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I’ve been meaning to learn how to code for a long time but have always found an excuse to put it off. Then the pandemic struck, completely upsetting my plans. If I was serious about learning, this was the perfect opportunity. My second 30-day challenge had arrived.

I moved from being a complete newbie who had no idea what a programming language was to a budding developer who was getting comfortable with constructing landing pages using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript in 30 days. In the following tweet, I summarised my learning-to-code experience.


Identifying My Why

So, why did I decide to devote a month to learn how to code? While some people are motivated to learn programming in order to “become rich,” there are a variety of additional reasons why I or anyone else would want to learn how to code.

Among the most popular reasons are:
>>> Finding a Developer Job
>>> Creating your own products
>>> By automating chores, you can work more effectively.

However, I chose to learn to code for a different purpose. I wanted to strengthen my logical thinking skills. And, at its root, programming is nothing more than learning how to reason logically. There is no subjectivity in a programme; it is designed to determine whether something is true or false. Either your programme works properly or it does not.

In addition, I wanted to develop a talent that would help me in other aspects of my life. If learning to code can retrain my brain to think more logically, it will most likely boost my capacity to solve problems outside of the digital realm.

“Approach learning without preconceived notions, prior judgment, or a fixed viewpoint. See things exactly as they are just as a child would.”
— Andy Hunt

Overcoming Self-Doubt

Learning to code has been something that has piqued my attention for over a year, but I kept putting it off. Every time I felt now was a good moment to start, the voices in my head would give me a new reason not to. The logic behind the justifications varied, but they all pointed to one thing: me.

Recognizing the voices in my thoughts for what they were: empty excuses, compelled me to take action. I took my time confronting each one until I had no option but to begin. Here’s how I did it so you don’t make the same mistake I did.


What Did I Discover?

After overcoming my self-doubt, I focused on what I would be learning over the next 30 days. I chose a guided course so that I could devote all of my attention to coding rather than wasting time on what to learn next. After doing some preliminary research and consulting with a buddy, I decided on the Codecademy Web Development course.

Because it began with the essentials of programming: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, the Web Development course was ideal for a total newbie like me. The course introduced me to the world of programming while also giving me the skills needed to become a front-end or back-end developer.


HTML Training
The first three days of the challenge were spent learning the fundamentals of HTML. HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language, for those who are unfamiliar. It is the most fundamental building block of the Internet. When you visit any website or app, it dictates the meaning and organisation of the content you read.

HTML annotates text, images, and other content shown in a Web browser with “markup.” HTML markup includes special “elements” like head>, title>, body>, header>, footer>, p>, div>, image>, ul>, and many more. The “tags” of an HTML element consist of the element name surrounded by “” and “>.”

HTML is fundamental in part because of its hypertext function. Clickable connections that connect Web pages to one another, either within a website or between websites, are referred to as hypertext. It’s easy to miss linking information, but it’s one of the Web’s essential building components. It’s difficult to picture a Web where the only method to get to different material was to directly look for it in the search box.

If a Web page, such as this blog entry, were a house, HTML would be its foundation and wood frame. It provides the structure of the house and determines other aspects such as size and shape. While most people would recognise a wood frame as a house right away, it is far from finished in this day and age. The materials that make the house unique are absent.

CSS Training
After learning HTML for the first three days, I spent the next three days learning the fundamentals of CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets. CSS is used to style your website by customising specific HTML components individually. CSS is commonly used to edit text and change the layout of web page content.

Text can be styled by modifying its characteristics such as font type, size, colour, boldness, italics, line and letter spacing, drop shadows, and other elements.

CSS also allows you to change the layout of your web page. To understand how CSS can be used to update a web page, you must first understand that each HTML element is contained within a box known as the “box model.” Each box is made up of margins, borders, padding, and the actual content, all of which may be customised to your satisfaction.

To continue with the house metaphor, CSS refers to the materials that give a house its style, such as the paint colour chosen, the type of flooring utilised, and the trees and bushes put in the front yard. While you don’t need these things to own a home, it wouldn’t be very desirable in comparison to the other houses in the neighbourhood.

JavaScript Training
After studying the basics of HTML and CSS, I spent the rest of my challenge learning JavaScript and integrating it with the other two languages. JavaScript is a computer language (HTML and CSS are markup and style languages, respectively) that may be used to make your website interactive.

JavaScript allows you to create a variety of applications such as browser games, web servers, graphic animations, and much more. It works by allowing you to store meaningful data inside variables, perform actions on text strings, and run code in reaction to certain events (mouse click, mouse scroll, etc.).

It wasn’t until I started learning the principles of JavaScript that I realised how much could be accomplished by knowing how to code. It was also the first time I had difficulty grasping some of the concepts. My second learning curve began when I began to learn how to think logically.

While HTML and CSS were simple to grasp once I learned the syntax, JavaScript required me to comprehend both its syntax and logic in order to solve an issue. It is about determining whether something is true or false and determining how to arrive at a solution with the fewest steps necessary.

To complete the house metaphor, JavaScript would represent the “guts” of the house, providing functionality. The electrical, HVAC, and plumbing systems are what make modern living so comfortable. You could still have a nice house without it, but you wouldn’t have A/C, wouldn’t be able to take a shower, and couldn’t even wash the dishes. The house would simply be a “dumb” building devoid of usefulness.

Obtaining Motivation to Begin

To be honest, learning to programme, like learning to speak Spanish or play an instrument, takes real effort and demands some suffering before it becomes enjoyable and potentially rewarding. But going through life constantly attempting to avoid suffering is pointless. Either you will face the short-term pain of imposed discipline or the long-term sorrow of regret and disappointment.

All of this is to suggest that if learning to code is something you’ve been thinking about but have been putting off, like me, you need to find a method to get started. I recommend starting with a 30-day challenge to break down what appears to be a massive endeavour into something achievable. If, by the end of the 30 days, you find it’s not for you, you may at least be happy that you gave it a shot.

A 30-day challenge is fantastic for committing to learning something new, but you must also have realistic expectations. If you begin as an absolute newbie, like I did, you cannot expect to be a full-stack developer by the end of the month. Learning to programme is difficult and time-consuming. However, if you use those 30 days to sponge up as much as possible and develop a regular coding habit, success is unavoidable.

If you’re ready to get started but aren’t sure where to start, I propose you have a look at our Web Development course here at Singapore Coding Club. It’s ideal for introducing you to the world of programming while simultaneously teaching you how to construct your own development path. You may grab a free trial here on our website to help you get started on your coding adventure even faster.

Have fun coding.

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