Diogo from diogo.xyzBack to blog

How I started programming

Feb 15, 2017

I’m building a software company without prior experience. This company is being built around a need that I’ve realized 3 years ago and I have been dreaming of solving it out one day.

At that time I hadn’t any solid technical skills, I was just getting to know the basics. I was on my first year at Minho University, but the year before I was studying Mathematics in Aveiro University and that was the first time I was introduced to programming. It was hard and I hated it.

For me it was one of the most challenging subjects at the time, the big difference from the other subjects was that when I made something wrong I just couldn’t move on onto the problem. I didn’t understand the errors, I didn’t understand the concepts and I didn’t care either.

Part of it came from my teacher of the practical classes. She couldn’t be careless. She didn’t explain when we had doubts. She wasn’t a programmer, she struggled with simple questions. I don’t even understand how she teached programming classes. Awful.

I had theoretical classes too but I only attended 2 times. It was in a full auditorium with more than a hundred students and a lot of noise, for an unfocused student like I was, it wasn’t worthy.

With this context and my lack of interest in college, it made programming a beast. A beast that I had to beat like every other class.

I couldn’t learn on my own so I seeked my colleagues for help but they were struggling too. So I had to come up with a solution. That was when I found a Facebook post from a Masters degree student giving Programming lessons for like 5 euros an hour, It was it. I called him and we dealt that he would come once a week at my house to help me and a friend.

After a month it was still hard. I was starting to understand the foundations but the subject on the class was getting harder and confusing.

But at some point and after struggling a lot, it started to make a lot more sense. I started to appreciate solving the problems. It didn’t get any easier but became fun. I started to build little systems that solved problems and did some interesting things. I kept failing a lot, but I’ve learned how to move on, not giving up and finding solutions.

Outside of college I started to get interested in websites and how they were done. Mainly the design, but also how it’s built. I started to learn HTML and CSS, then Javascript.

This was 4 years ago. I’ve never stopped programming ever since.

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