As a non-programmer, how would you know if you’d enjoy coding?

How do you know when to continue past the pain of the first few tutorials? I’ve personally never coded before in my life. How did I pick it up? Much to my surprise, what made me love coding? Having designed most of my life, I never even thought I was capable of coding, let alone writing an app. What happened?

Talking about my journey starting to code, always brings me back to the same story I tell everyone. It happens during my final high school years:

Back then I did the most advanced maths class there was. I was never really any good at it to be honest, there were always much more intelligent people around me. Come exam time, we had 2 hours to complete just 7 questions. They were ridiculously hard questions that nobody knew the answers to. No doubt, this was intentional. At the end of the exam, I asked my friends how many questions they answered. Most of them replied only 2. I asked why? It turns out none of them knew how to answer, so they didn’t even start! How many questions did I answer? All of them. I didn’t know the answers either, but I just started anyway and tried to work through the calculations. I ended up with scoring a far bit higher than most of my peers and that lesson I carry with me everyday.

This story came back to me while learning to code. I still have no idea what I am doing in coding. But it’s definitely become more familiar over time. I may never become a professional programmer, nor might I want to be. But I can definitely work through the problem. This really is what coding is all about. Idea, execution, problem and solution. Mostly googling helps.

Something I discovered was what it felt like being an awesome coder. Basically, you feel like god. I’m sure a lot of us feel that way in some degree and that’s what makes us stick to it through heaven and hell. When something just works, you feel a real sense of elation. I’m a designer too I know what that feels like, but with coding its different. The god-like feeling is more concrete and a little more addictive. At least for me.

So how do you know if you’d enjoy it? If you try a few problems, and didn’t enjoy it, don’t expect that its going to get any better. It’s only going to get worse. But if you find yourself enjoying that process, then you’re in it for life. Coding is one of those things that can become addictive. I know I am. Try it today and see what you don’t know!

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