Some time ago I had an idea to learn front end web development, as a career move. I took classes, worked through FreeCodeCamp’s initial program, paid for months of video training at TrainSignal (now Pluralsight, so you know how long ago this was) and TeamTreehouse, purchased books, paid for server space, the whole nine. I had a lab at home and pages of notes, documents, web snippets. Oh, so many web snippets, little bits of code that someday/maybe I’d use on an actual site.
If you haven’t noticed, a bit of a running theme for me is shoving everything into a someday/maybe pile - it’s not a list like you’d see for Getting Things Done, but an island of dreams and plans clogging up my mental ocean like so much plastic. Those web snippets were part of that, perfect bits of code I’d never have to share or use out in the wild, because I’d never get to the point of having a project be “live”. My fiction snippets on this site are different; they are bits from short stories that have been submitted, but didn’t make the final cut. But for coding, I stayed in the Dream Stage for far too long, never making the decision: is this what I want to do with my life?
I’ve finally come to the conclusion, I’m a Code Dabbler. I don’t want to code for a job, I don’t want to do it freelance. I’m the guy who makes a wooden picture frame or other one-off project, not a professional woodworker. Coding as a hobby is fun, and still a challenge for me. There’s opportunities to grow, without the headache of having to stay on top of the industry full-time.
Coming to the conclusion that you wasted time on a dream that’s no longer relevant isn’t easy. I put off making the decision just in case I was struck by lightning and decided to “go pro” with coding. But I never had a pro mindset, or the love for it. It’s just a hobby, and finally, I think I’m ok with that.