Standing at the crossroads #100DaysOfCode #RD1D22

Today I completed the free course on JavaScript by Gordon Zhu ‘Practical JavaScript‘.

I gotta just say that this course has been the most inspirational and motivational course on learning to code I have ever taken, and I have taken many, not to mention that I did a Masters in Digital Media, while on a very similar path – trying to become a programmer.

What next?

The course has been so inspired but I dropped off at the end in terms of comprehension as we got into some of the more advanced topics that are going to be discussed in detail in his premium course, I did however complete my first JS app… as ugly as it is (see above lol).

But having finished it, I’m really stuck trying to figure out my next move.

Trying to decide on a pathway

Clever guy this Gordon, really has lived and breathed the whole pathway to learning how to become a programmer so it makes him really believable and relatable. Somehow he seems to know what you are going to say next, so right at the end of his free course, as the Congratulations message he hits you up with this video.

Gordon tells it like it is…

So I jumped into his Premium Course content from the link and started to flick through the links and found a series of ‘Talks’ at the end of his premium content that were free and accessible… where he gives a firsthand account of how NOT to learn…

Why the crossroad?

It might seem obvious to you, I should just sign up and take the fucking advanced course right? Yup, I probably know that to be true, but take a look at this for a minute.

The current state of my Udemy dashboard
The current state of my FreeCodeCamp dashboard
I kid you not, not even HALF of the books I ordered and printed out at Officeworks trying to figure out what to learn, when and how.
The book I read at night time when I can’t sit in front of my laptop anymore.
The courses I have finished on WPMUDEV

So you might have noticed there is definitely a THEME here… pardon the pun…. haha… get it, WordPress? Theme?

Oh never mind.

So when I first started this seriously in the very early stages of January (yeah that’s right it was my New Year’s Resolution) I said to myself that this year, 2018, was going to be THE year that I learnt how to well and truly develop unique WordPress Themes that I could sell on ThemeForest.

Ever since I worked there and had a taste of the kinds of success that really good developers can have, I have been super excited about the possibility of one day publishing my own WordPress theme, and with everything I know in terms of copywriting, marketing and the actual Marketplace itself, I think I have a good crack of creating a very real passive income out of it.

But I am so far behind, and the market is changing… and I have so much to learn before I will be ready. I mean just look at the cruddy Theme I developed following the Udemy course. I mean it’s ok but it isn’t my design, not even my wireframes or HTML/CSS not to mention the JS doesn’t work.

So I keep flip flopping back and forth between these three or four resources. 

And yet, Gordon and his completely free Practical JavaScript course is the only one that has actually really made a big impact on my learning even though I did get lost in the end I am definitely going to go back and rewatch some of his content again to really sink those lessons in. I mean, I had some of the biggest AHA moments on my coding journey so far with his teaching so I think it just makes sense to continue with him.

Although I have all these other great resources sitting there in Udemy, particularly the really well endorsed/reviewed fullstack course by Andrei Neagoie that I am super keen to take as well.. I just feel like Gordon has the knack.

Too many of these other supposed ‘instructor lead’ online courses simply fallback to Google this and Stack Overflow that.. and it’s just not a good way to learn. I get so frustrated when almost every tingle lecturer has used that technique I almost immediately quit (and Andrei did it in one of the 40 lessons I watched in FFWD which was disheartening).

Brad Schiff and his WordPress Developer course has been the second best teacher in terms of having actually learnt stuff, but sadly he is just nowhere to be seen on the Q&A sections and hasn’t answered a single question when I have been seriously stuck with either a technology he has recommended (gulp…ugh) or a core component of the code isn’t working as explained (as detailed on my first ever Stack Overflow question)

The way forward

So when I get seriously stuck like this with a decision I tend to stop and start writing like I am now, it helps me flesh out the concerns and think about what to do next, and I enjoy writing, plus it helps me keep in touch with WordPress as I am testing out the Gutenberg Plugin as a publisher so I am familiar with the inner workings before I get to work out the development side of it.

I think it is pretty clear I should stick with Gordon and take his Premium course right now, after all Mullenweg did say ‘Learn JavaScript deeply‘ albeit that was 2015.  And JS is at the core of most excellent WordPress Themes….

It’s Friday, I have work over the weekend so I will just take some timeout, play with some of the lessons on FCC and sleep on it, decision to be made Monday.

Until there, here are a bunch of resources I have found, recommend and am using in case you are interested.

Resources

Below are a series of great resources that I have found along the way that might be helpful to you if you are trying to learn how to code too.

  • Watch and Code – sign up for free and learn the foundations, hands down the best course I have taken to date.
  • How to be great at asking coding questions – Gordon’s article on Medium that was like a slap in the face with a Cod. The slap I really needed.
  • Watch and Code review – a user wrote up a really great review that seems independent to me and covers exactly what you need to know if you have doubts.
  • MDN – Mozilla Developer Network. THE essential resource place for any developer.
  • Glitch – a web app that lets you program, save and run your software as you write it.
  • Plnkr – the first web app you start with, just a bit clunkier.
  • Dev.to – online community, not sure about it yet but some great reading at the very least.udem
  • Sketchize – free wireframing sheets to download and print out

NB – I was going to list a bunch of other tutorial sites and places that I have been on since I started back in January but really, they don’t matter. You know of them most likely, Udemy, FreeCodeCamp, Udacity, Exercism, TreeHouse, Lynda blah blah blah… they all take your money and they will all teach you something, but how much do you really want to learn?

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