I walked hurriedly to the house, my heart beating with excitement. I was almost Jumping as I took my steps. That day was a glorious day indeed. I did it. I mean I finally did it. I created my first web page. It was terrible yes, but I didn’t know that and I didn’t care. I renamed the file to a .html file, embedded some photos and some links, and magically, just like those websites that I normally browse on, it all worked together.
As I arrived home I told my Dad. “Dad I can now build a website for that your business” boy how I remember that day.
Web Development was something I had been thirsting to learn for as long as I could remember and I finally got the opportunity after finding some great video courses online and discovering that I could do this without paying those large fees they charged in those training centers.
But little did I know what awaited me ahead. yes, we should always congratulate and celebrate ourselves for the little steps we make. But the thing is we should beware less those celebrations cloud the views of what lies ahead of us and prevent us from even knowing where and how to forge ahead cause we then believe “we have made it”
The weeks that followed that day was filled with so much stress. After calming down, I discovered that my page wasn’t as good as the ones I saw out there.
Then I heard about CSS and I spent weeks battling all those rules, floats, page layouts, and all the other tough things CSS had to offer (I am now primarily a backend dev by the way, had to run)
Fast forward 4 years and I could humbly beat my chest that I have made some significant progress but looking back and looking at the many upcoming people in my community, I saw some things that I believed would have made me achieve my goals faster and of course would make people in my community do the same.
One of those things is delayed gratification.
I was a big victim of this one. And honestly, I don’t blame myself that much. But if I should go back in time. I would have been a lot more patient.
If I compile the amount of time I have used searching, researching and applying for Jobs especially on the overcrowded, and almost scammish nature of the freelancing sites out there and used it in building myself, I believe I would have nearly twice the knowledge I have now, Twice the amount of proficiency in different languages and technologies and even sadly, far better Jobs.
But as I said I don’t blame myself. My laptop then was something else. It was a desktop (hope you know what I mean) and had a different number of issues. That stuff wore me down and I desperately needed cash.
Then there was also the power issue in my country and the high cost of data. All this stuff contributed to the desperation also.
I manage to be in a place where there was power and before going through a couple of tutorials, I am already out there looking for jobs, and as I said I don’t blame myself. I needed it. But if I had spent all those little time I could afford with my broke down laptop learning instead of looking for reasonable Jobs which never came, I surely would have been further down the road.
To all those upcoming, what I can say is learn, learn, learn. Someone in my community that has just finished and mastered a course I gave him would walk up to me and say “boy, I can now do those stuffs, it’s just to find Jobs that I can get done now.”
I would look at him and say, not yet Bro. take this other course and go through it or build something like this or that for me to review.
Maybe it could look as if I am discouraging them, but I really wish I could download all my experiences into their head before they go on that futile search.
That’s where a mentor really comes to play though. I didn’t really have any available for me when I was learning. cause the place I was, I didn’t even know someone else who was doing something similar and could help me. google.com was all I had and I thought it answered all my questions which it did. But if there was someone around that had gone throught the path I was going, I could have really gotten some shortcut and definite information. That’s another issue with the internet. There’s so much out there so sorting out what is best is actually the real deal.
And while google may answer all your questions, how are you sure you are asking the right questions.
So that’s it for delayed gratification. Don’t set so much high expectations to avoid dissapointments. The only high expectations somone upcoming should be setting are expectations on what to learn and gain great understanding of.
When it comes to salary and Job expectations, chill of on that one first. Until you are ready.
So how does one know if he/she is ready.
I would now move to the second item I wish to talk on.
Humble learning is the word i use. How can we know when we are ripe for certain actions say to seek out certain Job roles or to declare efficiency and a level of mastery in a certain technology.
Humble learning can help. Yes we should pride ourselves on what we have achieved but after that, we should also be able to know that there is still much to learn. This would help you to see clearly where next to divulge into.
I say this cause some people (even me some time ago) don’t even know what they don’t know. And that is just sad. When you don’t know something and you know you don’t know it, Great. You can work towards it.
But when you don’t know something and then you go about blindly without knowing that you don’t know it, then that is just sad.
And this really gave me some setbacks. Research everything there is to know about your chosen language including advanced concepts like OOP, project structure and architecture, best practices, unit testing, design patterns etc. master them and let them be at your finger tips cause these days in the tech industry. There are very little spaces for juniors and upcoming developers. Most firms are looking for those that have perfected their art.
Personally once I feel so comfortable that I have arrived, I remember that someone created this stuffs I am trying to master and someone is still out there creating the next best thing or defining the next best practice so I go out there and find something deeper to advance myself into cause there always is.
That moment when you are still proud of yourself (which everyone should be) you will not see all this clearly. it’s when you humbly seek what’s out there and what other advanced concept there is to know that you then realize that You have work to do.
I hope this helps some upcoming devs out there. Hope it helps me too, cause I have discovered and decided for myself through some hard experiences that I would ever be upcoming.