When I started on my decoding coding journey, I had the impression that all I needed to do to get better at coding is to just code more. First, take an online course . Then do more tutorials. Make a small side project. Rise and repeat. Basically, just looking at code on a screen, or someone else's code on a screen, and go from there. I did that for kind of the first 1-2 years, but my relationship with coding then kept going on and then off. I'll be super enthusiastic for a couple of months doing courses and Youtube tutorials, and then got busy and it dropped off the radar.
And it really helped! I'd stuck around a lot more this time round for much, and it doesn't seem to be faltering at that. I think the key difference was that identity is pretty much part of the learning process as much as the technical learning. I'd always seen myself as a designer, entrepreneur or indie hacker, not a developer, and that lack of sense of belonging did hamper the learning process in ways that I wasn't aware of initially. Especially now that I'm trying to transition to developing products fulltime, I needed to grow into a different identity, a fresh season of life, a new narrative. And you can't get that from just doing technical stuff. I had to truly immerse in web dev culture, and being initiated into these softer aspects of web dev had a significant effect of making me like I belong, I understand the lingo, I can speak to other web devs and understand each other. And as a result, confidence grows, I get more comfortable in my new skin, and that social+identity multiplier seeps across into my technical confidence as well...in some weird black magic way I can't fathom.
So, yeah. Want to be a better developer? Crank up on your geek culture lol!