SideStories XIX: h3ll0_w0r1d

Notes from a developer from self-taught to fully employed

Hugh Burgess
3 min readFeb 19


Hello world! It’s been a minute.

Little update: Due to popularity, I’ve updated my entry “SideStories IIX: GitHub, Git and Terminal” with some new bits and bobs to help you understand the basics of Git and the git workflow.

I want to thank everyone who continues to read my blog entries and get those who also want to get started as a developer, I remember the sweat and tears and many hours a night (up to 15 hours a day), being motivated by the sheer lust for learning all the new methods and principles, it’s worth it! Keep going!

I have now gained some real-world experience in the domain of web development since self-teaching and blogging along the way here with FreeCodeCamp, I worked in a big teach company for a year, it was a great base to learn so much and the onboarding (getting used to how things are done, learning the systems) process was fantastic, it was like working in a library where you can take any book you want home to read and digest.

I also learned about good work ethics like when you’re ten hours into a problem and you need to let it go because it’s the wrong approach, you need to be able to let those hours go and not be frustrated by it. Don’t take your work home with you! Leave the bugs at work, you will be fresh the next day to attack them from a new angle.

Since August 2020 when I wrote my first blog entry and promised myself to take this path, I’ve never looked back. I’ve found so much purpose in my professional career, I deal with issues and bugs in the morning and by the end of the day, the code runs, the components work, something has been accomplished and I feel so much gratitude to have gone through the grind to get there and learn from it.

I would highly recommend you keep a diary of some kind online (I use a private repo on GitHub) to track progress and update it with something you found interesting in your day, something that challenged you, a hack you learned, a little piece of knowledge from a fellow dev or team lead. Slowly, you build your own little library that you can reference in the next issue you face, building your arsenal to tackle the next bug in future. I would recommend getting into Obsidian, it’s a brilliant software for just that, and has been a strong contender to the diary I had going manually.

Since the end of 2022 I started at a fantastic tech company, the working atmosphere is top-tier, the people genuinely care and look out for each other, which in turn shows in the quality of code. Like any functioning relationship, communication is key and here I have learnt the value of communicating issues which otherwise would make you feel like your lacking or struggling alone. Your peers can and should help you, guide you and support you as you work through those hard tasks, bringing forth a sense of community. I have also learned the meaning of a good team lead, who acknowledges that you have faults, but doesn’t exploit them, and instead motivates and creates other team leaders in their team.

I think I might start adding a little insider tip here and there to this blog, something that you can use, something that I found to be the most interesting thing in the week that I learned, as a small 1 minute chunk of gold for you all. Let’s see!