Learning web development — My story

Learning the hard way

My name is Oscar-Timothy and I am a web developer, This sentence is one I’ve always wanted to use but never knew when I’ll ever have to or even get to. Trying to acquire a skill like this takes quite a lot of time and effort. I’ll take you through my journey and hope you pick up some pointers.

So I’ll start from how it all started, It was a cold morning, I sat and watched the sun rise from the east… I play too much, okay I’ll fast forward a little bit. We were about closing for the session in my second year and I was wondering what I’ll do with my time then I decided why not try web, after the semester ended a friend of mine told me he got a tutorial on web titled, “Web from beginning to end in 2 hours” . I was so excited, I was going to learn web in 2 hours and it didn’t seem like a challenge.

I got back home for the holiday with my most treasured property, The video that will make me start designing websites. The next day after I arrived, I got to work. I sat in the living room with my laptop playing the video and paying close attention. It was the first time I ever heard HTML, I was already feeling like a bad guy just knowing the full meaning of HTML. It was the longest two hours of my life it felt like it took me Eight hours to see the two-hour video. After the video, let’s just say I wasn’t a web developer which wasn’t the result i expected. It was disappointing.

I said to myself, “You can’t learn anything with just one material” so I went online in search of PDFs, I sought for things like; How to build a website, Steps in building a website, HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), CSS, Learning how to build a website very fast and so on. My point, I was clueless and didn’t know where to start. I successfully downloaded the PDFs for HTML and CSS from tutorialspoint. I started going through the about 400 pages of html, following all the examples and all, then I learned how to add images using the image tag. So I used corel draw to design something that was supposed to look like a web site and added the picture as the home page background. I just wanted to design websites, I wanted to be like my mates and be like those in the upper class.The image trick didn’t work(Obviously).

A week had passed, I finished the PDF on HTML and CSS and felt a little bit fulfilled but still couldn’t design a website so i went to one of the materials I had and it had this thing about planning your websites that is wireframing and all, I started researching and it was not easy, I initially thought all I had to do was see a two-hour video. The whole thing was getting complicated. I was to go on a vacation to the United States that period so I decided to continue when i get there.

I got to the states, It was a place where i found peace, had unlimited access to the internet and power which were like all i needed at that time. I continued my journey but this time I wasn’t that consistent, Don’t judge I was on vacation, I discovered YouTube might be the best way, so I followed along with a certain tutorial and completed a website. PS: I didn’t understand 85% of what i did there. I joined w3schools and started all over. I was not having this anymore, I was running in circles for over 2 months.

It was difficult, my brain couldn’t retain all the information, i had to recall so many things and memorize many and i hadn’t even gotten to JavaScript. I started learning JavaScript despite the fact that I wasn’t stable enough with HTML and CSS, this was war! I learned how to declare variables and use them but I thought to myself, “why was I learning that when I can’t design a website”. I guess I am a failure and a con-artist just a fake guy.

About two months had gone by, I couldn’t perfect HTML, CSS or JavaScript and I just found out about Node.js, AJAX, JSON, Angular.js, React.js and Vanilla JS. My head was on fire, what am I to learn next? Why can’t I design a website? If you’re going through this, know that it is normal and I did, I felt like a scam and lost confidence at some point.

I came back for the next session and faced school squarely but always had in mind that i was terrible at web design & development. I was just the ordinary guy and it was my third year in school. I read some stuffs and tried using the solo learn app and watch videos still on HTML and CSS but I couldn’t even remember the attribute that goes in the tags, I had changed IDE twice and didn’t know why. I really wanted to be good at this. At the end of the semester we were to embark on a 6 months internship. I went to the United States during this period again.

I got so serious with the study, Brushed up on the tools I needed, then went back to watching tutorials. I then came across a video that changed my life. The video was a web dev guide by Brad Traversy. Finally I had a guide, I was so happy that I knew what i was doing wrong and found where to start. I signed up for some courses on Udemy and followed religiously then i discovered why i could not build a website for the past one year learning Web development.

I NEVER TRIED, I was in a learning purgatory and wasn’t actually practicing. You learn so much and discover you are just learning.

Getting over that fear is the hardest and most necessary thing to do. so i started testing myself, learnt the hard way but the lessons are what shapes you.

The day you become a web developer is not the day you build the biggest app or the next Facebook but it is the day you put yourself to test. __Oscar-Timothy

It took great time to achieve it all but the result is worth it. Patience is key, Understanding and Research is the key holder. Everyone venturing into this should know it is quite an experience and is totally worth it. Some days you will feel down and wish someone could understand but just know it is a phase that leads you to greater heights.

What do you Need?

The first thing you need to ensure a smooth ride is guidance which will reduce the time spent and improve quality of knowledge. So find a guide, online or offline that will lead the path. The second thing will be drive, You might want to give up but know it is totally worth it. Finally you need to practice and build side projects, they don’t need to be perfect.

So this is part of my story. If you will love to, we can do this some other time 🙂

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