Hey guys, back for round two. Last time I wrote about how I came to want to learn how to code and a little bit about the route I took to get to where I am now. Now I’d like to look a little bit at some of the differences between a platform like freeCodeCamp and “The Web Developer Bootcamp” course I’m taking on Udemy.com.
I’ll get straight to the most significant difference for me, “the how/why” that an actual course provides. I was able to get through a lot of material on freeCodeCamp, and I really did learn quite a bit, but it was mostly stuff that I could kind of figure out myself by doing a little bit of reading. It was the concepts that I struggle with regardless of having read about them or not that I think makes the difference in that extra “how/why” that you can get with a good course like “The Web Developer Bootcamp” taught by Colt Steele.
Now I will put this out there, “The Web Developer Bootcamp” the first course I had ever paid to take, but it was good enough in my mind to jump on the next course that Colt put out “The Ultimate MySQL Bootcamp”. I do plan on learning backend development as well once I get proficient with frontend and get some good experience under my belt so I figured that I should at least enroll in the course while it was affordable.
Having all that said, knowing the “how/why” of what I am doing I have found is pretty crucial in my real understanding of what I am learning. And from my work as a Flight Mechanic in the USCG, I have figured out that the more I understand the “how/why” the longer I will remember it and the better I will be able to work with it. Straight forward memorization doesn’t do it for me if I really want to be good at something, which is something that I am having to keep in mind when learning to code.
This cuts two ways. First I have accepted that coding languages are so vast and complex that I can not expect to learn the “how/why” every step of the way before moving on to the next. I have to accept that I am not going to understand every little bit of what I am doing all the time. That is really hard for me at times. I end up going down rabbit hole after rabbit hole trying to “completely understand” something before moving on to the next one. As anyone that has tried to learn a programming language knows, this will get your head spinning and quick.
The second cut that this makes is that there are certain things that you really do need to know the “how/why” of. The little things. For example, the difference between things like in-line and block elements in HTML. Without really understanding this, and yes I understand that this is really really basic but it illustrates my point, you could end up chasing your tail and wasting valuable resources, mainly time and mental energy.
Learning to code is a lot like living life (I know, I’m about to get way too philosophical here, deal with it). There is a delicate balance that you need to maintain in order to progress. Focus on learning and understand the basics first before you move on to the bigger and more complex things it has to offer. Without the base knowledge and experience you can’t really appreciate the complex. When I was in college I started out think that Budweiser was heavy and too much for me, and it was at the time, I had never been exposed to anything but light beer and cheap whisky. As time has pasted I have developed a knowledge and appreciation for far more complex and flavorful brews and whiskies. I’m taking the same approach with coding as I did with developing my beer and whiskey palettes. I’m getting an acclimation for the basics now so that I will be able to better understand and appreciate the complexities of the more advanced technologies when I get to them.
I know this went a little askew from the original topic but I like where it ended up, and I hope you did too. If you have anything you want to hear my take on don’t hesitate to let me know, I like hearing from the coding community.
~Until next time, Squatch Out~