Discover more from Anup Jadhav
Anybody can learn to code
Anybody can learn to code. Yes, you read that right. People who write code, professionally or otherwise, are not born with a special skill or ability to write a computer program. They do not possess any special wiring in their brain that makes it easy for them to write code. With enough time, will, effort and concentration, anybody can learn to code. If you can learn to drive, learn to swim, and learn to put together IKEA furniture, you CAN code.
It starts with this belief. Start small - pick one programming language, one tutorial on youtube (there are plenty), and learn one concept a day. Unless your job and/or life depends on learning to code in 7 days, don't rush it. Focus on building out the mental models. Don't worry about version control, frameworks, deployment, packages, the Cloud, CI/CD, AI (and other acronyms). Don't get overwhelmed or distracted by the jargon and the things that you'll have to learn. How do you eat a Dinosaur? One bite at a time. It won't be easy until you grasp the fundamentals. It will get easier over time as you start to build your mental model and practice. And practice you will. Without actually writing and running programs, no matter how small, no matter how insignificant, you won't get anywhere. You are not going to learn to drive by just taking the theory test. You have to get behind the wheel to be any good at driving.
Having said that, anybody can learn to code, but very few become great coders (or even good coders). At least not overnight. Just like anybody can learn to paint, but very few can paint the Mona Lisa. But that's ok. In your day-to-day programming job, you aren't expected to create a masterpiece. Don't believe the myth of the lone genius programmer who saves the day. You are, however, expected to solve business problems with the tools that you have at hand. Sometimes this can be achieved without writing a line of code. You are also expected to work with others - fellow coders, analysts, architects, managers, product owners, and business stakeholders - and together you can create something great. Programming is a team sport. You can achieve 100x more if you embrace the mess of working with other humans, especially if they come from diverse backgrounds and look at the world differently than you do.
It’s worth stating that even if anybody can learn to code, it doesn’t mean that you should; it also doesn’t mean that you’ll enjoy coding. Life is short. Do things that you really enjoy, that put a smile on your face. You can get in the state of flow even when your job involves creating profit and loss statements in Excel or repairing the roof. It’s your attitude towards your work that matters more than the work itself.
Then why should you care about learning to code? Because it gives you a superpower. When you learn woodworking, you have the option of creating what you want from wood - a furniture, a fence, a shed, even a house. Similarly, when you learn to code, you get the option to build something out of nothing. You get perspective. It gives you a skill that will improve your career opportunities. Even if you never actually write any usable or useful program you can now use this knowledge to understand and navigate our digital world a bit better.
So, if you have time on your hands, you can't go wrong by spending it on learning to code.