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Road to Code: Dusting off the cobwebs

It’s 10:04am, I’m already three coffees deep, and I’ve deleted the first paragraph of this post at least thirty times. I’m running on a solid four hours of sleep, and with each yawn, the idea of napping under my desk becomes more and more appealing. I’m feeling very Costanza-esque.

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Over the last week, I’ve learned two things. One being that people seem to appreciate humility and vulnerability (thankyou to everyone who read the first Road to Code post!). And two being that I’m a very, very lucky person. Why, you ask? Let me tell you a story about my situation…

I’m learning to code through three different avenues – the team here at LegRoom, a Front-End Development Blueprint via Skillcrush, and a tonne of tasks on FreeCodeCamp. While pursuing three different avenues might seem like overkill, I’ve found that one of the most important resources a developer can have is a community of like-minded individuals. And one of the great things about these self-taught coding ventures is that you’re automatically set up with a network of newbies who are eager to help one another out.

The reason I consider myself to be incredibly lucky is because I don’t have to worry about things like ‘nailing that first interview’, ‘getting that first dev job’ or ‘preparing my portfolio’ to be hired… I’ve already got my foot in the door – I ‘here’s Johnny-ed’ my way right through that sucker.

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While chatting with a few of the people taking the Skillcrush Blueprint, I’ve found that the vast majority of the ‘students’ are preparing to make a major career shift – they’re sacrificing a lot to learn to code. And truth be told, I think if my foot wasn’t already in the door, I’d feel a little less motivated about my pursuit – there would be a lot of internal conversations about not being good enough and that it would be a wasted endeavour.

I’m definitely not saying that it’s easy for me, but I will admit that it’s easier for me than it is for some. And with every day that I gain more knowledge as a developer, I’m eternally grateful for everything that has happened to land me in the position I’m in – good and bad.

I’m now a week into my ‘official’ journey, and I’m happy to say that I’ve fallen even more in love with development – the future looks bright! And although the last seven days have been spent rehashing things I already knew from that trusty week at Shillington, it’s been great to have it all broken down and taken back to basics. I’m amazed at how quickly it has all come back to me, especially after stepping away from it for three or four years. The human mind is an incredible thing.

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I’ve been reminded all about HTML and CSS, I’ve learned a few new things relating to both languages, I’ve chatted with some really incredible people who are paving the way for women in STEM, I’ve been overloaded with inspiration and an abundance of helpful resources, and weirdly, I’ve been looking into networking events for developers in Melbourne and Geelong.

I’ll tell you now, as someone who is incredibly shy and has suffered from anxiety for most of my life, the idea of sitting in a room full of strangers has never appealed to me. Usually, I’d never consider doing something like this, but here I am, actively looking for meetups and am genuinely looking forward to attending them. That has to count for something, right? Things inside me are changing… I’m blossoming. Is this what personal growth feels like?!

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As we’re settling back into work after the Christmas break, I’m looking through LegRoom’s BitBucket repository, learning the way that our team works and fiddling with some site functions, forcing myself to understand why things work the way they do. I’m in way over my head, but I’ve always believed that the best way to learn something is to throw yourself in the deep end – no matter how intimidating it may be. Check out the eager beaver over here!

I’ll be tweeting more about my journey over on my personal Twitter (@murphytrueman) – let’s share our experiences and chat all things dev!

TLDR – I’m happy. And for the first time in such a long time, I can say that and mean it. 110%.

It's a little cloudy and 21° at the LegRoom Office.