Months ago, I wrote a post about how I wanted to participate in game jams. Ultimately, that didn’t go much of anywhere because I didn’t have a concrete and actionable plan to follow. I knew I wanted to code, but I couldn’t actually figure out how to get started. After getting lost in an endless number of forum posts and articles that all told me to learn different languages using different tutorial programs, I began to worry that coding may not be for me. Thankfully, I did persevere and continue to read advice until I had come up with a path that I thought I could realistically follow. While it did take me some time, I am beginning to finally put the pieces together and am determined to actually learn how to code!
Why do I want to learn to code? There are a variety of reasons, but put simply, it is a valuable skill to learn. Almost all businesses and industries need a tech person to run their website or manage their database nowadays, and I can only imagine that this will become even more prevalent in the coming years. Apart from that, I have always been a creative person who loves to try new things. Browsing websites and playing video games is a lot of fun, but it would be amazing to be able to create those sites and games myself!
In the coming months, I will be writing a series of posts outlining the success of different teaching tools I am using and the projects I am completing. Since I know I’m not alone in wanting to know how to code, I hope that being honest about my triumphs and roadblocks along the way will help others take the plunge! I’m definitely not going into this endeavor believing that I will become a master coder overnight. This is going to be one of the most challenging tasks that I have ever put upon myself and I expect to struggle tremendously at times. Since I suspect that I share a lot of my biggest fears about coding with others, I am going to list off a few concerns I have, as well as how I am overcoming them:
- Am I smart enough to code? From day one, this is a concern that has plagued me. The media constantly portrays people who work with computers as these absolute geniuses that are brighter than everyone else in the room. The fear that I might not be able to keep up with the curriculum is definitely there, but I also realize that it’s irrational. I’m self-teaching myself and can go at my own pace. There are countless resources out there that will explain any topic I need to know more about, so if I hit a roadblock reading one description, I can always go find a different tutorial and keep working at it until I understand a concept.
- Am I self-motivated enough to learn by myself? This undertaking will involve months or years of daily study in order to become fully proficient at a given coding language. The question is, can I do this alone? In order to overcome this fear, I remind myself that I have kept up with my own website for over a year now, and it isn’t like anyone is forcing me to do this. No matter how worried I may be, at the end of the day, I have always been a very self-motivated person, and there is no reason to believe that coding will be any different.
- How do I find the right resources? There are so many websites out there that promise a master coding education. Some are free and some cost money, claiming that the monetary investment will give a better overall education. They all teach different languages. No two people on the internet will ever agree about which curriculum works best for learning how to code. At first, this felt overwhelming, but I realize now that this is actually a great thing! The nearly limitless resources available means that, similar to what I said about not being smart enough to code, I can use a combination of different curriculums to tackle difficult topics, or switch tutorials if I don’t feel like I’m getting along well with the one I initially chose. I could spend years picking out the perfect education for myself, or I could just dive into one and adjust as necessary.
As you all can see, I am terrified about a great many things going into this endeavor, but I also realize that these fears shouldn’t stop me from diving in and giving coding my best shot! I have no idea how learning to code is going to affect my life, but I am eager to learn what opportunities might await me. Even though I may be scared, I’m also very excited to see what the coming months bring me and can’t wait to write updates in the future about what I’m doing.
Have you ever tried to learn to code? How did it go? Let me know in the comments below!
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