Learning Coding? I Did It For 2 Years And This Is What I Learned

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​I have never sworn so often in my life. I looked at my computer screen for hours, trying to fix a bug inside my app. The source of the problem seemed to be avoiding me, pushing me into the cycle of anxiety, self-loathing, and venting anger at the keyboard.
The cause turned out to be a typo in a filename.
There are also times when I feel proud. Like when I write my first script and run it successfully. Or when I put my first application into the server with the words “hello world”. Or when I write the crawler the first time to fill a database. I feel like a god who orders minions in the form of code to execute my commands.
Programming is an addiction that keeps me coming back regardless of the bitterness of the first experience I get. And it summarizes my experience for two years of coding learning

Opinion

Learning coding? I did it for 2 years and this is what I learned

Terence Lee

I have never sworn so often in my life. I looked at my computer screen for hours, trying to fix a bug inside my app. The source of the problem seemed to be avoiding me, pushing me into the cycle of anxiety, self-loathing, and venting anger at the keyboard.
The cause turned out to be a typo in a filename.
There are also times when I feel proud. Like when I write my first script and run it successfully. Or when I put my first application into the server with the words “hello world”. Or when I write the crawler the first time to fill a database. I feel like a god who orders minions in the form of code to execute my commands.
Programming is an addiction that keeps me coming back regardless of the bitterness of the first experience I get. And it summarizes my experience for two years of coding learning.
We laugh at the engineers
Like most wannabe technologists, I am fascinated with Silicon Valley’s glowing world and with the expertise of geeks. In fact, I used to be the kind of person who is not too important to the engineers. I studied at an engineering university, but majored in communication dominated by women. We underestimate the engineers because they do not have the taste of fashion or social skills, feel awkward when in the middle of women, and have poor grammar. Someone once said that I look like an engineer – and I feel ashamed.
Of course, this sounds stupid now. However, at that time I was in college and have not seen what the real world looks like. “Silicon Valley” means nothing but a place far away.
But one thing about me that you do not know – I used to be president of the IT club in junior high school. I learned HTML and flash, spent my free time playing Sim City 3000, and created a website about the game. I always have a geek in me.
It was not long for me to re-embrace that side. The Social Network release in my final year of university. After graduation, I joined the young Singaporean startup sphere as a technology journalist.

I am surrounded with a trend that everyone should learn coding. Being a programmer is something cool, and I lie if I never fantasize about it.
Circumstances have turned back. Many of my college friends at communication school eventually joined an internet company or became part of public relations for a technology company. The technology made by geeks who once we laughed is changing the world of journalism.
And the movement of learning coding is more festive because it is very easy to start learning it. At that time, the open source movement has evolved so much that anyone can easily search for help, resources, and documentation via Google.
This coding learning movement has evolved into an industry, and there is still plenty of room in the market, due to the insufficient supply of engineers.
And now we are in the year 2015. If you want to learn programming as a new year resolution, then this article is suitable for you. I share this personal history not because of narcissism (well, maybe a little), but to illustrate the reality that exists:

Your past determined how to learn coding
I started learning programming at the end of 2012 – more than a year after starting my first job. This puts me in a very unfavorable position if I want to make this a career.
I will compete directly with new university graduates who may have started programming since they were 12 years old. Their salary expectations are lower and they may have less serious commitment commitments. I had to change my life’s purpose, postpone financial goals, and pursue an alternative career while facing small sacrifices. In fact, it is unlikely that I will continue to pursue this field.
It all culminates in this: I’ve invested my years in the careers of a vibrant but still healthy media industry. I enjoy what I do and not in the 25-year crisis. I have neither the financial ability nor the incentive to enter fully into this new field.

So here’s what happened: I learned coding in my spare time and made sure that my hobby did not interfere with my main job. It’s hard, but the only way is to sacrifice my free time.

Before committing, understand your main goals

Learning coding may be entirely useless in helping you achieve your goals. Or may even prove to be indispensable.
You may be a student who thinks only of schoolwork or social life (and this is nothing compared to having a full-time job). Coding can open up more avenues for you to, say, be a billionaire when you are 25 years old.
Or maybe you are a young professional who is discouraged and is looking for something different. You’ve accumulated quite a lot of savings to explore something else. Programming could be your ticket to a more promising career.

Of course, programming may not be for CEOs of large corporations with employees and families to earn. But if you are a young executive who wants to start a technology company within a year, learning programming will be very useful for you to be able to work seamlessly with developers or create your own simple products.
You may find that learning coding is unpleasant or useless. That’s normal. Or maybe you want to learn for the simple reason that you want to get into a cool group (a lot of comedians are starting to wrestle for that), or maybe just find out if you’re going to be interested in coding. Or you want to improve your financial situation.
All of the above reasons apply to me:

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