Reading Time: 2 minutes read
I have spent the past three years developing websites. I have been hired by clients ranging from startups to fortune 500 corporations. Yet, I don’t have any formal training as a computer scientist or digital designer. I went to school to study in a Liberal Arts program in the humanities. I read books on cultural theory, history, and adopted an obscure love for classical literature (Goethe I’m looking at you).
So why does this all matter? Well, like most people, I wanted to get on the band wagon of utilizing the immense power available today in the form of technology. I saw computers as the beginning, but instantly knew before smart phones that mobile technologies were offering amazing opportunities through widely distributed data networks. I wanted to use this, but I didn’t have any training. I think a lot of people around my age (and those who are not) have this feeling.
Deciding the front-end
I traverse the infinitum of blog posts being written on software engineering to find the rare nuggets of informative learning resources. I find myself attracted by titles to blog posts, but unable to comprehend the complex code blocks. Instead, I browse the (often Jekyll or Octopress) blog posts, only to read the commentary and skip of the code segments.
My greatest obstacle when reading code is that I’m feeling like I understand the code, but fail to absorb the lessons. Overcoming the mammoth that is learning to code by adopting good practices has significantly helped. I can confidently say, I am not good at learning over the internet or even teaching myself how to do “stuff”. Instead, I am good at identifying my faults in remembering and make up for it by creating processes that make me “fail forward”.
I know that I fail at absorbing coding concepts. I also know that I am good at learning from mistakes. I combine the two understandings about myself by forming a practice to force myself to fail at absorbing coding concepts by making guided mistakes. I do this without another teacher guiding me or a tutor.
Note: The term “Failing into the pit of success” was a term developed by a software developer at Microsoft.