2019 is upon us. Will this be the year you finally learn to code?
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Must You be a Software Engineer?
There is a common misconception that if you learn to code you are planning on being a software engineer. This is not the truth. I consider myself a software developer but I do not work as a software engineer. Coding does not translate directly to a job title. It’s about who you are and what you do, not who you work for or what they call you.
Learning to code can advance your career by allowing you take on different positions. Product management, technical sales, leadership, and so forth.
Learning to code can let you start a business. Build your own website.
Learning to code can help you earn more money through websites such as upwork.
You get the point.
What is the Key Ingredient to Learning How to Code?
The Answer? Mindset.
There are a million ways to learn to code. A million different schools and websites and youtube channels and platforms. There’s no shortage of education when it comes to coding and technology. The shortage is in people willing to go through the effort to learn to code.
Nobody is going to force you to learn to code. You can even manage to get through a four year program in computer science and still know nothing (I have people like this comment on my videos as they’re trying to make up for it in the last year of their degree). This is why degrees in computer science are not a requirement. A degree can help you get in the door, but it doesn’t guarantee you know what you are doing.
Instead, develop a mindset that you are going to learn to code no matter what anybody says or no matter what you feel. YOU have to be determined to learn to code. Be ambitious and never give up.
When it comes to coding, there is going to be a lot of challenges. This includes syntax errors and bugs. Try not to see these as failing, but rather a part of the job.
I like to. remember this quote from Thomas Edison: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
How Long Does it take to Learn to Code?
Maybe this is the wrong question? People ask this as if they could study x number of hours and officially know how to code. It doesn’t work that way!
Learning to code is a never ending process. Instead, try to code for 1 hour a day (at least). With this, you can get 365 hours of coding in one year (that’s the equivalent to over 9 weeks of full time work).
But to answer the question, a person can have a decent understanding of code within a few months of part time study.
Build a Portfolio
The coding industry is very result oriented. This means although a degree might be helpful, it is not everything you’ll ever need. That being said, school can be very helpful. Instead (or in addition to), I’d encourage you to build a portfolio of projects you’ve worked on or have made.
This will give people an immediate look at what you can do.
When you have a portfolio, people care less about your degree. Rather, they care about what you can do and how much you charge. Narrow your skills and master something valuable. This will allow you to charge….essentially unlimited dollars. 🙂
You can easily set up a portfolio website with BlueHost.
What do I Learn?
Step 1 is to pick a language. Research what result sounds cool and figure out what language would be good. For example, if you are interested in developing video games, learn C++.
Learn C .
Step 2 is to research key topics. Here is my recommended topics:
- Hello World
- Input and output – Dynamic programs and Variables
- Data Types
- Control Flow
- Complex Data Types
- Object Oriented Programming
- Reading and Writing to Disk
- Build a project
For more detail, watch the video!
What do you think is key to learning how to code? What challenges are you facing?