πŸ’» Life in Code #28: don't start coding without doing this πŸ‘‡πŸ½πŸ‘‡πŸ½

publishedover 1 year ago
3 min read

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ayyyyy! what's good??

I'm excited because this Saturday, it's my fave time of the monthβ€”my monthly MetroWest MA freeCodeCamp meetup!

We meet the first Saturday of every month to hang out, talk about all kinds of stuff, and help each other code. It's often not even freeCodeCamp stuff, but that's okay. It's easier to get help when others are present and willing. :)

At the October meetup, I had a fun opportunity to teach some of the skills I teach in the course. I had an ACTUAL WHOLE WOMAN this month, so I was giving her some special attention haha

But she's enrolled in the University of Waterloo's Data Science program, and already felt like she was really struggling. Because she's learning in Python, my first thought was "oh, this might be difficult for me to me to follow", but it really wasn't.

The more we talked, though, I realized she wasn't actually struggling with the Python code at all. She had no clue how to approach the problem, and now she was in the middle of it, stressing and trying to figure out what went wrong.

I didn't even need to know the code. I could help her with the way she was thinking about the problem!

First, we started with Step 1: just understanding the problem. I had her read the problem several times, then explain it to me in her own words. Basically, I was her rubber ducky! 🐀As she attempted to explain the problem to me, she kept realizing that maybe she didn't actually interpret it correctly.

Then, we started breaking it down. She was making the smaller, broken-down problems way too big, and getting overwhelmed. This is an issue I see with a lot of folks with complex mindsβ€”of which I am definitely one.

We wrote out her approach step-by-step, and she was floored. She was talking a lot more, getting out of her own head, correcting herself where needed, and adjusting things in her approach as they started to click for her, and she saw better ways to do something.

It was amazing to watch her transformation, and she psyched and so grateful afterwards. Plus, I learned as much as she did in the process. Like, I feel more confident than ever that I can really help people become better programmers!! And hopefully, you will be one of them. πŸ’•

Speaking of problem solving, another quick update on my upcoming problem solving course:

I feel like I've been talking about my new course, Newbie Coder Problem Solving School, for MONTHS now. Because I have. And it's seriously taking me that long to get launched while dealing with family issues.

(I single-handedly arranged and executed a big move for my grandfather into a new assisted living care facility. It took over a month, during which I barely got to work at all. 😬)

So here's what I'm going to do: I'm NOT actually going to set a release time yet, because the last 2 I've announced haven't happened, and I'm sure it's getting old for all of us.

However, I'll offer an update next week and we can go from there. Sometimes, setting a deadline is actually not a good thing. Especially if you're working with a lot of other things going on. It's better to just be practical and announce once you're finished and ready.

Life happens, my family is a bigtime priority to me, and I feel confident that I can deliver an excellent course if I just relax and finish it with the free time I *do* have.

You can apply this to your own life, even! Maybe deadlines aren't your thing, especially if you have a chaotic life. That's okay! Just keep working bit by bit, and promise... you WILL get there. ❀️

Alrighty friend, onto this week's hand-picked resources!

Peace, love, and code,



P.S. Follow me on Twitter @lavie_encode! :)


πŸ’» dev goodies

πŸ“Ή LVEC Podcast alum Dr. Barbara Oakley, PhD did a fantastic talk on maximizing your learningβ€”definitely worth a watch!

πŸ“ Some really helpful and supportive freeCodeCamp forum posts (go sign up even if you don't use FCC!):

πŸ“ Writing is thinking: learning to write with confidence (by @stephsmithio)

πŸ“ Identifying the dirt in our code - names, functions, comments (by @_rchc)

πŸ“ Coding practices your future self will love you for (by @mohanarpit)

πŸ“ How to use Git to manage your writing project (by @bphogan)

πŸ“ Why coding your own makes you a better developer (by @dannymoerkerke)

πŸ“ My journey as a self-taught engineer (by @xjamundx)

πŸ“ 10 things I wish I'd known before I started coding (by @BrynBennett7)

πŸ“ How to choose the right career path in software development (by @armel_fopa)

Psssst... you're awesome! ✨