You Know Nothing

“You know nothing. You know less than nothing. If you even knew that you knew nothing, that would be something. But you don’t.” – Harp, Point Break.

Thus begins Johnny Utah’s first day at the FBI. Nice way to welcome someone to the office...

In fact, Johnny is a “real blue-flame special” as Harp also notes – top of his class, football star, the works. But he’s still made to feel like he’s less than, before he’s even got started.

So, why would I write about coding? I’m no blue-flame special. I know nothing (and I know it).

But of course, I still know more than some. For example, if you want to learn to code, where do you start? I know about that bit!

It took me ages to find Code Institute and the Welsh government’s career-changers scheme (the Personal Learning Account) which would allow me to do the Web Application Development diploma. I kept looking at bootcamps, online courses, even full Comp Sci degrees, but I could never afford them.

(I know people self-teach from free courses, but I want to go deeper faster than I think that would allow me. I also know my propensity for procrastination – Lord knows what I’d end up actually learning.)

The first thing I can write about is that journey. Knowing I wanted to learn to code and develop, but not knowing how to go about it. The barriers to even knowing that it would be a possibility.

The main barrier was still in my own mind – is this really something I can do? Don’t I have to be good at (shudder) maths? And I’m a girl – is it even allowed?! And I’m too old! And so on and so on.

The thing is that even when I am an expert in something, I still feel like this. Imposter syndrome gets everyone.

So, I will just do it anyway! I want to write about my journey because I’ve always loved writing. I 100% want to use those hard-won skills and expertise to back up my journey, and maybe along the way (when I know a little more than nothing) I can be useful to others as well.

Theory is when you know everything, but nothing works. Practice is when you don't know anything, yet everything works. In programming we combine theory and practice; nothing works, and we don't know why.

NoviceCodingImposter Syndrome
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Written by Kat


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