Like A Girl

Pushing the conversation on gender equality.

Code Like A Girl

8 Weeks of Coding and What Did I Learn?

Learning with others is the quickest and most effective way to learn

Photo by Ilya Pavlov on Unsplash

I’ve spent the last 8 weeks learning the basics of front end development: HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

It’s been fun and frustrating.

Why can’t I commit this change Github?! Where is this damn invisible conflict?
Why is the nav bar a different size on each page of my site but the code looks identical?

There were so many head scratching whys.

But the frustration this time was different to the frustration I felt learning other skills, be it drawing, writing or design.

What was the difference?

All my previous skills were self taught. I’d pour hours into researching the best materials, teachers and online courses. Then I spend hours more learning the subject.

This time I decided I’d trust another person to teach me. I decided to learn in a group setting by attending a course.

And my god what a great decision it was.

Community makes all the difference. Any time I was stuck, I could message my partners and exchange ideas. Even if the only result of the exchange was, “god I hate Github” there is an inexplicable satisfaction to having another grapple with the same issues as you.

I made great friends with the girls I was learning with. And what’d you know? Friendship and connection makes learning a hundred times more enjoyable.

Staring at strings of code on a screen can become as funny as watching a comedy. You just need the right people and the right jokes.

Here’s a learning hack for you: learn with others

Next time you decide to learn a new skill, do it in a group. Find a class. Or convince a friend to pick up the new skill with you. (It’s a lot easier to find a class of people already interested in the skill than to convince a friend IMO)

Now watch your improvement and growth triple.

For an extra learning speed boost, find a project to complete together. Real learning happens when theory meets application. If you’re learning to code, build a site!