“And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.”– Meister Eckhart
Why Code Differently?
The start of any journey is usually a difficult one but the decision to take a leap of faith into the coding world is both scary and exciting to me.
2020 has been a year full of unpleasant surprises. There are so many scary things happening, much of which is out of my control that it is hard not to feel overwhelmed. The one thing that I can control is my own choices and I choose to focus on the future. If I have learned one thing this first week of class, it is that the coding world is my future!
This class isn’t the first time I’ve tried to jump into coding. I’ve had a growing interest in web development for years but it was kicked into overdrive in September 2017 while participating in relief efforts for the island of Dominica which was ransacked by the category 5 hurricane Maria. As the volunteer members of our organization, DARDA, began our work I realized how much better our campaign would be if we only had someone who could develop a more effective website and database for tracking donations.
A couple of years ago I decided to apply for a coding bootcamp. That attempt was unsuccessful despite the fact that I gave it my best effort. (I even declined an offer to go see Hamilton on Broadway because I was in the middle of studying for the assessment!) Despite that setback, I didn’t give up. I knew I still wanted to pursue coding. I started a CodeAcademy course and downloaded several coding tutorial apps to keep myself encouraged.
Then the Coronavirus happened. Like many others, I was out of work and stuck in the house watching the news with growing horror. I knew I wanted to keep myself focused on growth so I began to look for enrichment projects that I could complete virtually. While browsing FaceBook I came across a post by Governor Carney stating that Delaware would cover the tuition fees for those who wanted to start a new career in coding. I was so excited! These types of opportunities don’t come around often and I jumped at the chance to emerge from this pandemic with a brand-new start.
I researched the Code Differently website and was encouraged by what I saw. I was especially pleased to note that the organizers had created different program levels catered to the student’s experience level. I decided to take a chance and applied. Everything happened so fast. From the day I learned about the program to the day I learned I was accepted was only one week. I felt that this program would be a better fit for me than the previous one that I had applied to and I was eager to start.
A New Start
I started class last Monday with practically zero experience but I was determined to not fall behind. My fear was that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the rest of the class. The instructors all said that we would be working long hours and that we would get frustrated at times. Boy, were they right! I knew I would get frustrated at some point but I didn’t expect it to happen in the first week!
This past week I was spending a late night to complete one of the HTML Treehouse courses when disaster struck. I was almost finished with my Workspace task when my finger slipped and I deleted my index.html file. ? All of the work I had been doing through multiple videos was gone. I wanted to shut my computer down in frustration right then. Instead, I tried to find a solution. I tried to recover the data, researched the internet, and I reached out to my peers for help. In the end, I was able to find a workaround that helped me recover some of my info.
Even though I was frustrated this week I’m actually glad it happened. I learned a valuable lesson from the experience. I realized that even though learning to code is scary for me I can handle it if I just remain persistent and continue to search for answers.
There have been other moments this week when I have been stuck but now it doesn’t bother me as much. I even enjoy them a little because it’s rewarding when I finally work out the right answer and everything works. Now I just stay focused and ready.
I’m excited to see what else is waiting for me as I progress through this course. I’ll keep moving forward towards the day where I am working as a professional full-stack developer while using my skills to help non-profit organizations such as DARDA increase their visibility and assist more people. If DARDA can increase their donations they will be able to enrich the lives of so many Dominicans. Helping them accomplish that, being a part of that goal would be a wonderful beginning.