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Things That Shouldn’t Stop you From Learning to Code

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Things That Shouldn’t Stop you From Learning to Code

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Six months ago, I sat down for my first ever lesson on HTML.

Coding was something I always wanted to try, but was too afraid to start. Fast forward to last Friday - I signed up for a friendly coding competition called visibility:hidden one hour before it started. I coded a one-page website in 15 minutes without previewing it in the browser, in front of a full room of people. And I am only two weeks away from graduating from HackerYou's Web Development Immersive Bootcamp program. If you want to start learning code, but have doubts, read on and let me tell you about a few lessons I’ve learned.

You don’t need to be good at math

I still remember how bad I was at physics in high school, and somehow I believed everything that was even remotely related to it was not for me. I heard math played a central role in computer science too, but in reality both of them have little to do with coding.

I really like this explanation of the relationship between math and coding by the programmer and entrepreneur Emma Mulqueeny:

In most cases you can see that the hard maths (the physical and geometry) is either done by a computer or has been done by someone else. While the calculations do happen and are essential to the successful running of the program, the programmer does not need to know how they are done.

Coding is about breaking down a complex problem into smaller steps with logic and solving the steps one by one. As a coder, you strive to tackle each problem with Google - yaas, #stackoverflowftw.

You will work with people, not just machines 💻

Contrary to popular belief, programming is an industry of people. The best programming team is one that collaborates on ideas, resources and knowledge. They act as one and sink or swim as one. When you’re not in a team, you can get some practice by working on open source projects, of which there are many out there in the wild. When you come across a fellow programmer in any situation, there is an instant feeling of connection - you have found something in common that you can talk about for life.

Having said that, coding will also change your relationship with your computer - it’ll become even more precious to you, and an extension of who you are as a coder.

You will flourish in this industry with your creativity 👩🏻‍🎨

Everyday for the past seven weeks, I have been impressed by the creativity of my fellow Bootcampers. All of us come from different backgrounds that inform our new journey as coders. We have different ways of thinking and approaching projects and technical challenges. We leveraged what we did in the past in our coding, and now we have the power and the means to make an website/app for whatever the problem/issue/passion is we might have.

It’s not hard to grasp if you're introduced the materials in the right way 👩🏻‍🏫.

I am not against getting a full-on Computer Science degree some time in my life, but I know that I made the right decision in starting with a Part-Time Web Development course at HackerYou. I have to say reading technical documentation still scares me. I feel like such an outsider when I don’t understand something that exists to help me understand things. But starting from basic HTML and CSS made it easy to see that these are universal languages. The team at HackerYou does such a great job introducing concepts in a way that makes them easy to understand for everyone.

If I made you less scared and more curious, why not try a free Web Development Basics workshop at HackerYou?

Save Your Workshop Seat Now

This post was originally published on Medium.com on March 11, 2019. Chao Zhao is a graduate of HackerYou's Full-Time Web Development Immersive Bootcamp, as well as our Part-Time Web Development courses and Accelerated JavaScript courses. You can view Chao's portfolio here.