This might well be the result down the path from your fifth Google search. A journey that started with an optimistic you and a search query like ‘How do I learn to program in a week?’.
But now you are here. Looking for confirmation of the contrary. Ending up here is an inevitable outcome for some. But why?
Programming is hard. Programming is difficult.
It is nothing like you’ve imagined: Sitting down in front of your computer, opening up the editor and hammering away on the keyboard like some kind of wizard, downing coffee by the bucketload, pushing commits like you were born to do nothing else.
My best guess is that you didn’t even settle on a language after browsing the web for hours, after meticulously reading every “10 Best Programming Languages of 2019” piece ever published.
Am I right?
Don’t feel bad. It’s not you, it’s coding.
I’ve seen software engineering graduates breaking down in the process of trying to set up their systems to do some C++. The same graduates were banging their heads against a wall trying to understand why their Python imports weren’t working.
They, like you, were hopelessly lost even before they reach the cozy comforts of the editor with its colorful text on a dark background (Yes, Dracula), autocompletion and auto-indentation. So a simple “Hello World” seems like a moonshot, right?
1. It Takes a Ton of Persistence
Does that mean the ability to code is only gifted the few? No, not exactly. But I bet that the majority that can code did closer to 10,000 searches on Google and spent hours begging for help on Stackoverflow. It comes down to persistence.
So how persistent should you be in the search for the holy grail (coding) so that you can start to create and build all of those brilliant ideas that are filling your head. to the point where it could burst anytime.
The reason why you are looking into learning how to code is likely because you want to solve problems. This is the essence of coding, solving real-life problems.
In coding problems don’t come alone. Facing a coding problem means that solving the most obvious simply reveals a possibly bigger problem. A neverending stack.
Right there, in the joy following solving one problem, the next and bigger problem hits you. Not like a light jab but an uppercut. Right in the face. Do you lay down?
No. You get up again. You can’t be discouraged. This is the name of the game.
TL;DR You are putting out fires, that start new fires, that start new fires … You get it. Keep fighting the fires.
2. Your Expectations are Inflated
Everywhere they are telling you “learn to code” and “learn to code in a weekend”, trying to sell you premium courses with content tailored to suit your needs. Selling you the illusion that you can be as successful their proudly listed alumni.
I bet you can do it. I’m sure you have the persistence and the wits needed to succeed — according to their criteria.
But what are your expectations?
Are you going to be happy doing exercises that are more academic than applicable to real-world problems?
Don’t expect to become a lean, mean, programming machine by doing a single or few online courses that are not even close to covering the basics. It takes time. A lot of time.
I’ve been coding from the age 10 and I’m 30 years old today. That is a long time, and I’m not even close to being a wizard-like coder.
TL;DR You will not become a star programmer doing an online course. Invest 5 years and you still have a lot to learn.
3. Fixed Focus
There is a very good reason why you, in the first place, wanted to learn how to code. You’re probably not doing it because you dream about studying algorithm’s time complexity.
You are likely very good at something, that isn’t coding. But in order to bring your ideas to life, in order to build and create you think you need to learn to code.
I understand your rationalization.
But if you want to keep the focus on what you are already good at you cannot sacrifice that for something you’ll eventually be half-assed at.
I’ve had side-projects, possible ventures abandoned in the wake of a quest to get even deeper into the dirty details of how, in the end, pixels are displayed on a screen. I’ve realized that I can’t write the best code, which abstracts and generalizes like nothing you’ve ever seen, and at the same time focus on the business side of things.
TL;DR Focus. What gives you the abilities to build great things will probably make you lose focus on the goal.
I’ve experienced first-hand young people fresh out of high school enrolling in a 3-year Software Engineering B.Sc. having either not coded or barely touched it. Committing and spending three years of their lives — on the other side, diploma in hand, they couldn’t code if their life depended on it.
How can it go so wrong? They are young, committed and open to learning new things.
Coding or programming is the art of solving problems. Learning to code is learning how to solve problems. Faced with a problem the, aforementioned students, wouldn’t have a chance of solving it. But they would certainly know what to write in the editor if told how to solve the problem.
Coding is not being told what to do and which syntax to use.
5. Wrong Reasons
Honestly… You want to build, not to code. Back to those great ideas in your head. You want to set them free. Build them and make them real. Either for profit or just because you want to change how things are done.
You want to build products, a SaaS company or a community for people just like you.
Don’t learn to code for the wrong reasons. There are other ways to achieve what you are looking to do.
You’ve been starring at developers and engineers, looking at them like they were heroes. What you would be able to accomplish if you could do what they can.
Busywork can give you those superpowers. First off, I’m not talking about doing software engineering. We focus on building. And not only building prototypes but production-ready products that you can proudly ship off to your customers or friends.
Busywork is free of compilers, syntax and tedious setup. I’ve built Busywork to be a drag and drop application builder, that enables everyone to build their greatest ideas. Busywork is built to be easy and visual because programming is difficult. I’m just giving you the basics, have a look at what Busywork can do.
If you would like to learn more, have a look at our website busywork.co.