I began coding in 2019 and here’s what I’ve learnt from the struggles I encountered.

Fasasi Sherif
6 min readJan 9, 2023
Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

A little backstory about me — I’m a frontend developer, would still call myself a noobie. I started coding in November 2019. Then, I was learning HTML on Sololearn (I believe I completed their Html course within a month), went on to Sololearn’s Css course in December (which I also believe I completed in a month) . By January 2020, I went on to Javascript.

It’s still a shock to me, that till now, I still can’t wrap my head around Javascript. But can you guess why I still have problems with JavaScript?

I was waiting for motivation.

Now, with the introduction out of the way, that leads us to the purpose of this write-up…

1. ) Don’t wait for motivation / passion, look for a different motivation:

Photo by Zach Vessels on Unsplash

We can say looking for motivation is exaggerated, hyped or overrated. All praise is due to Allah.

Motivation pushed me through Html and Css, but it didn’t work for Javascript, though it worked in the early stages when I was learning Javascript.

I kept waiting for motivation to practise my Javascript and coding generally. Some days I had motivation, opened my laptop, sketched the idea on paper or Figma then began coding. After writing somewhere around 10 lines of Javascript, I hit a road block. Opened Youtube, saw a tutorial, watched it, understood it, followed it, coded it and ran it. It works.

However, I start the project afresh and I hit another roadblock. This time a different one. Just a few lines after the previous one. Frustration fills my chest. How come I understand the code but can’t just replicate it? I seeth with anger. It’s not an easy feeling. I try to push through, obstacles after obstacles. corrections after corrections, until I just can’t. I close my laptop for the day. The next day I know I should code but I remember the feeling of anger I had felt. Then I postpone it — smiles.

The day I finally return to it, the same thing happens. This as been the cycle since January 2020 up till recently. The difference now is that I’m forcing myself to code a little everyday — though this hasn’t been steady.

Even so, there are different things that have contributed to my lack of progress in learning Javascript. But this is one of the major ones.

That being the case, waiting for the feeling to code before coding is a waste of time. Rather, one should look for a different motivation — Suppose you earn $1000 / month, would you still reside in your parents house?

Or do you want to buy some things but both you and your parents can’t afford them?

Or do you want to invest in real estate or cryptocurrency or something else but can’t afford it financially?

Or perhaps you want to marry and fulfill half of your deen as a muslim, still no money?

Or do you want to stop requesting money from your parents?

Or perhaps you want to assist them?

Or did your parents have a health challenge that could have been solved faster and then it became a problem because they couldn’t afford it financially, and you don’t want the same fate for yourself?

Those are some of the motivations one can use apart from relying on passion that should want you to take your coding profession more seriously.

The motivations I think work for me are the fact that I want to cease living in my parents house and I don’t want to have an health issue where I would have to run helter-skelter looking for money. I want to also support myself and them.

Consequently, look for an alternative motivation that could force you to work, so you can think of them when you don’t feel like practising.

2.) Small consistent steps:

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Taking small consistent steps is far better than big irregular steps. Start small enough to be consistent. You might think that this would make reaching your goal take a long time, but as time goes on, when you get used to the small steps, you can increase them little by little overtime.

For me, I’ve tried this but it didn’t work. So I want to reduce my steps while maintaining consistency, hopefully that works. The point is, small steps (even if very small) that are consistent is far better that big inconsistent steps.

However, this strategy won’t work for goals with very small deadlines. So you would have to take big chunks of steps maybe regularly to meet the deadline.

I should also add that if you take this advice and you miss some days that you’re supposed to practice, it doesn’t matter. Just try your best to correct it as soon as possible.

3.) Inability to afford paid courses:

Photo by Daria Nepriakhina 🇺🇦 on Unsplash

So I used to struggle with this one, but I found very cheap courses on Udemy. Prior to that, the courses I found were expensive like “beginner Javascript” by Wes Bos, “The Creative Javascript course” by Dev Ed, “The complete Path to Javascript Mastery” by Adrian of Javascript mastery Youtube channel, “Watch and Code” by Gordon Zhu, etc.

Udemy courses are cheaper, like $5 dollars or so. I can save the money over the course of a few weeks.

Therefore, Udemy can be your go-to if you can’t afford other courses. Furthermore, if you can’t afford Udemy courses, you can use free ones. It’s usually better to use premium courses.

4.) Comparing yourself with others:

Photo by Jerry Wang on Unsplash

Sometime ago, I watched a video on Youtube about the Iceberg illusion of success. I’ve tried looking for this video but couldn’t find it.

So this iceberg illusion of success is talking about how people on the success of an individual but forget about the series of hard work that went into producing that success.

Thus what I tell myself is all these hard work and practice that I put in is part of all those hard work that comes before the success. If Allah wills, success would come sooner than I expect.

Hence, we realise that, if we want to compare ourselves with others, then let’s put into account all the hard work the person has done.

5.) Not having a mentor:

Photo by Magda Lukas on Unsplash

Not having a mentor doesn’t mean you wouldn’t be able to actualise a dream of yours, it means it’ll take a longer time because you’ll make many mistakes.

And I fell into this problem. But as of recently, I began asking people around to know how to improve at this frontend development of a thing.

Part of the points I mentioned earlier like “Don’t wait for motivation / passion” and “Taking small consistent steps” are things that someone explained to me.

So having a good mentor cannot be emphasized enough.

These are not all I want to share with you today, but my writing has become long. If Allah wills, I’ll mention the rest as time goes on.

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Fasasi Sherif

A striving muslim and frontend developer seeking to improve my daily life and that of others through writing.