Coding as a learning process
I was a journalist and labor activist in Iran. Before being forced to seek asylum in Norway, I was politically involved with the movement for more than 40 years. At that point, I believed my life was over since there was no hope that things would improve anytime soon. As a result, I fell into a deep depression, or as my psychiatrist called it, PTSD. But suddenly, a light flared at the end of the tunnel.
When I was a young man in the U.S. studying, I had a strong interest in technology, especially in Computer Science. As a student activist, but, I lacked time for extra classes. So, I did not pursue this interest. However, when I was forced into retirement, I had all the time in the world. The only obstacle to returning to college was my inability to speak Norwegian fluently. Even so, I was not about to give up this time. After all, it was the twenty-first century, and I had enough education to teach myself.
When I started researching the subject, I found that Computer Science had so many branches that it was difficult to choose. So, I used the little experience I had. As a journalist and activist, I had to learn how to set up websites. At first, I created HTML websites using the Microsoft Frontpage app. Later, I came across WordPress blogs and templates for news websites. In the end, I decided that instead of starting from scratch and going completely bananas, it would be better to rely on what I am already familiar with. Coding websites became my goal.
I then had to find an online source that I could use to learn from. As a result of reading many articles on the subject, I chose Codecademy. The HTML and CSS courses offered for free were very helpful to me. Though very informative, I needed to apply the information. Thus, I enrolled in one of their Pro courses, which included not only theory but also many projects for me to create. The final project was the cherry on top. For the design of a static website, I gained considerable experience and confidence with HTML and CSS.
At that time, I was so confident that I built two websites for my friends. This was an uplifting experience. Then a friend of mine asked me to create an eCommerce site for his grocery store. The attempt was extremely humiliating. There were so many parts and pieces that had to work together. Errors kept popping up, which I could not figure out, and I could not find the solutions online. I had a coding nightmare!
I began chatting about my problems. Someone suggested I try ReactJS. I did that. I soon realized that ReactJS couldn’t solve my problems. It was beyond that. I was having trouble with the nitty-gritty that I had never faced or learned before.
My last chapter in life was told here. Coding made a depressed old man feel alive again. As I shared my story with you, I hoped it would show you that disappointment can become hope and inspire you to follow your dreams.