Conquering the Rapids

I believe I’ve entered an area of rapids!

Since the new year hit, I’ve been going non-stop. But not on the things I thought I would be. Hell, I didn’t think the water would be this frothy for a while to come. The last year or so has been full of stagnant water. Not just slow moving, but completely at a dead stop. There were times when I didn’t need my paddle to get moving. Sometimes, the paddle was forgotten or ended up floating alongside the boat, and there was the one time I cracked it in that ‘sword’ fight with the guy in the next boat. That was fun! But other times called for full on rowing, only to feel like I was turning in circles.

I’m not saying those circles weren’t useful to an extent, but they weren’t what I wanted. They made me lethargic, cranky, and depressed. I got a lot of reading done, but other than that, nothing was keeping my interest. Just wanting to start a project wasn’t enough to keep me motivated through it. Which is why although some things are being pushed to the side, I’m grateful for the rapids.

Full Speed AHEAD!!!

I mentioned a while back that I started learning web development through Free Code Camp. Well, that’s sorta been on pause. I love the site and direction and the projects that are lined up, so I’ll definitely be starting that back up. The issue was I need a little more depth and direction. I was able to stumble through a few of the projects, but the whys were bugging me. And when something’s bugging me, if the questions lead to an infinite loop of questions when I’m already depressed, then frustration sets in, right before I stop caring.

Turns out, right before the uncaring kicked my door down, Udemy had a $10 Christmas sale and because I just had to get myself a gift, I stumbled upon the Ultimate Web Designer & Developer Course (UWDDC for short). (Don’t worry; I’m not getting paid to advertise. I’m just happy I found it!) So from front to back, I had the who’s, what’s and why’s of the foundation. The very freaking thing that I needed, all in one convenient place!

I sat down, plotted a course 30 days out, and got to paddling. I’ve gotten behind schedule (who needs them anyway) and my arms hurt but I can’t stop now. I’m currently 65% done with the course and I can confidently code a page, both static and responsive, prettify with CSS and play with JavaScript and jQuery, all of which I was muddling through to figure out on my own.

*Time for a side note:
I in no way put down self-learning. I think it’s one of the best ways to learn, because you make mistakes and figure out what blew up and it sticks in your mind why one thing worked better over the other. However, I do believe that sometimes extra help is needed and condone getting this help. Learning to know when you need help is damn hard and pride becomes a nagging bitch, but just push it overboard. Yes, you can give it a life vest first… but only if you have extra.

Know your limits, make it a goal to push through them, but also know when you need help knocking down a dam to get the river going again.

I haven’t even had time to go on any side trips with how fast I’ve been moving. This is a good thing and I plan to keep up the momentum for as long as I can. Next steps are to:

  • Revamp my portfolio project started from FCC
  • Learn PHP, MySQL, Angular JS, and WordPress Plugins through UWDDC

In my waxing poetic about how water and technology can mix, I almost forgot to mention what’s at the back of the boat. I’ve started the computer science curriculum through Open Source Society University on Github. I’m not sure how far I’ll get in this, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to look at.

So, to continue:

  • Start with Intro to Computer Science and see how I progress

My bad, I didn’t mean to start an essay. I started out about depression and ended up gushing technology. Let’s blame it on fatigue from working to miss all the rocks.

On a sadder note, at this point last year, I’d already read almost 40 books off my never-ending to-read list. As it stands, I’ve just staggered my way through the 18th one. Just a little upset about that.

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