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How long did it take you to get comfortable with coding?


I recently got a LinkedIn invitation from a random person. After accepting it I got a message from this person. It said:

Hey Silvestar! I recently started to learn React and all the wonderful things that go with it. I really liked your write up about CSS auditors, lots of good links and info and very well written. I was just wondering how long it took you to get this comfortable with coding? Thanks.

At first, I wasn’t sure what to answer or should I answer at all, but then again, it didn’t cost anything for me to reply and possibly help this person. Here’s my reply:

Hi,

Thank you for the kind words.

To answer your question honestly, it took several years to get comfortable with coding, especially when I started to learn new things. For example, it took a year to get comfortable with PHP, then it took several months to get comfortable with HTML and CSS, then it took several months to get comfortable with jQuery, then it took several months to get comfortable with JavaScript, then it took several months to get comfortable with Angular2, and so on.

Now, I am working mainly with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, and I am in my maximum comfort zone. It took approximately 7-8 years.

But that was my journey. I bet you will have a completely different one.

I hope I have answered your questions.

This person thanked me, and that was it.

But after that, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I’m still not comfortable in some areas. For example, when I need to write a NodeJS script or lambda function, I am very uncomfortable, and I still don’t know if I am doing the right thing. The code works, but could it be better, more secure, and performant?

That reminds me of one of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite shows, Peep Show. In it, Mark has a good hand in poker, but, Mark being Mark, he folds because “there’s just no way of knowing for sure (if someone else has a better hand).” He is just not comfortable with the situation, and he gives up. On the other hand, Jez has a pretty bad hand, but, Jez being Jez, he goes all-in and bluffs the other guy with a stronger hand. He then says to himself: “I’m really good at this without realizing how.” I love that quote, and I’ve been using it in my email signatures forever.

Getting comfortable with coding is definitively tricky and individual. So how long did it take you to get comfortable with coding?