personal brand logoMatt McCarley
  • Front-end developer
  • UX designer
  • Wannabe CS nerd

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January 02, 2019

What Excites Me About Coding?

Each Christmas, I look forward to opening my stocking and receiving a new puzzle book. I’ve always enjoyed solving word and math puzzles.

I’ve been reflecting on why coding has been so exciting to me and this Christmas tradition comes to mind. With development, each day of work is basically a day full of ‘puzzles’—where the ‘book’ has no end. Solving one puzzle inevitably leads to finding others to start solving.

Everything Builds

Mastering beginner concepts of coding and Computer Science, begin to pay larger and larger dividends as I progress to harder challenges. As I progress, I don’t have to throw out things I was learning years ago. Everything builds upon itself—something I learn when writing C# in an ASP.Net application can translate to a React application I build later in the month. Design concepts I learn when building a marketing-focused landing page, can also help me design a music discovery application.

Knowing this, it makes learning and discovering new skills and knowledge enjoyable. I’m not worried that I’m learning the ‘wrong things’ and I’m not plagued by FOMO. Even if I can’t see how this piece of knowledge will directly apply to something I’m working on now, I’m confident that it’ll become useful at some point in the future.

As I Grow, So Do the Challenges

Every new challenge is the most difficult problem I’ve yet to encounter. When I was new to web development, just making a responsive header image was extremely difficult. Dealing with user authentication and protected routes in a React app would have seemed impossible. But, as time goes on, encountering and solving challenges has built me up as a developer—both in confidence and in skill. I now have a long list of solved challenges that I can draw from when I encounter a new one.

Curious People

When I first started coding, I was blown away by the amount of free resources available online. I also couldn’t believe how many folks were going out of their way to help me with relatively simple challenges. As I worked my way through the freeCodeCamp curriculum, I would post to forums where more seasoned developers would give me crucial assistance.

Over time, I began to grow my network of developers and designers. Being surrounded by intensely curious and helpful people continues to astound me. Like me, I think most developers enjoy encountering and solving new puzzles. As I mature as a developer, I’m beginning to learn to share my growth with others. Like all the people that helped me when I was new, I want to be a resource to the folks that are just now beginning to learn.

Why do I find coding so exciting? Because it’s uniquely challenging and forces continued personal growth and development. Because it requires a continual beginner’s mind as I encounter increasingly difficult challenges. And, while solving challenges and growing, I get to be surrounded by folks that, like me, are intensely curious.