Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Coding Journey: Start Simple But Aim Higher Than “Hello, World” and Other Important Lessons

 My coding journey is still ongoing.  And I’m close to writing an app beyond what I’m learning on online classes and tutorial apps.  One lesson I learn is that patience is very much needed.  A lot of patience. And if you keep at it, you will have a breakthrough in terms of speaking the code language.  And while patience is paramount, make sure to aim higher than doing exercise on playgrounds.

Everyone starts with “Hello, World”. We all get pass that and then things could get complicated from there if you approaching learning to code incorrectly.  That’s right.  Expect a lot of time trying to figure things out even in the beginning.  

Here are a few lessons I picked up:

  • You’ll be asked to write something like “print(“Hello, World”).  Go beyond that.  Between the quotations, writing anything other than “Hello, World”.  What city do you like to move to?  Country?  Replace “World” with Los Angeles or Seattle or the Shire.  This quickly makes the code yours.  It’s a small step but take it because it’s something more real.
  • I don’t want to rehash what I have learned but you know you have gained knowledge when you’re ready to pass it on.  I’m not a computer scientist so I’ll speak the language of a commoner.  If you can rethink or rephrase what you just learn into a language you speak, you get it.
  • Go back again and again. You have no idea how many times I’ve watched some lessons over and over again.  Go back over the lesson you just went through 
  • Exercises are important.  I’ve done all that I need and sometimes it’s not enough so I do google and see what other examples that are out there that I can incorporate into what I just learn. 
  • Prepare to invest a vast amount of time into learning to code.  Look, I’ve read and heard about people who have no coding experience coding an awesome app within a month.  I’m not saying that its impossible but I’m saying that it will not be the case for most of us.  Those folks who developed new apps that Apple brought on to demo likely got a lot of helps from Apple engineers.  You and I likely do not have access to those kinds of resources. We have online courses, maybe books, and, oh, search engines.
  • Don’t give up.  More importantly, do not let too many days and certainly not weeks pass before going into the next lesson.  You’re going to forget things and be forced to relearn things because you’ve forgotten.  Last week, I did go through four days between lessons. During that time, I went over in my head things that I learned so I do not have any sort of set backs. 
  • Ask for help,  I had a chance to corner a software developer friend and asked all sort of questions in person.  The wonders of all of us being vaccinated.  I learned a lot but I also learned that I knew squat.  Not quite squat but there is a lot I have to learn.  
Why am I doing this?  Personal enrichment is at the top but certainly with coding to add to my resume, it could not hurt.  More importantly, I think coding is certainly indispensable regardless of which field you work in.  Finance, law, the sciences, liberal arts, or you working in a mine or serve drinks at a bar.  Many of us cook (sort of) but we are not professional chefs.  It’s like that.

Next, I’ll be back with more detailed progress on my coding adventure.  If you’re going to join me, please do and let’s share our experiences and move forward together.

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