Did you go to school to learn web development?
I went to school for Education & Child Development. Programming is my second career, and I am self-taught.
I would probably steer clear of WordPress …
As would I; but if you decide that WP is what you want to do, go ahead. Just be aware that diving into wordpress isn’t likely to lead anywhere else: it is a world unto itself, and mostly an “expert beginner” world at that. It mostly leads to production work and doesn’t naturally develop a greater understanding or proficiency of what you’re actually doing.
Can you give me an example of what you do to practice?
Just write code. You only need an idea, but that idea doesn’t need to be a “whole” site/ application/ finished product. Code it, see if it works, look up your problems on google, rewrite it, …keep going. Don’t look for solutions without explanations: copy+paste might make your code work, but it won’t help you learn anything.
Start with simple tasks and work your way up. If you start by trying to program a full content management system, you’re going to be constantly frustrated. You need to have an understanding of program “flow,” too (which is why simple projects are best to start), even if it’s just the basic HTTP request→response cycle.
the most valuable thing is to pick something you want to build, realize you don’t know how to build it, and then figure out how to learn to build it.
lol, I read that as “dominatrix display”. Wooooooooo…!
In all seriousness, though, absolutely: you won’t get anywhere unless you commit to “figuring it out.” A class might be useful to you, but only if you manage to engage with it. Have fun!