This is my adventure.
This is my adventure.
Backing Up7 min read
Sometimes the last thing you find is what you were looking for. I initially brushed off the Udemy course Zero to Mastery: “Learn to Code in 2019, Get Hired and Have Fun Along the Way”, “ZTM” since I was focused on Data Science and programming but I’m glad I didn’t. It’s so much more than learning how to code. I became a web designer somewhat by accident.
Eleven years ago I developed a new product for horses and back in 2008, e-commerce was still in its infancy. There was no iPhone; the Motorola flip phone was the “in” phone and mobile websites were shrunken down versions of desktop websites. I knew nothing about making a website but I did have a good grasp of branding and the look I wanted so I hired a website designer. She created a beautiful website using Adobe Dreamweaver, but every time I wanted to add a product or change a description, I had to pay to have her make the changes. That got old really fast and after two years I needed to make a change.
After many hours of research, I settled on Core Commerce. It had a huge learning curve but with alot of help from tech support, I was able to figure it out and build my first website! I used a few other website builders over the years including Weebly and Shopify and I began to get asked to design websites which lead me to WordPress. I have been using WordPress and Woocommerce for the last five years, picking up html and css skills along the way. The beauty of WordPress is it allows me to hand off the website to my client when it’s complete so they can make their own edits whenever they need to. I also have clients who are perfectly happy to have me manage their website.
I started the ZTM course and quickly realized that the difference between using a content management system like WordPress and building a website from scratch. With WordPress, I could tweak the theme by adding some css and if I wanted more features and functionality, there was always a plugin for that. Not anymore. I was staring at a blank text editor file. It was like the training wheels had fallen off.
When we rely on technology to make our lives easier, we can become dependent on it. It’s like trying to back a car up using your eyes when all you’ve known is how to use park assist.
It’s been a bit humbling at times. I find myself often overthinking what code to use and not trusting myself because I’m lacking confidence and I hate making mistakes. The upside to this is, the course instructor doesn’t expect you to master every css style before moving onto the next learning topic. In fact, if you get stuck, you are encouraged to search the web for the answers to the problem. That I can do.
So far the course is living up to its billing of being fun. Andrei Neagoie, the course instructor, is very enthusiastic and I love how he starts each video with a bright “Hello there!” or “Welcome Back!” Plus, I can interact with the large community of students who are taking the course via Discord. It’s great to have the support of other students although I sometimes wonder if I’m one of the oldest people taking the course. I hope not!