Is it possible to learn web development / design while working full-time?
Posted: March 13, 2020 / Last updated: July 10, 2020
Everyone’s “Job” and situation are different. We can’t account for all variations – but you can tackle this question by charting it out!. Also “working full-time” – is different than “being in school full-time.” Just choose one school at a time.
A standard day and night
It might sound silly to say – but “We all have the same 24 hours in each day at our disposal.” This might not reflect where your Sun is at these hours – but this should be good enough to share a base-line. There’s a night and a day.
You absolutely need to sleep
Here’s a known known. This is a constraint that people try to workaround. We don’t think you should. Sleep is imperative.
I’ve stayed up late trying to get my projects done – and sometimes I pulled through. However, staying up late to learn new things – doesn’t work as well. The goal here is to learn – and not to just ‘get something finished on time.’
Right now there are thousands and thousands of people awake trying to follow along with an online tutorial – and it’s very unlikely that that time wouldn’t be better spent sleeping. You absolutely have to keep a regular sleeping schedule if you are going to learn things well – and quickly. Bending the rules – and bleeding over into your sleep will just steal that time from your future self.
You probably have a job already
I have friends who work as truck drivers and janitors – and they work at night, but – most people seem to work this “9 to 5” schedule. Not only do they work those hours – but there is usually some time in transit to get to the location they do that work. If you have children – or other obligations, you might also be transporting them to school or daycare as well. I rounded it to an hour – but really / you should create a chart like this for yourself and follow along.
That Netflix life style
I often catch myself and the people around me saying things like:
“I can’t find the time to ______________,”
but the time was there. We used to watch TV or something. It was there. So, you definitely have to make a trade. Luckily – Design and programming and problem-solving are some of the most fun things to do in the world. Some of our assignments are to watch movies!
As far as your regular habits – You’ll have to just watch fewer shows and maybe – just pick one day a week to do that. It’ll be good for you.
How to use the time you have
There are thousands of articles, tutorials, and classes that you could choose. Since you only have about 5 hours a day… (and that’s really stretching it, right?) you had better choose the right ones.
Some of you are going to be right out of high school and working at restaurants – or customer service jobs. You might be single – or married / so like I said – all of these hours are going to be different for you. In some cases – you have a team-mate who wants to help you get educated – and so, maybe your husband can wake up a little earlier and make the coffee. If you’ve got people around – maybe they can help you make the most of this time for a while.
There is enough time – but only if you use it very efficiently.
It's a little - but it's a lot... (and there's more)
At 7 am – after you’ve washed your face – and you’re eating a crunchy snack
– your brain is really in a good mood. You can learn a lot right now. You can set yourself up for a very thoughtful day. Right now is the time to read or watch a very targeted and well-timed bit of information regarding what you are learning. For design and programming – this should be something that directly connects to the previous concept you learned. You have to tie it together day-to-day. This way – you can think about it on your drive to work. You can think about it in regards to your work. You can keep it around – and hang out with the new concept all day long. If it’s not a concept – and instead / it’s just a set of ‘follow along’ directions – it’s not going to be something you can do while you’re at work / and it’s also probably the wrong thing to learn.
In the evening – when you come home,
you’ll already have spent some time thinking about this exciting new part of the thing you’re learning – and you’ll be in the zone – and ready to put it into practice. You can re-read the article – or watch the video. Maybe you even listened to an audio podcast or something on the subject while you were at work. So – now it’s time to use the concept and really cement the conceptual model and add it to your toolbox.
Your brain can find the hidden time
There is the BEST use of your time. But just using your time – doesn’t mean you’re using it well. Choosing a program (like ours) that takes advantage of this time – and builds things like prototyping, content strategy, user-testing, usability, accessibility – and research into your daily life – will take advantage of every moment you have – and it’s fun. ; )
The most hours you can squeeze out of a day
This is the most time you can get out of a day when you’re already working. There are 4 hours of ‘sit down and study’ time – if you want. You could just read ‘The Computer Science” manual – or follow whatever a friend recommended. Are those the right resources? Do they take the most advantage of those little thought bubbles throughout the day? Would you rather learn to cook with Gordon Ramsay – or over a decade at greasy spoon breakfast diners?
The most learning you can get in those hours
If you get the right information – and it’s rolled out in just the right way – I think you can get a full 6 hours of education out of a day, still walk the dog, and pick up the kids and make dinner, AND it can be really fun. But most of the education paths out there don’t work this way. We chose to do things differently. In fact – we only really want you to work for 3 hours a day. We want it to seep in at just the right pace. Book a call – and let us show you why.
The outcome of your hard work
The fun part about being a designer – is that you get to learn on the job full-time. The whole job – is learning. So, unless you want to – you don’t need to learn at home anymore. Maybe you’ll have time to learn something new – or hey, take a walk around the neighborhood. Maybe you’ll even get to enjoy yourself.
Sorry for the audio ‘pops’ – we’ll have to re-do this video.
Do you already have a full-time job? Are you thinking about pivoting – but not sure you can find the time?
Let us help you access the situation. There always seems to be a few things to slide around to make room.