better it is for your experience.
The Impostor - Syndrome.
This syndrome is usually as a result of self-doubt. I had always not been confident in my skill as a web developer. Never realised how important the little I knew was. And when I came across people and told them am a web developer I felt like it was a lie because I thought the little I know was not enough. Most times I end up referring possible clients to other developers. Even amongst my colleagues I don't feel utterly confident with my skill. I find reasons to justify, always, why they were better than me. I literally tortured my head. This held me back for a while. But with some new found confidence I no longer feel this way again. You just have to believe in yourself and don't take the little you know for granted because you just never know how important it is in a particular situation. When very confident programmer tells me how much he doesn't know, I usually doubt them. Now I feel that way too. And that is because I keep an open mind from the little knowledge I have acquired so understanding becomes easier. Have u met people that can literally read code although they are not good at writing one themselves? That's what I mean.
All in all, for my fellow beginners stay in there and never give up. Learning new stuff is not beans. And if there is one thing you should know ahead of time, programming is an infinite journey, there is no end to it because there is always something new to learn no matter your years of experience. Keep living, keep learning.