Career hustle

How coding taught me to let go

Photo credit: Ilya Pavlov

When it comes to upping your #hustle game, there’s nothing better than learning a new skill (can you tell I come from a family of educators?). After leaving a very intense 24/7 kind of job, one of the things I was most excited about was having time to take classes. Enter, Ladies Learning Code and their Digital Skills for Beginners course.

Every Tuesday and Thursday for seven weeks I sat in a room with a group of women learning HTML, CSS, JavaScript and jQuery, what SEO/SEM meant and how to put all of that knowledge online. Being able to look at something online and then re-create it with code was an incredible feeling. As you know, I also go the inspiration for this site’s content from this course.

When I finished the course I got caught up in the idea that I *had* to build this website from scratch – I made myself responsible for the design, layout, html, css – you name it! The thing is, while I have some (awesome) newfound skills, I was in way over my head. However, it wasn’t until I spent four hours reading about different ways to code buttons that I realized this. Then our instructor’s wise words popped into my head (paraphrasing here) – buy a theme, ain’t no shame in that game!

The entire experience of learning to code and learning when to accept my limitations has been incredibly powerful for me. I am totally that person who keeps banging on buttons when something on the computer doesn’t work out for me (brute force always win, right?). My patience for technology is limited, at best. I also suffer from being a bit of a perfectionist – I am a fast learner, so I can get frustrated when things don’t work out right away.

Naturally, my husband was, while very encouraging, a little worried about my ability to be patient and accept the mistakes I would inevitably make during this course. But I knew that to truly get the most out of this experience I had to learn to let go – something I’m still learning. No longer worrying about being “perfect” allowed me to discover some amazing new tricks, and was so important in helping me set this site up. If I didn’t let go, I’d still be slowly coding away, rather than getting to the part I love – putting content together. I’m sure I would also eventually grow to resent coding; perfectionism has a way of spoiling some wonderful things.

A project I created in my Ladies Learning Code course. Why yes, I did actually write that code!

I’m still practicing my coding skills but I’m no longer married to the idea that because I have these skills I *have* to be rigorous with how I apply them. I can practice this amazing new language in so many different ways – both at work and here.

What about you? Have you learned any skills that have helped you learn to “let go”? What were you letting go of? Let me know in the comments!

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1 Comment

  • Reply The Ripple Effect – Belinda Bien May 10, 2017 at 8:21 am

    […] making. Shortly after I issued my push-up decree, I applied for, and was accepted to Ladies Learning Code’s Digital Skills course. I was finally going to learn how to code and check that off my to-do list. As you know, […]

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