I know: your mother never told you that she loved you. The online bully told you bad words and your feelings got hurt. The shame, the Dorito covered shirt is more painfully shameful than writing covfefe to 30 million Twitter followers.
Yet, not all is lost! You can learn to code quite easily if you have a brain and know your way around a keyword. No, you do not need a fancy Mac to start: most top-notch coders I know swear by something they like to call Linux (don’t ask) and 10-year-old IBM laptops bought for 200 bucks. Guess how much they make? $50-$100 per hour.
How do I know if you have what it takes, Boss Man? Do you have that fire in your belly when you look at an attractive person yet you cannot dare to ask her out for a coffee? Do you know all about every single star trek episode ever including the god awful Star Trek Discovery? Are you still hanging out with your high school friends? Have you not dared to visit Berlin, London, Rome? Have you no idea where Khartoum or Tangier is?
Worry not, stereotypical geek friend of my dreams that I wish existed, especially if you had a collection of blow up dolls! All of this bullshit does not matter! What matters is that you find the courage to start learning how to code.
Please do: almost anyone can do it. These days, there are what they call “frameworks” that pretty much allows only but the most simple-minded to pretend he or she is a genius in most social circles and get some seriously cool social cred. Before you ask “but I have no money, Daddy Boss Man, I will have to kill myself”.
Do not worry about that, joyful and soulful grasshoppers. If you type “learn to code for free” on Google, you will see a lot of options and you may ask yourself: how do I start? This is madness! Do not be scared because most of those options aren’t really for you because free means shit.
So please do not take the free route. Save money with a side hustle, then pay for an in-person or a live video-streaming course. You will have skin in the game and be serious about it – for starters – and will appreciate the massive number of hours it will take to learn a new mindset.
What is that mindset? It has to do with thinking in structure, models, and conditions. In a nutshell, it means that it is likely that you will learn that you have a powerful brain you have never put to real use in your life because you never thought it would be possible. You will realize you can tackle complex problems and design complex systems in as little as a few months.
You won’t be a great coder: that takes years. But it will give you $25 to $50 which is good money for most. As you manage your customers well i.e., applying yours and their resources well enough that you deliver what you are promising, rest assured you will build a reputation and maybe even one day be working remotely from any city or the remote island of your dreams.
Word of advice: avoid Thailand if you are single and likes to party. You won’t get any work done. It is worse than The Hangover because when the doctor looks in your eyes and say “I am pretty sure you brought a new strain of Hepatitis to the Northern Hemisphere” and quarantines your passport…
Anyways, #learntocode. Now. It will make you enjoy life. The best possible way to learn in my humble opinion? The Lambda School. Hands down.
Now, to the realities of the learning process and of the profession
It is hard, but do not be discouraged.
It will be daunting at first. Like relationships, school, or drinking, you get used to it fast. Find ways of keeping focus. Quick that damn marijuana cigarette will ya? Half kidding here, I know this may be helpful for some of you, but please use stuff that helps you focus so you get out of that shithole apartment.
It will take 6 months full time to learn it well, and your undivided attention. You will be a bitch of your computer for 6 months at least. Just like the gym, you can turn a fat butt into a fit one only with some dedication. So please, no more drinking, sex, smoking, calling your mom, grooming your cat. From now on, it is a laptop, coffee, macaroni, and cheese. For inspiration, watch that South Park episode where the boys draw play World of Warcraft tirelessly for months: get ready.
It is a business
Coding is about planning, preparedness, and communication. Do not think that once you have a feeling that you mastered that framework and script language that humans will have mastered themselves. You will have to – most of the time – manage client’s expectations, and make sure that they understand what you are talking about so you do not build the wrong product. A good bit of advice: get your clients to sign off a phase before you move to the next.