Getting Real #1 – The Struggles of learning how to Code for Profit

I have been thinking for a while now about how I could create an engaging weekly piece of content that is something you guys would actually look forward to reading. Back last year, I had been releasing weekly articles, basically summarizing what I have learned during the week on my Bug Bounty endeavor, called The Ethical Hacking Diaries.

While this series has gained popularity really quickly, my interest in hacking and bug bounties has receded at the same time, leading me to drop the series along with the weekly newsletter altogether.

There was a multitude of reasons why that had happened, but none of them are relevant for this piece of content.

The point is, I love writing and it seems like, a lot of you like to read what I put out. Since I want to continue to cultivate the habit of writing small posts/updates on what’s going on on a weekly basis, I had to come up with a new idea.

The initial idea with the Ethical Hacking Diaries was to create something more interactive than a plain newsletter – and I think I have managed that pretty well, basically marrying video, blog, and newsletter content and interlinking all of those pieces together.

Now, this is the first draft of what’s hopefully going to be a new way for me to communicate and share with you guys what I have been up to, what I have learned, and what I want to learn, of course as well as content updates and some more casual stuff like books I am currently reading, et cetera.

This will probably evolve and change over time, but for now, I try to create a link between my newsletter and weekly blog posts as well as videos on my YouTube Channel.

I am super happy for any feedback or suggestions you might have in that regard, just shoot me a DM on Twitter and make sure to share this blog with your friends and bookmark it to check back for weekly updates.

I will send out those weekly posts together with my weekly newsletter, so if you want to stay on top of things, the easiest way is to sign up for the newsletter.

You will also always find all my recent links on my Linktree.

P.S: Don’t worry – the introduction to the following pieces will not be as detailed 🙂

Table of Contents

The Struggles of learning how to Code for Profit

Ooof, what a topic to start off. Well, those of you who know me know that I have been learning how to code for some time now (quitting several times along the way, sound familiar?).

I want to share this journey with you in the same fashion like I have shared my Bug Bounty / Ethical Hacking endeavors.

As of writing this article, I would consider myself, for the first time in my life, a “Programmer”. This is a term I would have never thought possible of combining with my person. I struggled, and still struggle extremely hard with learning how to code.

I was just recently diagnosed with something that I knew I had my whole life – ADHD.

I knew the reason why I had such a hard time learning new things, even stuff I started learning way ahead of others and they finally surpassed me. I guess having that officially now kind of puts things into perspective.

Talking about perspective, since I do have ADHD, I look into ways of methods of managing it and I am looking for new ways to approach learning.

I am currently on an 87-Day streak of daily programming and it hasn’t even crossed my mind once to skip a day.

But how the hell do you stay motivated?

I ask myself that question more often than I’d like to admit, but somehow since I started this challenge, things started clicking for me – and the more they clicked, the more I wanted to code. I just meat-headed through so to say.

I have to pay credit to Dr. Angela Yu and her excellent Python Bootcamp over at Udemy. I had been doing several coding boot camps on Udemy before, but Angela’s was by far the best. She simply teaches in a way that keeps you motivated – you just want to know what’s next tomorrow!

Picking up Python again after a long, very frustrating struggle with React.js and JavaScript gave me new hope. Hope that I am actually able to do this.

The course consists of a multitude of challenges and all of them are fun. Once I started to solve some of them myself, I was hooked!

Now I know how to use Python, but how do I make money off of it?

I really enjoy Python. The main reason I wanted to learn to program is to build projects I want to build (and potentially monetize them). I never had the goal of getting a job.

The obvious choice for Python would be Django or Flask when it comes to App development. I had been working with Django in the past, so I picked that up again for a brief period.

Having worked with React before, I simply didn’t get warm with Django’s templating. I also didn’t just want to build backend stuff, so I needed a front-end framework again.

Back when I picked up React, I already eyed Vue.js, but due to recommendations from friends I started learning React. That decision has taught me a lesson – always listen to your gut.

But who knows, maybe if I would have never learned React, I wouldn’t appreciate how much more I like Vue.js now.

Vue.js immediately clicked with me.

Learning Vue.js

I wanted something that I can use to quickly throw together prototypes. Vue.js seemed perfect, but I needed a CSS framework on top of it.

There are only a couple of popular choices out there:

  • Bootstrap
  • Bulma
  • Tailwind CSS

I decided to go with Tailwind CSS. After a little bit of a rough start to get off the ground (Installing it on WSL2 with Vue 3), I immediately saw its potential. Super easy to learn once you grasp the idea, and perfect to combine with Vue.

That is what I do now.

I build apps using Vue3 and Tailwind CSS and I am loving it. I’m still at the very beginning tho. I decided against another 60-hour Udemy course on Vue which I would never finish and decided to subscribe to Vue Mastery instead. Vue Mastery is an excellent subscription-based platform that keeps adding content in bite-sized chunks to learn Vue – and the best is – it’s created by Vue’s core team and its creator.

Vue Mastery is seriously the best course platform I have seen so far in my programming journey. I highly recommend you check them out.

But what is with Python? 😢

In the beginning, I was frustrated to just “drop” Python again and all was for nothing – but it wasn’t.

One of the things I wanted to build was a Web Scraper that would automatically pull articles from my blog and share them on Twitter, fully automated.

For that, I used BeautifulSoup and Python. Building this little project has actually opened my eyes in regards to how much I have already learned. I loved it.

That being said, I will definitely keep using Python for projects like that. I love Python! 🐍

If you want to know how I built this scraper/app, drop a comment below.

What’s next?

I don’t want to make this first post too long, so let’s summarize.

I am currently working on a couple of projects, but my rough plan is the following:

  • Finish building Twitter Bot (Web Scraper + Twitter Bot as mentioned above)
  • Finish porting linktree.stefanrows.com from React to Vue (100% done as of today) ✔️
  • Also porting my Crypto Linktree to Vue (just a branch of the other) ✔️
  • Start building Stefanrows.com – My Portfolio Website
  • Start planning and building out my first real, big project, which is going to be a CRUD app with user authentication and stuff like that.

That’s kind of my rough plan.

The Importance of Finishing Stuff

I just recently learned how important it is to finish projects. In the past, I always started something and I dropped it before I finished it… (ADHD, Yey!)

Now, since I have finished a couple of small projects (REALLY SMALL! https://backlightbleedingtest.com/ is my first finished Vue 3 project), I have learned how important that is and how good it feels to see a finished result.

I’m serious. Build an App no matter how small. Build something that renders one image in the middle of the page and upload it to Netlify, open it on your phone and just marvel at it. Then go from there.

It’s all about taking small steps – but keep walking is what is the important part!

Wrapping Up

I will keep experimenting with the format of those posts, and with the help of your feedback, we’ll hopefully get this to a place where you can look forward to next week’s piece of content.

I sincerely thank you if you made it until here and hope to see you back in the next one.

Until then – keep the streak alive!

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