in Getting Started

How serious are you about learning to code?

How serious are you about learning to code? Is it just sort of this thing you kinda’ want to do…some day? Or is it something you definitely absolutely really want to do and you can’t stop thinking about it?

If you’re not serious and passionate about learning to code, consider finding something you’re truly passionate about instead

If you fall into the sorta-kinda category, then maybe you should stop and take a hard look at if this is the right thing for you.

Learning to code, while it may seem to be just learning to type a bunch of commands into a program, is in fact much more like learning to play an instrument or learning a new language, a craft in its own right.  (In a world full of books like Learn Java in 24 hours, you can be forgiven for thinking that coding is something you can sort of just pick up over a weekend.)  If you’re dedicated, you can probably become conversational in a new language in a few weeks.  But to become fluent, to really master the language in all of its subtle cultural or idiomatic nuances is likely to take years.

In the beginning, when learning to write basic programs, you’re basically like a kid in elementary school.

A very fine kid's drawing, complete with pink elephants, blue birds, and green cats.
A very fine kid’s drawing, complete with a pink elephant and a green cat. Source: elephantaday.blogspot.com

Your first tutorials are basically the same as the earliest stuff you learned to write, like “the blue bird is flying” or “the pink elephant is next to the green cat.” 

But a master developer, when coding, is writing stuff more equivalent to Shakespeare’s famous 18th sonnet:

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? 
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date: 
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d; 
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest: 
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.

Like poetry, great code is finely crafted, with attention being paid to every last detail.  And being to learn to write Shakespearean code, of course, will take time and dedication. So, if you’re only taking a half-hearted approach, you may be wasting your time and should maybe find something you’re more passionate about and invest your time and energy into that.