Thinking about abandoning programming (at least for a while)

Thinking about abandoning programming (at least for a while)
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Bottom line, I am just not good at it. I cannot compete.

Maybe there is something out there for me? Idk.

Hopefully, I can find my niche in life.

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Sorry to hear that you’re thinking of abandoning programming.

It’s not my place nor it is my right to say whether you should continue or not. The only thing I can share is my personal experience and obviously non-universal advice.

I think finding one’s niche can be a luxury. Not everyone will find whatever it is they’re passionate or good at.

But that’s okay.

It’s nice to be passionate, innately talented, and excellent at something but they’re not necessities. It’s possible for anyone to be good enough at anything if they put a lot of effort into it.

One thing I’ve learned is enjoyment towards anything doesn’t need to come from passion. It can come when you work hard to the point that you’re good at it. The only issue here is without passion or talent driving you forward, the road is insanely steep. The drudgery, grinding…it seems to never end.

But if you keep at it, there’s a good chance you’ll become good enough and finally enjoy the craft. This applies to any field, not just programming.

Alright, that’s my rambling for the day. Hopefully it helps.

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In life you often look forward and see the wealth of knowledge and skills that are ahead and do not yet know/ understand and it is easy to become overwhelmed.
But if you look at how much you’ve progressed you can see that from since you started you will have learnt something, and probably have learnt a considerable amount.
Learning a skill takes hard work and dedication, weather that skill is code, cooking, art, or anything else.
If you want to continue within coding, then keep at it, even if it is a small steps at a time, over time you’ll notice how far you’ve come. but everyone has the ability to learn and gain the skills, the question is, do you want to learn code, or something else?

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I have learned a lot of stuff along the way since graduation 11 years ago.

Finance, Stock Analysis, Coding, Public Speaking, Drawing, Entrepreneurship, and many more stuff down the line. But I never succeeded in doing any of those things. (Succeed Meaning: Made an impact for myself or anyone). The reason for all this learning is because I have a goal of becoming a successful entrepreneur - millionaire, billionaire status because to me this is something worth pursuing.

8 years ago, I learned the value of writing a journal, a record for your progress because I made a connection by reading a lot of books and found that successful people always seem to have a wealth of history and stories to tell. A record of all their accomplishments, struggles and lessons before they become who they are.

Then I thought to myself, what if I do the same thing? What would I find if I write down stuff over a period of time and see where that gets me. Mind you, this is not an instantaneous enlightening moment like in a movie where you figured out something, then 3 days later you’re a new man and conquered the world. No, I had to grind the next 8 years to figure out what this meant. AFTER learning all the things I listed above.

I found out the reason why I am not as successful as I wanted.

  1. I wasn’t discipline enough to focus on one subject to mastery. I gave up too easily because when the problem gets tough, instead of giving myself time to grow I get frustrated and wonder off to another subject thinking that the next subject would be a work-around from the previous.

  2. I had a unrealistic time frame when I wanted to reach my goals. This one is a motivational killer and often disappoint you more often than you realize. If you know it takes you 30 minutes to drive across town, why would you expect to be there anything less. Likewise, if it takes most successful people at least 10 years to master a trade, why would anyone expect anything less.

  3. I was trying to do everything and learn everything on my own instead of asking for people to collaborate and fill in the roles. Stop trying to learn everything and start learning what is necessary and find a solution for it.

  4. I was learning information that is irrelevant for my current status. You can’t learn the full capability of JS until you learn some structural programming.

It is only after I learned the hard lessons after 11 years that I circled back around to the basics and start all over again. Looking back at all my works that I recorded which at the time I perceived to be “garbage” actually turned out to be pretty amazing. I would say a lot of people would kill to have the skills I had.

So the big question for you is are you quitting because you felt that you’re not good at it? or are you quitting because you felt that this is not what you really wanted?

Perhaps you have to ask yourself how long you have spent doing this discipline and what have you produced in those time frame?

Hopefully something in here will resonate with you. The worst thing that could happen to anyone is they found their purpose just to throw it all away.

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It looks you’re just tired.
Take three or four days off, then come back and try to allocate only twenty to half an hour every day for learning. You will be amazed what a half an hour of learning can do if you keep it up daily basis.
It won’t make the learning process painful, not like studying for four hours a day for example.
It will give time for your brain to acknowledge that what you are learning must be important since it is frequent.
Your brain will re-order itself to adopt the new way of thinking (scripting and coding).
The first few days of this process will motivate you to make that twenty minutes an hour of learning.
Good luck bro!

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Thanks guys for your feedback. What had me interested in web development in the first place was a web app idea I wanted to create and implement. I made many, many attempts to create it but had failed. I never was satiafied with my work.

Then I thought maybe I can be self employed with it and create web apps for clients. For one, I have found it is an extremely saturated and competitive field. Two, I have been unable to pick up any frontend JS frameworks after trying for years. I don’t think my approaches and practices are the best when creating dynamic web applications.

I was good with procedural PHP, but then I came to find out thag in order to be a professional with PHP, I need to learn OOP and modern practices such as the use of frameworks like Laravel and such. Then I found PHP was not that good of a choice anymore, and that picking PHP frameworks was too challenging.

Now, I am working with nodeJS. However, I find it difficult to understand documentation and understanding many of the third party packages.

I am indecisive on which stacks to use sometimes.

Today, it is important to know a frontend JS library or framework of some kind. I know a little bit, but only enough to create very simple projects like todo lists and such.

To me, it is too complicated, too competitive to get anywhere.

I am finding that employers are seeking specific skills. I see a lot of .NET, azure, salesforce, Java, React, wordpress, and things that I do not have much experience in nor do I have a desire to pick up anything new until I grasp everything I learned previously better.

I struggle to read and understand other’s code. It just gives me a headache and causes so much frustration I want to throw in the towel right then and there.

A lot of FEAR. Would employers be accepting if I cannot understand something? What if I get in there and cannot read other’s code and do my job accordingly? Would they help me or terminate me?

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Not knowing stuff doesn’t have to be a big deal, provided (1) that your team is prepared to have junior dev (willing to give guidance and be supportive) and (2) that you have the grit and will to pick up something new fast. It’s ok to ask questions, but you gotta try to have a crack at it yourself first.

I did two bootcamps before landing my current job, and along the way I observe that a tolerance for frustration seems to be an important quality to become a programmer. You can whine, you can loathe, you can bang your head against the wall, but despite all the frustration, you stick around to figure out how something works or why it isn’t working. From what I have seen, those who got overwhelmed by the frustration and lost the will to keep trying haven’t landed anything yet, at least not in the trade of programming.

Not able to understand other people’s code - given that those aren’t spaghetti code - can be a bigger problem; as when you work in a team, odds are that you will be building on pre-existing code base instead of building something from scratch. Every team has their own infrastructure and convention, knowing that can help when reading the code.

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By the sound of your frustration, it seems like the framework is causing you some headaches. Have you try learning DOM first? DOM allows you to manipulate HTML elements on JS level, so you can customize a dynamic page without any framework. The sky is the limit when you have DOM on your side. Once you have that down, you can appreciate frameworks a little more, because framework is simplified DOM manipulation.

Secondly, you can’t avoid OOP. The entire architecture of technology is built on OOP concepts.
I highly recommend that you learn it and get it over with, but this will be your biggest challenge. Your coding style and logical concept on how to approach a problem will drastically change. Also, it makes DOM and JS much easier to understand.

Things like Encapsulation, Inheritance and Polymorphism are essential to understand. If you manage those, you can hit up data structures like LinkedList.

Third, keep producing projects no matter the quality. Keep pushing yourself to learn new snippets of codes and it will get easier.

These suggestion might be overkill for web development. But my goal isn’t to make “web pages”, but also web applications and games. When you have these down. Go back into framework.

@Cowwy
I think php OOP and php backend frameworks, along with frontend JS frameworks were the problem.
I am good with DOM manipulation. Very good.

My skills:
HTML
CSS/SCSS
Vanilla JS
DOM manipulation
Procedural and some OOP php
NodeJS/Express
SQL/mySQL

And here is my github:

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I’m new here and reading this comment already boost my love for coding. I love to code (ill rank myself 60% on HTML and CSS), at some point I found it difficult to continue but I just can’t stop because I love to sit in front of my computer and write some command.

@Hjb1694 I think that at one time or the other we all feel that way… In fact, there is even a term for it… it’s called Developer Impostor Syndrome, I would make the argument that much of this sentiment derives from an engineering culture that focuses it’s efforts too much on code. Remember what it was that drove you to want to learn programming… I would hazard to guess that was because you wanted to build stuff… Then in every interview they grilled you on esoteric algorithms and made you compile on a whiteboard. This gives the impression that the most important skill as an engineer is rote memorization. The interesting question this raises is whether the better engineer is someone who can recall every algorithm and data structure, or what one can do with code. The job is leverage code to deliver features and build products. I have never had to implement bubble sort or implement a queue from scratch… I think the best developers are just real f**king good at google…

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This is something I realise more and more as I learn to program. It’s not that the task is impossible, but the steps needed to complete the task will be laced with frustration. Learning to tolerate that frustration is very important yet it’s something I’m still not good at.

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Dont give up. Consider this… Programming, like anything else. Its the JOURNEY that matters. Along that journey you will succeed and you will also fail!!! Embrace the failure as a learning experience. Passion is important too as it drives you to be better and better. So really the question is: What level is your commitment to continuing the journey? This is only a question you can answer. And remember on your journey you will NEVER get to the end which is KNOWING EVERYTHING. Not even the best programmers can claim that as programming, like any other high tech field, is ALWAYS evolving. What you know today will be replaced by something else so you are constantly learning, growing, and evolving!!! If you are at the end of the journey, spiritually speaking, its time for you to go to home. I will leave it up to your believe system to interpret that last thought. May Jesus bless you. Keep going, DONT GIVE UP!!!

You can already do a lot of stuff with the skills you already know!

Don’t discount what you already know, just because it’s not the most popular flavor at the moment.

PHP, HTML, CSS, SQL, JS

If you’re finding NodeJS difficult, try VueJS as your front end framework.

If you’re not trying to be employed specifically as a NodeDeveloper and just want to create your web app idea, then it really doesn’t matter what you use for your own website for the frontend framework. (To be honest, you can still create a working, successful website even without a frontend framework. Successful here by my definition is one that makes money for you.)

Then I thought maybe I can be self employed with it and create web apps for clients.

Why not? With you already know above, I don’t see why that is not possible. All you need is register a domain name (a few dollars a year) and find a hosting company (maybe $100/yr) for each website idea you develop.

Heck, there are thousands of websites out there that make money from online ads, affiliate commissions, etc… and they generate pageviews by displaying jokes/stories/reviews/job listings/directories/information or providing a simple API service.

What do you need to create such a website?

Nothing much…you can do it with what you already know. HTML, CSS, PHP, SQL. Some of these sites generate hundred$ to thousand$ per month in income, and all you have to do is keep it up and running and do incremental improvements, promote it, and increase your web traffic/pageviews and hope people click on those ads.

I suggest https://www.indiehackers.com to find inspiration and motivation if you want to create your own apps/website/business idea.

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If it is something you really want then you should enjoy learning it and be good at it.

Coding/Web Dev is more work ethic than sheer brain power. If you really want that first job you have to put your A game and polish your GitHub/ resume as much as possible.

It’s waking up at 7 and starting code at 8am and not stopping until 9pm. Constantly putting yourself forward until you get the job. This is your full time job until you get a job.

Alternatively you know what the other option is and of course if this field just isn’t for you don’t force it. There are alternative ways to work in tech.