I wanted to gain proficiency in programming for a while now. I have tried and failed at this goal multiple times over the last five years. I’ve made sincere attempts, but there was always something that hindered my progress, and of all the reasons, there was only one reason that was halfway valid. The rest are all my fault. All of those failures have a common root cause – my lack of focus; and the solution to this problem might be minimalism.
I could have achieved so much more had I spent more time focusing on my goal instead of spending on other activities that did not matter as much in the long run.
This isn’t the first time I made a resolution such as this, and failed. I wrote a blog post in 2012, which I never published, which reads very similar to this post. History is not in my favor. So why do I believe this time is any different? I think my shift in attitude towards life might help me succeed this time. Minimalism helps me focus on things that matter to me. If I eliminate distractions and focus on my work, I should be able to make progress.
This is not something new to me. As I look back at life, I have done well for myself. I have a good job, and I am doing well in my career. I remember a time in my life when I had to study for hours to get through some very challenging exams. I am not blessed with any extraordinary level of intelligence, so my feeble success can only be attributed to self motivation and ambition.
Yet in this one area, I failed at motivating myself. For five years, I was unsuccessful at staying on track towards achieving higher technical knowledge. This is not something I am proud of.
The older I get, the more difficult it is going to be for me to learn to code. At 33, I think I still have a shot, but I need to make it count this time
I really dug deep this time and I told myself I am going to make a very sincere attempt. Sometimes achieving a goal requires a clear short term target, and a long term target, which I don’t think I had until now.
Short term goal
By the end of this year, I want to finish all the content in the following courses –
- Introduction to Java Programming for Online Learners
- The Complete Web Developer Course 2.0
- Build an application from scratch: JEE 7, Java 8 and Wildfly (Start this course if the knowledge from the introductory course is sufficient; otherwise, start with the next course)
- Testing Framework TestNG from Scratch with Java
Long term goal
So the important question to ask is, what is the point in gaining this knowledge? What is the end goal?
The end goal or the long term goal is difficult for me to articulate, but I will try. I feel that this is what I should be doing because it is driven by a need to create things. I do not know what these things are, but I think I will discover this as I make progress.
I have always enjoyed creating content, be it a blog or YouTube. I’ve been passionate about this for a very long time. So I think the next logical step would be to write software and build something. I am far from getting there, but if I showed the same kind of dedication to software development as I did towards my academics, I think I can make something of myself.
Career wise, my long term goal would be to become a technical analyst. As a quality assurance analyst, I have a fairly good grasp of software, to the point where I can provide product training, therefore learning the programming aspect of it would take my knowledge a few steps further.
In conclusion, I declare the following –
“From March 25, 2016 on wards, I will focus my energy on learning software programming. I will first focus on the short term goal of finishing the coursework I paid for. While pursuing this, I will also focus on the long term goal of gaining technical knowledge of the product(s) I work on, and transition into a technical analyst role.