Wern Ancheta

Adventures in Web Development.

Why I Code

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Why I code? I’ve been thinking about this lately. Why is it that I love coding? What is it about coding that keeps me from doing it? What makes it so special? How do I maintain my love for coding even if its so frustrating most of the time. When I was younger I was into drawing. Cartoon characters, robots, sceneries, abstract art, and anything else that picked my interest. Not a week would past that I haven’t added a new drawing in my collection. What kept me drawing back then was the sheer joy of adding a new drawing in my collection. It was sort of addictive. I couldn’t wait to fill that old magazine with my drawings. In the end I ended up filling up about 8 old magazines with about 50 drawings each. Why did I stopped? It was around college days that I stopped drawing entirely. Mainly because of how busy it was and I really wanted to concentrate on my studies. College was my very first introduction to coding. The first programming language that I’ve learned was c++. I easily picked up coding at first because we were just assigning variables and outputting strings. But as we dive deeper into adding actual logic in the programs that we wrote in our class, that’s when my head started to hurt. I remember spending about 3 hours on our first project without making any progress. That was the dark ages when I didn’t know how to ask Google for answers. Back then I never thought I’d be doing coding as a primary source of work. I thought it was too difficult. Maybe I’ll just do animation and stuff. But hey, Computer Programming was a major subject that I needed to pass. So it just came naturally that I needed to do something about it. That was when I started to take some of my free time and use it to practice writing some code. I took some of the exercises that we were having and tried to write it from scratch without looking at any of the notes. Once I’ve successfully implemented it, I added some features. That was also when my Googling skills started to improve, as I needed some useful answers to the problems that I was having. Then I also discovered something that will change my life forever. Stackoverflow. I joined Stackoverflow in hopes that it will provide me some answers to the problems that I was having. Before I knew it, I have already asked about a hundred questions. Most of them with some useful answers from the community. Some were marked as a duplicate question, some were marked as non-useful or out of scope. Either way the comments and answers were really useful. Sometimes even the comments are enough.

Over time I got better at coding. I started to feel confident about my coding skills. I started believing that I could actually do this for a job. As I started to know more about programming and gain more experience. I realized just how much I still don’t know. That’s the time when I started my very first blog which I would write about some of the things that I’ve learned in my coding adventures. At first I was writing about some VB.Net CRUD things. Because that was what they were teaching at school. I also wrote about some Java stuff when it was taught. Then came Web Development. HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP and MySQL. And I taught to myself. Dude! this is pretty sweet! I could write a program and have it used by many people as long as they’re connected to the internet. That’s when we were introduced to w3schools and htmlgoodies. These websites quickly became my best friend. They were my number one source of web stuff for a long time. But then came w3fools. Which made me realize that w3schools actually sucks. I started using MDN as my primary reference for web stuff as w3fools recommended.

Fast-forward to the present. I am now calling myself a web developer. Specifically a full-stack developer. Responsible for almost everything that’s needed to release a whole website out in the open. I’m a web developer for about 2 years now. Mainly doing some remote work. And sometimes freelancing on the side. And that leads us to the original question. Why I code? That’s mainly because it gives you the ability to reach thousands of people and make their lives easier through the use of the app that you’ve written. Its the joy of creating something out of nothing. The challenges that you encounter as you try to build your app. That rewarding feeling that you get when you finally implemented that feature which made your brain explode. Or that feeling that you got when you finally solved that bug that’s been haunting you for 10 hours. Its also about the excitement that you feel whenever there’s a shiny new toy that comes out. The shiny new toy can be any library, framework or programming language that was released recently. Finally, I code because I want to leave something to the world that will prove my existence. That I have onced lived and created this useful website or app that has been useful to many people. I’m still far from that realization though. Like I said earlier, my side projects mainly solve a specific problem that I’m having. And the projects that I’m getting from the company I’m currently working for are targeted only for a specific group of people and country. At most there will only be hundreds of people who will be able to use it.