Why you shouldn’t become a programmer

A story from a programmer for everyone that wants to get into programming.

Picture of me programming

Okay maybe I should add you shouldn’t become just a programmer, sorry for the clickbaity title but hear me out, because this is something a lot of new developers get wrong. And I have talked to hundreds of them by now.

Maybe I should start with saying who I am first. My name is Robert (also known as coding_rob on instagram) and in the past few years I started becoming a programmer and I fell in love with being a programmer. I’ve developed little apps to help me in my daily being and also a big user management system that made a lot of money in a really short amount of time. But it was not about the system. It was not the thing that I developed that was successful it was the problem that we solved. Because I started documenting my journey on Instagram I got hundreds of questions from people that like to start getting into programming and I try to help them all. Mainly new developers are just confused and overwhelmed by the amount of languages and possibilities out there. So let me help you with this little article.

Start with the why!

Okay first of all why would you like to get into programming? Take a small piece of paper or pull out your phone and list some reasons why you would like to become a programmer.

A little example? For me it is the freedom of working wherever I like, solving interesting problems and helping people with what I develop, also me deep love for new technologies.

If you only like to become a programmer because it could pay well, you should think twice because getting into learning a programming language can be an exhausting process because you constantly push yourself out of your comfort zone and you have to get used to feeling stupid for not understanding things right away. When you don’t have the right reasons to start with it you’re probably not going to make it.

Okay so you found your why? Awesome let’s get to the next step!

Problem first —choose a project

As I already said a programming language is nothing more than a tool and should not be romanticized. So next step is to take notes about what kind of problem you would like to solve!

Some examples to make you understand what I mean.

You would like to help people with building there online presence? Start building websites with html, css and javascript or ruby for example.

Maybe you like to build that next big app everyone needs? Start with building an app with swift or flutter or javascript for example.

You would like to get into artificial intelligence? Start building an AI with python. It will maybe take you a bit but if you work towards something you should it’ll be easier.

You would like to build a backend where user data gets handled or where frontend developers can get data from in a really cool way? Start building a backend that you can send requests to with Nodejs, Java, PHP, Ruby on Rails or python for example.

The thing is there are many ways to solve problems so as soon as you know the problem, just go on google and type in “how to get started with [your problem here]”. And get started as soon as possible. A good developer is someone that knows how to solve a problem in the most efficient and fastest way and they know how to google their problems very well.

Course mentality

So now you have some kind of problem you’d like to solve but it’s hard to set up all your environments and get your first steps right? Courses are awesome for giving you a head start and helping you with getting your fist steps into programming right. They are like a parent that is still holding one of your hands while you make your first steps. But don’t get it wrong for every hour you spend on a course you should spend at least an hour and far more building your own thing. Courses should only help you with specific problems or your first step. As soon as you have what you need you should start getting your hands dirty. Because your going to forget everything you learn in a course if you don’t build something on your own with the knowledge you got now.

Your first language will probably not be the last

It’s not like marriage. If you chose a programming language it doesn’t mean you have to stick to it till the end of your days. If you learned your first programming language it becomes far more easier to get your head around another language. So don’t be scared to get started with one and then you find you that you don’t enjoy it.

Final thought

As Nike told us…. Just do it! Just get your hands dirty choose a reason why, choose some kind of project and get your hands dirty Because if you start today and might fail in the process and choose something else at least you are far further than if you just waited and wondered what to do. To get into a routine you could start with a challenge that is called 100 days of code. You can read my article about it if you’d like to know more.

If you a really serious about it please write a DM on Instagram with your reasons why you would like to start programming. Not only will I help you there but I would like to collect all the reasons people had or have for starting with programming. If you post something use the hashtag. #whyistartedprogramming and tag my account (coding_rob) on it.

If you’re interested in vue.js which is my favorite technology at the moment and you like to get your company to try it you should read this article.