Follow Your Intuition. It Already Knows…

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A quote from Steve Jobs commencement speech at Stanford:  “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.”

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This quote really resonates with me because our future is an unknown.  We don’t know where we will be in a year or two, but we do know that we both love to code.  We are halfway through 2015 and taking stock.  We are on track with our hours and making progress – currently jQuery and more Javascript.  We don’t really know yet where this code path will lead us, but we trust that “the dots will connect.”

One thing we know for sure is that we need to keep our momentum and passion alive as we move into the intermediate levels. Trusting our intuition is key. We are not afraid to pivot and switch trails when we explore a path that is not connecting with us or we are not ready for.  And we have been discovering trails off the path by our natural curiosity.

Lately, we have been building small projects on our own as we practice and implement everything we’ve learned to date, We start each week off with our code challenge goals.  A typical day for us these days goes like this:

“What cool thing can we build today?  Let’s see if we can do what this site does. How did they do that?  Let’s research that. Let’s try it. No, that didn’t work. Why not? Let’s try something else. No, that definitely did not work. Let’s try something else. OMG, I completely ruined my code! Debug. Let’s check it out with Google Dev Tools.  No wonder – it’s got a ‘fatal error,’ “

“Better go through our notes and check some of our trusty resources (Treehouse, Code Academy, Code School, Github, jQuery documentation, W3C, and more). We need to rewatch that tutorial. Let’s try it again. No. And again. Nothing. And again. We’re not moving on until we get this. Scratch that way, let’s try it this other way. OMG! it worked! High Five! That only took hours and days, but hey – we got it.”

Now we’ve got a few more dots to line up on our path. We know the dots will eventually connect. We trust our instincts and are doing what we love. Everything else will follow. “Let’s go that way. Do you think we can do that?”

Progress – Not Perfection

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“Progress – Not Perfection” is a quote by Kathy Freston, a best selling author on the body/mind/spirit approach to health and wellness. This quote reminds us that even though we have a way to go before we become accomplished web developers, we don’t have to be stressed about being perfect right now.  What’s important is that we keep on our path and continue learning code –  brick-by-brick, hour-by-hour, two hours a day – until we reach our goal.

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Today, we take a breath on our code trail and and see the view of how far we’ve come along so far.  Since the launch of our code-learning journey in 2014, we have definitely made progress.  Last year at this time, we had just finished a course on HTML were then learning how to make background colors with CSS.  Now here we are, creating for-loops, objects and variables so we can duplicate the hour blocks to our “Mountain of Code Tower” with javascript.  We still have our foam board grid and colored pens, but this year we will also create a tower with code (HTML, CSS and Javascript).

We are deep in the woods of our code learning journey and are making progress daily.  I feel like Cheryl Strayed from the book Wild, I’ve gone too far to turn back and I look ahead and see the many miles we need to go.  At least I still have my boots!

We are not perfect, but that’s okay.  We are getting some traction and have moved beyond the newbie stage of last year.  With Treehouse, Code Academy, and independent practice, we have delving into: frameworks, advanced CSS, HTML forms, Javascript, jQuery, responsive design, Sass, Console, Git basics, web optimization and more.  All these topics are like different puzzle pieces that we need to learn how put together.  We are starting to understand the different shapes of the puzzle.  Now it’s time start learning how to build something beautiful.

We Just Launched our Web page!

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Well, after several months on the code journey, my son and I have started to get familiar with a few languages.   We’ve studied HTML with Treehouse, Javascript with CodeHS, and are getting ready to dive into CSS.  After our lesson on HTML, we decided to see if we could create our own web page.  And we did it.

Best thing of all is that we couldn’t stop working.  Although my eyes got blurry from typing code and searching for my mistakes (so glad my son could help me out), we really had a lot of fun putting our knowledge to the test.  They say the best way to learn is by “doing.”  I agree, and add one thing — working as a team keeps you learning.

The web page is simple, but this is only the beginning.   As we learn more, we will apply our skills to enhance it.  Our next  lesson in CSS will teach us how to add color and style.  If you want to check out our page, visit http://www.codemoms.org.  Keep on trekking.