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Mar 23, 2019 07:03:08

Re: Should I learn how to code?

by @brianball PATRON | 461 words | 389💌

Brian Ball

Total posts: 389💌
Total words: 107477 (429 pages 📄)

The answer: You already know how to code. You know the code for brushing your teeth and checking your email on your phone and replying to social media. Computer code is just a matter of learning some key words and making sure you type them in correctly. Algorithms come later.

Computer code at the minimum, is a typed command. Stringing together lots of commands - that's programming - software development - engineering.


Engineering is asking questions, lots of questions. Then, systematically answering those questions - making sure the previous answers haven't changed with the addition of new information. Then, if there's time, you can optimize.


A big mistake we make when learning to code is forgetting to practice. But, practicing, to me, is like learning to solve a Rubik's Cube. In the last 30 hours or so, I learned enough algorithms to solve a cube on my own. It's taking me about 9 minutes to solve. My nephew, who has practiced more than me and has been practicing can solve a cube in 46 seconds. Check YouTube - there are people who can solve it in a few seconds - blindfold - while knitting a sweater. (just kidding)


Forget "learning how to code" - as the phrase to say yes or no to. You already know it's just getting commands to get the computer to do something. 

Do you want a skill? Do you want the skill of coding? Do you want the confidence that with enough Googling ( and in todays's world, everybody is Googling code all day long - not to copy and paste, but to learn the context that comes with a fast-moving target. )


I've been at it for 20+ years and I still love solving problems with code. If you enjoy the satisfaction of being able to make a computer do something, learn how. It's a fantastic skill to develop. 


FreeCodeCamp.org is a great resource. There are lots of great resources.


I like to point people to this one because I know Quincy - the guy that built it. 

Want a picture of somebody who's focused - building FCC was it. He didn't have a car. He literally ran places - like Forest Gump. He'd show up, get tea, and put his head down and be solving problems for hours and hours and hours. It was fantastic to watch. And, he got major results. He got a lot of help. He didn't apologize for not knowing what he didn't know. He just quietly looked it up or asked somebody more skilled. He didn't ask permission to build something. He started. He worked on it daily. Now, he's helping millions of people.


I'm headed to MicroConf this weekend. Most of the folks there believe in the power of code. Many have built companies for themselves. Some have built things like Stripe.com


What might you build?

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