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Learning Backend WebDev, Log #11 - Got a Django Certificate! Some Reflections

Been a few days since I wrote about Django.
Last week was a roller coaster personally, so I took things slow.
And then got back to a rhythm this week.

The daily work’s paid off and I managed to hit a milestone.
I got done with my Django course, today! :)
Hurrah!


Picture of my certificate, passing the Django Course

Cert online.


Some Reflections (in no particular order)

  • I should keep better logs and notes about how I go about doing work. I kept deleting my sqlite database, trying to fix model errors, forgetting that I’d moved to Postgres.
  • This whole Django journey has built up on the last one. While I stood up a Django project the last time, I didn’t understand or grasp what I was doing.
  • This time around, I’ve understood the why and I’ve gotten a better mental model of how it all hangs together. What the request response cycle is. What needs to happen then. How it’s mostly all CRUD. How Django enables me to tie all these pieces together using models and views and forms and templates and a million and one little things to ease my life.
  • I’m now confident enough to go try standing up a Django project on my own and then muddle through, to build something I want.
  • I started the year, flailing about in the world of programming, because everything interested me. I’m thankful I took the time, to figure out what interested me and where I wanted to apply my focus to. Once I zeroed in on doing web development with Python, I’ve made much better progress learning.
  • While I understand that I need to write a lot more code, I want to finish building up a firm foundation first. To that end I want to learn Postgres, finish up CS50W, crash learn Data Structures & Algorithms (for my Indian interviews. Nearly every Indian company I’ve interviewed with, has made me do this and I’ve flunked miserably every time. I hope to miserably pass muster at least, going forward) and a wee bit of C. Also JavaScript. Lots to learn. I need to do this bit by bit daily, just like I did this part so far.
  • I understand what folks say, when they talk about programming. I understand their opinions better. Makes me realise that I’ve gotten the basics down pat enough.
    To wit, Dr. Chuck was opining on destructors in classes in Javascript, and why there weren’t there in the early days and why they might be desirable now. And all the while, I was nodding my head in agreement, having understood every word, going uh-huh, uh-huh. Why? Yes! It’d be a darned good idea. I could do custom cleanup when my classes get torn down. (And this, from someone who has not written more than two pages of JavaScript yet 😂)
  • I kept waiting all this while, for it get easier, to reach some abstract level by means of some deep insight, hoping once I’d master that, I could then just fly along, spewing stuff, left right and centre, creating amazing works of code.
    What I found instead, is a bunch of primitives that folk all over the world, take and put together in different ways, using various methods of combining them.
  • I realised that most of programming is just convention, based on a few truths. Which means that there is no grand unifying theory that ties all this in a neat bow. It’s just a lot of dedicated folk putting in the toil to create said works of code and polishing them to make it look beautiful. It’s mostly hard work. Not Genius.
    Actual breakthroughs and genuine insights that change everything are few and far between.
  • And this makes me strangely happy. If it’s just hard work … well that I can do :) Why didn’t someone just point this out to me earlier? Knowledge work is just work? Putting in the hours and work and toil? Sure! Sign me up!
  • I figure, it’s turtles all the way down. The work consists of studying something complex, breaking it down, understanding it, practicing it, making it your own and creating a portfolio to show it off. Basically the same journey as a carpenter. Apprenticeship -> Journeyman -> Craftsman.
  • Finally, I’ve spent so much time telling folk, that becoming a good reader, took me years. And as usual I’ve been domain blind. I did not see, it’s the same thing with becoming a good programmer. Toil and patience.

I’m on a break for the whole of next week, and will be back after, to begin the rest of the journey, refreshed.
Here’s to upwards and onwards!


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