Why I’m learning to code (again)

I explained in a previous post why I was making a change from web development to web design. The most significant of those reasons for me was that my brain couldn’t seem to handle programming anymore. I would stare glassy-eyed at a JavaScript problem while my body temperature rose and my brain shut down.

So instead I gave my poor post-covid brain something else to focus on. I spent about a month learning how to use Adobe Illustrator and studying typography, color, and layout. I even learned how to do basic 3D sketches by hand and designed a logo for a friend.

But I noticed a couple of things:

  1. Every time I tried to start a project that would specifically improve UI or UX design skills, I lost interest. So far, I’d been enjoying “just messing around”. When learning something for the first time, I think that stage is really important, and in my experience it can be far more valuable than endless tutorials. But if I wanted to make a career out of web design someday, I was going to need to focus. And that was somehow less interesting.
  2. A thought appeared in the back of my mind: “I can’t code anymore…but what if I could?” It started out as a whisper, but it steadily grew louder until I couldn’t ignore it anymore. Apparently part of me still wanted to study programming, but most of me believed it was impossible.

So I experimented with doing very easy JavaScript problems, and found that I’m not quite as incapable at writing code as I thought. I still experience long-haul covid symptoms (mostly fatigue), so I’m studying at a much slower pace than I did last year. That can be frustrating at times, until I remind myself that it’s a wonder I can do it at all.

It’s possible that all the design study I did helped me to regain some of my mental abilities. (I also re-started studying Japanese, and it’s possible that that has helped as well.) So none of it was a waste, and I can still use what I’ve learned about design to improve my web development projects. I just think I’d rather keep design as a hobby, instead of trying to make a career out of it.

But who knows what this year will bring? I may change my mind…again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.