🙋 How to Show Up Daily as a Newbie Dev

When there’s just so much going on!

🙋 How to Show Up Daily as a Newbie Dev

Let's be honest, becoming a successful developer isn't about those occasional all-nighters fuelled by energy drinks and desperation. It's about building habits that stick and a mindset that keeps you going when the going gets tough.

Sure, we've all been there – scrambling to meet a deadline or cram for an exam, burning the midnight oil with frantic coding sessions.

But those intense bursts of effort, while sometimes necessary, won't get you very far in the long run.

So what’s the true keys to unlocking your potential as a developer?

It's all about showing up daily and putting in the work, even when it feels like an uphill battle.

It's about setting achievable goals that keep you motivated and moving forward.

It's about embracing the bugs and errors as opportunities to grow, instead of roadblocks.

It's about getting your hands dirty with real-world projects and learning by doing.

And it's about taking the time to reflect on your journey, acknowledging your wins and learning from your losses.

So, if you're a newbie dev feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount there is to learn, firstly, take a deep breath and then read on...

Here are some practical strategies to help you show up daily and make consistent progress, even when there's just so much going on.

Consistency Over Intensity

Forget the myth of overnight success through intense, irregular coding sessions. That's a surefire path to burnout and frustration. Real progress comes from the compound effect of consistent daily habits.

Small, consistent actions can lead to massive results over time. It's like the compound interest of good habits.

Every day you show up and put in the work, even if it's just for a short period, you're adding to your coding knowledge and skills.

Those tiny, daily efforts might not seem like much at first, but they quickly start to compound. Before you know it, you've built up a solid foundation of understanding and experience that would have taken months or years to achieve through sporadic bursts of effort.

So, how do you actually develop this magical consistency? It all comes down to building habits that stick. Here are a few practical tips to get you started:

  1. Set a specific time for coding practice each day. Whether it's first thing in the morning, during your lunch break, or before bed, pick a time that works for you and treat it like an important appointment.

  2. Start small. Don't overwhelm yourself by committing to hours of coding each day. Even 15-30 minutes of focused practice can make a big difference over time.

  3. Create a dedicated coding space. Having a specific area set up for coding can help trigger your brain into "work mode" and make it easier to stay focused.

  4. Use habit tracking apps or calendars. Visually seeing your streak of consistent practice can be a powerful motivator to keep going.

  5. Find an accountability buddy. Having someone to check in with and keep you on track can be a game-changer when it comes to building consistent habits.

Remember, consistency is key. Trust the process, and you'll be amazed at the progress you can make.

Setting Realistic Goals

Alright, we've covered the importance of consistency, but what's the key to maintaining that consistency long-term? Two words: realistic goals.

We've all been there - setting grand, big and shiny goals that sounded great in theory but ended up being totally overwhelming and demotivating.

That's why it's crucial to set objectives that are challenging yet achievable, especially as a newbie dev.

Short-term, bite-sized goals will keep you motivated and provide a clear path forward, one step at a time.

So, what does a realistic daily goal look like?

It could be something as simple as dedicating 30 minutes to coding practice or completing a set number of coding exercises.

Maybe it's working through a specific section of a tutorial or contributing to an open-source project for an hour.

The key is to make it manageable and specific to your current skill level.

Of course, even with the best intentions, things don't always go according to plan.

That's why it's essential to track your progress and be willing to adjust your goals as needed. Use a simple spreadsheet, notebook, or app to monitor your daily achievements and stumbling blocks.

If you're consistently falling short or breezing through your goals, it's time to reevaluate and make them more challenging or more reasonable.

The beauty of setting realistic goals is that they're designed to evolve with you.

As you level up your skills, your goals can scale accordingly, always keeping you motivated and focused on continuous improvement.

Embracing Failure as a Learning Tool

So let's talk about something that strikes fear into the heart of every newbie dev: failure.

But what if we told you that failure is actually your friend on this coding journey?

It's all about having a mindset shift. Instead of viewing setbacks and challenges as roadblocks, start seeing them as essential learning opportunities.

Every bug, every error message, every head-scratching moment is a chance to level up your skills and deepen your understanding.

Speaking of bugs, they're an inevitable part of the coding process – even for the most experienced developers.

However, don't just fix the bug and move on – take the time to understand why it happened in the first place. That's how you'll start building a mental library of common pitfalls and solutions, making you a more efficient and effective coder in the long run.

Of course, dealing with constant failures and roadblocks can be demoralising, even with the right mindset. That's why it's crucial to cultivate resilience – the ability to bounce back from setbacks and keep pushing forward.

Here are a few tips to help you stay motivated and resilient in the face of coding challenges:

  1. Celebrate small wins. Even if it's just fixing a tiny bug or mastering a new concept, acknowledge your progress and give yourself a pat on the back.

  2. Take breaks. When you hit a wall, step away from the code for a bit. Go for a walk, grab a snack, or do something that clears your mind. Fresh perspective works wonders.

  3. Reach out for support. You're not alone in this journey. Lean on your network of fellow devs, mentors, or online communities for guidance and moral support.

  4. Remember your "why." Revisit your motivation for learning to code in the first place. That deeper purpose can be a powerful driving force when the going gets tough.

Practical Applications and Projects

We can talk theory and exercises all day long, but at some point, you've got to get your hands dirty with some real-world coding projects. Why? Because that's where the true learning happens.

Sure, tutorials and practice exercises are great for building a solid foundation, but there's nothing quite like applying that theoretical knowledge to an actual problem or project.

So, how do you get started with these magical real-world projects? Well, there are a few options:

  1. Personal projects: Have a cool app idea? A website you've been wanting to build? A program that could solve a problem you're passionate about? Run with it! Personal projects give you the freedom to apply your skills in a way that's meaningful to you.

  2. Open-source contributions: The open-source community is a goldmine of opportunities to contribute to real-world projects. Scan platforms like GitHub for projects that align with your interests and skill level, and start getting involved.

  3. Freelancing/client work: If you're feeling adventurous (and in need of some pocket money), you could even start taking on small freelance gigs or client projects. Nothing like a little pressure to sharpen those skills!

You'll get invaluable experience with project management, collaboration, and dealing with client or user requirements – essential skills for any developer.

And let's not forget the incredible sense of accomplishment that comes with shipping a real, functional product or contributing to an open-source project.

The Power of Reflection and Review

You've put in the work, built consistent habits, set realistic goals, embraced failure, and even started tackling real-world projects.

But there's one more crucial ingredient for accelerating your growth as a developer: reflection and review.

coding is as much a mental game as it is a technical skill. Taking the time to regularly reflect on your progress, challenges, and thought processes can be a game-changer for your learning and skill development.

It's easy to get caught up in the daily grind, powering through tutorials and projects without stopping to consider what's really sinking in and what's still fuzzy. But by consciously reflecting on your experiences, you'll start to identify patterns, strengths, weaknesses, and areas that need more attention.

Keeping a Coding Diary

One of the best ways to achieve this reflective practice?

Keep a coding diary or journal. Don't worry, we're not talking about a teenage angst-filled diary – just a simple place to document your coding journey.

Jot down the challenges you faced each day, the solutions you found, the concepts that clicked (or didn't), and any random musings or revelations that popped into your head.

You'd be surprised how much insight you can gain by regularly revisiting and reflecting on these notes.

Reviewing and Adjusting

But reflection isn't just about looking back – it's also about using those insights to inform your future actions. After all, what good is all that self-awareness if you don't put it to use?

Regularly review your journal entries, coding progress, and learning experiences. Identify areas where you're excelling and areas that need more work. Then, use those observations to adjust your goals, strategies, and study techniques accordingly.

Maybe you realise you're breezing through front-end concepts but struggling with back-end logic – time to shift your focus and find more resources on server-side development. Or perhaps you notice that you learn best through video tutorials, so you can prioritise those types of resources moving forward.

The key is to treat your coding journey as an iterative process, continuously reflecting, reviewing, and adapting your approach for more effective learning outcomes.

Remember, growth as a developer isn't just about consuming knowledge – it's about regularly stepping back, analysing your progress, and using those insights to optimise your path forward.


Becoming a successful developer demands consistency, realistic goals, embracing failure, practical application, and self-reflection. Mastery isn't achieved through intense, random bursts but by showing up daily and trusting the process.

Integrate coding habits seamlessly into your routine. Set achievable goals that challenge yet motivate you. View every error as a growth opportunity, and seek real-world projects to apply your skills practically.

Most importantly, prioritise reflection - document your journey, and use those insights to continually refine your approach.

Progress comes from small, consistent efforts compounded over time, not grand leaps. Take that first step today, embrace the journey, and watch as your coding skills expand over time.

The road ahead is challenging but rewarding - are you ready to show up and conquer it daily?

From your fellow ever-growing dev,

Cherlock Code

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