What I learned From Teaching over 100 People How to Code

Marco Morawec
Jan 25, 2014 · 2 min read

Over the last few months I ran many Learn2Code weekend workshops in places like New York City, Harvard Business School and the University of Hawaii.

Here’s a quick highlight of what I learned during all those workshops

Everyone can learn how to build and launch an awesome web application in a single weekend. It’s not rocket science, just a whole bunch of steps executed in sequence. Having someone guide you through all those initial steps is what makes all the difference in the world.

Learning how to code requires motivation. It’s just like learning a new language, coding can’t be simply picked up. You need to want it and deal with the same feeling of being out of your comfort zone that comes when learning anything new.

Most entrepreneurs I meet are used to being out of their comfort zone and are not afraid of hacking away in the terminal or totally messing up their application.

The tools that the best Startups are using to build and ship products fast are all free and pretty easy to learn.

Most people all heard the buzz words of Github, Heroku, Amazon AWS, Ruby on Rails, Twitter Bootstrap, etc. but don’t know how they all fit together or how to start using them. But they’re simple to use if you understand code. That understanding usually happens around 2pm on Saturday when the first students — who didn’t know any HTML on Friday night — shout out ‘ can we deploy to Heroku again’ or ‘I think we need to run a migration on production as well’.

Once you gain a basic understanding of how to build a web application you’re moving at a much faster speed. This is just like after you learned how to read in elementary school. All those books at home suddenly became a whole lot more useful. Once you got the basics down you start using code snippet from other people, try new tools and fall in love with open source.

But most importantly I learned that people are incredibly smart and can learn a lot more than I ever thought possible in a single weekend.

I believe that reading and writing code will be just as crucial a new skill as reading and writing was just after the printing press was invented by Gutenberg.

Now it’s your turn: Get started and learn how to code

    Marco Morawec

    Written by

    Web Developer and UX Product Manager. CEO/Co-founder @FirehoseProject. Traveled around the world on $25/day. I surf waves and love ice-cream.

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