Tag Archives: Motivation

How to keep motivated while learning to be a coder online

I work full-time, have a family, and other responsibilities – I know it’s challenging to learn online, but not sure if I can dedicate 20 hours a week to study. I’m motivated, need to keep it written on a wall and keep reading, “I want to be a coder or software developer or software engineer” but that’s not the motivation, it’s the “why” do I want to learn this stuff.

guy looking at codeFor some people it’s to better themselves, to get a better job. For some it’s to improve their economic position in what they already know. For others it’s something to do while waiting and for other it’s to learn enough so they can create that “idea” that they can’t afford to hire a developer to make for them.

For me, it’s a little of everything. Jobs come and go and computers and software, websites, programming will continue to be a need. If I lose my job tomorrow, it’s not the type of job that can easily be duplicated and I don’t want to return to the type of work I did before – social work – too draining.

I need to review my list of what I like about programming and what it could do for me, be a back-up when that job ends or to move on and contribute to any area of society that I would want to contribute to. The numbers of need is staggering. Do I have the brains to do it, yes, but the brain-power when mentally exhausted – that’s what I need to push through.

Some of my challenges is my varied interest and so many distractions – both online and in-person. That means I need to stick to a schedule and get those around me to honor my study time. I’m still working on the precourse work and if I can’t do that, it doesn’t make sense to apply for an expensive bootcamp and become more overwhelmed. I can do the work but when I get stuck on a problem it’s too hard to get info and I end up not going back for days, sometimes weeks to figure out a problem, cause let’s face it – life gets in our way. If you find you can’t make the time to do a precourse (I’m on learn.co which is good but not great when you need help as the other students are guessing like you are and only repeat the questions you are asking) – Considering Flat Iron’s online course is $1000/month and seems to fit best with my entry level experience – I may need to go back to codeschool and treehouse as that fits my schedule best until I can make the time to invest in a course.

In addition, now I know my options should I need to find another field of employment, I can attend a local Iron Yard for 12 weeks and get a student loan, AND get a job – that’s still 12 weeks plus job search of no income. It would happen either way but at least I would have an option, better than I can come up with now.

My answer to the question, “write down the why” and it keeps me going. If you don’t have a good list of why you’re studying this, you won’t keep going. Even if I don’t do a full-stack developer course now, I know that I’ll keep learning how to code as there’s so many options.



Summer code learning can still be fun’ get motivated!

You can learn to code anywhere.image

It’s summer and if you went to a traditional school in the U.S., you spent the whole school year waiting for summer break. Then after 13 years of conditioning, you were thrown into a cold dark place, a reality of work life that required you to work 8 hour shifts and maybe 1-2 weeks of vacation. Or if you were fortunate enough to go to college, you got an additional 4 years to put off reality of a 9-5 life and still get summer unless you had a plan to finish college in three years like some and kept going to summer school. No matter what you chose, college life was still a nice break from reality because you weren’t stuck with classmates and teachers for longer than 16 weeks in most cases. Unlike the 9-5 which unless you take a temp job, a job asked for a life commitment of the same bosses and coworkers until one of you screamed ‘uncle’ with your arm twisted behind your back looking for the next big opportunity.

Or maybe you really like your job but there’s always that sick feeling you could always be replaced by someone with better credentials or cheaper labor or better yet, a machine.

That’s part of why I’m learning to code, so I have something more I can contribute to my job and I can have additional skills should I get that call to my local HR where they call you into a room and give you the big thank you for your service talk, but we have to let you go. Or a family or other situation could arise which may make life easier to work from home to help care for family. Or your spouse gets transferred, or, or, or.

Right now life is ok. I believe it’s best to be prepared and I’ve always wanted to learn more coding than I have gotten by with with simple WordPress websites and database work. Even when I’m not learning from a site or have no internet I listen to audio books, classes or get this, read a book! I love learning lots of things, but even if you’re not naturally curious you need to write down your motivations for learning to code so you can keep moving forward. Of course somedays I’m mentally beat so playing a game of Code Combat is always fun and challenging while still learning to code.

So, no excuses, keep learning to code!