Millennial Coder: The New Journey of Self-Discovery through programming

It’s been a while since I have sat down to my MacBook to write something other than code. I was thinking about my journey over the past six months in terms of my new obsession – coding. The first thought that came to me had been, I should have chronicled this whole process from the beginning. My second thought following shortly thereafter led to the desire to just do it – share my journey from this point, the past, and onward.

I had been dating a wonderful man, Frank, who turned me onto the wonderful wide-world of programming. He is a Data Engineer himself, a full techvangelist on why people should consider investing the time to learn code to become programmers. His passion inspired me to make the change and transition in my own career. With his help curating a Trello board to create an educational pathway, I began my journey.

Hello World!

I fell in love.

It happens, the moment I really delved into the world of HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. I was smitten. Coding quickly became a staple obsession in my life. I jokingly call this period of my life the era of ‘Coffee, Coding, and Comedy’ wherein I live my life by the three C’s.

My main two avenues for learning all about the world of programming has been Pluralsight and Udacity. This is due in large part, to Frank’s knowledge and own love of learning. I like both learning platforms, they have their strengths and weaknesses. Pluralsight, much to their credit, has interactive lessons which allow you to work more hands-on with code. Often this leads to finished projects you can show off.

I definitely nerded out over creating a basic Blackjack game written primarily in JavaScript and some HTML. Like any project, the goal is to learn more and enhance your abilities. Recently, I revisited the Blackjack game to add more HTML and a smattering of CSS to make the game appealing to the eye. Like any programmer can attest to, code that once worked can suddenly stop working leaving you to sit and stare accusingly at your code to figure out where it went wrong. As frustrating as that may seem, it’s a great way to learn even more.

This past month, every Saturday in June, I spent four hours taking an Intro to Web Development class through a local organization called OK Coders. It’s a wonderful opportunity to gain knowledge and certification in Oklahoma. OK Coders has an OKC and Tulsa chapter. Most of the class solidified HTML and CSS I had already learned through Pluralsight and Udacity, but it also taught me things I had yet to learn or use – in the final portion of our class we were taught how to work with Bootstrap. Which presented its own challenges while using Bootstrap in my final project for the class – a website featuring several key elements.

I decided to continue on with the next module offered Intro to Programming, which will focus on JavaScript. I am really looking forward to these classes. I am a fan of continual learning and encourage anyone with a passion for learning new skills to give programming a try.

To Code or Not to Code

If you have gotten this far, the answer for me is to Code. Ultimately, this has been a journey of self-discovery. I have learned things about myself and what I truly want for not only my future but that of my children. I could go on in detail about personal things in my life, but in all honesty, it’s so much bigger than that.

I found my passion return to me after feeling lost and set adrift for the past couple of years. While the dating realm of my life has come to a halt as I continue on this new journey of programming, I find that there is a lot in life that I do and do not want. A large chunk of that is, I want to create. I want to make something that will be used by others. I can do that in programming.

It is easy to pretend to have all the answers, but I think the real key to this weird thing called life is to remember that learning new things will only make your life better. I highly encourage you to do some research, try out free classes on various coding languages and topics. Talk to a programmer, you may know a couple of them – I have no doubt that they will be eager to connect you with programmer groups in your area. Feel free to reach out to me for more information and resources – if you are in the Oklahoma City area check out the OK Coders site and Techlahoma.

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