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EXECUTION F*ck it, i'm learning to code

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lowtek

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Don't get caught up in tutorial purgatory. Tutorials exist to answer a specific question that you encounter while working on a project. This shift in mindset will double your rate of learning or better.
 

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Congrats, I've always been on the side of learning a high-leverage skill that could morph into something else later, worst case, a better paying job, a better functioning blog, a better freelance skill, a better understanding of how the internet works, or what to know when hiring a code person.
 

SeanLewis

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F*ck it, i'm learning to code

This has been nagging me for years now.

I'm sick of having great software ideas and not being able to build them.

I'm sick of not having any marketable skills.

And i'm sick of making excuses!

Why coding?

When my last business failed i realised i didn’t really have any “real” skills.

This is why i’m taking a step back before i launch another business and learning to program.

I’ve been interested in programming for a long time, but i never got around to learning anything more then HTML/CSS. I really like the idea of being able to build whatever i want, no matter how dumb it is.

I’m learning to code because i want to, not because it’s the fastest way to make money.


Here is the game plan:

I don't plan on wasting any time on this. Once i have a good understanding of the basics I plan on learning through DOING.

I'm currently going through the odin projects "web development 101". I already know HTML/CSS and Javascript is next.

I wasted a lot of time researching which back end language to learn but i've decided on "Ruby / Ruby on Rails". (there is no best language btw)

Once i know JS and I'm going to start applying to jobs/contracts while still learning RoR. My hope is to find something part time that is remote, that way i can spend the rest of my time learning and working on my own project.

Execution

The goal is to:
  1. Learn programming.
  2. Get a job and further develop this skill.
  3. Create a “web app” of my own.

In this thread I'll share a weekly recap of the things i've learned, challenges encountered and wins. If you're a programmer and have tips, feel free to pm me or leave a comment.
 

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alexkuzmov

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F*ck it, i'm learning to code

This has been nagging me for years now.

I'm sick of having great software ideas and not being able to build them.

I'm sick of not having any marketable skills.

And i'm sick of making excuses!

Why coding?

When my last business failed i realised i didn’t really have any “real” skills.

This is why i’m taking a step back before i launch another business and learning to program.

I’ve been interested in programming for a long time, but i never got around to learning anything more then HTML/CSS. I really like the idea of being able to build whatever i want, no matter how dumb it is.

I’m learning to code because i want to, not because it’s the fastest way to make money.


Here is the game plan:

I don't plan on wasting any time on this. Once i have a good understanding of the basics I plan on learning through DOING.

I'm currently going through the odin projects "web development 101". I already know HTML/CSS and Javascript is next.

I wasted a lot of time researching which back end language to learn but i've decided on "Ruby / Ruby on Rails". (there is no best language btw)

Once i know JS and I'm going to start applying to jobs/contracts while still learning RoR. My hope is to find something part time that is remote, that way i can spend the rest of my time learning and working on my own project.

Execution

The goal is to:
  1. Learn programming.
  2. Get a job and further develop this skill.
  3. Create a “web app” of my own.

In this thread I'll share a weekly recap of the things i've learned, challenges encountered and wins. If you're a programmer and have tips, feel free to pm me or leave a comment.

Hey Sean,
I have about 11 years of experience as a developer
If I can help you with something, go ahead and drop me a question in this thread.

That being said, I believe in crossing bridges when you come to them.
If you have an app in mind, or some software you want to make, then focus on learning the tools needed for that.
If RoR is the tool you need, then great.
If not, then dont waste time on it. Instead learn what you`ll need.

Also, there are concepts in programing which apply for any language (excluding HTML, XML, CSS, LESS, etc. the UI languages basically, or SQL and others). You should focus on them regardless of which language you choose.
Dont focus on ALL of them, just the ones which are available in the language you are learning.

1. Logical structures. (if then, else, switch ...)
2. Cycle/Loop operators (for, for..in, while, foreach ...)
3. Variable types(string, bool, int ...) and scope (learn where a variable is visible and where not, SUPER IMPORTANT!)
4. Data structures (Array, Matrix, Stack, Heap ...)
5. Object oriented programing (abstraction, inheritance, interfaces, implementation ...)
6. Design patterns (Repository, Factory, Singleton ...)

If you understand these, you can learn any language.
 
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I would highly recommend learning to code. Initially I started learning to complete a specific project I was working on, which didn’t end up working out due to the complexity and market.

However, I now have enough knowledge to manage technical people and see an entire web app development from start to finish. I would recommend taking your time with learning, it’s going to take many months to get remotely proficient especially with backend stuff. It took me about 6 months to get to a point where I could create a decent production (key word) web app from start to finish - including backend, frontend, and deployment.

The deployment is the hardest part because there are guides out there, but you have to piece together a million different resources because every project is different and you’ll run into many hurdles along the way.

Find a system you like, document everything, and master that tech stack. This is why it’s important to pick one with longevity, not trendiness. ROR is good although I prefer Django/Python.

My friend and I just released our first web app and while it probably won’t make any money due to the nature of the tool/niche, we both learned a lot and now have something we can practice marketing. We’re also open sourcing it so I will get some experience managing a project without having to pay anyone. My next app will be something that has a better market and hopefully I will make some decent money with it.

The reason I say take it slow is because I got a bit burnt out learning for 3+ hours a day on top of my 9-6 job, so after 6 months I had to take a bit of a break from coding to clear my head. But I am back on the grind now, just working smarter and with more direction, hopefully taking on some clients for small web dev jobs so I can quit my job and free up time to focus on my own software products.

This shit is hard, but man is it worth it. The barriers of entry are super high because most business people don’t want to put in the work to learn this stuff, so you’re competing with “passion” engineers with sub par business acumen, who are more worried about trendy tech stacks, thinking they need to raise VC dough for everything rather than actually building a business that’s profitable from day 1.

The koolaid is real in the software business, but treat it like any other fastlane venture and you’re golden. I’m not there yet but well on my way.
 

csalvato

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If you’re going to do Ruby on Rails, then you should know that I require all my new ROR hires to do the Rails Tutorial


It’s how I and several other senior engineers learned Rails and have seen people with years of rails experience severely level up after completing it.

just knowing HTML/CSS and what’s in the Rails tutorial is enough for you to get some jobs making web apps imo

Do that tutorial and start up your own project and you’ll learn very fast.
 

csalvato

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Why do you go with PHP over JS?

I am wondering, say you have someone:
- that is starting from scratch
- wants to learn enough code to be able to rapidly develop working prototypes of web apps
- has one year to gain that practical knowledge

which language would you recommend?

//tagging @eliquid and @csalvato

There's a running theme here with this question that's popping up over and over again. Have you noticed it?

People with no experience in software keep asking what language to learn as though it's a massive key to unlock the universe and their full potential.

The people who are making a great wage from software (either in a high paying day job, from their companies, or both) keep giving the same response.

It doesn't matter.

Just pick one and run with it. Once you learn your first one, you can learn another one in ~2-3 weeks, at most.

In weightlifting circles, Mark Rippetoe has made this chart on The Novice Effect very popular. You'll find it carries over to most domains, including software:

29107

To put it simply, when you're first learning you will be learning so much every single day, even though your training capacity (your ability to focus, or your body's ability to adapt to the new training) may be small. As you get more proficient, you don't learn as much within that domain anymore. But if you enter a new domain, you still have The Novice Effect there.

Even if that chart makes no sense to you here's the quick and dirty...

Just pick one.

Find one that you think looks interesting to you and start learning it. Ideally, have a project in mind. I worked with one person who DM'd me to find a small project he can focus on while he learns – a proposal generator for his cleaning business.

Quite literally, writing all these languages on a wall and throwing a dart at them is absolutely acceptable.

To make a slightly more informed decision:

  1. Pick a language that has a tutorial or course that you find easy and intuitive. I find The Rails Tutorial to be amazing for beginners in both Ruby AND Rails. There's also Dive Into Python which made Python very accessible for me. The first language I learned was Java from a textbook + teacher in High School (after learning HTML/CSS to make a website on AngelFire when I was 10)
  2. Pick a language where you have a mentor. If @eliquid said he'd be happy to help answer questions on programming for you, then you should learn PHP because he can help you with that most easily. For people that I mentor, it's either Ruby or JavaScript, because I work with those every day.

Sidenote: learn HTML + CSS at the same time. Those aren't software languages (HTML is a markup language, and CSS is a style sheet language), but pretty much every software developer in 2019 should know the basics of how they work. Learning the basic takes, like, a week or two at most. Just knowing HTML/CSS can get you fit to earn cash after those 1-3 weeks of learning (something @Fox can attest to).
 
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Welcome to the club OP! I have been learning for over 6 months now and still going strong. If I may I would like to share a few things I have picked up along the way.

1) Do the basics first.
I followed the Rob Percival course on udemy and that opened a whole new world to me. There are many other courses available depending on language and application. I just bought a course as I had no idea even what CSS or HTML was at the time. In the end the concept of full-stack engineering including setting up databases and hosting. Overall the WWW will become clear and that you have taken your first step on a very very very big mountain.

2) Design Design Design
I cannot say how much of a game changer this is. I jumped in to MVC, web security and back-end coding. FAIL! While it is necessary and interesting it was an unproductive approach. After receiving advice from @Andy Black a month or so back, he helped me step back and strategise my approach. So I explored a few options including outsourcing the engineering. To accomplish this I knew I had to write a specification, make a wireframe and tender the work package. By wireframing, the complexity of the web app becomes very quickly evident. I initially used Adobe XD following tearing through yet another Udemy course on UX design.

3) Consider all avenues
After the specification and wire frame were ready I held two interviews and received very similar quotes, in and around €70,000 only for the web app. This job posting was made through upwork to get a price indication. With advice from @Jon L where he explained the risks of using upwork engineers and the risk became more quantifiable. I assumed a >50% failure rate for a project (an MVP by the way) that I would sink all my assets into. I do not have the appetite to risk everything for something that may not work.

4) Hack hack hack your way to the finish line
This takes some home work, this takes a lot of home work. I was weeks busy looking for off the shelf php scripts and template designers.

Front End:
What I found was a program called Webflow. I am still really very very busy with it, but the real advantages are;
  • it took me two weeks to learn but you gain design freedom unlike a lot of other web builders (e.g. wordpress). For my purpose this is ideal.
  • It can be used for rapid design prototyping like Adobe UX but at the same time you are building the site and can test it and adjust it on multiple platforms .
  • It is based on CSS, HTML and Javascript and automatically writes the code in the background
  • This code can be exported and copied into your own hosted site (using the Webflow Bootstrap version)
  • You will still learn a lot about the CSS, HTML languages without spending hours coding.
  • They seem to be making updates and improvements constantly.
  • They offer hosting and data-basing as well but it is a subscription service depending on your site size and traffic. I really do not understand the potential here yet. But I am pretty sure there will be limitations (e.g. only normal map and shopify plugins) that will not meet the requirements that I what to achieve
Back-end:
  • Start first with the data-base design - no idea how this works yet, something with OOD and mySQL (Udemy to the rescue)
  • Use youtube and udemy to create the applications/functions in a secure way.
Further, Cloud hosting, APIs etc I am going figure this all out out when I need to.

Hope this can help give you some direction and speed up your process. The WWW is bloody immense and not something that you will conquer in a month especially if you are aiming for full-stack development. Keep us posted on your progress and good luck!
 

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You need to start with a project in mind, or this will be very painful.

This. More than anything else. I would be called a Developer by any definition of the term. But outside of outdated irrelevant course in university, I have never completed any course / curriculum of any kind. I start with a problem and then find the best way to solve it using whatever programming language / tool / method is suitable for the process. I learn by looking at how other applications / code has solved the problem or implemented the feature I need. If not the same, at least something close to it. Then I research everything about the code I don't understand and learn tonnes in the process.

So instead of following set curriculum I would strongly urge you to define a problem to solve / product or app to make. Then learn whatever it is you need to accomplish that.

All the best... :)
 

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I think #1 to #4 on that list are pretty crucial fundamentals.

I learned those the classical way in college. How would you recommend someone in 2019 learn that on their own? Are there some resources you recommend for those basics? Like a YouTube video or CodeAcademy course or Udemy course or something?

Everybody learns in a different way and I think that fundamentals in programming are no different.
Over the years I`ve found these to be good starting points (because of their simplicity and utility)

0. http://www.googleguide.com/print/adv_op_ref.pdf
1. W3Schools Online Web Tutorials
2. Learn C++
3. Software design pattern - Wikipedia

Courses, videos and other materials on the subject can work just as well.
Depends on if you are a more visual person, auditory person or maybe you understand the logic better if its presented similar to math explanations.

However. The best way to start IMO is to be mentored. No contest.
Having a more experienced dev present to oversee and check your progress will always yeild the fastest results.
 

Roli

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Well done. Interesting how the narrative has changed on this forum, when I started I made a similar thread, (or joined one, I can't remember) and the general consensus was "NO! Learn marketing instead!!"

A big part of me wishes I ignored that advice.
 

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Agreed with advice about having a project in mind, but don't let it delay your learning. Honestly 5 years ago I started off with basics like
  1. Styling a basic html page and writing very basic CSS which I had some knowledge of.
  2. Writing php variables, printing them.
  3. Trying out basics like arrays, loops.
  4. Writing mysqli - creating tables, inserting data, selecting data.
Two years later I started my business and made my first 20k
 

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Kraelog

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Thanks @lowtek, that was a pretty comprehensive answer. My problem is I've started loads of different tutorials (Java, python, C++, solidity, React, P5, etc. etc.), however can't make the leap to designing my app.

I like your suggestion about the euler project (I'll google it, never heard of it) and using real world code in github.

One more question though; and it's a bit embarrassing, however I just seem to fog over when I go to github. Can you give me some user tips for navigating and just how to use it in general please?

Or perhaps point me to a Github tutorial :rofl:

A great way to make the jump from tutorial to app, is to make increasingly complex iterations of a simple idea.

For example: A calculator.

1st iteration: A basic calculator in a Java class.
2nd iteration: You add calculation functions until it is a fully fledged scientific calculator.
3rd iteration: You add a simple SLQ database to store the results of the calculations
4th iteration: You add time and dates so you have a history of when you did what.
5th iteration: Oh logging might be interesting as well, let's add it.
6th iteration: Shit this looks awful, lets refactor into an MVC structure.
7th iteration: Hmm I have no view, lets learn Java FX so I can have a calculator view.
8th iteration: How can I host this? An indian tribe and a camel, what??? lets learn and apply.
...
783th iteration: Let's finalise the OAuth 2.0 API so I can incorporate financial flows from bank X into my financial app.

etc...
 
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SeanLewis

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Update

I’ve come to realize that my initial plan of updating this thread every week won’t be of much value and will only serve to waste time.

I’m keeping a “coding journal” and also tracking my time using “Toggl”. So far i’ve been averaging 3-4 hours of coding/learning on work days and 6-8 hours on off days.

My initial plan of learning ruby/rails has changed. After taking a look at the job market there really isn’t much demand for it where I live. Thanks for the tip @EdKirby .

The things I've studied so far are:

html/css/bootstrap
-- Odin project / colt steele web dev bootcamp

Because I've played around a lot with this in the past I feel confident creating and styling a basic page. I could benefit from learning more advanced css in the future.

Javascript -- Odin project / colt steele web dev bootcamp

I’m no master but I feel confident that I could build anything with javascript(as long as I got access to stackoverflow and MDN..).

When I compare my code with others It’s clear that i do things pretty inefficient. What I've been doing is to solve the problems my way first and then finding the “dryer” solution and learning from it.

SQL
Went through this course, still need to learn more but i feel like i got the basics. Will learn more when i build an actual database.

JQuery -- colt steele web dev bootcamp

This makes DOM so much easier and mixed with some css i managed to make a pretty sweet todo list app among other things.

Node.js (express framework) -- colt steele web dev bootcamp

Just started with this yesterday, so far it doesn’t seem to complicated but i’m sure it will be..

Future

Looking at job offers in my area it seems the trendy thing right now is React JS so that's what i’m gonna learn.

The plan is to build a web app using all that i’ve learned so that i can show employers that I actually know what I'm doing, and that I'm willing to put in the time.

Right now I'm thinking of building a sales tracker for my current job (I'm in sales, right now we use an excel sheet I create every month). Also this is a 500 million dollars per year company and we use manual spreadsheets to keep track of shit..
 

SeanLewis

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Sorry about not updating this thread. I lost my job because of this whole covid19 thing, had to hustle a bit and get a new one.

Since i graduated a few years ago i’ve worked every possible shit job there is and it’s really getting to me.

I can’t believe i’ve cleaned bathroom walls covered in shit for 8 bucks an hour, i’ve done customer support, construction, retail, sales etc etc.

All this while middle management treats you like absolute garbage and simultaneously spits quotes like: “your best interest in mind”, “we’re in this together” and my favorite “we’re a family!”.

Thank god we're a family otherwise i might be mad about losing my job!

I’m not even gonna talk about what i do for a living now because it doesn’t matter, if i’m not a developer(getting paid to grow this skill) before the end of the year i welcome you to blow my brains out.

Enough bitching.

In my last post i talked about doing some freelance work and the truth is that i wasn’t ready for it at the time.

Sure i could probably have completed some freelance gigs but at the time i didn’t have any proof of my skills.

After getting myself out of unemployment I started work on a small web app for my portfolio. I just need to add some final touches and it should be deployable next week.

I’ve gained tons of experience planning and building something bigger and I feel a lot more comfortable coding now. I'm starting to be able to figure stuff out in my head when I'm not even at the computer.

Once the project is deployed I'm gonna try and land an interview. I can be very charismatic and I'm good at sales so once I actually get an interview I should be able to stand out.

A lot of you reading might be appalled at the idea of getting a “regular job” but the truth is I'm so tired of working odd hours, doing bullshit for little pay.

I think getting a regular job where i can get paid to learn and develop this skill is what I need right now.

I know this isn't much of an update but life had me sidetracked for a bit, but now i'm back on the grind.
 

TreyAllDay

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I think it's a great start. If I can recommend where to start, it's with developing your first basic webpage. From there everything else falls into place.

1)HTML/CSS - Which is basically the structure of the page, words, styling.
2) Setting up hosting/domain.
3) PHP - To manage logic.
4) MYSQL - For interacting with a database.

Honestly, as long as you can mark up a page with html, and style it with css you have the first half down. Then get it online with hosting so you can practice. Then - learn and practice php for dynamic content. Then MySQL to interact with a database so you can store information.
 

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tigerbalm

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Don't get caught up in tutorial purgatory. Tutorials exist to answer a specific question that you encounter while working on a project. This shift in mindset will double your rate of learning or better.

Duuude this advice is fantastic. This was me for my first several years of coding. Obviously working as a developer helped, but the most effective way of learning to code is trying to build something, then reading up and seeing how you can do it better. Then build, build, build.
 

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Duuude this advice is fantastic. This was me for my first several years of coding. Obviously working as a developer helped, but the most effective way of learning to code is trying to build something, then reading up and seeing how you can do it better. Then build, build, build.

Agreed. Great advice. Don't get caught up on trying to learn anything too specific either. I have been doing it for 5 years and still google the most basic tasks.

A big part of programming is getting good at googling things lol. You want to do something, you google "how to x" and there is always one article that explains it
 

lowtek

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I'm just wondering how this would work in the real world?

Say I have an idea for a mobile app, however I have zero experience in coding, how can I use a tutorial to answer specific questions, when I have one overriding question which is; how do I code an app?

I'm not being argumentative for the sake of it, I'm genuinely interested how you create this shift in mindset that you mention. I've tried that approach, however because I lack some basic knowledge, I have found myself just simply following tutorials.

I guess what I'm asking is; at what point will I know when to shift my approach to learning code?

Great question, and I should have been more explicit. If you don't know anything at all, then a basic tutorial is a good place to start.

If I were personally going to make an android mobile app, here are the steps I would take.

1) Spend a few days learning the fundamentals of java. I don't know anything about the language, but I know how programming languages work, so it shouldn't take very long to get a basic grasp of the syntax and common idioms of the language.

2) I would search for official documents from Google on how to make an app, and start working through those.

3) As I got stuck, I would either seek out tutorials or, better yet, check out github for examples of simple Android apps. Often times I understand what needs to be done, but not the precise way to do it. Real world code is great for that, and is much faster than reading a tutorial.

Edit: If you're completely new to coding, I would pick a language (preferably one related to what I want to do as an end goal) and start working through algorithmic problems. Something like project euler or the like. The reason is that it teaches the fundamentals of how to think like a computer, and there is a definite answer. The solutions are generally pretty short, so it won't take much actual code to complete.
 

Marcel101

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Hello,

I didn't read through the whole thread but I just want to tell everyone who is thinking about starting to code. DO IT.

Let me explain why.

I read TMF and Unscripted a while ago but I was still working a horrible office job without any perspective.

Fortunately as I am from germany I was able to find a so called "training" as software developer so I don't earn much each month but they will teach me everything. The focus of my company is web development which is exactly what I was searching for.

So.. what can I tell you that provides value from the experiences of the last 8 Months learning code:

- it can be a lot of fun because you are able to create things out of nothing and it is a skill that will be even more important in the future. In my office job I wasn't learning much.
- start now, no matter how old you are
- practice, practice, practice. I read a lot of books additionaly when I was taking the bus etc. but you will learn the most by actually coding
- be patient. You will feel like an idiot at start. You will think it is not for you. Keep pushing through it. EVERYONE can learn it.
- find a mentor. I know I am really lucky having my coworkers which are also really like friends for me. This point is invaluable!!!!! Without a mentor you will have a much harder time. I would even pay for it.

Best regards
Marcel
 

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csalvato

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Well done. Interesting how the narrative has changed on this forum, when I started I made a similar thread, (or joined one, I can't remember) and the general consensus was "NO! Learn marketing instead!!"

A big part of me wishes I ignored that advice.

Maybe it correlates with most of the scam artists disappearing :p

Focusing on learning to code is, imo, a shift back towards focusing on making an incredible product. That's what we should all be focusing on, anyway. I welcome this change!
 

eliquid

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Why do you go with PHP over JS?

I am wondering, say you have someone:
- that is starting from scratch
- wants to learn enough code to be able to rapidly develop working prototypes of web apps
- has one year to gain that practical knowledge

which language would you recommend?

//tagging @eliquid and @csalvato

Thats like asking, how long is a piece of string?

What's better, ford or chevy?

Apple or Mac?

If I dug down deep to try to find a good answer, you can learn both in 1 year.

But I know from experience there are still a % of people that have issues running JS in their browser. That's enough for me to stick to PHP for webpages.
 

OhMyGuersh

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Feb 23, 2017
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F*ck it, i'm learning to code

This has been nagging me for years now.

I'm sick of having great software ideas and not being able to build them.

I'm sick of not having any marketable skills.

And i'm sick of making excuses!

Why coding?

When my last business failed i realised i didn’t really have any “real” skills.

This is why i’m taking a step back before i launch another business and learning to program.

I’ve been interested in programming for a long time, but i never got around to learning anything more then HTML/CSS. I really like the idea of being able to build whatever i want, no matter how dumb it is.

I’m learning to code because i want to, not because it’s the fastest way to make money.


Here is the game plan:

I don't plan on wasting any time on this. Once i have a good understanding of the basics I plan on learning through DOING.

I'm currently going through the odin projects "web development 101". I already know HTML/CSS and Javascript is next.

I wasted a lot of time researching which back end language to learn but i've decided on "Ruby / Ruby on Rails". (there is no best language btw)

Once i know JS and I'm going to start applying to jobs/contracts while still learning RoR. My hope is to find something part time that is remote, that way i can spend the rest of my time learning and working on my own project.

Execution

The goal is to:
  1. Learn programming.
  2. Get a job and further develop this skill.
  3. Create a “web app” of my own.

In this thread I'll share a weekly recap of the things i've learned, challenges encountered and wins. If you're a programmer and have tips, feel free to pm me or leave a comment.
Congrats and welcome to the world of coding. I've been coding for 2 years and I can say it was worth learning the skill. Most of my ideas come in the form of applications or web apps so I understand exactly where you are coming from. One bit of advice I will give you is that of you plan on pursuing your business ideas, there will be a point where you will have to step away from coding to focus more on growth and development of the business. To me it seems extremely difficult to to both.
 

csalvato

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@SeanLewis What sort of app are you wanting to create?

This is a very important question.

You need to start with a project in mind, or this will be very painful. Even if you are unsure of it being a marketable product. If you have no ideas, that's fine.

We can always post up some for you.
 

EdKirby

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F*ck it, i'm learning to code

This has been nagging me for years now.

I'm sick of having great software ideas and not being able to build them.

I'm sick of not having any marketable skills.

And i'm sick of making excuses!

Why coding?

When my last business failed i realised i didn’t really have any “real” skills.

This is why i’m taking a step back before i launch another business and learning to program.

I’ve been interested in programming for a long time, but i never got around to learning anything more then HTML/CSS. I really like the idea of being able to build whatever i want, no matter how dumb it is.

I’m learning to code because i want to, not because it’s the fastest way to make money.


Here is the game plan:

I don't plan on wasting any time on this. Once i have a good understanding of the basics I plan on learning through DOING.

I'm currently going through the odin projects "web development 101". I already know HTML/CSS and Javascript is next.

I wasted a lot of time researching which back end language to learn but i've decided on "Ruby / Ruby on Rails". (there is no best language btw)

Once i know JS and I'm going to start applying to jobs/contracts while still learning RoR. My hope is to find something part time that is remote, that way i can spend the rest of my time learning and working on my own project.

Execution

The goal is to:
  1. Learn programming.
  2. Get a job and further develop this skill.
  3. Create a “web app” of my own.

In this thread I'll share a weekly recap of the things i've learned, challenges encountered and wins. If you're a programmer and have tips, feel free to pm me or leave a comment.

Congrats! You won't be disappointed. Uh...strike that. You'll be disappointed on a daily if not hourly basis. lol. Coding has been one of the most frustrating and most rewarding things I've had the pleasure of doing. :)

Seriously though, nice decision. You won't regret it.

Some things you may want to think about:

Have you taken a look at what the job market looks like for your given criteria?

As a newly minted Jr. Javascript dev you may find it difficult to find a remote part time gig and you probably wouldn't be hired just to do just javascript coding. You'll need to also learn a framework or even multiple frameworks that use javascript. Such as Angular, Express, and/or Node for the backend. In other words full stack or closer to it.

I know you decided on ruby and RoR, but again, have you checked the amount of jobs available and will it support your short term goal?

I did a quick US search on Indeed and there were ~2200 Ruby on Rails jobs, (if you know rails ;-) ) , ~5000 ruby jobs, about 19,000 .Net jobs, and ~23000 C# jobs. I did a quick Glassdoor search for Sweden and the numbers are much lower but the distribution is about the same. There were about 30 Rails jobs but an abundant amount of C#, .NET jobs, around 1000.

I don't want to derail you, no pun intended, but there may be other choices for languages and frameworks that might have a better shot of you landing your first programming gig that are still appropriate for your long term plans.

For one, you can do full stack development with C#, .NET/.NET Core. You would need the front end stack but you are working on that to some degree. But there are several other very good tech stacks you could go with as well. The MEAN stack, the old tried and true LAMP stack. But there again you need to see who's getting hire the most.

I want second what @Brewmacker said and with regards to Udemy there are some great full stack courses there. Rob Percival's courses are good but I would also highly recommend Angela Yu's courses. She's an amazing teacher. You wouldn't go wrong with her Web Dev Bootcamp. It covers pretty much everything you'd need to make your own web app. I won't list everything but here is some of it:

HTML 5
CSS 3
Bootstrap 4
Javascript ES6
DOM Manipulation
jQuery
Node.js
React.js
Express.js

The other advice I've seen that I whole heartedly agree with is to have some kind of project to work on. This one piece of advice, regardless of the tech you choose, will make the most difference in your learning.

If you have any more questions or want something clarified just let me know.
 

SeanLewis

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Some thoughts on learning through video courses.

One of the things that hindered my progress at first, and I'm glad I discovered this early on. Is that when learning through video tutorials i would constantly work hard to code along with the video and “keep up”.

This is the reason why I had so much trouble with javascript at first. Because instead of learning I was just pacing to write what the teacher was writing.

What I've been doing lately is to watch a video on a certain subject and AFTER it’s done, I'll try it myself. This way I'm forcing myself to actually think about what I'm doing, and usually i’ll have to look up some documentation but that only helps solidify the knowledge.
 

SeanLewis

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Update

It's been almost 2 months of actively pursuing this and i have to say, the more i learn the more fun it gets. I'm not tracking my time anymore, but i'd guesstimate a solid 3-4h average per day of putting in the work.

Being able to add a backend to my previous projects has been eye opening, and i've gained so much confidence regarding actually creating my own software projects in the future.(more on this later)

Since my last update i've delved into node.js and mongoDB. Before this i though the whole "backend" was some great mystery, but now i realise it's not actually that difficult.

If you read my thread about moving out, you'll now that i'm... moving out.

Having only a month left of living at home, i need to make to most of it. I'm going to spend the better part of this month learning "React" so that once i've moved out i can begin working on my REAL project right away.

Monetizing this skill

I've started to plan what sort of web app i'm going to build, this isn't just some site for my portfolio. I'm building this as a fastlane venture.

I've been wondering where to take this thread. Because just "learning to code" can take forever, it's not like it has some final test, you have to actually use it.

Thats why i've decided that this thread will serve to document the whole process, not only the learning. But actually taking this skill and building something that will serve the market.

My next update will go more into planning the MVP, and putting my ideas under the magnifying glass that is CENTS.
 

csalvato

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On the other hand this will take a long time to develop so it might be smarter to build a smaller portfolio project(to show my skill), start getting some work and actually making some money first. Then once I have some more experience and disposable income I can focus on my fastlane venture.

What are your thoughts? Am i being foolish or realistic?

Keep your eye on your own project. Work on it on the side. Put together basic proof-of-concepts, contact potential customers to get them to use your prototypes and give you feedback. If you're touching a problem that's a major pain point for them you should easily be able to get 2-3 people to do this with you.

Don't expect it to make money any time soon.

If you notice that you're getting a lot of interest and can't build it fast enough, you're in a position to build a team in exchange for equity, to raise money, or both.

If that never materializes into a business, use the work you do for your side project as evidence that you know what you're doing and land a job/freelance gig that is remote + more money than you're making now.

Repeat this process until you're at about $100-$150/hour as a contractor or 120-150k+/year as a W2 employee, or the business that you're working on on-the-side can support you.

Just my 2¢.
 

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