This time may not seem enjoyable, but that’s because learning to code is hard. Add these items to your gratitude list.
Have you ever fondly remembered a relationship after the fact that you knew was messy, but ultimately enjoyable?
Perhaps the person had a lot of levels to them, and communication wasn’t great. But you learned a lot about yourself.
Clashes and frustration inevitably occur, space is needed, and eventually, you give up. It wasn’t until you gave up that you realized how much you needed it, though, and often times, we find our way back to the things we love.
I certainly did, when I picked up coding again in the summer of 2015. It may not have been a relationship with a person, but it had been just as complicated.
I had started college as a Computer Science major, but ultimately switched majors because, in hindsight, I didn’t know how to process loving something that was so god damn hard on my ego at times.
The highs were very high, though, and our brains don’t easily forget that.
It’s a good thing to learn this lesson early: things don’t need to be perfect to be wonderful.
Being a new web developer is much like the experience of being in a difficult relationship, but obviously also different.
We know that web development is a great career option for us, but as we’re learning, it’s sometimes difficult to imagine ever actually being a web developer.
We often forget that relationships require work, and our relationship with our education and career is no different. Even a career that is a fantastic fit for us will not be easy. In fact, the better the prospect, the more difficult it will be.
If you can learn to ride out the highs and the lows, you’ll be able to relax enough to enjoy the journey, rather than just wishing it were over or different.
Web development is never going to be easy to learn. It’s a mystifying creation by equally mystifying people, hell-bent on improving our communication with computers.
As soon as we learn something, it will likely change, or be improved on in its next “hot” iteration.
What we can improve is our:
- Receptiveness: How we read, approach, and ultimately interact with the material we encounter
- Perspective: The angles from which we view the challenge at hand
- Perseverance: Our resistance to giving up
10 perks of being a newbie web developer
All that being said, allow me to remind you of some of the perks of being a new web developer.
- You can make mistakes, and nobody is really going to blame you. You’re learning!
- You have a fresh new perspective that others very likely don’t have. Leverage this, and don’t hold back!
- Since being overwhelmed and confused virtually all the time is the norm, it’s a fantastic feeling when something finally clicks. Being new, this happens a lot more frequently.
- Because nobody expects you to know a whole lot, it’s easier to surpass others’ expectations of you.
- You are at your lowest ego point, which means you are most receptive. When you start gaining more knowledge and opinions, those opinions can get in the way of your learning. Practice keeping this receptiveness window open, and it will treat you well your entire career.
- You’re also officially at your most excited and enthusiastic, because everything is new, just like in a relationship.
- If you’re teaching yourself especially, this is a perfect time to learn to embrace confusion and frustration. You have much less on the line, so learn to get comfortable with it!
- You have an opportunity to learn how to recover from your mistakes, from scratch. Watch how others fix their inevitable “oopsies”, and take with you what works best.
- You get to build context from the ground up. What does this language do, and how does it connect to this other language? Run with your questions, share the answers you find with others. But remember, no two people have the same context, since it relates to our personal experience.
- When you share what you know, you may feel like you’re not contributing anything much at all. But, it’s quite the opposite: experienced developers need your perspectives to remember what it was like being new—this is called the Curse of Knowledge. Take this opportunity to teach them.
So, add these 10 items to your gratitude list. Say them out loud in the mirror when you feel like coding is too hard, and there’s no benefit to being in this early stage.
Not only are you going to make it through your education, and onto a job or lucrative freelancing career—if you want to—but you’re also going to look back longingly on this time one day. A time when things were much simpler. I guarantee it. 💜
“The expert at anything was once a beginner.”
— Helen Hayes
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