What I Went Through After 34 Days Learning Responsive Web Design at freeCodecamp

learning responsive web design

Learning HTML and CSS wasn’t my plan in the first place. But it is the meat of the matter learning Responsive Web Design at FreeCodecamp.

I was inspired by a mix of opportunities I’ve seen online for those people who know how to code. Plus, I want to shift a career from being a virtual assistant to being a programmer. Which I have to start as a web developer and learn responsive web design.

Another thing:

I have a social media application in mind that I want to make it a reality. What prevents me is both money and skill. I don’t have money so I must build the skills to make my dream come true.

There’s a lot of reasons why I must learn to code. Take note: I said MUST. It’s not optional. Or conditional for me!

I’ve written a whole article for my reasons here.

It’s been a month since I started to learn to code. I was consumed that I didn’t have time to update my blog and write some articles. 

To learn to code is a priority for me. Even urgent. It’s a key for me to shift career online as a web developer and hopefully create my own web app or mobile app in two to five years time. It’s a long shot.

Who knows, right?

Learning Responsive Web Design

I learned that HTML and CSS are pretty basic requirements for making websites. For responsive web design. These markup languages HTML and CSS are difficult to grasp especially at first.

I got lost a lot and my learning retention is pretty low.

After I finished all the theory and started making projects, I have to go back again to online resources like Youtube, reading online articles, and review the lessons at freeCodecamp.

I was really dumbfounded.

In completing my projects, I got lost a lot. Too dumb to find the answers online. But I did not give up.

If it was not for my desperation to learn, I would have given up. Sometimes, I ask myself, “Why make your life complicated Marleo for this online learning?”

This question is tempting to let it sink in in my mind. But I fight for it. Again, for my dream to become a programmer or a developer.

Teaching yourself to code alone is not easy.

Three things I learn

I must be honest to you of three things if you want to learn to code:

It’s really really difficult.

It’s time-consuming.

It’s brain-wracking.

Yes, learning to code is very very difficult especially if you’re a guy like me coming from a non-IT background. I’m also in my mid-thirties and it feels like it’s too late to learn.

But I don’t want to make an excuse because of my age.

Others said one hour is enough to learn to code every day. This is realistic if you go for theory only. But when you build projects, one hour is way way not enough.

When I did my projects, I burned 8-12 hours every day. 

I was even tempted not to eat, not to sleep until I fixed the error. Until I finished the project. That’s how obsess I was finding solutions.

Imagine, only one code away to complete my project. But I can’t seem to figure that out.

Am I this dumb? I ask myself a lot of times. Then I discovered later that it’s a syntax error that messed up all my code. I laughed at myself many times. For one syntax error it took me a day or two to find it.

Yeah, I really suck.

Finding errors and solutions, believe me, it’s brain-wracking. It’s pure torture. When I felt I’ve exhausted everything to find solutions, and my brain no longer functioned well, I took a break. 

I rest and let my brain recover.

34 Days

Yes, it’s more than a month. Am I fast or slow? I don’t know.

I read online that they were able to finish Responsive Web Design in less than two weeks at freeCodecamp. Wow! They’re incredible. Amazing even.

However, I avoided comparing myself to others to avoid getting discourage

I’ll run my own race. My own timeline. My way.

I test myself how far I would go in 100 days. In 365 days. 

34 days for me is not bad. The days are not important. Rather, the lessons I learned and the struggles I went through.

Biggest Takeaway

Knowing who I am.

Yes! My strengths and weaknesses. How fast and how slow I learn.

And how I tend to get obsess to find the solutions and always get tempted not to go to sleep until I found solutions to my coding problems.

I’d be honest with you:

I’m still not good at executing CSS Flexbox and Grid. This is my weakness.

That’s why I review lessons on YouTube and keep reading materials related to it. And even play a game about it sometimes whenever time allows me.

But the biggest takeaway?


I cannot overemphasize patience. Learning to code requires a lot of patience. I mean A LOT.

Especially now I’m going to a bigger challenge to learn JavaScript. It is the bigger beast to fight. The technique is important to tame the beast.

My next lesson will be now real programming. If I suck learning markup languages like HTML and CSS, I expect I’ll suck more in JavaScript.

Damn, bring it on. I’m ready to suck it all.

Hey JavaScript, you’re next. Be friendly to me.

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Marleo Enobio

Marleo is a work-at-home father. He blogs about his journey towards learning how to code and some online opportunities and tech news. When he's not working or doing anything online, he spends time with his family and serve a Christian community. He lives in General Santos City, Philippines.

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