Just Commit It Already

My Journey Into Code

I code. It looks weird to see that written out. Maybe that’s because it’s a rather new adventure in my life. Or maybe it’s because for years, I saw coding as swathed in a veil of mystery. Websites and apps just happened. Sure, there was someone on the other side making it happen but for the most part, it just seemed like magic.

I am not a good coder (yet). I am not an experienced coder. But I’m excited to learn.

I decided to learn how to code for a myriad of reasons. One — as a UX designer, I wanted to understand the infrastructure, how something is built, rather than just acknowledging its existence. Perhaps understanding code could help me more effectively communicate with the engineers I work with.

Another reason why I decided to learn how to code was for pure efficiency. I wanted the ability to create, build & ship. To better understand whether the things I create could actually be implemented.

Have the courage to work fast and commit it for the world to see. -Tweet this

Coding as a UX Designer is a contentious topic. There are good arguments on both sides. (If you want to dive into the discussion, start with this great article.) For me, the reasons above were enough to start coding my portfolio site.

If I take a step back, I realize that my small time coding has taught me a lot about fear (and courage). Because here’s the thing I’ve learned so far about coding: it’s about pushing something out for all to see and being ok with it.

Me, this past weekend.

I’ve been a writer for years but there’s a vulnerability with building and shipping things that I didn’t expect. Don’t make your project too precious. Just push it already.

“You can’t be that kid standing at the top of the waterslide, overthinking it. You have to go down the chute.” ― Tina Fey, Bossypants

As a UX Designer, coding has given me a new perspective on the things I create. In the ideal world, designers and engineers work hand-in-hand to create a product. In the real world, this doesn’t always happen. Instead, they can be siloed entities, sometimes to the detriment of the product.

Coding has given me an appreciation for my fellow engineers. They are builders and if they’re building my product, shouldn’t I at least be able to understand their language?

So here’s to a new adventure— one made up HTML, CSS, JavaScript and well, that’s where I’m starting for right now. Here’s to endurance — to having code break, figuring out why and moving on. Here’s to courage — to pushing out code for the world to see. Here’s to better design — by understanding the foundation that will bring that design to life. Here’s to coding.

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