Video details

Eleftheria Batsou - When You Think There Is No Time For Learning Or Coding | AngularUP 2021


When You Think There Is No Time For Learning Or Coding "Do you ever feel like you’re stuck in your career? Do you constantly feel like you don’t have time to work on your projects? Do you want to learn something new, expand your knowledge, develop yourself and be the best you can be?
In this session, I am going to share my story on how I started coding, how I make time to work on side projects and how you can grow and advance in your career. After this talk, I hope you 'll be inspired to work smarter, make new habits and continue pushing yourself even when things fall apart.
This talk is not only about getting better at your 9 to 5 job but also about developing yourself." Eleftheria Batsou - Community manager | Freelancer Dev & Designer, Hashnode "Eleftheria is a front end developer and UX enthusiast from Greece. She has majored in Informatics and Telecommunications of engineering and she has continued her studies with a master's in Graphic Arts and Multimedia. From time to time she creates educational content and publishes it on several platforms such as Packt, Udemy and Skillshare. At the same time, she produces motivational talks and how-to videos on her youtube channel. She is self-motivated and working hard to make this world a little bit better every day.
When she isn't glued to a computer screen, Eleftheria spends time working out and strolling in the nature. Her friends would describe her as easy-going, passionate about life and the fastest chocolate eater."


Hello everyone, and thank you for coming into my session. When do you think there is no time for learning or coding? My name is Alex, and as you already know, I'm I'm coming from Greece. You can find me on my social media or on my email. If you have any questions or anything you want to chat with me, feel free. You can find me almost everywhere. All right, so my talk is not so much about coding. If you want some stuff about coding, you can go to the other room. But please don't stay here. My talk is more about how I started to code, what helped me, what didn't help me, how you can continue to do the things that you love to do and how you can improve yourself. So we will have three parts. The first one is my coding journey. The second one is habit formation, how habits can help you, why they are important, and how you can stick to the habits. And last but not least, dealing with frustration and stress and dealing with some other things that I guess most of us, most of the developers are stressed about. All right, so my coding journey. I graduated from a Polytechnical University in Greece. It's five years and it has a lot of maths, a lot of physics, a lot of electronics, but not so much of coding. I had done an internship again in Greece for only three months. That's the maximum that I could do it. And in that internship, I started being more interested in front end development. But again, my skills were not good enough. At first I was very excited because at least I knew what I wanted to do. Like, I kind of knew what I wanted to do. Imagine that I was in the age of 22, 23. Then when I started taking it a little bit more serious, I was feeling completely lost. I didn't know what to do because I was looking for jobs. They were asking many things I had no idea about. University was not enough. The internship was not enough. So then I decided to do another internship. This time it was in the Netherlands, in Amsterdam. And again, I decided to follow the path of front end development because I knew that that's something that I liked. While I was doing that, I realized once again that I was not good enough. Because at the same time I was looking for real jobs. Not only internships and something that I used to do back then every morning, but I still do it up till today is that I am reading, like, every morning I like to catch up with tech news and stuff like that. So one day I saw an article and it was about 100 days of code. Do any of you raise hand? Do you know any of you that challenged 100 days of code? Yeah. Nice. We have a few people. Okay, so one morning I read an article which was about 100 days of code. This is a challenge. It's quite popular. If you go to Twitter and if you use the hashtag 100 days of code, you will see that it's actually quite popular. I said, okay, let's do it. Let's do the challenge. 100 Days of code. Now in this challenge, what you do is basically you code for at least 1 hour for 100 days. And the goal is that you will eventually build a portfolio. You will build up your skills and you will do some great stuff. You will network through Twitter or other social media. And that's exactly what I did. For me, there were many things. It was not only learning how to use a JavaScript or AngularJS or something else, but it was also building up a portfolio. Because I was seeing that a lot of people were asking for that. And to build a portfolio, I started using Git and GitHub, which was something else a lot of people were asking and I had almost no idea about because on my internships we didn't use that. And also for Twitter, it really helped me about networking. But it's something that we will go into details in a bit. So what do I code? There are a lot of sources to learn and it's something that a lot of people have asked me before. That's why I thought to include it here. There are online educational platforms like Udemy, Udacity, Coursera, I'm pretty sure you already know those things. There is of course the YouTube channel. And don't think that because YouTube is something for free. Maybe it's not good enough. No, it's perfect. You can find everything there. There are online communities and here, I mean things such as stack overflow or Discord channels or Slack channels or whatever. There are for sure many things. There are other coding challenges. I mentioned 100 days of code, but it's not only that, there is daily CSS, images and some other challenges like 30 sites, 30 days and more of them. But they will send you an email with a link with something to learn. Maybe they will send you a small ebook or something like that. And of course magazines and books. Personally, I found them very helpful. There are again online magazines and books do pay attention to those things as well. Now, as for inspirations. And again a question that I hear where I see a lot of people saying, yes, I want to code, but I don't know what to code. There are so many things that you can code. There are so many things that you can build. If you want some inspiration, you can read blogs, browse different forums, different publications, set your favorite bloggers or developers on Twitter, on other social media, go to YouTube. Don't just only watch tutorial, but try to build something to build something that you like. You can ask your friends if they like something you can ask your parents if they want something. You can go to a local community and volunteer your work. I'm sure that if you want to build something, you will also find something and of course go to meetups and attend the conferences. But I'm pretty sure you're already doing that since you are here now. As for me, what I wanted to learn back then. So my first goal was obviously to learn HTML, CSS and JavaScript because my journey was more about being a front end developer and then to learn Git and GitHub because as I said in my internships, we didn't use to use it a lot. We had like other platforms. And also I was seeing the developers always being in their console and I wouldn't understand what they're doing. So yeah, I want to catch up a bit on that as well. And last but not least, I decided to learn a framework. I went with AngularJS, not Angular and App, just AngularJS. Back then it was not Angular. If I had to do it again, I wouldn't go with Angular JS, but that's another story. And also I decided to learn a data visualization library. I learned the three GS and that was actually something very helpful because it led me to my first ever job. Okay, now what did I build? I will show you a few of the things that I built and maybe if we have here some beginner developers, they can get some inspiration as well. So I took part in another challenge called Daily CSS Images. And in this challenge for 50 days you were getting a theme and you had to code it. So I started building very small, let's say images. But then I want to believe that I got better and better. So everything that you see here are only billed with HTML and CSS, nothing else. And then I continue with JavaScript. I started building some games. The first one is the Tic TAC toe game. I don't know again if you're familiar with Free codecomp, but it's a great resource to learn things and especially for JavaScript, it's pretty good. So the inspiration behind this project is coming from The same goes here. Then I started to experiment a bit with AngularJS, some more complex things. And then it was time for G three GS. As I said, I also found my first job which was based on D three GS. What I was doing is everything that I was learning. I started doing small videos on YouTube, so I was starting making videos on YouTube about the three GS and someone found me and told me, hey, we have this project, would you like to take part in it? I told him like I have no experience, I haven't worked professionally anywhere, so I'm not sure if I can do it. And he said, yeah, but pretty much we want the same things as you're doing the videos. So we won't use them. Just do videos. You never know what's going to happen. Maybe you will find a job. And then I also took part in another challenge called Daily UI. This time, my interest has changed a bit through coding. I also start exploring a little bit the design world. So this time I try to do two things, code and also design. Yes. So I mentioned some other challenges as well. Not only the 100 days of code, let's see them. I started with 100 days of code. And if you see the date, it's just one day before 2017. So it was New Year's Eve. I guess other people may like to party that day. No, I was at home coding. No. And if we continue a little bit, you can also see the date of Daily Sees images. This is the Valentine's Day. I wasn't out. I was at my home coding forever alone. Yeah. And then we have some other challenges as well, and more and more stuff. Okay, so I got a lot of questions, as always, during all those things that you saw, I got a lot of questions, mainly through Twitter. What inspires me, what motivates me to keep going, or how do I find time to keep going? And for me, what I always say is that if you want something, if you really want something, just go for it. For every person that can different, and motivation and inspiration can be different. Maybe something that works for me may not work for you and the opposite. So I cannot give you a simple answer here. But for me, what drives my motivation is that I want to improve myself. And what did I gain during all these challenges is I learned to be more optimistic and grateful for the people I have around me. But also I learned to believe more in myself. I believe that I got better at time management, which is something quite important these days. I met a lot of amazing people, and I also got the opportunity to travel a lot. It may again seem a bit irrelevant, but if I wasn't coding, for example, I wouldn't be here. I wouldn't be in Israel or in other places. And I love traveling. Okay, so let's go to the next part of my talk, which is habit formation and hacking time. Because the most important question and I guess all of you have is, okay, I like doing this and this. But where do I find the time? And we will try to answer this question here. I will start with a quote that I really like, and it says, I'm not telling you it's going to be easy. I'm telling you it's going to be worth it. All right. So the first thing that we have to know if we want to form a habit is that everyone experiences resistance. Try to do something good, and resistance will always be there. You may want to start a diet, but a cookie or a croissant will always be there. Try to go to the gym, but Netflix will always be there. Try to do something good and resistance will always be there. But the first step is to just acknowledge that, okay? Just realize that and then we can move on. Something that it may help you is setting limits. And it may sound weird, but trust me, it helps. Sometimes when we have too much time, you say, okay, I'm going to do that later and later and later. And then the weekends pass and you have done nothing. And the deadline is Monday morning. Okay. Some things that can help you here is don't spray your efforts around, stick to one thing, finish that one thing, and then go to the next one. Don't try to build everything at once. This never works. Focus only at one thing at a time and try for consistency over volume. Again, if you have a very big project, try to build the smallest part or try to build the core parts and then move on to the next things. And I'm pretty sure that you already know that. And if you're working at a company, you are already doing that. But sometimes if you're working solos, on site projects, you're maybe feeling kind of lost. You know those things. I'm not telling you something completely new, but now you are the one that you have to do it. Okay. Something else that might help you is to track your progress. There are many ways that you can track your progress. For me, the images I'm showing here is from when I was doing the 100 Days of Code Challenge. There are many ways, again, that you can track it. So something that I like to do is keeping a calendar or to do list. Again, this is something that I'm sure you've heard a lot of times, but really keep that to do list. It will save you time and it will help you be a lot more organized. You will see something and you will do it. It's okay to change a few things. It's okay not to complete the whole to do list, but just do it. Start doing it. And when you do something, just cross it and you will feel a little bit better. And something that I recently read, it's not only writing and ticking things like, yeah, you done that. But saying it out loud, it can also help, like, say it out loud. I finished that X task. I didn't know that. But I recently read it and it's supposedly it helps. Now, stay away from toxic environment no matter what. If you see that something is not working, maybe it's your work, maybe it's something else. Just stay away from it. It's okay sometimes to take a step back. Now, some things that can help you are having everything set up for you. For example, have your computer like, I don't know, have your editor set up, have your software set up, have your passwords like, I don't know, in a way that you will always remember them, make the process as easy as possible. So it's going to be easier for you every time to start something. Because sometimes we want to start something. But we are so bored of like the slightest things, we want to make those things as automatically as possible so we will start even faster and easier. Now there is supposed to be a loop for habits, an infinitive loop, and we have the trigger, the routine and the reward in the trigger. The trigger is something that it will always make you start doing something. For example, let's say that the final action is going to the gym or being healthier. The first step, the trigger here would be maybe to listen to a song. And in that song, it's my trigger that I know it's time to get my shoes, my clothes and go to the gym. Now the routine is actually going to the gym and doing the exercises. And finally the work. It can be something very personal for each one of you. But some things that you can do again is like, okay, I went to the gym, now I can eat the cookie. It's not the best solution. I know after the gym, don't eat a cookie. But I'm just saying that you can find something, that it works for you. And the bright line rule says going from something general to something specific. The more you specify your goals, the easier is going to be for you to achieve them. And something else is a Keystone habit which says that the good actions can lead to more good actions. So if you see that something is working, why change it? Keep doing it and not just doing it once by doing it again and again and again. This leads to multiple good habits and of course, to better results. Yeah, a small parentheses if you want to read about habits. There are a lot of books like The Atomic Habits, but a lot more books as well. And they will give you a lot more tips. Now, finding the Time because, yes, I want to do a lot of things, but where do I find the time? Well, claim back the time. Guess what? We all have 24 hours. That doesn't mean that we all use those 24 hours in the same way. Be ruthless with what you want to do. Be really specific about what you want to do and also change only one or two things at the time. You cannot change everything at the same time. And that's why, like New Year resolutions, they never work. Because we say that, hey, I'm going to change this and this and this and that. And then we don't change anything. Just go to the small to the little things. And if things are easy for you, then you can always move on to the biggest things, have a minimum goal. And from there you can always set up but at least have that small specific goal. And now some other concepts that again, hopefully they can help you, is doing two opposite things at the same time. I'm saying that if you want to learn or do a lot of things, for example, if you want to learn JavaScript and Python, maybe it's not the best solution because these are two very similar languages. But you can go for JavaScript and music or JavaScript and dancing or whatever, but don't do same things at the same time. Some other principles are here. The Pomodoro technique. This is more like a technique. Are we familiar with the Pomodoro technique? Yes. Okay. See some hands. I believe that more people are in the Pomodoro technique. You basically set up a timer, maybe for 2025 minutes, and then you go hard. You study your work as hard as you can, and then you take a very short break, maybe for five minutes, and you repeat this cycle as many times as you can. And then something else is the Pareto principle. This is not a technique. This is more like a principle which says that 80% of the output is coming from 10% of your input. So in that way, if you can find the things that work for you, you can again amplify those things and put more focus into those things. I quote again that I really like. Part of courage is simply consistency. So here I have three things that are maybe not so common, but again, they can help in time and in doing things. The first one is keep a note to do list. We already talked about the Todo list. So what is the not to do list? The not to do list is keeping a calendar list, a log, whatever of the things you shouldn't do. For example, I shouldn't watch Netflix for more than 2 hours per day. I shouldn't eat ice cream every day. I don't know. Find something, write that something personal for you and keep that list always in front of you. Keep the things that you shouldn't do, not only the things that you should do. The other thing is analyze your day. What activities are worth your time, what activities do not worth your time? And again, here you should be very specific. I'm sure that a lot of you every morning go through email, social media, and Instagram, or maybe even YouTube is really important. Is doing that is really important. And in general, like social media and notifications are really so important because if you check your phone, you will see that probably you spend more time than you think. And I did that, and I realized that I spent too much time. Maybe on Instagram, maybe on YouTube, maybe on other applications. If you think that you don't have time, just try to do that. One small thing, track your time over your phone and then send me an email sending Alexria, you were right. Now, if you don't have something Imitated, I know some people, they want to learn better English. They want to improve that. And sometimes they say yes. But in my family, I want to speak English or I don't have any friends speaking English. So how do I practice? Now, there are several ways that you can practice. Go to discord server, go to somewhere else. Find an online community. Nowadays, everything is online. So you can Imitate it. You can Imitate that you have, let's say, some friends that you can talk to them in English or something else. Now, I gave that example, but I'm pretty sure you can do the same with coding. With coding, I have again, friends that saying yes, I don't know anyone else coding in I don't know Angular. How do I find friends there? But again, there are so many online communities. You can always find something maybe you don't have near you, but you can find it online then about community and accountability, pretty much. I've already mentioned those things. So I will be brief, commit to something publicly. And that was one of the reasons that I did the challenge of 100 Days of code, because I prayed that if I don't do it, if I don't tweet for a day or if I don't do something, people will notice it. To be honest, people will not notice it. Okay. There are a million people on Twitter, but sometimes we just afraid that someone might notice it. And that pushes us to do something a little bit better, connect with others, not just because you have to, but because you really want to. You find value to those people. Don't ignore people or situations. Don't say that, hey, I'm going to do that tutorial the next day. Don't say I will speak to that girl or that guy the next day. Just do the things that you have to do today, not tomorrow, not on Monday, today and start doing things that's key. Okay. And let's go to the last part of my talk. I'm going to be quick, I promise, which is dealing with frustration and stress. Again, some situations that many developers have gone through. Okay. Yeah. Let's start with another quote that I like. And it says it's not the strongest of the species that survive, not the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. And the keyword here is responsive. Okay. So you have problems at your workplace. This is something very common. Thinking a little bit about it. Is it only you that you have those problems? Are other people's? Can you talk to someone? Can you talk to colleagues? Maybe it's not very easy. Maybe you can find ex colleagues. You can track them through LinkedIn, ask them what was the problem, what led them to leave the job? Maybe you have the same issues try to talk to someone from the HR maybe your manager and boss of course, but try to find some solutions. And if something is toxic, as we said, like leave it at any cost. Your mental health is the first one thing. Sometimes also people think that they are not smart enough. I'm afraid that this is not true. We are all smart enough but sometimes we just have to try a little bit harder. So know that coding is hard. It's not easy. If it was easy, everyone would do it. Don't compare yourself to others and maybe something that can help you is learning how other people started or how other people continue their coding journey. Now how to speed up the learning process if you want again to learn more and more some things that you can do is of course to build projects. Don't only watch tutorials, just build real projects and there are many ways that you can do that. We've already talked about that. So I'm not going to talk more. Yeah, and then dealing with yourself dealing with myself because sometimes we believe that the problem is us but don't judge yourself too hard. It's okay to fail. All of us fail. The issue is not to fail. The issue is to stand up again. It's better to loosen up the rules. Don't drop it out. If something is very strict for you something it's not working for you. Of course it's okay to change it and remember that we all stuck. Don't punish yourself about that. Your goals may change. Your life may change. Everything may change. You shouldn't be like 100% and extremely focused on something. Yes, it's great to have goals. It's great to try to improve ourselves but sometimes we should know where to stop and some small tips again, don't act like there is something wrong with you because guess what? There is nothing wrong with you even if you're coming from a different background try to take those experiences that you have and incorporate them to your new world and of course take care of yourself. Eat healthy food, workout sleep. Take a shower like do those old little things. All right, guys and gals, that was me. Thank you very much for listening to me. If you have any questions can find me on the break or in social media. Thank you. Bye.