CS50’s Introduction to Computer Science | edX

CS50x is an entry-level course to Computer Science. It teaches you how to think algorithmically and solve problems efficiently. This is a skill that the Manager of the development team at work told me that I needed to have to get into programming. She said I needed a Computer science foundation and a logical problem-solving mindset NOT just the skills. So here I am…checking out the cs50 course. It’s accredited by Harvard too so it’s making me feel so fancy hehe.

The main reason I want to learn how to program is that I want to be able to design my own simple apps and then implement it. Doing the UX, to the UI and then finally the development of it. I’m not sure what kind of app but I’m moving towards the idea of a web app using some sort of API. Before I jump into crazy ideas I knew it would be much better if I started from the basics. I thought these skills would be fun to learn as it would give me the freedom to create anything I want.

The internet has always been my home and if I can do anything I want on it then my home would be an even more comfortable place than it already is – #milleniallife.  I still remember my childhood dream was to become an inventor. Not sure inventing what but maybe this is what I meant. xD

Last year I completed the Javascript course on codeacademy  and didn’t really end up using Javascript in anything. I didn’t know how to apply it and I had a go at Codewars which was fun but VERY challenging. I only managed to complete 3 tasks. The rest were too hard and then I gave up. I just didn’t understand how I would go about starting my own project or use the knowledge I learnt. Then slowly I  got disheartened.

For the past couple of months, I’ve been brushing up on front-end skills. I decided to re-do my mum’s friend’s website from scratch so I learnt how to use the integrated terminal in Visual Code studio and learnt how to use SASS, the CSS compiler, for my project which actually worked out really well and made things easier and quicker. I also learnt how to use GitHub so I could upload repositories and work on the project whilst I was away on holiday I’m probably not using it the right way but hooo haa. It’s functional lol….

I also have been learning how to use CSS grids because a developer at work told me that media queries were, in fact, a “hack” way of coding. I’ve managed to make a simple site following a Pluralsight tutorial but I found it difficult to integrate my own designs into the template 🙁 I haven’t used it for any projects yet but I kind of want to know more about back-end development. Front-end dev is fun and all but the back end is where the magic happens but I feel like I’m all talk and no action. BLOG please motivate me to work through this course – I pray I pray.

Apparently, you need around 3 months to complete it. That’s if you can dedicate 10+ hours per week to it. Which is a shit ton. I was flickering between either doing a Full stack web development course or a UX Product Design course on General Assembly but they’re both so expensive. One is £3,000 the other is £10,000 !!!!  The main thing that attracts me to these courses is that they force you to go into the lesson and you are provided with a ‘critique’ environment with constant feedback. I feel like I need the support and encouragement to develop stronger skills and actually complete the course. On the other hand, no one taught me how to use all the above skills or photoshop so I’m thinking maybe I can teach myself and save the P’s.

I’ve always found that when I tell people my dreams and goals I never complete them because of course speaking about doing something actually satisfies the feeling of achievement. Does this also mean that writing about something on my blog stunts my progress? I read online if you blog about what you learn you actually retain the information but what about talking about what you intend to do ? I have already flopped off my Trainmybunny  project because I’ve been so busy. What’s to say it won’t happen to this? Well…

I have faith!

I found this really old article online how to get the knowledge of a Computer Science degree without forking out the Ps. This is very hard as you would have to put together your own curriculum and super motivated.  That article also gives a basic structure which I’m going to follow. I found an updated post on the same website which has a more intensive course list. I also found this post on Quora which is for Data science. I don’t actually know what data science is… but I mean it looks interesting. Must read more into it lol.

Earlier this year, I found old forum posts from when I was 13. I don’t even remember writing this but in it, I spoke about how I wanted to get into coding but I had a huge fear of failure. It’s kinda sad that I was scared of failing even at such a young age. I hadn’t even started my GCSEs yet! Reading my old forum post kind of broke my heart a bit how little self-esteem I had.

I’m not sure how others achieve their goals but I have a Trello account which logs my progress and it’s super satisfying to go back on there and tick off stuff. I call my board… BOARD of life. Do you get it? Kinda like Bored. LOLZ.

What I have found is that goals are really hard to achieve if you look at them as a final destination. The best way I’ve found that helps is to break it down into tiny baby steps which are quite achievable. For example this year my goal is to learn how to drive instead of writing that. I’ve written something like:

step 1. Get provisional.
step 2. Book driving lessons.
step 3. Book theory test.
step 4. Get theory test app revise for 20 minutes every day from 2 weeks before exam
step 5. Book practical
etc etc etc…

This helps me a little bit more and makes me feel like I am progressing towards my goal bit by bit which I achieve each stop point. Then when I see my progress it motivates me to continue because I see that I’m actually able to move towards it by doing the simple steps I have broken it down into.

I’m super excited to start this cs50 course. Let’s hope I manage to hold it down and finish it. Wish me luck!

Photo by Rachel Moenning on Unsplash

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