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Staying motivated as a Web Developer!

Hey there! Welcome to my blog where I post about my journey as a self-taught developer. You can find my GitHub by clicking HERE.

Image by PixabayPexels

When I first started dabbling with HTML and CSS, I fell in love. It was the best feeling ever to make something appear in my web browser. HTML was cool, learning mark-up and all that it could do! CSS was great too! I could change colors, adjust font size, create boxes and make something static look presentable and official!

Fast forward a year or two. CSS transformed (no pun intended…) into CSS3 for me. Things became available in my took kit that I only dreamt of. Animations, transitions, media-queries and of course CSS Grid and Flexbox solved a lot of headaches as well.

But something happened in my journey as a developer, and it was accompanied by a feeling of defeat and shame to some extent. I realized after several years that I did not have a good eye for design! I’ll say it again:

I am not talented as a web designer!

It was not in my skill-set nor could I attain it as easily as I had attained other skills. To be honest, this really bothered me. My goal was to be a Full Stack Web Developer, capable of anything. A jack of all trades mastering the Full Stack!

Let me be just one more person to tell you, this goal is extremely difficult. Design and Development have a hard time coexisting and I found that out as I began to create my own media-queries for something called, responsive web development.

In my mind, there are several components a good web designer needs.

  1. Regarding front-end web development, one must have a good eye for colors, shapes, animations, and not making the viewer think (placement).
  2. On the other hand, another component I’ve noticed is more than aesthetic! A good web designer must also consider compatibility on multiple devices and platforms. Elements on a web page render different on Chrome than they do in Safari.

I felt defeated!

If you take one thing from this post, consider the following statement. There is always someone more talented, capable, skilled ect. The key is, realizing that is okay and completely normal. But at the same time, do not let that stop you from talking those two steps forward after that one step back!

What did I do with this feeling of defeat?

I learned from it, and reminded myself of the skills that I do have!

Note, these skills were not easy to gather, but I had learned them through grueling early hours in the morning before my day job, late nights drinking coffee trying to study how a loop works, and searching stack-overflow until my fingers were bleeding!

The real skill I had was ambition, realizing I learn alone very well as opposed to traditional academic institutions. I had tenacity, and grit. I wasn’t going to give up and I was going to keep moving forward no matter how long that took me.

Do I have an eye for design? No! I do not. But I can sure get close enough to where I can create some awesome web applications, manipulate PSD files from photoshop, tweak elements and add some of my own CSS flare to projects.

Why am I sharing this? It is important to understand being a jack of all trades and master of all trades, is incredibly hard and / or not possible. BUT! You can get…good enough.

After rocking out some really fun, useful and practical applications in the last 5 years, I am still not a web designer. But I can design enough to make something for a client.

As I progressed through the years, my strengths in web development began to show. I was better at the backend side of things. And that is what I still pursue today. I love Python, I have had a lot of fun with Node.js too!

Staying motivated while learning to code can be really hard. There is so much to this industry that at first glance, looks so completely different than what we’re used to. But skills gathered, such as HTML, CSS, JS, Python… all represent the aftermath of what our skills really are. How bad do you want to learn? How ambitious are you? How much tenacity do you have? The answer is: You have more than enough.

I can tell you from first hand-experience, I was a C student and throw a few D’s in there too. Now I am building my employer a Full Stack Web Application in Python, Flask and Vue.js which will change the way our 20,000 active clients buy and manage their accounts online! It will completely automate business workflow and internal operations for my employer and my co-workers.

My learning skyrocketed after college. That is when I understood what autodidact meant. And since that graduation date, I’ve woken up at 5:00 AM every day, and coded for 2 hours before I started my work day.

So, what are you waiting for! You might be in your one step back today, this week or even this month. Take your two steps forward, and handle it. Always stay motivated, always stay hungry! Never give up.

I hope this motivated someone! I love to learn, and code! Medium has been really good to me. So it is fun to give back!

Happy Coding!



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James Lewis

James Lewis

I am an obsessive autodidact, I love coffee, early mornings, guitar, camping, traveling with my wife and of course…software development!