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General Discussion

Sterling Dozier
Sterling Dozier
2,247 Points



My name is Sterling Dozier and i started Team Tree House a few weeks ago. I am currently doing the front end full stack path. My day job is being a Computer Science Engineer(Technician) for a large hospital here in PA and I've been in IT hardware for years now simply because it gives my mind something to do.

I took up trying to learn to code simply because I was bored and in hopes that someday it will bring in some extra cash, or maybe one day make something worth while. But as sit here and try to find the time to learn and practice, a few things keep popping into my mind. Hopefully, someone can answer them because honestly i'm getting a little discouraged.

  1. With the Track mentioned above. Is Html/css really worth learning? There are so many different varieties to learn it makes my head spin.

  2. When it comes to html/css, What would be some good self projects to do with it to ingrain the skill?

  3. If i get proficient at it how would I collaborate with others to make something worthwhile?

  4. and finally, What should I do to stay engaged.

It know that this all might sound trivial. But don't want to waste my time on the wrong skill or worst yet have absolutely nothing become of it.

ps. no need to sugar coat anything.

2 Answers

Casey Ydenberg
Casey Ydenberg
15,622 Points

But don't want to waste my time on the wrong skill or worst yet have absolutely nothing become of it.

Sounds like you're doing it because you want a job/some extra cash and not because you have ingrained passion for code or problems that can be solved with code. In which case you will probably waste your time.

Kristopher Van Sant
Kristopher Van Sant
Courses Plus Student 18,830 Points

Hi Sterling, I believe the majority of people learning to code have experienced some form of doubt at the beginning. It can be very intimidating to see all the languages, frameworks and tools out there and not know which path to follow. In regards to the points you've mentioned...

  1. Yes HTML and CSS are definitely worth learning, especially if you plan on doing any front end work. In fact they are necessary to front end development. If while learning them though you find that you prefer more back end stuff there is no harm in switching and going down a different path.

  2. Good projects for HTML and CSS? Build a website! The best way you'll learn is by doing. HTML and CSS might seem intimidating at first but they're pretty simple in comparison to other programming languages. Check out codepen.io and awwwards.com for some inspirations and to see what amazing things are being built!

  3. It can be hard to be creative in something when you're still learning how the tools themselves actually work. So I wouldn't worry about this part just yet because it will come. As you do become more proficient you'll gain more confidence and will find like-minded people that you will want to collaborate with.

  4. This has been something I've struggled with a lot. Staying engaged and motivated. I love coding and learning new things but it can be really difficult sometimes to just sit and learn something new over and over again. Things you can do to help stay engaged? Build something! Doesn't matter how silly or how serious it is but just starting making things and playing with the code. You should also try listening to some Podcasts. That has helped me tremendously! Often times their enthusiasm is contagious and you'll learn a lot that you wouldn't from a tutorial. Here's a few to checkout:





I wouldn't say that any of this is trivial. On the contrary they're all appropriate and natural concerns. Especially when you're just starting to learn something new. Nobody wants to waste their time, unless you have plenty of time to waste, which most people don't. Don't worry about whether or not this will bring you extra cash, if you get a job doing Front End or Full Stack Development, you'll definitely get paid. Instead while you start learning to code take notice of what sort of jobs you might lean towards so that you can tailor your focus to that. For example Front End Development covers a wide range of jobs and tasks. One front-end developer might focus more on animations and cool effects, while another might focus on building simple clean websites. It might take some time to figure out what interests you more.

The only way you won't have anything to show for what you're learning is if you don't build anything.

You mentioned you currently work for a hospital as a CS Engineer/Technician. Are there front end or full stack developers there that you could work with or that could pass you some small tasks to tryout?

If this is something you are interested in pursuing don't give up just yet! It's great that you're reaching out to the community about this because a lot of us have had similar thoughts. Keep up the awesome work!