Hello World, let me introduce myself

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Hello World! So I started a blog…brilliant, thumbs up to me, but that raises a few questions doesn’t it? The main ones being, WHO am I? And WHY did I create a blog? Well, I thought it only made sense for my first post to answer these questions to give you a better understanding of what this blog is all about. Let’s get started.

WHO?

Hi, my name is Owen, I am 27 and I am the creator of Code Dad. I am a new programmer, new father and I currently work full-time as a Team Assistant within the Public Library Service.

That’s the boring introduction over and done with. Now let me give you some background. Don’t worry, I am not going to give you my whole life story, just some key things about me.

For the record, I have not had any formal education in Computer Science, Programming, or Software Engineering of any kind. In fact, I studied Art at A-Level and never actually made it to University because I dropped out of my foundation course.

Code Dad drawing

So yeah…I am probably not your typical picture of a programmer. It’s strange because in my younger years I had always imagined myself as an artist since I have always been fairly good at drawing. I don’t want to sound arrogant, but I think I am alright. However, you can be the judge.

Even though I have this artistic side, I’ve always had another side, which is more logical, with a deep interest in science and technology. Although, I never really pursued this side, until recently.

Here’s where it all begins

Towards the end of 2016, a life changing event happened, which I had been looking forward to for some time, you guessed it, I became a dad.

Thinking back, I mostly felt calm in those 9 months leading up to that magical moment. I had done a lot of reading and had a good idea of what to expect. I felt PREPARED, or so I thought.

Unfortunately, nothing can prepare a new parent for that oh so natural feeling of FEAR. My initial thought was, “this beautiful, little, screaming, pooping human is solely dependent on us as parents”. It’s a lot of responsibility! The days of trying to keep your Tamagotchi alive doesn’t quite prepare you for this mammoth task. Sorry for the 90’s reference, but you get my point.

Don’t get me wrong. It was the happiest day of my life! I was on such a HIGH, it was unreal. Even after spending 3 nights in the hospital, worrying, with zero sleep and strapped to the world’s most uncomfortable chair.

But honestly, don’t think about me, think about my poor wife! She deserves a f***ing medal.

Code Dad hospital photo

Oh, and if you want to see what this internal emotional roller coaster looks like, well you are in luck. As you can see my facial expression does not give the game away in the slightest. Cool as anything on the surface, but absolutely crapping it on the inside.

Aside from feeling on top of the world, I still had concerns, Mainly, whether I could live up to my responsibility as a new parent.

I began to rethink a lot of things about myself and I realized that I needed to pull my figure out so to speak. You see, I had tried to learn to program before, with little success, and in all honesty had kind of given up.

My mentality changed the moment I became a real world dad. I was now a father to a little human, to whom I had to provide and be a role model for.

In a split second, I made a promise that I would do everything in my power to give him the life he deserves.

By that I don’t mean spoiling him rotten, I mean providing him with the love, support, and the financial security he needs. That last one, “financial security”, was my biggest concern. To be fair it is probably most parents as we all want to be able to provide for our children.

Time to get serious 

My first act was getting serious about learning to program. And I will explain my reasons for wanting to this in my next post.Web development programming code image

In November 2016, I embarked on my journey to become a self-taught programmer. I began with that beautiful language, know as JAVA.

The first few months I felt very confused, but slowly things started to get clearer.

I was waiting for the day things finally clicked and when they did the feeling was amazing, I felt like I really accomplished something.

My journey is not over, I still have a long way to go in terms of where I want to be as a programmer, but at least I know I can do it.

It has been HARD! I have spent many nights banging my head against the keyboard, wondering why my code doesn’t work, and to be honest I still do. However, the thing I found hardest was trying to juggle everything.

It’s not easy balancing a full-time job, keeping fit, adjusting to life with a new baby, and learning to code. However, by some miracle, I managed it.

Now, I am starting a new challenge to become a blogger as well!

WHY?

But why? Why start a blog in the first place? What does that have to do with learning to program?Code blog laptop image

There are a few reasons, although the main reason has changed somewhat since the idea first crawled into my head.

Originally the blog was designed to help me more than anything. I thought by writing down and trying to explain what I had just learned, this vomit of cryptic code on the screen might actually make sense and stick!

I had also read that learning in public can help keep you on the ball.

The idea is that when your aware your are being watched,  you will make more of a conscious effort to try harder. I am sure there is some psychology behind this, but I think it’s simply because nobody wants to appear as a failure or worse, stupid!

Learning so openly also means people can correct your mistakes when you are wrong. I know nobody likes to hear “you’re WRONG!”, but really it’s what you need when your learning. Otherwise, you may be doomed to repeat the same mistakes. And who wants to deal with that frustrating headache?

So what’s the main reason for the blog?

Well, the main reason shifted when I realized that my journey and ambitions were probably very similar to many others.

The challenges I faced are not just unique to me. I am sure there are countless others who will or are going through the same thing.

As I already said earlier, I found it very difficult trying to juggle work, life, a new baby, and learning to code. But thankfully, I developed and discovered various resources, tips, strategy and routines that really helped me.

Looking back I can’t help but think my journey would have been a much easier if I had all that knowledge from the start. I guess that’s the beauty of hindsight.

So, rather than letting that experience and information go to waste, I thought, “why not use this blog to share my journey and what I have learned”, in hopes it can help others.

My MAIN aim with this blog is to help people, who want to take that leap into the programming world, but have obstacles in their way.

Whether they feel their lives are too hectic, or they just don’t have the time, or that it just seems like an impossible task.

I want to help people like myself, who want to learn to code, balance their lives, embark on personal development, or just lead a more productive life.

I genuinely hope that this blog can be of some use to someone and help them to achieve their goal.

For now, that’s me, and I will leave it there till my next post. Thanks for reading.

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About the Author Owen

Creator of Code Dad, father and self-taught programmer. My mission is to balance life, work, family, all while learning to code, and hopefully help others who want to do the same.

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