How to hang in there: 4 lessons from a self-taught developer and solo-founderFeatured

KadieOkwudili's profile thumbnail
As someone who is just beginning their “learn to code” journey, this is incredibly encouraging. I also struggled with the not even knowing what to google conundrum when I started my company. It’s not something I think gets talked about enough.
asebold's profile thumbnail
Absolutely. Best of luck on your journey!
sophiehebdidge's profile thumbnail
Happy to send you some learning to code recommendations if you are up for it!
paddy's profile thumbnail
I am please! If you could kindly share!Many thanks in advance!
Jolleen's profile thumbnail
Could you please send it to me too? Thanks
KadieOkwudili's profile thumbnail
Yes I’d love that, thank you!
sophiehebdidge's profile thumbnail
Hey Allison,This is so great to hear your story! I am so inspired by people being able to teach themselves to code - from someone who went down the university route.So true about the osmosis effect of communities, I've never thought of them like that.
asebold's profile thumbnail
Thanks Sophie :) Glad you enjoyed it!
lolaojabowale's profile thumbnail
Love this so much. Thanks for sharing your journey ❤️
mollyashby's profile thumbnail
Thank you Allison for sharing your story! I’m currently on a self-learning journey and your insight on not needing ‘rockstar’ skills for an entry level job is very helpful.
asebold's profile thumbnail
Glad to hear that :)
krizza's profile thumbnail
Thanks for sharing this, it's definitely very inspiring!
SamanthaB's profile thumbnail
Thank you for sharing this. I'm on the journey of trying to determine my next chapter after 25 years of being in a paid job. I love the 'comparing against my past self', it's so right. I've often dabbled with coding and then stopped and given the no-code revolution today I've thought there could be better things to do with my time but I'm curious to know which language/ course did you emabrk upon?
asebold's profile thumbnail
Hey Samantha, when I started out I was learning HTML, CSS, JavaScript and PHP on code academy. I think I used some resources from treehouse too. That was in 2013-2014 though. There are many more equally as good resources today. I'd say PHP has also fallen out of favor some and React, Node, Python and Ruby are probably better places to start.
TefiSaravia's profile thumbnail
Hey Allison! Thanks for sharing your experience! I started taking coding lessons a few months back and finding a dev job really seems impossible, your advice is really encouraging and I just signed up for your Getadevjob newsletter :)
asebold's profile thumbnail
Awesome! Yeah, finding your first job as a self-taught dev is a grind, but totally worth it. Feel free to reach out if you have any feedback on how to make the newsletter more useful for you!
This is definitely helpful. I’m more than two years in with a very long detour due to a health challenge that I’m only beginning to understand. The pacing thing has been so hard for me. I can compulsively compare and feel like I’m less than. My first things first is to get my health is a good enough place that I can start small again and build from there.
asebold's profile thumbnail
Absolutely. Comparing yourself to others is such a vicious cycle. There are so many factors to take into account, it's impossible to accurately measure your success against someone else's. Hope you find a good pace for yourself and start feeling better!
MollieFleury's profile thumbnail
Hey Allison - thanks for sharing! I love that you share your monthly metrics on your blog as well. 😊Out of curiosity, how long did it take you to learn coding on the side before you were ready to start applying to jobs?
asebold's profile thumbnail
Thanks Mollie! I started applying about a year after I started studying. It took almost a year before I got a job though. So from start to finish, for me it took about two years to learn to code and enter the industry.
viktoriia's profile thumbnail
Thanks so much for sharing your story, Allison! You mention you relied on good communication as one of your strengths. Could you elaborate on what that entails in the context of learning to code and becoming a developer? Any specific examples you could make?I also find that bit particularly relatable where you’re telling about how you went from not knowing what to google to asking better questions. What else did you do to bridge that gap except finding the right people to ask for help?
asebold's profile thumbnail
Good communication was one of the skills I emphasized when applying/interviewing for jobs. It can be as simple as keeping your team members in the loop by writing documentation, commenting code, talking out loud while collaborating, or just shooting them an email. At it's crux, it's about making sure everyone is on the same page and being agreeable to work with (aka, don't be a condescending a-hole). As an example, when I was given a thought experiment during interviews I would work through the problem out loud, allowing the interviewer to see my thought process or course correct if needed. As far as learning new things, asking for help has only taken me so far. Surrounding myself with other people trying to do what I want to do, and reading their content or just interacting with them, has helped me pick up lots of useful information I otherwise wouldn't know about.
Jolleen's profile thumbnail
Thanks for sharing this Allison. I started learn web development in October and it’s been tough but as you’ve said, making progress is all that matters. I also started a company in August so I’m having a crash course and trying to learn everything that I can. Taking one day at a time and surrounding myself with supportive people has been very helpful. And I love the idea of monthly reflections, I’ll start mine next year.
asebold's profile thumbnail
That's amazing! I'm sure balancing the two can feel like a lot, but you're absolutely right, making progress no matter how small is all that matters. Glad to hear you have a strong support group in place, that's also huge. Best of luck!
soph's profile thumbnail
Love love love your post. I am also in the phases of dogged persistence with teaching myself how to code, even as I pursue a CS degree full-time (with almost no time left over to build projects, but I am doing it!). I love your story and how relatable it was. What technologies did you focus on in the very beginning to meet your goal of being able to launch your site, and did you find that you were more drawn to video courses/books/or just the tutorials and Googling?Awesome job on Fantasy Congress! It is such a cool concept.
asebold's profile thumbnail
Aw thanks! When I first launched Fantasy Congress, I tried to keep the stack lean and use what I was familiar with. At the time that was Flask, but I've since moved the application to Django. When I'm learning, I usually start with text either in a book or online tutorial. But I like to use all kinds of resources. Sometimes when it's not clicking when I'm reading, I'll switch to a video and things will make more sense.