How I overcame my most recent learning challenge

“Good things”, they say “do not come easy”.

The statement/adage above makes a lot of sense in most areas. Information and Technology being the rave of the moment highly validates this statement. Ever since I made the decision of being part of the tech community, the challenges have been numerous.

My most recent challenge came during my preparation for Andela’s Bootcamp activities. We had a two-weeks learning preparation which involved creating a User Interface and an Application Program Interface(API-which is basically an application that can be used within other applications) for an app. This app should help customers get to their food vendors and make orders without having to visit. That was two weeks filled with so many learning curves. On the first week, we had to build up the User Interface with just HTML, CSS and Javascript, no framework required. At first, I thought this should be easy, having worked with them for a while. But then I later found out I had a lot to do without a css library, which I have been using to make life easy with respect to design. On the second week, We had to create a server side with nodejs, create API endpoints, test the endpoints with Mocha and Chai and integrate our github repository with travis CI and coveralls. So, in summary, I would say week one had to do with challenges I judged wrongly, while week two came with a lot of challenges that I haven’t learnt or got to terms with. This, for me, was a lot to take.

However, “Impossible” is hardly a word for a determined achiever, so every challenge has a solution. But for these solutions to come up, you have to be on the right side of thought. There were some important attitudes I built to make sure I came out better through the challenges.

I had to set my mind to a positive direction, I had to have a you-can-do-it mindset, I had to keep my mind open and allow my thoughts accommodate new trials. The mindset we have when faced with a challenge goes a long way to determine how we come out of that challenge. If it is not right, there is still time for re-adjustment. What do you have to gain from having a growth mindset? You never give up, You change your perception towards challenges, You develop more passion and tenacity towards your goals. Those are very important characteristics and they come with having a positive mindset.

With the right frame of mind, I went ahead to learn about the challenges, dissecting them into bits, then knowing where to begin. When it comes to learning, it is very important to learn the right way, begin from the background, build a strong foundation to avoid collapse. For example, when asked to create API endpoints and test them with Mocha and Chai, I got to the root by getting to know the important terms and what they stand for, why they are deemed important for the project before getting to learn how they work. I had a lot to do with respect to learning. You definitely own your learning, so when faced with the challenge of acquiring knowledge, you have to make a lot of self-commitment to this cause, then seek help when stuck or need of an in-depth explanation. Some great resources I leveraged on for learning are the andela homestudy guide, google and youtube. I did not just learn to implement, I learnt to acquire the knowledge, I learnt the best way to implement.

I cannot over-emphasize on the impact of Andela’s ‘EPIC’ values, which helped and sustained me. In summary, somethings I learnt from Andela that made me pull through were making sure you are an improved version of who you were yesterday, developing the ability to consistently fuel your passion and working with others to achieve your set goals.

After every work, I was open to criticism, taking every feedback with concern and the need to work on them. We definitely need that push from someone or people in order to get to the best level. I made sure I sought help when needed and that I understood the application method for each problem that was resolved with help.

In summary, I would say I overcame my difficulties by having a growth mindset which helped me believe I can achieve what seemed impossible at the time, understanding the challenge and the process that leads to its resolution, making sure I learnt every necessary detail needed to solve my problems, seeking for help when I needed it and making sure I understood the method applied to solve the problem.

Every rewarding situation has its challenges and stumbling blocks. Make sure you have the belief in you to make it through, follow up on your convictions and you will be glad you did at last. The worst kind of failure is in not trying.

Web Developer