I had the chance to host a TownHall at work this week (Skillcrush rocks!!! ❣️) And I had to put myself back in the shoes of a code newbie. I spent a lot of time thinking about what would I have found super helpful to know so that I could have avoided some confusion (because I made a lot of mistakes!)
So I set up a talk on how to make sure that this is your project folder, that the code in your text editor is your project, and that the site in your browser is your code. And of course this isn’t just a newbie thing. A couple of weeks ago I couldn’t update a site and realized I was in the wrong browser window. 🤦♀️
I’m lucky that, because of my interests and my job, I’m always learning new things. So I get to be a code newbie pretty much every day! And I think that’s important because it can be really easy, once you’ve acquired a skill, to forget how you felt when you first started. You can’t recreate that feeling of just being lost in the abstraction that is web development. And all of the hours that went into honing that skill become just a blur.
It’s important to keep putting yourself in a “beginners” environment. Not only do you get to have the fun of learning something new. But you also get to keep your empathy for what it feels like to not yet be able to sit down and hand code a site without having to look up a single note.
The only thing that’s different from me today and me 4 years ago is a lot of practice over time. And if you happen to still be in that beginner space, I hope you take that to heart. You might feel lost and that, perhaps, you’re not meant to be a developer. And those emotions are so real! But it’s really about putting in the practice. Make it easy on yourself by building something useful or beautiful. But keep moving forward. There’s a reason there are so many “A journey of a thousand steps begins with one” clichés. Because it’s true. 🙂