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Hello, world: a coding journey

Frederick Morin
August 27th, 2019 · 2 min read

Note: This post was originally authored in 2018, in a previous attempt at blogging. Much has changed since then. Soon after I wrote this, I got my first job as a software developer in a health and wellness platform startup where I worked for 6 months.

While I learned a lot, being a full time, on-site employee wasn’t what I was looking for with my software development carreer. I have found greater flexibility and satisfaction in my freelance work and nomadic lifestyle.

So that’s it for my 2019 update. Here’s the post as it originally appeared:

I’ve been learning to code for some time now. I started in technical college with C#. As unexciting as it sounds, I still got to learn the fundamentals and good practices of programming, but the college’s pen and paper approach to teaching computer science ultimately didn’t work for me, and I started looking for something else.

I ended up working for a bit, first as a techie, then in the insurance industry where I secretly wished to automate my job. And then I got to traveling.

After a year or so wandering, I realized I needed a way to sustain the nomadic lifestyle I had grown accustomed to. I did a bit of research (read: Googled “best remote jobs”) and noticed Web Development being a consistent top result.

I was convinced. Not only could I leverage my existing programming skills, I could end up freelancing my way to nomadic riches! I bought a laptop and started researching how I’d learn.

I did like most self taught developers out there and started working on some tutorials. I sprinted through freeCodeCamp’s challenges and stitched together a few projects on CodePen.

In this initial stage of learning to code, it can seem like everything is easy. Ticking off all these hand-holding lessons doesn’t require much effort, but it tends to instill an illusionary sense of knowledge.

When you’re about to start a real project, you realize how little you actually know. Through over-gamified learning, badges and achievements have become the measure of success instead of actual comprehension.

Don’t spend too much time on these tutorials. Learn just enough to get started, use freeCodeCamp’s map or any other learning path out there to choose projects and start building on your own machine.

After this first stint in web development, I continued going overseas, traveling and spending much time in meditation centers. But over time, I got into software development more and more. I spent consecutive months just practicing my craft. I practiced algorithms. I joined cohorts of aspiring developers. I built a bunch of projects. I created an online presence from scratch and I started attending events.

This blog is the next step. I have learned a lot on this journey so far, and I feel ready to help others by sharing what I have learned and what I will, in what I hope is a coherent writing style and clear language.

I’ll explain how I remember programming concepts and their details, even after some time out of the loop and I’ll share with you my insights, tips and tricks, so that you too can learn what I did.

Looking forward to seeing you around.

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