The beginning, Again. Magic and Sparkles!

The first courses I took at Skillcrush were design courses. And boyee, was I way over my head. I had never used Photoshop or any part of the Adobe suite. I would spend a half-hour just trying to move a box on an artboard! I spent Thanksgiving working through all the Photoshop and Illustrator tutorials on Adobe’s website. I played with the pen tool scribbling randomly until I got a feel for how it worked. By the end of that week, I was, not competent, but not wasting tons of time either.

What’s important about this is that this would be the model I experienced over and over again as I’ve learned to design and code websites.

At first you are stuck like a 1950’s Caddy in twelve inches of snow. Your wheels spin and there is no traction and it is really frustrating. But you keep working at it. You ask for help. You look up additional learning resources. And you start to improve. You reach a step or two above incompetent. You know you have a long way to go but it feels like with enough time, it’s doable.

The magic is, what you learn becomes transferrable and useful to what you’ll learn later. Understanding some Photoshop basics meant that I picked up Figma, InDesign, and Adobe XD without any problem. This was repeated with JavaScript. Didn’t really get it. I finished the assignments and I felt I had an inkling. I did Fizz Buzz in JavaScript on my own. But I wouldn’t say I had any real skills. But then when I learned a bit of PHP during the WordPress blueprint, I picked it up pretty easily. I understood some basic CS principles and completing the assignments was much easier. Then came Ruby which kicked my butt four ways to Sunday. But, again, much easier because I had a little JavaScript and a little PHP under my belt.

Then the sparkly part of the magic. Working through the Ruby on Rails blueprint, I began to understand JavaScript better. Not only does the learning pay it forward making more learning easier. Learning also pays it backwards (is that a thing?) and I would have epiphanies, understanding code more deeply that I had written months before.

So this blog is about that: The Magic and the Sparkles. I’m a bit more than a year in. I’m going back over what I’ve learned: the HTML, the CSS, the JavaScript, the WordPress, the Ruby, Sinatra, and Rails, and the design and branding classes I took. I’ll look to outside sources also to gain a deeper understanding. I’m close enough to a beginner to have beginner’s mind and experienced enough to know a bit about what I’m doing.

This is going to be fun!

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