The start

The trace


In college, I was trained as an industrial designer for various mediums. We learned how the clay behave in order to design ceramics ware. We study the physical qualifications of materials to design better products. I enjoyed working in the industrial business for years. I loved what I do. I enjoyed every creation.

One day I looked up, found inspiring platforms, interactive webs, and digital products, I knew I am home.

Last three years, I moved to the other country to pursue professional life. Hence, I frequently found myself struggled due to a technical knowledge limit. I was ‘making-do’ to finish each project (with walkthrough articles or online courses ) and more than happy to do so. I am a fast learner so it does not a problem. But I want to escape from this situation. 

The situation that I know nothing about the science of medium that I am designing. 

There was a time when social media are full of articles like: should designer code? Should designers learn to code? and by following there were "Why designers should stop coding” or "Designers shouldn't code”. Some of this article contain good thoughts, meanwhile, some are click-baited. For that time I was like “Yes, ok, I got it". We should code — or at least — should know some pieces about it. The problem was — I have no idea what the CODE they are talking about.

Since then, I still have no clue. Just making do and making do.

The Clue

I am interested in Computer Science on the day I have read this medium on the matter of principle in design. I enjoy investigating mindsets of good and great designers. Julie Zhou becomes my favorite person as a designer. But I was shocked when I discovered her background as only in Computer Sciences.
I was fascinated by her true designer’s mind. My profession leads me to numerous numbers of the designer who try only to make their design visually notable and none of them has no mindset like her. I just know that I am not for solo-aesthetic. I go for honest products that will give the value to people.

I thought it was a good point to start. Then I asking myself two questions "in or out” and “now or never”.

The checklists are on the way.

A dream written down with a date becomes a goal.
A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan.
A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true.
— Greg S. Reid

The Way

My dream is transparent the solid wall that blocked me when I execute ideas, when I read MIT Technology Review, and when I interact with things I know there are secret behind.

Goal:  1 year from now I will:

  • understand CS as the root of possibilities,
  • understand how things work,
  • have logical thinking without losing my creativity
  • be able to identify simple feature: this is the result from that.
  • be able to implement what I have learned to creative projects


  • A collection of learning records on personal blog and Medium.
  • A collection of lecture notes.
  • 1 Project from CS50x
  • 1 Project at the end of the year: executed to what I can make it come true at that time.
  • 1 Just-for-fun project proposal

After learning I will answer these questions:

  • How CS Challenge does shift my perspective as a designer?
  • How does it influenced me to become who I am right now?
  • How it feels on Math and Engineering parts?

The Year

I divided my self-learned program into two part.
FIX (Week 0 - 15)

FLEX (Week 16 - onwards)
Selecting from this GitHub, Stanford, MIT Open Courseware, and more.
The topics will be selected by area of interests, self-reflected on weak and strength points, and trend scouting. 

I know this is possible thanks to Scott Young MIT Challenge and his Reddit post as well as this CS50x Community. Special thanks to this Quora Q&A for the tips and Max of Young and Programming for the library.

This might not change the world, but it will change my world.
Suggestions, comments, and experience sharing are more than welcome :)

Niche Chathong

milanp, italy

A Multi-disclipline Designer and Social network communication strategist who have an eagle-eye for living trends.