Challenge: 5 apps in 5 months
About two years ago, I decided I wanted to learn Web Development. I had this idea to create an app for women, by women, to help find more balance in our lives. I nailed down the team: a marketing guru, an ops guru, and myself, but we were short a tech guru. After scouring the globe, literally, we finally found someone we thought would be a great fit. We made a few pitches, and unbelievably made it to the last round of a pretty major investment opportunity. Then our coder pulled out, and we were left with a few pages of code and no way to untangle it.
A boot camp and 18 months later, here I am. A bonafide Ruby on Rails developer who can navigate around a React framework. Except, I frequently have this small, internal voice, alright, screaming voice, telling me that I am a total fraud. Yes, that’s right. Even after formal training and spending a year as a “professional” developer, I still suffer from imposter syndrome.
Concretely speaking, I can do most things that you need to be able to do in order to create a functioning app, and actually do them on most days including user authentication, connecting to external APIs, building new features, adding model logic, querying databases, and even deal with the server. The HackerRank tests that I have taken and Upwork, both put me in the intermediate bracket, but anytime anyone asks me what I do, I sheepishly, and incredibly awkwardly, tell them that I code.
Why I am I not standing loud and proud and telling them that I am a Developer? I don’t understand because I love developing. Like I can’t stop smiling, all over body rush love it. It’s creative, logical, and the ultimate mind game. In short, everything I wanted in a job for the better part of a decade.
Enough with the Imposter BS.
Like any language acquisition, coding takes time and practice to become fluent and takes even more time to master. Yes, coding is a language. There is at least one study that backs this up with MRI data and anecdotally, the best coders I know are linguistic geniuses. I don’t particularly struggle with language acquisition myself. I don’t believe that is a coincidence.
So, since it has been established that the best way to learn a language is through immersion, I have given myself a little challenge. The goal is to create 5 apps in 5 months.
The aim is to create and write code. That’s it. Just be prolific. I don’t particularly care if it is elegant, pretty, or buggy for this particular exercise. They can use external APIs, be a simple as I would like, or more complicated. They can use tech stacks I already know, or integrate new technology. I will also be joining the 1 Million Women To Tech initiative Summer of Code as a Mentor. The idea is to create open source projects with other tech driven women, so in this vein my projects may also be open source contributions, but then there is a minimum of 5 commits, 5 days per week (these are all fresh projects).
First up, I think it is finally time to get a Proof of Concept running for that passion project.
If you would like to follow my progress, feel free to check out my GitHub. Month one.
Here we go.
Here we go.