I would like to preface this by saying that the best way to learn is by doing. Repetition is the key to mastery. I know that it can be scary, but what’s the worst that can happen?
Take it one day at a time, and only compare yourself to who you were yesterday. Remember that it’s about the journey, not the destination. Also know that there are inclusive communities out there for you to join.
All the knowledge is at your fingertips. Take advantage of Google, leverage Twitter, and add all of your favorite news resources to your RSS reader. Don’t forget about GitHub, look through projects for inspiration, best practices, and whatnot.
My first introduction to the personal computer, my father's work desktop. Having unlimited access to the device, while he wasn't at home, I quickly became familiar with Windows 3.11 and MS-DOS. I also started tinkering with networking and hardware.
Skills: Hardware, Networking, Windows, and MS-DOS.
My friends and I started using IRC and discovered that you could make things using the mIRC scripting language. We started making small games, bots, and scripts. At this time I also provided support, both on- and offline, addressing various computer issues.
Skills: IRC, FTP, Troubleshooting, and mIRC scripting language.
I launched my first website, sporting the infamous CGI guestbook. I also created several hubs for gaming clans. This process taught me about the lifecycle of a website, and the importance of finding a good web host.
Skills: Templating, Web hosting, Database management, HTML, CSS, and CGI.
Wanting to improve my front-end skills, I started focusing on design. I learned about composition, pattern creation, vector graphics, and more. I frequented iconic blogs by Chris Spooner, and Veerle Pieters.
Skills: Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, Design, and PSD Slicing.
At this point I was comfortable and skilled enough to start making websites for friends and family. I also landed my first client, an opportunity to build an e-commerce store.
Having amassed several clients, I decided it was time to start my own web development business. To stay up-to-date, I became familiar with CSS3 and HTML5. Wanting more interactive sites, I decided to pick up jQuery.
Skills: Drupal, Magento, HTML5, CSS3, and jQuery.
I started to learn more about Search Engine Optimization, and offered it as a service. WordPress became my go-to CMS, because of its wide adoption, and customizability.
Skills: WordPress, CTA, SERP, PPC, Backlinking, PHP, Apache web server, OpenSSL, MySQL, and PHP.
At this point I was blessed with two great mentors. Their guidance and trust accelerated my growth and allowed me to rapidly expand my skill set. I picked up Ruby (on Rails), became familiar with Shopify, started using Linux, and integrated Git into my workflow.
Skills: VSCode, Virtual Machines, Linux, Task runners, Git, REST API, CRUD MVPs, Ruby on Rails, Shopify, SASS, PostgreSQL, Gulp, Grunt, Ruby (on Rails), and Liquid templating language.
I set out to learn Vue.js, to be able to build modern user interfaces, and single-page applications. I decided to pick up Nuxt.js in conjunction, as a framework for universal applications. At this time I also became familiar with TailwindCSS, and was introduced to Docker.
I was introduced to info security and the world of bug bounty. Not knowing where to start, I began searching for every resource I could find about bug bounty. I became heavily involved with bug bounty communities, and ended up moderating for them as well.
Skills: OWASP top 10, Burp, Tmux, Recon, Automation, CLI, and Bash.
My workflow vastly improved, once I doubled down on Vim, Tmux, and Linux with a tiling WM. This setup also led me to gain a deeper understanding of Bash, the CLI, and Linux in general. I started bug bounties, which allowed me to help numerous companies resolve vulnerabilities. Oh, and I (finally) launched my own website.
Skills: Eleventy, Vim, OSINT, and Nunjucks.