Jr. Developers #6: You feel like you have no idea what you’re doing and that’s totally OK

Quick one for you today.

I want to share with you something that I think a lot of beginners struggle with. Especially if they are learning to code on their own.

It can be a bit of an emotional roller coaster learning to code. As soon as you start to get a hang of one technology, you feel like you can conquer the world! Next moment, something new comes up and you feel like a beginner again. This can be really discouraging.

“I am the master of Python! I can do anything! Whoa… wait JavaScript, what’s this? Maybe I’m so not smart after all :(”
— internal dialogue

It’s easy to feel a lot of self doubt when learning something new. Especially if you have a lot tied up in it. Like your ability to start a career, make money, pay rent.

There is a common misconception about learning to code. It’s that the learning process has a finish line.

It doesn’t.

By joining this career path you’re signing up to learn something new everyday. That’s part of why it’s so awesome 🌟🌟. But that’s also why it’s so hard. Occasionally the technology will change so much that you feel like a complete beginner again.

My only advice for dealing with this feeling is that it’s 100% normal for you to be feeling this way. Everyone is feeling the same thing, they just don’t talk about it.

That you’re having this feeling doesn’t mean that writing code isn’t for you.

Whenever you start to feel like a beginner again. Think back to how you learned that first language or framework. Going through the learning curve over and over again is hard. But the skills you’ve picked up along the way are transferrable. Each time you do it, it gets a little easier. Those Python skills you learned will also help you in learning the latest JavaScript framework. Your time with Ruby will be useful when you decide to go off and start developing mobile apps. You never start over from point 0, even if it feels like it.

“Jake the Dog”
This article is part of the Jr. Developers series. To start from the beginning, go here: Jr. Developers #0: Hello World
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