Tagged in: learning to code

Monday Motivation: The Unlikely Developers

A creative female developer working on the computer

Developers are almost synonymous with solution-driven intellectual wizards. Think…Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg. They’re all developers and their rep is definitely well deserved. They have done some mystically complex stuff.

Sometimes, I’m afraid to even call myself a developer because I don’t fit the stereotype. And because of *cough*  imposter syndrome.

But if you are like me then you have spent a fair amount of time in the trenches, building things, taking classes either in college, and/or online. So, my lovelies you have earned and deserve the title of developer. Developers come in all sexes, colors, shapes and sizes. Development is one size fits all.

 

You may be asking yourself where is she going with all this? I’m coming to that.  If you follow me on Twitter  you may have notice that I:

  •  Like to retweet. Like a lot!
  • Share stories about self-taught developers who break into tech.

I love these stories. We need them, because we need to see developers who are relatable. Not everyone is a Computer Science grad, or has been coding since 10 (No offense if you are either, or both). And since only a select few can be a unicorns, like those aforementioned above.   I’d like to politely reminded that there are other developers like us. And they are totally relatable people who are landing jobs in technology.

Some Unlikely Developers

  1. Adrienne Lowe from Coding With Knives.
  2. Joshua Kemp 
  3. Tam Dang
  4. Melanie Pellegrino 
  5. Alisha Ramos
  6. Tia Pope
  7. Jen Myers

Consider this my Monday motivation. If you like this post and would like to see more posts like these please leave a comment below.

Learning the Front End

Recently I’ve completed quite a few courses on Codecadamy, Treehouse, and Code School. I’ve achieved many points and badges, but it will take more than watching a few videos and gaining achievements to become a developer. Old bad habit die slowly…I guess.

When I started this blog I was focused on learning Ruby until I was given some really good advice from a developer I met at  Women Who Code. She told me it was a better idea for me to get a good foundation and grasp of the front end before learning the back-end. I still really want to learn ruby, but I also value her advice and respect her opinion. She has amazing experience.

Today, I was reading a blog post by Matt Steele and he reinforced things I’ve heard before.  He said,

“You must build every day. This is a must. You’ll never make it unless you have a few sites under your belt and can prove that you know what you’re doing…”

I don’t know why I haven’t put more effort into building things. I have given myself tons of excuses like I don’t have enough time, my computer sucks, I’m waiting to purchase a Macbook Pro, etc.  Excuses don’t produce results. What am I waiting for? I guess I’m afraid all my projects are going to suck. There it is again…good ole Imposer Syndrome (never quite goes away).

I have put in a lot of effort and it will all go to waste unless I utilize the tools and skills I’m learning.  So I’ve decided to refocus. I’ve created a  few lists to figure out where I’m at.

 

Skills I’ve attained:

  • I am able to write valid HTML5 and CSS3
  • I have knowledge of the command line
  • I can wireframe a website
  • I am able to deploy a website to a web host
  • I can manage a domains DNS settings
  • I’ve learned how to use a content management system (Hello WordPress!)

 

Where I  still need  improvement:

  • Using JavaScript and JQuery
  •  Bootstrap/Foundations
  •  Responsive Web Design

 

What I still need to learn:

(This is a never-ending list really but I’ve narrowed it down considerably)

  • SASS/COMPASS
  • Git/Version Control
  • Photoshop
  • Illustrator

 

Building things will help me solidify my skills and better define my strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, focusing on being more pragmatic and getting out of the habit of haphazardly learning will be most beneficial (this is actually quite difficult).

On a positive note, I am on the right track. I’ve been going to Meetups, learning  through websites, connecting  with developers on twitter (looking at you CodeNewbies! 😉 ). If I incorporate the use of a timer and teaching others (with a few websites out there) I’ll master the front end in no time. So I will start logging my coding hours every Saturday night/Sunday morning.   When I finally get a Macbook Pro I will consider starting a video series too!

Wow…that was a long post. That’s all folks!