Questions While Coding...

As a new developer without a computer science degree, that doesn’t speak the language of development fluently — I often ask myself…what the hell does this mean and why is it so hard?

<h1><b>When</b> do I know if I know enough?</h1>

As you may or may not know, I am currently working on building my design & development resume. I am in a software development camp called Code the Dream and it wraps up in about 3 weeks. I am a graphic designer and web designer by experience (self-taught), so this is my first formal class in development. And…it’s going.

As I jump from YouTube video to YouTube video, looking for a way to merge my design skills with my coding knowledge with my community engagement experiences — it’s tough. Imposter syndrome shows up often because there aren’t a lot of “me’s” in this industry giving advice on getting into the industry. Straight men, sure. Black men, kinda. Black straight men who aren’t the typical “programmer bro”, not so much. (There are some, I’m exaggerating a little here.)

As a new developer without a computer science degree, that doesn’t speak the language of development fluently — I often ask myself…what the hell does this mean and why is it so hard? I reflect on many questions…such as the ones I’m having tonight:

Who do I think I am to try to be a developer?

At what point and time can I call myself a developer?

When you DO become a developer do you get a call from the secret service of coders and they invite you to the secret meeting to be deemed a developer? Maybe a email? Damn.

How can I blend design and code together?

Are there enough black people in these spaces for me to feel supported? How long will I last?

How can I leverage my network to get into a UI/UX role?

Should I start applying just to see if I can even land an interview?

Why does learning something new make me so insecure?

How long would I like to stay in my comfort zone?

Is the comfort zone working for me?

I find myself questioning my intelligence sometimes but I heard someone on the CodeNewbie podcast say “Don’t beat yourself up because code is hard. Nobody tells you that part. It’s not a question of whether you’re smart enough to get it…code is just hard.”

In the back of my mind, I realize that coding isn’t really that hard. I’m pretty intelligent and I’m a fast learner. It takes discipline, practice, and repetition like anything else. But look…the thing with code is — your code has to be a very exact way or else, the shit breaks. Nevertheless…I can create Hello World in HTML, CSS, Javascript, and React. I can also build web pages in HTML and CSS after designing them in Adobe XD. I’ve prototyped a couple apps that are in my portfolio now. So I’m learning. Some progress is some progress. Steps to the stage. Back to class Tuesday.