I completely understand where you are coming from, I also work full time as well as go to school online full time. At times it can feel like nothing is going your way and anything extra you do can feel either pointless or too much, but all I can say is keep pushing through it and make every second you spend learning something new give it your 100%. It’s not necessarily the amount of time you spend learning something new but what you get out of learning. It will take time and patience but if this is something you really want to better you and your family’s life I’m sure you will be able to persevere.
Sometimes it takes a while to learn something new. Sometimes it’s hard to gauge what progress you are making. Here’s a way to see what you’ve learned.
Go back to something you did a while back. Can you find ways to improve it? Did you say to yourself “jeez, did I really write this code?”. Then you know you’ve learned something. Even if you can’t see ways to improve it, do you understand it better now than you did back then?
Thank you very much, will do
You’re not in a race. There will always be more to learn. The point is that you’re doing what you can to learn, and every little bit matters. You’ll get there.
This is pretty common, though I wouldn’t be able to offer any coping mechanisms. Everyone gets discouraged, and everyone feels lost until they don’t.
You’re doing the right thing. It just doesn’t feel like it because you’ve got more to think about. Keep it up.
I’m the same early 30’s and started learning and I only get an hour now and again to get on to do some Im clueless of most of it. But I really want to learn more then I am and feel like it’s not worth doing good it cos of the time I get to go on it is tight
Don’t worry, about time.
You are not in a race, already despite your apparently busy schedule finding to study is a great thing.
Just one thing: try to set clear goals to yourself like :
I want to get to the frontend certifications in 6 months and then you focus on that.
Focus on one course only. Better than being scattered, it should give you a better sense of achievement since you will actually pass this course’s milestone.
ie: going down the FCC map from one project to another.
I understand that feeling too but if you keep at it, when you look back you’d be surprised at what you can do compared to what you could do say, 2 or 3 months back, so you should only look at how far you are compared to where you were 1 or 2 months back. What I focus myself is to try and learn a little bit everyday, if you improved a 1% on a given day that’s a huge success in my book. That and repetition and practice are the building blocks.
Thank you all very much. Very encouraging I will keep going. I definitely want to reach the front end developer goal by Sept 2017.
I am in a similar situation. I have a full time job, two young kids, and a wife. Some things I have done to make time is to get up really early to work before the kids wake up and take off days of work just to study programming.
One of my main sources of motivations is that I am tired of my current job. This has helped me to stay focus on learning.
I think you should keep learning! It takes a while but it will be worth it in the long run. Like you I am in my early thirties. What that means is that a majority of our working life is still ahead of us. So even if it takes a little while to learn it will still pay off.
Hang in there. It is hard material, and it takes time. Don’t beat yourself up for not mastering it instantly; nobody does. Just keep at it, and little by little you will make progress and get to where you want to be.
I’m a 37 year old man with a wife and five kids–I’ve been working on it for longer than you have, and I’m not where I want to be yet, but I am making progress and getting there. (I have the good fortune to be part of a paid training program, admittedly.) I’ll make it, and you’ll make it too, if we just keep working at it day by day.
Wow, and i thought i was the only few going thru this. Maybe in this country where the rat-race is at crazy pace.
Working professional, 9-6 job.
I gave this up 12years back for a more lucrative position, but now decided to follow my interest into S/W dev.
It pretty hard…started in Sept’16 then stopped ard Dec due to demoralised, then came back again mid Jan.
Hoping to go all the way after seeing most of yr stories.
STAY STRONG Buddies!
Don’t worry, i started on Sept 2016 too & prob no better than you now.
Just give yourself a break if it’s too much for you, like i did (1 & half mth break).
Just make sure you come back more ready & more motivated.
Never give up!
I can’t believe there are so many people are in the same boat. I don’t know if this would fit “word of encouragement.” But I have learned this coding stuff for a decade, it took me this long because I didn’t understand it, because I have limited resources in terms of tutorials and help, and also because I have no money.
The only resources I had back then was a c how to program book. If you didn’t understand it by reading the basics, that was it for me at the time. Since no one could explain it to me.
School is out of my reach due to financial constraints. Went to school to study this stuff long time ago, but it was useless. Since is all the same stuff in books, nothing really practical. Didn’t made it anywhere with that. Also put me in debt.
Then I just gave it all up 8 years ago, settled for some low level job, because debt was in constant pressure.
So there had been a lot of ups and downs for me and I certainly went through the period of “not understanding” this whole code stuff.
But for the past decade I didn’t really stop, even if it is 4~5 years apart from study. Now I understand it and working up my portfolio to get a job.
If there is any advice that I could give to new developers is…
1/ Dont give up
If you don’t understand it, slow down, and ask someone who can explain the in-depth complexity of the code.
Complexity can’t be overcome overnight, your mind needs to adjust to it. This will take time. I didn’t do very well in the beginning, because I didn’t allow the adjustment, I thought if I don’t get it, then I will never get it. Strangely enough, 4 years after I understood it. It was a waste of time on my part, but the best lesson I had.
2/ Just do it
Don’t just “learn it”, actively do it and use the code. Code makes sense if you try to reason with it long enough, but it doesn’t help if you can’t code it. It is like the difference between knowing and doing.
3/ Challenge yourself.
Don’t get stuck on the knowing. Worst, the knowing within your own boundries. If all you know is html/css. Take the challenge in building something with that constraint.
Over time you’ll realized that the foundation of codes are all the same. If you learn one really well, you will likely learn the other in very short time.
Last note, if time is very very tight for you and all you know is basic html/css.
The best thing to do is challenge yourself with something small tiny projects and hard enough to keep you thinking throughout your day.
For example, do this if you like too.
Week 1: Draw a square like spiral using html table tag with row / col span.
Week 2: using only divs and css, center align it horizontally, and stretch it vertically 100%.
That’s how I used to learn and still learn this way. From those tiny projects you’ll start coming up with your own.
Hope something helps.
I also wonder - as a developer are we supposed to know how to code every project or is it acceptable to research techniques?
Here are a couple articles I read from time to time when I’m in need for some encouragement:
You got this!
You’re not alone! It is so easy to feel discouraged and like you’ve hit a wall, but don’t give up. My biggest piece of advice would be to focus on 1 or 2 resources for learning. In my opinion FCC and a solid YouTube channel are the way to go. That way you’re getting a more well-rounded education (audio/visual) and you aren’t spreading yourself over too many resources. My other huge piece of advice is to copy the code you’re studying and write it all out yourself - whether it’s on paper or a text editor (sublime, codepen, notepad++, etc.) That way, when it’s time to start a project from scratch you’ll feel like you have a deeper foundation and more confidence. My last piece of advice is to do small projects/tasks in small increments. The knowledge will compound over time and you won’t feel like you bit off more than you could chew.
These are methods that have worked best for me and I’m confident they’d work for you too. More than anything, don’t give up! No one masters this stuff in just a few weeks or even months, really, so just take it small bits at a time.
Even once you secure a developer job you’ll always be learning and researching how to do even more. You’ll definitely be required to have a certain set of skills but I can promise you it will be acceptable to go to more senior developers/look stuff up online, etc.
My situation is a bit different, but I understand how you feel. I’m a highschool teen aproaching graduation, and I’ve been swarmed with schoolwork, pressured by my parents to get into a good college, taking care of my bedridden grandparents and working part-time to save up for an aparment. Coding is the only thing that gives me encouragement. And, even though I know this is the going to be my future career, I’m still obliged to study because of my parents. So whenever things don’t go my way and I feel stuck and frustrated with my code, I think of beautiful things I can create down the line, when I get better at it. Don’t give up! Think of everything you can help build in the future, and strive towards it. Good luck!