Well well well, it’s been an interesting and lengthy journey down the road to becoming a developer.
Started at the beginning of 2018 when I told myself that this was it, 2018 was the year I was really going to learn how to develop WordPress.
As that journey started, and to be honest it isn’t really where it started, that was more like 8 years ago or more when I first learnt how to create a website page using static HTML & CSS and then a friend introduced me to WordPress and I was gone for all money.
Having built countless sites, used endless themes, having worked inside one of the largest companies making a motza selling WordPress Themes, I finally decided that I wanted to really COMMIT to becoming a proper developer.
And so I did. I came across this article that talked about how to make the jump from being a publisher, or a user, and step up to becoming a Developer. That was what lead me to join WPMU and join their Academy Course. It seemed like the missing link in the puzzle that I had been trying to put together for years.
I spent the next month or more going through their three course programme which is set out something like this;
- WordPress Development for Beginners
- WordPress Development for Intermediate Users
- Advanced WordPress Development
In all they are outstanding courses that will really get you moving in the right direction, but I felt like I always have… I wasn’t good enough, or clever enough or too crap at Math which makes no sense at all and I walked out of those few weeks of hard core learning with a much better understanding of the framework that is WordPress but I needed more help, I wasn’t confident I understood it properly and what I find with text based stuff is that if there is something missing, a word, a concept, then it just isn’t there and that is no good.
I had also signed up to a few other Udemy courses, as well as FreeCodeCamp because while I am fortunate enough to not work ‘for the man’ full time, I do have other jobs and sometimes in the downtimes I have ten minutes here and there where I wanted to consolidate my learning but in a different format.
That’s where FreeCodeCamp is perfect, honestly that website is just brilliant. Totally free you can spend as little or as much time as you like on the classes and the environment makes really clever use of tutorial and a code pen area that you can type into and then run tests on to see if you have got it right. It’s simple but intuitive and it just works. I jumped in headfirst and took the courses in my spare time then built my first Portfolio Site using Bootstrap and tbh I kinda blew myself away because I understood exactly what I was doing.
Not that it is brilliant or a piece of design masterpiece by a long shot but I bloody wrote it, by myself. The logo is a Fivver design and just a placeholder but on the whole it set me off in a new direction.
Perhaps trying to dive straight into becoming a full blown WordPress developer, I needed to step back and relearn the basics?
While it has been years since I really used HTML and CSS I started to realise that I was perhaps approaching this the wrong way.
Or perhaps what I wanted to learn was more like a general practice of web development rather than a pigeon holed developer of WordPress. I still wanted to be able to do that too, but I wanted more and my thirst of knowledge and learning seemed to be insatiable.
And that is when I guess I started reading about the #100DaysOfCode challenge on Twitter. At first I thought, I can’t commit to that, I don’t have time every day and this is a dream goal, not a new career, something I want to do for my own personal satisfaction more than trying to create a six figure career out of it.
Turns out I was wrong.
It was just what I needed to do. So here I six almost five months later after making the decision to become a developer and exactly one week into my first round of #100DaysOfCode and I couldn’t be happier! There is a real benefit to joining this online movement of sorts, stuff I didn’t even think about like the community support, or the satisfaction of committing to a summary on Twitter of what I have learnt that day, and it doesn’t need to consume you. Do as much or as little as you like, as long as you do something.
For me that has included full days of coding, some lighter days of reading articles on Medium or following updates on Twitter of people using the hashtag, to intermittently completing short lessons instead of (ok, while) watching TV.
I’ve woken up dreaming about code. It’s in the back of my head almost all of the time, I can’t help it, it’s become my new obsession and I’m going to get really good at it, I know it.
I’ve signed up to GitHub and created gists which is something I never thought I’d do, not that I understand it very well right now but I will get there.
I dropped a question on StackOverflow which was completely terrifying at first but then once I was scalded by an overlord for my chatty nature I finally understood what it was about and now I am fine with it, if you have ever done any developing you know it’s the go-to website for Q&A (which means copy and paste into your text editor, let’s face it).
That’s when I decided I’d start this blog, I realised I wanted to not only catalogue my learning journey on Twitter with the #100DaysOfCode hashtag but talk through my learning as I go in a bit more detail, maybe it will help someone else out along the way who is also trying to become a web developer.
Who knows where it will go, it’s WordPress with the default Theme TwentySeventeen installed but over time I might tweak it with my new found skills, and I quite enjoy being able to use it as a brain-dump after long hauls coding, it helps me get that stuff out of my head so I can also try and lead a normal life afterall 🙂
So here it is, where it all started. My first day of the challenge.
May as well go all in & call this Day 1 of #100DaysOfCode ??
— Daniel Michael (@danmikhael) May 2, 2018