Two months ago I decided to take on the task of entering a class by Codecademy entitled “Freelance Website Development”. The scope of the class was to teach people that were interested in becoming developers all the skills they needed to do so in the time span of two months.
To me, this excited me to my core! I’ve worked at Nextfly for almost four years now and have dabbled in plenty of code throughout those four years, however; I still did not have the total knowledge of how to really build things from the ground up.
Quickly I began to learn how much time it really took to keep up with this course. The first week was HTML and learning the foundation of how to start your website. Sounded easy enough, right? I was excited! I was learning at a fast pace, having no problem keeping up and even finished things well ahead of their time frame. I even had enough time to sit back and write a blog about how it was going, documenting all that I learned and my excitement of more things to come.
The second week they threw in some CSS. Things still started off very easy, but quickly it started picking up into the unknown. Things became a bit more challenging to me, they took a bit more time than expected.
Week three hit me really hard. It was Command Line and Git. I was having so much difficulty getting my code to go up on my GitHub repository; my frustration grew more and more. I sought the advice of more than a handful of Codecademy advisors and found little to no help. After awhile, I took it into my own hands and Googled like crazy. I managed to learn how to do it and felt SO awesome about overcoming that obstacle.
Week four I got back to my happy place. I learned a little about display and positioning within CSS. A lot of their code I already knew so I felt like I was up and running again. Same with week six with responsive design and media queries. I had a great foundation in these two practices and was excited to keep moving along with ease.
Week six was one of my favorite weeks. We worked on debugging website designs and getting feedback from client with specs on colors they liked, fonts, sizes. All of these really hit home because we dealt with client feedback every day and had to lean how to make changes on the fly with colors and design elements.
Week six became a bit difficult for me. During the whole Codecademy class, my partner was working the night shift, allowing me the evenings free to do whatever I really wanted to do. This was perfect for me because each day my Codecademy course took about 2-3 hours of time to progress to the next day’s lesson. That meant, when I got home at 5pm, I would pretty much be busy until 8pm or even later than that. Well, week six my partner completed the night shift and went back to days. My time to focus on this class became full with trying to balance time with her. I was having a bit more complications with this, so I started heading into work early to try and keep ahead of schedule.
Week seven was the most complex. I had to take all that I learned the first six weeks and apply them to one big project. With that project, all I had was an image of a design with a few margins, dimensions, etc, but I didn’t have much. I didn’t have colors, font styles, font sizes, and more. I had to come up with all these numbers on my own. Also, during this week, they wanted me to keep learning at the same time was I was completing this project. They had lessons on Font Awesome, Accessibility and ARIA, and managing assets. All of these were really cool stuff that I wanted to learn, but I felt that too much was happening at once. I started to quickly lose my drive and my focus, being overwhelmed and frustrated. The course was really starting to take a toll on me.
I wish things were different for me. I wish I had more time. I wish I hadn’t been pushed to the point of a break, but I was. I need to find focus again, but at what cost? Stay tuned. We’ll see what’s to come.