Learning how to write code

Ever since I came to the realization that software was eating the world, it’s been a goal of mine to learn how to write programs.

Source: alluremedia.com

Although I have an engineering degree, Industrial Engineering at Tec de Monterrey doesn’t expose you to the current world programing and development (at least not 10 years ago).

So, during the last years I’ve slowly been familiarizing myself with code. First by taking online courses to learn the basics of web development. Next, by marginally contributing to our old landing page at Kiwi (credit to Luis Mendoza who did a great job back then). Now, I am auditing Collective Academy’s Computer Science course (taught by Juan, my business partner) and, more importantly, am learning a programming language.

If you research which language you should learn, you will probably run into Python, PHP and Ruby as the most common recommendations. Each has their pros and cons, but what you actually want to do with it is what will probably have the more weight on your decision. I chose to learn the Go Programming language.

Why Go?

Putting aside the technical advantages of Go (of which I am not very knowledgeable), I chose to learn go because of these 5 simple things:

  • It was created by some of the brightest minds of our generation: Ken Thompson, Rob Pike and Robert Griesemer.
  • It is open source and backed by a powerful tech company: Google.
  • It has an increasing adoption and consistently great ratings.
  • It was created with the current state of computing and software in mind.
  • It is one of the main languages we use at Yabit.
The Gopher is the official Go mascot

If you want to change careers and get a programming job, it might be best to learn something that’s in high demand in the market. But if you want learn to program for fun or personal projects, I think Go is the way to go.

Where to start?

If you are starting from zero, I would suggest first taking the basic HTML, CSS and Javascript courses at Codecademy. Once you finish that, I’d recommend Todd McLeod’s GoLang Udemy Course. So far I’m halfway through the course and I am very much enjoying Todd’s way of teaching. He starts with the very basics of computer science and then dives into Go programming while plugging some nuggets of wisdom and much needed words of encouragement along the way.

My final recommendation is to go into coding with a specific objective in mind. My personal one is to be able to design home automation programs that I can use with the hardware I already have in place. A secondary objective is to contribute to Yabit’s code before summer.

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