A million days.

It’s been 114 days since I quit my job to begin my journey as an unemployed to pursue coding. 114 days feels like forever. It feels like I have done heaps but at the same time, nothing.

My progress has been stagnant for awhile. We hosted the family at our new place last Friday and I did not touch my keyboard for 3 whole days until yesterday. When I finally did, I was distracted by million and one things the entire day and couldn’t focus.

I didn’t feel like coding at all.

As time passes, my hatred for events slowly fades away. I frequently think about going back now because I’m starting to doubt this whole #careerchangeat30 endeavour and surprisingly, it doesn’t irk me as much as 114 days ago. Time does heal all wounds huh?

On the other hand, I ask myself if I’m going to give up so easily. I must have not like my career very much 4 months ago to make this decision and if I were to go back, I may not get another chance or summon enough courage to leave to do something different like this. Then when I start to hate my life all over again, I’m going to seriously resent myself for being weak.

I’m itching to go back to work yet I’m not skilled enough to look for one in the developers world.

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11 thoughts on “A million days.

  1. i am continuing to toy with the idea that the best way to teach someone how to code is to teach them how to write their own programming language.

    these code boot camps teach people how to develop things with code, but people often seem to make it through without really understanding code in a fundamental way– i mean they build a house that has no foundation, though its an otherwise impressive house. in all sincerity, perhaps you could code in circles around me– though id defy you to explain code to me in a way that was essential.

    another thing i would say about this is that what you did took serious guts. i feel i could never do what you did, stop what im doing and focus like that on something i didnt already have an understanding of. i would learn to code as a side thing, not leap in like you did.

    my main interest is in teaching people how coding works, and making it easy enough for everyone to really understand. most of what people do now is apply functions or objects to tasks. its great, but i feel like its skipping the alphabet and just dumping shakespeare onto kids laps “here you go! let me know when youve made it through hamlet!” “wait, whats this word?” “good luck!”

    in short, dont be too hard on yourself– you tried to do it in a way thats much harder than anything i would have attempted. i hate that the current means of teaching are so likely to leave a person feeling like theyre not ready to do anything. they really start in the middle, and that only works sometimes. good luck with whatever you do next, and i hope this doesnt put you off of coding. its a wonderful thing when you dont try to do too much at once. all the best.

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  2. not to mention that anyone that told you that 100 days is long enough to become a professional developer is probably nuts.

    after that, build a car out of parts, after that, become a world renowned chef– theres a lot you can do in 100 days, but theres still a limit. its *good* to have that kind of ambition, but sometimes you need to tweak the impossible goals a little, to make it possible to achieve them. no ones going to judge.

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    1. That’s exactly right – zero foundation and starting in the middle. I have no idea where all this is going now. I’m practising and reading materials that interest me and hoping that something will simply click one day and I’ll be able to code like a god. I know I beat myself up too much sometimes but I guess it’s my way of telling myself not to take this chance and time for granted and get into that comfort zone of taking things easy then take forever to become a good programmer or lose focus on why I quit my job in the first place, you know.

      It took guts but it would be all for nothing if I don’t succeed. It’s one of those things where on some days, I feel clueless and demoralized and should probably do something else other than coding yet somewhere inside me is telling me to stop feeling sad for myself and keep going. Always a constant struggle that takes constant reminder to myself that it’s a battle I chose to fight so I jolly well fight.

      I don’t know. I keep contradicting myself these days.

      Appreciate your kind words and encouragements. Your comments and advices help me through times like this.

      I won’t give up just yet. 🙂

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      1. which of these do you feel comfortable about knowledge-wise?

        * variables ** input *** output **** basic math (probably 100%) ***** loops ****** conditionals ******* functions

        those are imo the essence of coding. theres also objects, with all that entails– but objects are like a cube with functions and variables inside. the main difference is that the cubes can be cloned or have children that vary.

        everything else is application of this stuff– libraries are collections of functions or objects, library calls are still just applications of this. these are the fundamentals. all the professional coding you do will be looking up specific examples of these fundamentals, and selecting them and using them. thats sort of THE WHOLE THING unless you go under that to the cpu chip– you probably wont. ive read about it, ive poked at it, im not a low-level (close to the cpu) coder. and most applications arent low-level, theyre this level.

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      2. thats the foundation of it. and really if you just get 100% comfortable with vars / input/output / a little math / loops / conditions / functions you can build on that by thinking of objects as “weird, fancy functions.” some types of coding dont even use objects, but you probably will.

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      3. Haha yep, definitely basic Math is my favorite of all. I’m good with variables and loops I’d say. It’s the building up of the code using various concepts that scares me – I just don’t feel like I know enough to build anything at all despite knowing some already. I want to get to working on projects but can’t bring myself to as I just have no idea where to start. I’ve been practicing drawing up flow charts to get the big picture but even then there’s always something missing and it feels like I’m not ready for anything and stuck at where I’m at for the longest time.

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      4. although i hate making websites really– theyre great practice.

        you can have (gradually, beginning with only the simplest of code) python code that outputs javascript that outputs html–

        you can have javascript that outputs html,

        you can have python that outputs html directly, you can have it open markdown files and translate to html– or, you can (pretty easily) have python that serves html to your browser over 127.0.0.1:8000 and that sort of thing.

        all of these are good for practice. you can also do your games in python or javascript.

        i teach fundamentals with simpler examples though. when i was teaching myself i took really little steps, and i built on those slowly. but everything i built on i understood through practice.

        thats the long way there. im certain theres a compromise– more people are interested in the codecademy/etc way, it certainly has its own merits.

        everything you do with code is good practice. if its fun, even better. but everything that makes you more familiar you can build on– the better you understand that part, the better you can build on it and feel like you know what youre doing.

        taking apart existing code is also a great way to learn how to put it together. find out what you can simplify, what you can get away without, and youll learn a lot about what parts of the code are vital.

        its like a language because it is a language– but its also a language in the way you become fluent. dont just put stuff together. find out how its put together by tinkering with examples. putting it together is very good too! but youll get better ideas about how to fit it together looking at lots of examples. writing english is the same way. try learning spanish for example, just based on rules about the language. it would take forever without reading or having conversations in spanish. fluency is tackled from both sides. books are good.

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      5. you could look at several games, decide what they have in common, or read about the libraries they use– or try to simplify any of them. reduce them to parts.

        obviously if youre taking apart programs it would be reasonable to start with smaller ones first. look at it this way– you are already learning how to teach yourself this stuff. you can get little tips along the way, but youre driving. youre drawing the map as you go. thats pretty cool, give yourself credit for it and use it to push forward with a little confidence– when it doesnt work just right, youre still teaching! smile and keep teaching yourself how it works and be proud of it.

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