If I may liken my learning of web development to learning how to swim, it was tough love earned by having to swim to safety from the deep end of the sea. After the initial few phases of spluttering with water and fighting for the ability to do even the most elementary of web things, I finally learned a thing or two that can be of use and of great benefit to some causes. It’s an amazing thing to explore altogether. It is not easy but I can say that even with the ongoing effort to swim in the world of code, I find that every painful episode is well worth it. The learnings, I will not trade for anything else.
Every single day, it’s like being thrown in with sharks to swim for survival. Eventually, I know that it will only get better or be maximized by diving fully into the work that requires a lot of love and staring intensely at numerous files. A good friend told me that I need to sacrifice my social life to be good at this thing. I had lost a lot in the beginning of this year, and in that digital nothingness, I had everything to gain elsewhere. It’s nice. It’s something that I can be surprisingly thankful for at this phase of life. If anything, this is the one industry where you can be isolated and not be accosted for it.
There’s something so special about learning languages, about grasping the reality that everything is really a file. And files have such great power if handed over to the hands of those who are virtuosos at working magic with it. To be able to get to know a piece of this vast ocean is such a wonderful experience; it was something that I did not plan on discovering but happened anyway. Like writing, web development can be a magical form of self-expression: an expression of love, an expression of hate, an expression of one’s causes or reasons for being. I came to admire people that I did not know in my old life of social “overshare” and minimal introspection.
When I was sixteen, I passed a computer science scholarship in one university. I decided to take engineering in QC. I was sorely tempted to take the computer science scholarship but I chose another course instead. It is a pleasant surprise to find that 12 years later, I’d be back at the door I closed in my younger years, now possessing some perspective from another industry that made the experience all the more meaningful for me. On top of this, I carry the happy skill of writing and chronicling about these industries from over 11 years of writing experience.
I took things one at a time but over time, I realized that I was given everything I needed. Like jagged pieces of a puzzle which did not make sense, it now makes sense as a more cohesive whole. It was not the type of direction I imagined for myself. But it was, as it turns out, the very right path. Who would have known? If I kept insisting in my own way and I always got everything that I wanted, I would not have these realizations. I am in a much better place because of how things turned out. This current lifestyle is not really the way people my age regularly spend their time, but I am genuinely happy with where I am now and how I am doing things online and offline.
And I am perfectly convinced that discovering web dev in the deep end is a mind-wracking experience at first, but a completely mind-enriching passion in its own right. I will be writing more about my limited coding discoveries in the hopes that like my board exam tips, it will also serve as encouragement for the people who need it.