Learning web development? Feel like you are getting nowhere and that it may never pay off?

I saw this Facebook post crop up on one of the various ‘newbie programming groups’ and i’m pretty sure it’s a feeling that everyone can relate to…

Do any of you ever just get overwhelmed and discouraged by how much you don’t know, and a feeling that you’ll never get to the point where this all “pays off”?
I’ve been working on FreeCodeCamp for the past month, and I’m enjoying it, but I also sometimes get this creeping feeling that it’s all a waste of time because I’ll never “be a real developer”, or even have enough knowledge to pretend I’m one. Does this happen to any of you, as well? What do you do to combat it?

My response…

I think everybody gets this feeling, but you’d be surprised how little you really need to know to get started.

I work as a junior developer, under a top senior developer with 20 years experience. His favourite thing to tell me is…

“you don’t need to know everything to be productive”

He will often be researching things and searching Stack Overflow for solutions. Why?…because you can’t know everything.

Instead, my advice is, be confident in what you do know. You are never going to feel ready to apply for that job or start that big project. So you might as well stop waiting.

There are software features, bug fixes, websites to develop that are perfect jobs for a beginner or someone with your current skillset to work on.

Know only a little html/CSS ?— you can already use a template and build a static site for someone — Know a bit more and you can develop this from scratch.

Know a little jQuery or JavaScript? — You can add some pretty nice features to these sites.

Learn a little PHP and you can add a working contact form. Learn more PHP and you can start working on custom Wordpress themes.

…Learn how to use Google and you can build anything!

Seriously though, you get the point. You can be productive and useful with even a basic skill level. And you will learn most by jumping in head first and building these things. Stop thinking that you shouldn’t apply for that job, or take on that freelance project. Although you may only have basic skills, you can always bring value to someone!

Try not to worry about React/Angular/Rails/Laravel or the other next big framework until you have the fundamentals down. These will just confuse you, over complicate things and overwhelm you more. This all comes with experience!

Confidence comes with building things and getting shit done!

Focus on what you do know and don’t worry about what you don’t! Keep Going! Build things! You will be surprised what you are capable of!

Thank you for reading! :-) If you enjoyed it, hit that heart ♡ button below. I really appreciate your support and it helps other people see the story.

I am always happy to hear from like minded people, so please, feel free to say hello on twitter