Let me start and say I am starting to write this and on day 13 of this commitment. I am ill and my brain is not working to well right now (at least not enough to code) so I decided to type. Writing I understand can be an intense activity but I often use it to decompress. I today decided that I should take a break, and as I say that a reminder comes up for me to start coding for a minimum time from 10:30 pm to 12 AM. I have another reminder set for 9:30 PM to 10:30 PM to focus on studying for the PMI-ACP credential and last I have a reminder that goes 12 am to 1 am to work on my MBA. What I have realized is this is not feasible with a 10-month-old and 4 year old at home if I want to keep my health and as I write my 10 month old wakes up so I just got back to this post after being interrupted for 20 minutes. I find interruptions when learning to code definitely the most difficult as there is a level of continuity and flow that seems to go with coding. Coding and design are new to me as it has been about 5–6 years since I coded in SQL which to me is a very simple language compared to most other languages. So my experience so far has been difficult as I might be overextending myself and have decided to pull back on my MBA for 3 months until I am completed my ACP exam. There was a clear reason for this which I will now explain.
The 100 Days of Code experience so far is flexible but at the same time, it teaches you regimented learning with a sense of community. Much of my education has been formal as I have been in formal courses of some type for the last 17 years straight. My readings have often been textbooks so in seeing an opportunity to learn differently I took it. I find the flexibility of being able to learn on my own which for the past 12 years I have preferred. I also understand that learning directly from a book and just digesting that now is a little bit more difficult as I have started to age. I now find that blended learning with practicing or being hands-on with the skillset is allowing me to learn in more depth and at a greater pace. Still, I am using books for reference but not in the way where it is strictly guiding my learning. The flexibility of how to learn really made me prioritize the coding component I am starting to push towards the python route more and more and skip the front end coding. I found that a mix of hands on exercises, video tutorials and static content help me in absorbing information. I wrote a previous post on post-secondary’s being behind in keeping up with the changes in learning and the flexibility which can be found here. Many post secondary’s are rushing now to get where they need to with outfits like Coursera and Udemy eating into the market share. My MBA from Heriot-Watt recently changed their courses to be a greater blend of learning and also more practical, I was impressed and excited now to get back to some of these courses. Still I realize I will not be able to teach myself how to program to the extent that I want to on the data-science side over 100 days with the time I plan on putting in but feel like long term over a year I can gain the skill-set. I understand bootcamps and these 3 to 5 day workshops but really question the effectiveness of absorbing the content so it can be implemented.
My decision to continue with my ACP with PMI was mainly due to this being a certification where I feel I know the content and will just need to brush up on some of PMI’s frameworks. I purchased a Udemy course that would help me prepare and I also wanted to again accelerate my learning with different mediums. I will say flexibility in learning is also very important to me as with kids and also currently fighting the flu for over 4 days and everything was put on hold to feel better after taking care of the kids I watched Netflix and in doing so realized that the framework of Netflix is very intuitive and UX wise many of the organizations I speak about could learn from Netflix. It groups items and understands the individual fairly quickly and the platform used is simple and interactive. I now am at a point where I realize that I make choices but now they are becoming more value-driven and I am able to shift quicker if not with a more agile mindset. I also realize roles are changing and skillsets need to be increased but there are limitations in as just like the project management triangle with budget, time and scope. Most people have all three of these partially constrained and this affects how much they can truly upskill.
So here I am planning 100 days of code realistically this will shift after 25 days to mostly Python and possibly R as I really want to look at coding in regards to up-skilling in analytics and data science. I also more or less have a 60-day deadline starting today for myself to write my ACP. I have started to search more on interactive ways to learn how to code and am finding a lot of options. Still as much as I respect web-developers I also see HTML and CSS and many other customizations of websites being slowly taken over by visual web-design where a coder is not needed (mind you this may occur in a lot of other areas as well). I am seeing the rise of visual design without code as I would say I had an introductory knowledge of web-based coding as there are many website builders now easy and flexible to use. I understand people have programmed these sites but my decision to not focus on front end development at least on the web side is more rooted in this assumption (which some have agreed with and others have not). I, unfortunately, have to stop writing cause I made some choices and now need to live with them or more so work through them.
Fahim Moledina is the Principal Consultant for Opti-Syn Consulting and is a business leader with expertise in project/change management, finance, lean/agile methods, as well as marketing and sales. He has a passion for technology and has lead multiple business transformation projects.
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