Programming: A metaphorical mountain

Sophie Fitzpatrick
May 28, 2018 · 2 min read

I‘ve come to think of learning to programme as a metaphorical mountain. You really need to persevere with the long steep mental climb if you want to summit and bask in the glow of your own accomplishment.

Feel free to drop off the article here if mountaineering is not for you. I personally love hiking. Mountains are a passion of mine and I can see many similarities between navigating a mountain and learning to code. The summit is your goal.

“Clouds over a snowy mountain peak” by David Vierkötter on Unsplash

Navigating the mountain:

Step #1 — Commit to the mountain

Learning to code is a big commitment. The scope of this challenge, not unlike a mountain, is huge. Making the commitment is the first step on the journey. Go for it!

Step #2 — Listen to seasoned hikers

However big the mountain seems, it has been climbed before. Paths into development are nuanced but many developers will be happy to help you out.

Step #3 — Choose the right mountain

Each mountain is its own endurance, some are too big to attempt without having trained on smaller peaks first. The same is true for development languages, some are far more accessible to beginners than others. Choose one that suits you.

Step #4 — Plan your route

There are multiple paths up your chosen mountain. Some will be obvious and well forged, others will be a scramble. When it comes to picking resources to help you achieve your goal, try everything until you find the one that suits you.

Step #5 — Lose your bearings

Ascending the mountain, you may walk through some fog and cloud. This is disorientating, you may lose a sense of how far you’ve come, where you are headed and how far you have yet to go. Keep focused on your project, and keep edging slowly forward.

Step #6 — Summit the mountain

Finally you will summit your mountain, you will emerge above cloud level. The sun is bright and the sky is blue. You have achieved your programming goal, and finished your project. Your perspective returns, you can see clearly how far you have come on your programming journey.

Step #7 — Enjoy the view

Feel proud at what you have accomplished, scan the horizon for the next peak. Your challenge begins again.

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