I’m learning to code (#1)—Introduction

Ari Zilnik
Apr 5, 2018 · 2 min read

The last few years have been non-stop. I guess that’s a given, seeing as that’s how time seems to work. But my story was basically college to work to grad school to work to work to work. So right now, life looks a bit different.

I just started my first week of Recurse Center in New York City. As a Recurser, I’m going to be spending the next six weeks working on becoming a better software developer. I’ve never worked as a software developer professionally in my career, and at this point, I don’t intend to (who knows, things can change).

I want to learn more about how software works and gets built, to help inform how I work as a designer, and work in cross-functional teams. My hypothesis is knowing how to code will make me a better designer. I know this hypothesis is hard to measure. I believe that designed interfaces can be informed by system architecture; and a system architecture which matches the users’ mental model leads to more efficient development, changes, and iteration.

I’ve been spending my days so far splitting half my time on Javascript tutorials, and on trying to work on the prototype of a personal project I’ve been noodling on for some time.

I’ve been working seriously on upping my coding game for about 2 months now. That’s a far cry from the many years of experience many of the folks in my cohort carry with them. Yet everyone is friendly, willing to help, and sincerely excited to get involved in each others’ work.

I don’t have my next thing lined up. I don’t have a job to go back to. Now is the time for me to focus and learn. I’ll be posting more updates soon.



Find me on Medium, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

I am a user experience designer from New York. I grew up in Toronto. I’m also the co-founder of SIBlings, a group of designers and developers that design and bring crazy ideas to life. We’re the co-creators of Emoji Salad, an emoji Pictionary SMS game that makes friends out of enemies and enemies out of friends.

Thanks to Michelle Lew

Ari Zilnik

Written by

Designer. New York based, Toronto raised.

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