A new blog vision

Friday, May 8, 2020

self-taught python programming

Where have I been? 

If you've ever read my blog, then you know that I have been MIA for a long time here. Life happened. In the time I was away, I wrote, freelanced, and thought about where I was really heading in my career. 
Sometimes life takes you in a different direction you never saw yourself going but it turns out to be the best road you've ever taken. 
This post is basically about the new direction I'm taking. 

I started the keen woman blog in 2019 because I wanted to share my writing, get better at my craft and just enjoy the fulfilment that comes with doing something I love. 
I have had my own share of rejections and episodes of self-doubt. It's all part of the how-to-be-a-writer package. I eventually got tired of the rejections, which I assume is mostly rooted in the subjectivity that comes with writing. Not everyone will like your work. I adore Ms Adichie yet I know people who think she is overrated. That's subjectivity speaking there. 
What am I up to? 
I discovered David Goggins on YouTube this year and became a huge fan. He embodies the fact that we are all capable of living at a higher level and that every human being is engineered with the ability to do so much more than they think capable. But not many people are willing to stretch themselves, to see just how much more they can become. From quitting his dream of becoming a paramilitary officer to becoming a cockroach exterminator, and then to becoming a respected retired US Navy SEAL, David Goggins has taught me that there is so much we humans can become if only we put in the work. 
I set up this blog myself. I bought the template and domain name, read a ton of articles online, stayed up late at night to fiddle and customize this blog to my liking and even started learning a bit of HTML just to get comfortable with blogging. This learning, this searching out of information brought me to an unlikely place—the esoteric world of programming. 
I know now that there's nothing esoteric about computer programming. I would not have imagined developing an interest in a computer other than what I regularly use it for. But then trying to start a blog sparked my curiosity in programming and I wanted to see if this was something I would like to pursue. 
I talked about David Goggins because listening to him opened me up to the fact that we can do more—that we can be more. With my newly found curiosity, I bounded up to YouTube to find out what it would take me to become a computer programmer. 
Lucky for me I watched a video by Mosh Hamedani. In the video, the key things he said one needed to become a programmer were focus and determination. A CS degree wasn't necessary. A master's degree wasn't a requirement.  I didn't have to be a math wiz or a super genius to become a programmer.  Focus and determination were enough. And I believed him. 
And with this belief, I started my journey to become a programmer. I did the most basic of Google searches. What is programming? How to become a programmer, beginners? What language should I pick? And so much more. 
New dreams / New goals
From an abundance of Google searches, I settled on learning python as my first programming language because everyone described it as “beginner-friendly.” 
So I have been learning python. There are periods when I slack on my journey but I always remind myself that this is doable. I just need to focus and stay determined. 
To keep myself accountable to my new goal, I have decided to create blog posts about the projects I work on. I'm working through Al Sweigart's book: Automate the boring stuff with python. I'll be making posts on the projects I work on from the book and other projects as well. 
With a new goal comes a new vision for my blog. Human beings are dynamic and it's only normal that this blog should reflect the changes in my life. 
Staying motivated 
You know how Nigerian soldiers at NYSC camps ask corp members if they are motivated? The reply is always—Motivated. Motivated.. Motivated… Only if it were that easy to stay motivated. 
Sometimes burnout happens. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by what I don't know and how much I need to cover to become job-ready. 
I'm self-teaching myself even with the constraints of raising a demanding toddler. I don't have as many hours as people in boot camps and the like. Still, I know this is doable and I make myself put in the work as much as I am able. 
Main things I do to stay motivated:
Read other people's success stories: I always seek the stories of people who have embarked on the self-taught route and have succeeded. I especially like Phoebe Voong-Fadel's story of how she went from being a stay-at-home mom of 2 kids to becoming a front-end web developer. 
Tracking my study with habit tracker apps: I use Habit bull for Android to keep track of days I code and the app's streak feature encourages me to stay in the study loop. I also use Focusmeter for Android. It's a Pomodoro count-down timer that really helps me get in the focus-mood.
So that's it for this post. In subsequent posts, I'll post projects I'm working on. I would love to get to know other people taking this journey. If you are also on this journey, let's be friends. Send me a mail at [email protected]


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