Teaching myself to code - Intro

This is a first post about my journey of teaching myself to code.

Recently, it became even more popular to teach yourself to code, to change your career. I see lots of people trying to land their first coding job. That is why I decided to write a post about my path of teaching myself to code. It might inspire somebody to do the same, no matter what their circumstances are. I will focus more on the mental and emotional state of someone who is trying to learn to code.

My journey of teaching myself to code was harsh and very difficult. You might think of course it was, it is difficult for anyone without any background in technology. That is true. I did not have any background nor did I have any experience on the job market in general or in coding. I didn’t even know what server was! I was absolutely clueless about the object oriented approach and agile methodology. That was just some jibber jabber for me. But that was not the hardest part. I did expect my career switch to be difficult due to the lack of experience and skills. I knew I had to learn lots of new subjects and I knew I had to stretch my mindset. I had to change the way I thought about the world and myself. But I did not know what exactly should be changed.

I also have to highlight I did not have any mentor nor help from any more experienced developer. I was penniless and could not afford to buy e-book or purchase online courses. I was a full time student at college and had a small part time job, just to pay my bus fare from Samobor, where I lived, to college in Zagreb. I had to look for free online resources and I was really limited time-wise. I could not sign up for any in-classroom structured course with a teacher who would review my code. I had to learn the hard way. Alone and by free resources.

All these things made it difficult for me to learn. But the most dangerous and the most disturbing thing was the environment in which I was studying. There was a constant distress. I had to avoid being home, I would get up early in the morning and stay in my college library until closing hours. There was a short period, a month or so, when I could not get home at all during the day. I had to wait for 1 am for air to be cleared at home. The highlight of my teaching myself to code was me sitting on the bench in a park in late hours and reading some free ebook about Ruby on Rails with help of flashlight on my cell phone.

It sounds pretty dramatic, I know, and it was.