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Coding Beginner: Unlike Video Tutorials, Codementor Lets Me Learn What I Want to Build

–  Dec 14, 2015

2 years ago the term ‘coding’ was unfamiliar to Jenny. She first heard about it while exploring the internet, looking for ideas for work she could do from home. She then discovered Team Treehouse and did their 2-week free trial. It interested her, so she kept going with their courses. She also learned at Code School (and later, Laracasts), and from working on her own projects. Over time, coding grew on Jenny. Now she loves it and aims to become a professional web developer.

What drew you to use Codementor?

Sometimes I would spend ages stuck on a problem, and forums didn’t always help. I thought it would be much better if I had access to a coach, but I didn’t know if that was possible from home, and traveling was difficult for me.

Later, I reached my most discouraging, desperate point in my coding journey. I’d been trying for ages to figure something out, and without success. I’d asked on a forum, and I’d asked the customer support for the software I was working with. Customer support lead me down the wrong track, and as a result, I did something in the command line that made my projects stop functioning. It felt like a mess, and I didn’t know where to find help.

I’m really grateful for that desperate time, because it was then that I had the idea to search for online private coaching, which is when I discovered Codementor and Val, my mentor.

How did Codementor Help You?

Val helped me get out of my mess, and I began to see the huge potential in working with him. That potential soon became a life-changing reality. No longer do I need to go through the frustration of spending hours stuck on my own – just knowing I can get help if I do get stuck has been a huge relief!

Val has been my mentor for around six months, and within that time I have spent over 100 hours on Codementor with him, and it was a lot of fun!

We have focused mainly on PHP and Laravel, where he is an expert and his knowledge has impressed me. However, the areas he has impressed me with have not been limited to PHP and Laravel. He has also helped me with areas such as the command line, Git, building a RESTful API, database design, Composer, Vagrant, Gulp, JavaScript and CSS, and more.

In the earlier sessions, I remember dealing with errors, and he showed me how to implement login throttling, something I had received insufficient help with on forums.

Then he reviewed the code for web applications I had made. We started with one of my simpler apps and later moved on to my most complex app, which is an app that will help you keep track of your budget.

Val helped me do a lot of refactoring, and I think it was a really effective way to learn.

He also helped me start one of my other apps, which I think was a big help, because I was then building on a better foundation than I would have had if I’d started on my own.

You can play around with the demos of the apps I’ve built at https://jennyswiftcreations.com/.

What do you like the most about Codementor?

The screen sharing. I can share my screen with mentors when getting help. I have found attempts to get help on forums frustrating and limited. Screen sharing makes so much difference!

I love that I can get my code reviewed by my Codementor. I haven’t received this anywhere else! I’ve found it valuable, important, and a really effective way to learn. And it helps with my confidence.

In addition, it’s really interesting to watch Val code and problem-solve live. I find it a lot more realistic than video tutorials because I get to see the whole process, not just the code the teacher has prepared for the video that already works. It’s also heaps better than video tutorials. The problem with video tutorials is I can’t interrupt the tutor, asking them to further explain something they just said that I didn’t understand. I can’t tell them exactly what I want to learn. What’s more, it can take a long time to watch through a series of videos, only to find out at the end that it didn’t cover the specific thing I wanted to learn! Learning with Val has been so much faster, and the solution to those problems.

Finally, I love the flexibility of Codementor. I can often get help soon after I need it, and Val is often available for long sessions. I don’t need to travel to get help and I can learn from the comfort of my home.

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