Hello! I’ve never formally introduced myself here, my name is Ryan, I live in central Washington State. My previous career consisted of performing various duties on container ships and the occasional oil tanker, what is known as the ‘merchant marine’, though I find the term is often confusing to people. Last year I had decided to begin learning how to code and eventually make a career of it, having decided several years ago that I was done going to sea. I think that I have a pretty good grasp of what a person needs to do to succeed at this endeavor, which essentially comes down to just putting in the work, every day, and making use of every resource available (without getting lost amid the vast number of resources, classes, videos, blogs, etc. and having your attention spread thin across too many of them, IOW, pick the ones that will work for you and stick to them). For me, I have decided to make freecodecamp my primary place of learning, and the theodinproject as a secondary path that I spend much less time with, probably a quarter of what I spend here.
The advice/guidance that I am concerned with has to do with the notion of community. I understand that a significant aspect of this learning process, and later on the process of looking for a job or for projects to work on, is a person’s involvement in the online community and the same IRL. My problem is, ever since the days of AOL, I have never been drawn to the world of online social interaction. I never found chat rooms interesting enough to give me the motivation to actually spend any time there and thus never developed any relationships via the internet. Over time, I have perhaps posted a small number of questions on forums that dealt with an interest of mine, but again, nothing approaching involvement in a community. This extends to social media, evidenced by my lack of a Facebook or Twitter account, let alone LinkedIn. This might not be as much of a concern for me, but my location puts me hours away from physical meetups of any coding-concerned groups. So, at least for the moment, it appears that if I am to really take part in this learning process and establish a presence in the coding community, my only option is to suck it up, create a social media presence, and attempt to figure out how to become engaged with the online world.
I know that the answer is very obvious, but beyond the very basic steps I need to take, can anyone provide any advice to a person that is averse to online social interaction? When I first started with freeCodeCamp, I seem to remember there being a chat room, where people would ask questions live? Was that replaced with the forum that this is being posted to? Could anyone suggest place that I should start trying to make this change? I appreciate any advice, or guidance, or criticism, and I’ll even accept cynicism or hyperbole. If you have read to this point, I want to thank you for taking the time, commend your persistence, and apologize for the length, which I assume is a bit long. And thank you to anyone who takes the time to respond.