How I learnt Design & Programming on YouTube.
All thanks to YouTube, YouTubers, the Internet and no CS degree.
At age 7, my Dad was gifted a desktop computer by one of his business partners, but since he was a “computy” person, his mobile phone was fine for him. He left the computer at home and you know what followed. Prior to the computer landing at my home, the only experience I had of a computer was the five minutes session you had with the school computer where you get the life changing opportunity to watch bill gates video and type your name on the notepad. The didn’t even let us play games.
All through my schooling from primary to secondary to University, my Dad had always ensured that I had a computer with me seeing that it was the only thing I could do well. I wasn’t a sports guy, not quite a business person. Also I never remembered going to any computer training school to learn anything, although I did work with a computer repair store to learn how the insides of a computer worked. Just from pure curiosity, adventure and pressing and clicking buttons I was able to figure out how the computer works although I can remember a few times I had deleted entire hard drives trying to go to the next level.
So before I got into university, I had falling deep into the world of tinkering with electronics parts. I broke down most of the almost bad electronics we had at home just to see how they work. My parents were always concerned about the amount of obsession I had gained for these things, but I was trilled to be alive to learn with infinite possibilities. The movie iron man inspired me a lot and with exposure to the internet, YouTube especially I found out about things like, arduino, raspberry pi, ornithopers, motion censors, robots, servos etc. I had started programming my little inventions and so I decided that I would study Computer Science in University, so as to fully understand programming, which I believe was the language of machines and anybody who could speak it, can rule the world of machines or make cool stuff.
On entering University, my dreams where shattered with news that I couldn’t continue as a Computer Science student being that the result from my exams had not given me enough points to qualify to study the course. I was already bent on staying a gap year, studying and coming back strong because in my mind, there was no better course than Computer Science. But my Mom, thank God for her wisdom told me “CS was a course I was already learning on my own and could continue, the other courses available to me would be an added advantage and also exam results are never certain”. Immediately I know what to do, I tried getting into Mathematics being close to CS, but I was qualified for that too. Estate Management welcomed me with open arms and I made it my home.
I had spend about 2 months with the computer science students in school and I had access to all their notes and study materials and bless God the library is open to everyone. So I started consuming notes, I was able to consume the entire syllabus within the first 2 years (skipped the boring parts) but I wasn’t really inspired to do anything. Around this time my CS friends had introduced me to a couple of computer software that they believed where awesome. They included corel draw, code block, blender, cinema 4d, unity 3d. unreal engine, adobe flash and many more. The implication of known these tools existed was that I needed to learn how to use them and so I delved into YouTube start with the ultimate keywords “how to use…., how to make…, how to build…., how to design” (insert software, product or skill). My learning experience took me through graphics design, 3D animation, 2D animation, motion graphics, game development, web design and many more.
Getting to my third year I decided that using my skill to make income was more exciting and challenging than just endlessly learning without a goal. So I began to market myself as a graphics designer and web developer. It’s as if everyone wanted these skills those days and I was making good income (At least I though it was good income). My popularity in school become through my association with computer skills, wherever you found me, you will see my trying to convenience someone into learning some computer skill. I won them over half of the time. My business in school sky rocketed when I gave a talk about computer skills to a class of over a thousand students. I was so excited to be alive and have access to endless possibilities. I had led several school projects regarding computers and technology. Thanks to my school (Covenant University) work-study program I also enjoyed wages from the school for offering my skills. I was able to transcend the usually stereotype of nerd, geek or “dead guy” (Nigerian Slang). I found people respect you when you wear your through identity over your neck. I was the computer guy.
On graduation, I had continued my freelancing efforts, but was bent on leaving the house to establish my own space also I needed to know how companies worked and freelancing was very unstable. I applied to various companies for a software developer role. After several interviews, I found that I really didn’t know software development, I had spent most of my days with WordPress and HTML. About 2 of the places I had interview called back because they saw my Instagram and wanted to offer me a design role. I was confident about my design, but I was very much interested in perfecting my software development skills. I later took a design job while learning software development on the side. Behold a software development opening popped up in the same company and I had to prepare to take over this role (Frontend Developer). I jumped deep into learning and I needed to learn even more deeply, I had nobody with the time to teach me, I wasn’t even sure what to learn but there was one thing that helped get the job, Youtube.
In conclusion, I had vowed to contribute to the wonderful community of learners and teachers. I experienced the purest form of learning and I want to use this opportunity to thank YouTube like Traversy Media, DesignCourse by Gray Simons, Bukky from New Bustom, Free Code Camp, Blender Guru, CG Cookie, Gleb Alexandrov from Creative Shrimp, CJ from Coding Garden, The Code Train. Asides YouTube, medium and several technical blogs were very pivotal to my learning and I use Feedly to curate all my articles into one app.
This articles while being about me, here are somethings you can pick for yourself.
- Stop giving excuses you can learn it on you won. Except of course you want to learn something like medicine or law, then you need to go to school for that one. I always advice people to learn from someone when they can, but the truth is that most professionals don’t have the time to teach you and even if they did, you will cover more attempting to learn on your own.
- You can get a technical Job if you learn the skill and these days technical skills like programming and design are very lucrative. They mostly require thinking. This is also why they are few people or few good people in the field. Most people find thinking hard.
- You target when in school is not to learn, but to learn how to learn, the world changes fast anyways. You must learn to unlearn, learn and relearn fast in order to get what you need and desire.
- Your limit is dependent on how much useful thing you can learn. I have learn that companies just want solutions to their problems. The more problems you can solve, the more valuable you become. This is not a matter of CS Certificate.
- The culture of learning makes you smart and able to thrive in any field. Despite spending more than three-quarter of my time in school learning computer skills, I was still graduated as one of the best in my Estate Management Course. I simply applied my learning habits on CS to Estate Management and it worked. I failed one course, but destroyed it the next semester (took me 2 nights without sleep but I conquered).
- The learning culture is also a problem solving game. You learn so you can solve your immediate problems. The more you learn and apply the more you get better at solving problems and your creativity is boosted.
Finally, you must understand that the world is getting much more accessible and free, your limitations today and in the future will only be the ones you set by yourself. You want to start a new, business, take a new course, learn a new skills, after a promotion, just head on to YouTube and start with the powerful key world “how to…”. Your life will never remain the same.
Before I forget this is me 🤓 struggling on YouTube [Dubem Kizito — Product Design].
Thanks for reading