Friday, September 30, 2016

Visualization and Tough Love

Nothing much has changed since yesterday. I'm still trucking along on the HTML5 course. I learned about HTML forms and I am about to do the lab work. I had a horrible day at work today, had a blowout on the way to take the kids to their grandmother's house for the weekend, and have to work tomorrow on a saturday. I'm pretty exhausted, but I'm still going to get some coding done tonight.
I am starting to realize that I talk about myself quite a bit in these blog posts. I also realize that nobody wants to hear about my personal problems. I am using this blog to keep me motivated and to keep me on the right track. If I don't push myself in this blog post to get some coding done then I would probably just go to bed right now. That would be time that I have wasted. I am extremely exhausted and my body is telling me that I should go to bed. I have to coerce my mind into pushing through by visualizing the end goal.
If I gave in every time I was tired, those times would add up and push the end goal even further into the distance. I don't have time to waste and neither does anybody else out there. So my motivational message for today is "Suck it up and get it done." It's just a little bit of tough love for all of my friends out there.

Until Tomorrow,
Jonathan Berry

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Learning HTML5 and a Web App Idea

I went to bed pretty early last night so I didn't get around to blogging. Since I made a rule to post something daily, I am gonna try to start writing my blog posts as soon as I get home from work and then following up with coding. That way if I get too tired at least I will have gotten my blog post done before I pass out.
Yesterday I continued LearntoProgram's HTML5 Specialist Course. I am now on Chapter 4. I have learned quite a bit so far and am really excited to make it through the course. I plan to follow this course up with LearntoProgram's CSS, JavaScript, and PHP courses. Surely by then I will have enough know-how to start work on my own website.
I am super stoked to start work on my website, that way I have a single location to post my stuff and for people to be able to find me online. I have been trying to think of web app ideas as well. So far I am thinking about making a character sheet generator for various tabletop games. I know these already exist, but I would like to put my own spin on it. If anything, I think it would be great practice and a good starting portfolio piece.
It's time for me to get to work on the HTML5 course.

Until Tomorrow,
Jonathan Berry

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Learning HTML5 Inside and Out

I failed completely on trying to learn Git and GitHub. Everything that I have found so far teaches Git in a command line interface. I just can't seem to grasp why I need Git for my websites. I felt like I was at a standstill so I switched gears.
Today I started the HTML5 Specialist Designation Course at So far it has been an excellent course and I highly recommend it to all the other new coders out there. I haven't gotten far enough into it yet to tell you guys much about it, but what I've seen so far seems awesome.
I have been saving all my work so that when I can get my website up and running, I will post links in each blog post showing the work that I did that day.
I'm gonna keep this post short and sweet like yesterdays. Actually, all of my posts this week will probably be pretty short. The plant has us working more overtime than usual this week. They are making us come in this Saturday and we hardly ever work weekend days. Anyways, I'm gonna be pressed for time this week and I really wanna spend most of my free time coding.
Please excuse any poor writing. I am writing this weeks posts straight from my head without hardly any proofreading because I just don't have the time to do it right now. I did set a goal for myself to blog every night though and I plan to stick to it.

Until Tomorrow,
Jonathan Berry

Monday, September 26, 2016

Where I Have Been and What I am Doing Now

I apologize for not posting for the past couple of days. My grandfather passed away and I have been dealing with that. I am ready to get back to posting on a regular schedule again now.
Last night I finished my first webpage that I created from a design mockup. The mockup came from Udacity's Intro to HTML and CSS course. I altered it a bit, but I am finally happy with it. As soon as I can figure out how to host pages through GitHub for free, I will put a link in this post so everyone can check it out.
I learned a lot in that course and highly recommend it for all the new coders out there. It teaches HTML, CSS, Bootstrap, and a very small bit of JavaScript. I really liked the course because they only guide you, which makes you have to do all the work. Many of the courses I've seen previously show you everything and don't allow any room for you to figure things out for yourself. Having to solve the problems myself is what teaches me the quickest.
Today I am going to start the Udacity course on learning Git and GitHub. Maybe it will help me to be able to have a place to store my work so that I can share it with you guys.
I don't have much time so I'm gonna end this post here and head on over to Udacity and get my learning on. I hope you guys have a great day!

Until Tomorrow,
Jonathan Berry

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Getting Organized and Creating a Plan

I didn't get much work done on my logo or branding today. That is not to say that I didn't get much done though. I spent the day reading and watching videos to learn more about logo design and creating a personal brand. I really want to take this all the way, but I don't want to rush it and create crap. I decided that I should take a little more time on preparation.
I gathered my thoughts and wrote them down and then reread them. After doing that, I realized that I am trying to do too much at the same time. I am trying to build my coding chops so that I can land my dream job. I am trying to blog. I am trying to design a personal website. I am trying to build a web presence through social media. I am trying to create my personal brand and I am trying to educate myself on each of those things so that I can make sure I am doing everything right.
Trying to do all of that at once while working 50 hours a week in a manufacturing plant and coming home to 3 kids is just too much for me. So I have decided to slow down and focus on one thing at a time. I am going to put my coding chops on hold until I can nail down my personal brand. I am also going to put my website on hold, since it relates to my coding chops. I am going to slim down my social media presence to just using Twitter with a minimum of one tweet per day. My main focus right now is researching "personal branding" and then executing it. While I'm doing that, I am going to continue to blog every night about what I am doing to position me closer to my goals.
I believe that blogging, in this case, is very important for three reasons: The first reason is that it helps me to get a clearer head and think critically about what I am doing. The second reason is that this blog holds me accountable, so that no matter what may happen I won't chicken out and give up. The third reason is that I believe it will be a tremendous help for people in the future that may think they have no choice but to be stuck in whatever unhappy position they may be in at the moment.
They could read my entire story from the beginning in detail. It would be a story of a 26-year-old that started out with no extra money, no education beyond a year of college, and no experience in the field of his dreams. The only thing he has and has ever had is the dedication, motivation, and drive to become successful. If he is able to achieve his goal with 3 kids, a full-time job, and living paycheck-to-paycheck, then there would be no excuse for anyone else. Everyone would be able to go out, research, work hard, and eventually achieve whatever it is that they want to do.
I know so many people who would be great in a particular field, but they seem to have given up. They just take whatever job they can get, no matter how unhappy it makes them, because they have no choice. Almost everyone's "dream job" requires a degree. I'm not going to get into the degree requirement discussion in too much detail. Let's just say that I think colleges only care about taking your money and that they can't teach you anything that you can't learn yourself if you are motivated enough to go out and teach yourself. Ironically, that is what you do in college anyways. You can either pay someone else to guide you while you teach yourself or you can teach yourself for free. It was an easy choice for me.
The one piece of advice that Suzannah Scully gave in her talk at Stanford on personal branding that I think I have already perfected is "Be yourself!" I hope to build my personal brand on that one piece of advice. I believe that I come from a unique background when compared to other bloggers online, in that I am doing everything I do from hard work alone. I'm not a social person offline. I'm more of a recluse. I failed speech class three times in college because I am so bad in social situations. I don't have a lot of money and I don't live in a big city. The only thing in the town I live in is a gas station, a dollar general, and a piggly wiggly. I work in a plant and my wife and I have been on our own with no help from our parents since I was 17 when our first son was born. The ONLY thing I do have is determination.
I know I'm repeating myself, but I really want to prove to the world and to my family and friends that determination is all that is needed to achieve what you want in life. They have mocked me my whole life for my views on this subject. They all think that I'm a dreamer and think that I should just give up and fall in line and "just get by" like they are all doing, but I'm not going to. I'm not a "dreamer", I just have big goals. No matter how big the goal is, it can be achieved if you have the determination to get there.
That is my philosophy on life and I am going to stick to it. When I do achieve my goal I am going to help others in my situation achieve their goals too. Everyone deserves to do what they want and enjoy life, there is no reason for people to think that they have to live in misery, because they are somehow not "qualified" to do what they want.
Anyways, back to the topic. If you are ever feeling overwhelmed, just take a breather, organize you thoughts by writing them down and then cut back on the low priority things while increasing the focus on the high priority things. Use my plan above as an example and maybe that will help cut a little of the stress out of your life.
If you have time, I would highly recommend writing. Whether it be online on a blog or in a notebook. Write everyday as if you are talking to someone who is holding you accountable to get done what you say you are gonna do. That way you will feel guilty if you try to back out or quit, which will lessen your chances of doing so.

Until Tomorrow,
Jonathan Berry

Monday, September 19, 2016

Logo Design and the BerryCoding Brand

I have learned today that logo designers are not in the same category as us mere mortals. I don't know how they do it. Sure, there are some "logo designers" out there that just throw things together with no thought, but the true designers are pure genius. A true logo designer takes everything into consideration. The color scheme, layout, design, font, and probably many more things that I don't know about.
In my quest for a logo design, I decided to go with a geometric strawberry with an empty HTML closing tag as the leaf and a minimal sans-serif font for the BerryCoding text. I am currently working on it in Photoshop. I have set a deadline for myself to have it done by this weekend. I realize it's not the greatest idea, but I am not a logo designer. I don't really know what I am doing, but I am making do with what I have until I can afford to hire a professional. I like the strawberry because my last name is Berry and... well, you get the point. I also like it because it is red, which is the color of passion. The color fits my brand well because I am extremely passionate about coding. It is killing me to have not coded for a couple of days, but I have gotten sidetracked with the personal branding thing, which I am going to have to tackle at some point down the road anyways.
My thoughts are that I would get my brand nailed down, tweet daily, and blog daily. I hope that I can use those things to build a web presence and make some contacts in the field. Once I have all of those things set up then I can focus most of my time on developing my coding skills while sharing my successes and failures with the world. I can also use the daily blogging to develop my writing skills, which are piss poor at the moment.
WHEN I achieve my goals I would love to pass on what I have learned to the next group of people trying to accomplish the same thing. I would love to write books, create courses, or chat with people one-on-one to pass on the steps that I took to get what I wanted.
I guess what I am trying to say is that my goal for the BerryCoding brand is to blog, code, teach, motivate, and inspire.

Until Tomorrow,
Jonathan Berry

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Beginning of my Coding Journey

I set an original goal to code every day for a year. I now realize that it is an unrealistic goal with the amount of time that I have right now. I am building a personal website that I would like to use to chronicle my journey from a complete code noob to career coder.
I have 3 kids and a job that I work 50 hours a week at. I don't have much time to do this, but I also know that this is what I want to do and I will do what it takes to accomplish my goals.
I spent the entire day trying to design a logo for the BerryCoding brand. I just don't have the design knowledge to create something that looks professional. I know Photoshop in and out, but as far as design goes... I just don't have it.
I also don't have the money to pay a logo designer at the moment and probably won't any time soon. We live paycheck to paycheck which is the main reason I am doing this. I want to create a good life for my family. I hope that when a year or two or five passes and I am working as a professional in the field that my story will be able to help others who may not have the time or money to do what they want, but DO have the MOTIVATION and PASSION for getting a career in a field that they love.
The system is flawed, but thankfully you don't need a degree in this field, you just need a strong work ethic and a desire to LEARN. At least that is what I've learned from what I've read. I have all those things and I think that many others out there have that too. I didn't want to do the WordPress thing because I wanted to blog on my own site. Unfortunately, it is gonna take me a little while to get it to a level that I think is presentable. I have made a new goal to write about what I am doing every day to improve my skills, improve my website, or improve my web presence.
I will NOT give up until I have made it in the field no matter how long that takes. I know I am repeating myself, but I am highly motivated. I have been on a computer almost every day doing something or another since I was 5 years old. I love computers. I love technology.
What I don't love is the way America's system has turned the American dream into a prize given to the highest bidder. The people who started out with money have a higher chance of ending up with money. The people that start out with nothing but at least have parents that want better for their kids are next in line. The people that start out with nothing and parents that don't care are usually the ones that are stuck in fast food or if they are lucky working in a factory somewhere.
It is a flawed system created by a greedy government that only cares about itself. The only way the people from the last example can make it is if they work themselves to death to prove their worth. Then they have to find a way to reach out to the world in the hopes that there is still somebody out there with a soul willing to give them a chance. Then, just maybe, they can become successful.
Tomorrow, I am gonna spend all day at work thinking of logo designs. Maybe I can think of something great.
I'm not giving up today or tomorrow or ever!
My family and I will make it and so will y'all!

Until tomorrow,
Jonathan Berry