Learning web development as a structural engineer


Structural engineering - I do not like this Sam I am.

So I am looking to integrate my career with web development. Why? Passions and practicality aside, creating your own web app can not only offer rewards in terms of self-satisfaction and monetary gain (see low-barrier to entry and unlimited leverage) but also I am looking to solve problems in my everyday life as a structural engineer.

Stuff takes too long, and I am looking to automate some repetitive and arduous tasks. Time is money huh? But honestly, I'm just here looking to make my life a little easier. Imagine collecting a paycheck with minimal effort. Lovely. As long as the boss doesn't find out this untapped efficiency. 🤫

Plan of Attack

So, how to start? I have already gotten a taste with programming from high-school and university, with the compulsory computer science courses. In my spare time, I have tried the Odin Project with some success - but this requires a lot of commitment and self-accountability. I have fallen off the coding bandwagon for a long time now, but after another cruddy day at work, I think it is time I have another go at this.

I'm at this weird limbo where I think I know how to code, so I do not bother with the basics of web development. This causes me to skip over "basic" concepts that I have forgotten and thinking everything is easy. Fast-forward to myself having a blank slate, and I have no idea what I'm doing!

So I am going to learn the follwing course and let someone spoon-feed me. I bought the course a while ago, but I really should look into it now: https://www.udemy.com/share/101W9C3@4lIzcPA_woYS6fGtw0jRFzj4OXVyMFcRJAFnzmPs-S7XJXunDLyVesjZxMNWhUtO/

Another way of keeping myself accountable is with this blog. I am writing with the intention that this is my own personal diary. Raw, unfiltered thoughts that has very minimal editting. If I write with the intention that someone is going to review and poo-poo all over my work, that should hopefully give me that drive I was sorely missing.

The final thing I am going to do today is set some goals. I know it is a beneficial thing to do, but again, I thought I was too smart to set and write goals; it's all stored in my "massive" brain. Ironincally, I believe my previous managers have told me about the concept of setting SMART goals.

SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achieveable, Realistic and Time-bound.

Definition of my goal, who will do it and why:

Grand/Macro Goal (1 year): To create a web-app that will solve my structural engineering problems. I want to create a tool that will minimise the time of mucking around at work. I will need to be self-accountable cause no one else will do it for me. Aim to have some sort of tool created in 6 months from now - at least have the MVP (see Minimum Viable Product) idea conceptulised.

Micro Goal (3-4 months): Finish the Udemy Course previously linked.

Unit of measure to track my goals:

  • Get through at least 4 sections a week. If I can do this at a minimum, I will call this a success. This should take about 15 weeks (potentially could complete quicker).
  • If I have completed this course in a quicker than estimated time-frame, then look to taking a REACT course and brush up on the basics again.
  • Make at least 1 blog post a week, to update and give myself some accountabilty. It would also be a good record for me to track my accountability.

UPDATE: 20/04/2023: Disappointment

Well, well, well. Life gets in the way huh. Literally did nothing. Who knows? Does this stem from an undiagnosed ailment, or pure laziness? What I do know is that I have given up. Disappointing huh? I'm too tired to learn.

So why return to this failed project? Who knows? I'm just using as a space to vent. You know what I have discovered though? I would love to just read and write in my spare time. Too bad I only like the thought of it only. Ciao.

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