anthony ramella

Obligatory "Hello world!"

February 11, 2015 Reading time - 2 minutes

I have never been much of a blogger before. I made a Wordpress blog in 2012 to document my adventures in South Korea but it became too much of a chore for me to keep updating it while I was there. Now that I have moved on to a new adventure, I will be making efforts to blog my progress, challenges and lessons in learning to code.

Month 4

While I’m not a total newb when it comes to code, I have just recently began devoting my free time to learning and commiting my progress to GitHub. The projects I’ve been working on mostly consist of tutorials and a few personal projects including this blog. I feel I am making decent progress as I am only 4 months into my learning and I have already nearly completed my first client project using Twitter Bootstrap.

I have been making my way through The Odin Project which has been awesome so far since it uses free resources and teaches a full-stack approach. I am currently going through the JavaScript/jQuery course along with Duckett’s book but after getting my feet wet with Rails, I’m getting anxious to get back to building my Twitter clone via Hartl’s Rails Tutorial which is an excellent resource for learning Ruby on Rails.

Early lessons learned

Humility is your new best friend. Learning anything is a humbling experience, but I’ve never faced so many frequent challenges like I have while learning code. It’s common to get frustrated when frequently facing new problems and challenges, but turning the frustration into motivation will result in productivity. Look at every problem solved as a small victory but be prepared to face another challenge very soon. Take full advantage of Stack Overflow and the documentation for whatever language or framework you are working with. The solutions are usually a Google search away.

Find out how you like to learn. For example, I found that I learn best when coding along to a screencast so I can watch experienced developers in action. When following along with an online tutorial, I often find myself copy & pasting code snippets. While that’s quick and easy, it doesn’t always help me learn. When I follow a screencast, I am forced to hand code everything and double check my work, which commits it to memory and is good practice. Learning at your own pace is fun and rewarding.

Meeting people is easy. I started telling everyone I was learning web development and was surprised how I was able to make some useful connections. I got my first client through a family friend, completed the site for free in a timely manner and was able to pick up some more clients through his recommendation. Attend developer Meetups in your city, they are usually pretty friendly and welcoming of newcomers. The dev community is awesome and exciting to be a part of.

Most of all, love to code because its amazing to create things on the internet!