Coding, My Unexpected Hobby

Updated: Feb 23

Hey my name is Shubham Patil and I've been programming seriously for about 1 year and 8 months now. It started in 2017 when my parents tried to get me interest in programming by getting a book about the Python programming language. Completing the lessons in the book felt more like a chore to me than a genuine interest. I didn't wish to continue with the book and just left it sitting on my bookshelf, and my 10-year-old life continued as normal.

It wasn't until the 7th grade (2019) that I joined a robotics team and got re-introduced to programming. This time, I made much more progress and I paid attention to the course that I had to do. I followed the course to an extremely basic level knowledge of the Java programming language, however I didn't get to the advanced stuff.

When the world entered the pandemic in March 2020 and we all had to stay home, I impulsively decided (mainly due to a couple of cool programming videos that landed on my YouTube homepage) that I wanted to pursue programming again. I loaded up my coding editor and started coding projects that I randomly thought of.

These are some of the projects that I started with:, with each project being in each of the folders there.

This program is an example of my so-called "random thought" projects:

import java.util.ArrayList;

class Main {
    public static ArrayList password=new ArrayList();
    static String apassword="something";
    public static void main(String[] args) {

    static void encrypt(){
        for(int i=0;i<apassword.length();){
            char newchar=apassword.charAt(i);

What this did was that it would turn something into utter gibberish, and my naïve 12 year old self called it "encryption."

The main point that I'm trying to make is that fun and weird projects are essential when learning to code. Through these projects, you learn more things about programming than a course can teach you. Don't get me wrong, courses can be helpful but actually making a project from scratch without the help of a tutorial can give you hands-on experience. Courses (good ones) can help you get started with the basics of programming, but from there it projects can help you massively.

Another thing is that you shouldn't be afraid of trying new things. For example, I tried mobile app development (for Android with Java) and game development with the Unity game engine. I didn't enjoy both of those routes, but trying it was important so that I knew that I didn't enjoy it.

Searching up for help on the internet for help might feel like cheating at first. Of course it does! At school we've been taught that searching up help with homework is immoral. However, in the programming space (and almost every other career field), searching up stuff is very helpful and allows you to increase your knowledge, so don't feel ashamed to do so! One amazing site to get help on your coding problems is Stack Overflow, and just plain old Google.

After doing some Java programming and some data structures and algorithm practice, I found another side to programming: web development. This involved multiple programming languages and technologies. I started out with frontend development (the design and implementation of the user interface [things like buttons, webpages, etc., etc.]). I got started with HTML and CSS (not programming languages but related to web development), which allowed me to make some basic webpages. After making some basic webpages (without interactivity), I started to learn JavaScript. I used this video by Mosh Hamedani to get the basics of it, and I then applied it in my projects.

From there, I expanded my scope within web development. I learned more technologies within JavaScript like React and Node.js. I also kept making more and more fun side-projects to learn more about these technologies.

If I had to reflect on my path through programming, I would definitely not expect the person I was a couple years ago to become a programmer. Coding is definitely something that can help your problem solving skills and your ability to achieve a goal. One thing that definitely kept me going was the satisfaction of being able to make something awesome.

As I've stated before, it's important that you try things out. If programming does intrigue you, I would ask you to go for it! Especially if you haven't figured out your interests yet, trying new things can help you find those interests. Even if you don't like it, it's much more important that you tried.

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