My Journey to Development

Posted by Eric Shiels on July 6, 2018

My development journey started in early 2017, when I took a course on developing SQL databases through Coursera. It was then that I discovered the sense of accomplishment that comes with completing an online course. I have since completed dozens of online courses that range greatly in applicability to my chosen field. Many are totally unrelated to pretty much anything I will ever do professionally, such as the security courses I took with the United Nations, or the course in bear identification.

Luckily something good did come from taking all these courses. When I was searching for online courses to complete that were related to programming, I came across FreeCodeCamp. It is a free website that teaches full-stack web development. That website was really what started my journey. I have since taken courses in systems and languages such as React, Bluemix, MongoDB, and project management. I love solving problems, building stuff, and learning new things, all of which are important parts of programming.

However, I would soon learn that there are problems that come along with trying to teach yourself to program. First off, it is very easy to miss something basic and important when you teach yourself. Tutorials are often missing information or make massive jumps in difficulty. But second, and most importantly, you don’t learn how to put all of your knowledge together.

About a month ago, I used the skills I acquired from FreeCodeCamp and other courses that I completed to build my best-looking website yet. (It is a semi-responsive portfolio page. ) It was during the process of building that website that I realized that I wanted to become a professional web developer. The only question, was how?

One prominent aspect of my personality is my love of research. (I create spreadsheets for everything.) So, of course, I made a spreadsheet comparing online boot camps, as well as those near my physical location. After eliminating those that were absurdly expensive and narrowing down my choices based on the languages and systems taught, as well as student reviews, I decided to enrol in the Flatiron School Online Web Developer Program.

This all brings us to what I’m doing now. As of writing this, I have reached the Object Oriented Ruby section and I look forward to the learning and projects that it entails. I have also borrowed my father’s second edition copy of “Algorithms” by Robert Sedgewick from 1988. While the book will be very useful, I don’t think that a drier book has ever been written. I look forward to continuing to learn about Ruby, and about all the other topics that are covered in the Online Web Developer Program.