Journey So Far

Journey So Far


8 min read

So from the title you probably know this isn't going to be like one of my other articles.

June 1st is going to make it a year since I decided to start learning flutter, so the idea of this article is to take you through my journey so far. And I'll be touching these major parts through the article.

Just a heads up before we begin. I'm not good at writhing or telling stories either so just bare with me ๐Ÿ˜ฌ.

How I Started Programming

Before we get into this, I should give you a quick background. I'm Ifeanyi, 25 years old, Studied optometry in the university and before I came across programming the only thing I used a computer for was watch movies and play video games.

I wrote my final year exams back in 2018 and due to accreditation issues my entire set had to spend an extra year at home while we waited to get inducted. Within this year about six to seven months passed with me doing basically nothing then about six months in, that was July 2019 I think, I followed my elder sister to her office where I got talking with one of her co-workers who told me about coding boot-camps after I told him I was doing nothing at home. I've always been into video games so the thought of being able to learn to code and make an actual game seemed really interesting to me.

So when I got home that day I did my own research and that was the time I found out someone can actually learn to code, with the help of resources online. Somehow my research ended up with me deciding to learn Java.

I borrowed my sisters laptop, downloaded a bunch of stuff, both materials and tools needed to setup the laptop. And by materials I mean pdf's of java books like java for dummies and head first java (really great books). This was the start of August 2019 and I was completely focused on java up till September when I started hoping from one language to the other. By October 2019 I was learning both java and JavaScript ๐Ÿ˜‚.

Around this period I got news from school that accreditation issues was finally being resolved so we all went back, rounded up our thesis defense. I couldn't go back with my sisters laptop that's when I came across solo learn, w3schools, freecodecamp etc. and I just continued hopping, so html, CSS, JavaScript, php, python, node. I wanted to learn it all.

I later got inducted by the end of November before I went back home and the first hospital I applied to for my one year internship had their exam set for December 10 or 11 I think. So I traveled for the exam and come back after 2 days only to find out we were robbed the previous night. Thankfully no body was hurt, just gadgets and cash stolen. In essence laptop was gone together with everyone's phones and my PlayStation ๐Ÿ˜ข. Anyway I was back to solo learn and at this point I was also making use of termux too which is a Linux command line app for android.

How I Started Flutter

Fast forward from December, I got an offer for the internship by January 2020 and I resumed by the end of February. By may I was able to get a laptop and with covid going on there was a lot of restrictions and the hospital only took in emergency cases which is not my area, I had a lot of free time. So my choice were to either continue with java or try something else.

After my internet research I decided to go with flutter over java or react native. By June 2020 I had started a Flutter course on Udemy by the amazing Dr Angela Yu. That's when I found out everything is a widget. With all the free time I had I was able to go through the course in less than three weeks.

What I did was, I would go through a complete module while I take notes. Then try to recreate whatever was covered in the module using my notes and when I get stuck somewhere I google it, if I still cant figure it out I go back to watch that part of the course. That was my routine till the end.

At the end of the course there's a section about "what to do next" or something like that where she talked about building personal projects and sharing your journey with the community. And if on twitter you can share your progress with the #flutterbrew hashtag. That was when I got back on twitter and followed a bunch of accounts that tweeted about programming, its also when I came across the #100DaysOfCode challenge.

At the end of June, after I completed the course I decided to make use of the #100DaysOfCode to work on personal projects and further solidify the knowledge I had.

My first project was bookie, and the initial plan/idea for the project was waaaayyyy beyond what I was capable of at the time ๐Ÿ˜…, so with every obstacle I couldn't get past I basically just simplified the project more and it ended up as an app to download and read e-books. And even at that I was only able to see it through with the help of similar projects I found on GitHub and some new friends I made on twitter.

I spent about a month+ on the bookie project before publishing to playstore for the first time.

At this point I knew I was making progress, I also knew I still had a lot to learn so I got another Udemy course by the awesome Macmillan.

By August 2020 I started a new project called vybe music player while still taking the course I just got. This time I kept my plans/ideas so small that I cant believe I got it to work up to the way it is now. I spent close to two months on the music player before publishing to the playstore.

By the start of October I was done with my #100DaysOfCode challenge. After that I still continued working on personal projects, learning new things and building a portfolio while sharing on twitter.

What I Am Currently Working On

All the while I was learning and building I didn't really see how I could work (even remotely) while on my internship so I didn't bother applying for jobs. The plan was to start applying after my internship or maybe during service. But somehow it's like the universe was working in my favor.

Shortly after my internship ended in February 2021 and I went home, someone reached out to me on twitter and basically offered me a job.

Bumpchats is the name of the project I've been working on. Its an audio enabled platform, tailor-made for genuine and safe conversations allowing people to discover and connect with people while building their identity with every use. And its all widgets.

You can find it on Twitter to stay updated. It'll also be going into private beta launch by July 1st and you can join the Waitlist to be one of the first to try it out.

Its been really fun so far working on a really interesting project with an amazing team and I cant wait to see how it plays out.

Also I've been writing articles for a couple of months now and this should be the 10th article for the 10th week since I started, so yaaah ๐ŸŽ‰.

What I Plan To Do Next

These days it seems like 24hrs is no longer enough and if I was to answer this a few months ago it'll probably be to learn a backend language, probable node.js or Go. But the plan just seems to keep changing and I honestly don't mind.

My plan right now though is to really stick to mobile development, so if I'm to learn something new it'll probably be native development with java for android and swift for iOS.

Tips / Advice

  • if you're new to programming in general I think its fine to jump from language to language, It'll help you find where you need to be.
  • When you find your path stick to it, be consistent and learn it from the very basics.
  • If you're just starting out with flutter then take a course. I know there are lots of free content out there but so far I haven't seen anything as structured as the courses I took which has been a big help.
  • Don't go from course to course or tutorial to tutorial. Build your own projects no matter how simple and see it through.
  • The #100DaysOfCode challenge really helped me see my projects through because its what I worked on most of time.
  • Join a community and reach out to people when you get stuck.
  • And probably most important of them all, be consistent and patient.

The End

Well you're all caught up now. I look forward to what seeing what comes next ๐Ÿคž.

If you have any questions you can drop it in the comment section or hit me up on Twitter.