San Francisco, CA June 4, 2016
Remember the pain: lessons learned from teaching myself to code

It's easy to forget the grueling and vulnerable process of learning something from the first time. Ask the average person what it was like learning to code and you'll get something similar to "it was hard but it wasn't so bad in retrospect." It's easy to forget the stereotypes, multiple coding languages/frameworks/tools, secret lingo, and predetermined norms. For those who don't fit the canonical educational background, joining the word of devs is exhausting.

We suppress the memories of pain for a good reason but we shouldn't. We need to remember what it felt like to learn for the first time and channel that pain to empathize with other new joiners, learners, and self-taught newbies and help them the way we want to be helped. Here are the lessons I learned, after 9 months of teaching myself how to code, what it felt like to enter the world of coding, and how those lessons still apply to "new quests" we embark on today.