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Yes, there's the money part but beyond that – what else?
Answering this simple question sets up a solid foundation for the rest of your journey.
A lot of people rush into coding because of the potential money to be earned.
Hop on their first tutorial.
Then fast-forward 2 months and they've quit. Or are about to:
“What in the world am I doing? I can't do this anymore.”
But you can many times tell when someone will quit within the first hour of meeting them because they've not set themselves up well.
The truth: coding is hard
It really is.
Especially if you're not used to abstract thinking. Hold on, calm for a minute. I'm not trying to discourage you.
Yes, it's difficult but it's not impossible. So many have done it. The internet is full of countless stories of developers of from all kinds of backgrounds.
They did it. You can, too.
Let me tell you a little secret
It feels pretty darn good to be good at something and to become confident in your skills. Building your skills in this way can give you joy from the work you do. And make you lose track of time.
In Behavioral Psychology, there's this concept called eudaimonia.
Eudaimonia is an Ancient Greek word mostly emphasized by the philosophers Plato and Aristotle. It's a type of happiness – deep, fulfilling, satisfaction that comes from having a life that feels purposeful.
Coding gives a lot of people Eudaimonia. And it is one of the most satisfying feelings anyone can have.
It's like being an artist but with even more super powers.
You build and debug for hours then get completely lost in the process. And when you emerge back into reality, you feel like you were transported to a different space that others don't know of.
In a way you feel special.
Lots of opportunities exist
With coding, you have the power to work on personal projects that are meaningful to you.
- Either at a company with others.
- As a solo individual doing it for fun.
- Or as a creator doing it for personal income.
You can dabble into apps, try chrome extensions, buid websites, do frontend, backend, Machine Learning, Data Science, game development, work on Android, jump into iOS, try ruby on Rails, Django, Flask, research, and more.
I've tried all listed here.
The one thing to remember always remember: there are so many routes to take so you don't need to stay bored.
If you're bored
If you ever feel like you don't enjoy the area you're focused on, don't hesitate to switch.
You can simply take your knowledge and move to another area in software development or something else adjacent to it. You have the power to choose and shape your own life. And coding could be that window for you.
It doesn't have to be THE window. But it can be a window.
Knowing this will keep you grounded when things get frustrating. It'll be easy to look at why you went into this field and remind yourself of your reasons when things got dark.
It's not IF things will get dark and difficult; it's WHEN.
Back to the question
So I ask you again, why do you want to learn to code?
Think beyond the money. And write down whatever you come up with.
Maybe you're fed up with your current state. Write that.
Or it was from a movie. Yep, add it.
Remember though, the stronger your reason feels to you, the more it'll come through during dark times.
“Yeah, I still don't have an answer. What should I do?”
May sound weird but it's actually progress that you just realized that you don't know.
Because now you know there's something that you weren't paying attention to before now that you have to deal with. It just means you need to do more thinking.
One final thought
I'll leave you with this: I don't recommend getting into coding because you're looking for something simple to do so you can quickly earn lots of money.
If that's what you thought this was about, I'm sorry to say you'll be disappointed.
Better to avoid all of coding now and find something else. Than to go on for several months, pour in time, then come out on the other side frustrated and upset that coding is not what you thought.
Coding requires a lot of hard work
But it also comes with lots of rewards.
Anyways, I set up this community to be a way of guiding people like you to grow fast and guide people to meaningful careers. I don't have all the answers.
But I've helped a lot of people and still helping
So feel free to ask any questions you have, any time.
Thanks for reading
- Join Community: I help new programmers and junior devs focus on what matters instead of endless trial and error. If you're interested in boosting your confidence and skills, join the email community.
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Heads Up - I love research so I tend to back my advice and approach with concepts from Behavioral Psychology and Neuroscience.