Thanks to social media and the rise of intensive boot camps, it is easy to have an expectation of becoming a developer within a short time when I first started. I won a scholarship into a local coding boot camp around Dec 2020, dreaming of breaking into tech. However, this turned out to be not as easy.
I soon found myself overwhelmed by the full-time learning schedule because of my part-time job and health issues. From someone who was very confident, I began to fall behind. I managed to finish the frontend section, but eventually gave up when it came to backend and database. I was drown in self-sabotaging. I decided to drop the course. I thought coding was not for me. The funny bit is that I still get updated with recent tech news on a daily basis. I still daydream of making aesthetic and user-friendly websites for animal lovers and educational organizations. Soon, my school shut down due to Covid and I've become temporarily unemployed. Instead of panicking, I'm eager to get back to coding again. Somehow, this is blessing in disguise.
What I'm doing differently this time:
Reflect on what I have done well and what needs improving. Now I don't rush. I take baby steps, making sure I understand the concepts and get lots of practice.
Have a goal. In my case, I want to make a website displaying pets in the neighborhood. I started off with front-end layout while learning again how to write API and connect database. I haven't finished the project but I know I'll become a full-stack developer by working on it.
Magic happens outside of my comfort zone. I'm an introvert, so I find it hard to talk to strangers on Twitter. Plus, devs on Twitter seem to prefer networking with those coming from the same region or from EU/USA. I don't give up. Learning to code should not be a lonely journey, though. You don't know what you don't know. Like-minded people help me learn faster with tutorials and inspiring tweets. I reached out to a few devs for advice and they're very supportive. One day, I ended up finding my mentor on Twitter who is very dedicated and resourceful.
Embrace confusion. Coding is totally different from what I've done before. There are days I see no significant progress in my work. Without my boot camp tutors, I struggle making things from scratch. But that's ok. One year ago, I could not write a single line of code. I highly recommend this article about why coding is so damn hard so that you won't beat yourself up when getting stuck.
Have fun along the way. Last but not least, life is too short to pursue anything I don't enjoy. I've been through ups and downs with coding but I always get back to it. I guess I must love debugging a lot LOL. There are many people transitioning to tech but there are also lots of devs leaving the field. At the end of the day, no matter what career we pursue, without passion, we'll soon find high payment is never enough.
In short, boot camps are not for everyone. Quitting a boot camp does not mean we're a loser. “Failure shows us the way—by showing us what isn’t the way.” ― Ryan Holiday To continue or to stop is a matter of choice and I believe there's never a wrong choice.
Feel free to connect with me via Twitter 😄