Is Coding For Me? Please Read!


Hello, and thank you for reading this.
I will try my best to nutshell it.
I went to college and graduated with a degree in psych, a decade ago. I’ve dabbled into acting, I love to write (minor in Journalism), and I’ve had a million jobs since college (none that pay enough). I decided to go back to school. I debated various ideas, but I chose coding because…

I had a blog for about 3 years. I also have made various websites. That said, they were all through Wordpress. But, I had thought I’d taught myself a lot regarding how to do it all, along with enjoyably playing around with the CSS and HTML. I’m often always on my MacBook, during my spare time. I’ve always loved being on the computer. Altogether, and when compared to all of my friends, I thought I was rare for knowing what a “static page” is and for all the things I’ve mentioned in this paragraph. I decided -let’s sign up for a boot camp, hopefully get a great job at the end of it, and finally have a stable job that pays the bills. I thought I’d probably enjoy it because of the CSS and HTML. I signed up for the CSS/Design track at my boot camp.

I am 5 weeks into the program. We began the next (CSS) 5 week track, today. But, the first intro week entailed a few weeks (one in which the subject was really explained) in JavaScript, and that’s when the tears and questioning really began. I began wondering if coding wasn’t for me. I wasn’t picturing all the functions, and it felt like math, which I never enjoyed. Some people have said -no, it’s not like math!

Now, I’m stuck wondering if I should continue bc once I hopefully understand and am able to use JavaScript, maybe I’ll somehow end up loving the process of constantly figuring out what it is im trying to code. Maybe I’ll love it all, and the only way to find out is to go at it and finish.

The other part of me wonders if this is entirely not for me because -honestly, I go in bipolar modes (though I am genuinely not bipolar). I have brief moments, often -thus far- where I picture myself doing this long-term, and I think “I don’t think I would love never not knowing what I’m doing, as podcasts seem to often depict this job.” Then again, I am friends with a coder, and he acts like his front-end job is that of a unicorn. He’s at peace and loves it. And, I feel like he and I are similar (I think). He’s also interested in acting (my original life dream).

During the moment I panic and feel this isn’t for me, I wonder if it’s simply the fear in not understanding javascript -and what comes with that, which is feeling incompetent and (though trying not to compare, truly!) seeing others in class who are getting it much more than I am (and when no prior experience, either). If it’s the fear, then that’s no good bc fear isn’t a valid reason for any healthy decision, thus i haven’t quit but still remain anxious about this.

During the times I panic, every other job opportunity sounds much greater. I began considering counseling (which I pretty much stopped considering, since college a decade ago), real estate (I’ve done sales a lot, and I’ve been encouraged to try it by someone who does it, and it’s also rather quick compared to other ventures -to learn about it), natural medicine (6 year gig, a HUGE loan, which makes me hesitant), and yeah. I wish I could be a writer, but that job is nearly impossible to get these days -many writers writing online for mere pennies. It’s also hard to grow up having a dream (acting, in my case), and then letting it go when you’re in your late twenties.

If you’re an experienced coder and you feel you have some insight, I’d be so grateful to hear it. I chose this direction bc even though I know it’s a position in which there’s always room for growth (like many positions, and I want to grow), I didn’t realize the true extent of what that means. But, I liked that many people find jr jobs after the program -that I could actually finally get a job that pays well. But, I also have always wanted to help people, and I’m now wondering if this momentary mindset in wanting to be stable money-wise has blinded me from choosing the right choice/direction, as well as the fact that I’m in my thirties and so badly want a purpose and an established career (have been wanting it for quite some time). I also really want a family, but I’m very single -but, without trying to, that does come into play when I consider career options and the lengths of time that they take to accomplish a simple foundation.

I honestly didn’t picture myself programming anything. I more so pictures myself making things look pretty. But, my teacher has mentioned to me that jr level design jobs are hard to come by, compared to jr. Level programmers.

Any advice would be so greatly appreciated. I’ve started praying about it, and I happened to hear about this forum on code Newbie.

Thank you very much for reading and possibly responding.

Love, me


Welcome @otherhalf.

First of all, good for you for taking the risk and switching things up for yourself! It’s not an easy decision to make or to reorganize your life in that way.

From my own experience, I know when you’re in an program with a compressed timeline like a bootcamp, everything can seem to hold more weight - things seem a lot more polarized. I think that second guessing yourself is part of the process of making a shift like what you’re doing, whether or not it is a shift into coding or a shift into anything

You might emerge from the bootcamp, get a job and code for a few years and then transition into something else. You might code and then discover a job within tech that combines code with something else you enjoy. Nothing here is set in stone. Being a developer can be so many different specialities or niches or combinations.

(P.S. Even the people I know who are quite JavaScript proficient didn’t feel great about it when they first started learning.)

Let us know how you feel about CSS when you get a little further in! It sounds like from how you’ve described yourself that it might really gel with you :slight_smile:


@otherhalf though it was many moons ago, I distinctly remember the terror and frustration of learning my first development language. It seemed incomprehensible and impossible.
But in an “it gets better” vein, the good news is that 17 years on, I’ve had lots of different roles (dev, data, BI, support) and found that while some languages didn’t speak to me, others did.
The trouble with early days is that it feels like someone dumped a bunch of unknown tools in front of you and expected you to build a house. What helped me was getting into junior roles first where I could reverse engineer or debug things, and start connecting the code/tech to actually solving problems. Junior roles often have the advantage of starting you out on something that already exists rather than building from scratch, and don’t eschew the option of a Help Desk type job. There’s no one who can translate better than someone who is just a few steps ahead rather than an expert, and you might get good vibes from helping people directly.
There may also be nonprofit groups in your area that would looove to have someone help give their branding / sites a refresh, and though it might be unpaid, it could be a way to get some lower pressure experience.
Good luck, many of us have been in the same place.