How to learn to code in just 30 days.

One of the important lessons I learned while building my last startup was that if you’re building software, you need someone that has enough technical skill to prototype your idea and eventually work with a developer. We’d hired a developer way too early in the validation process and lost a decent amount of money. Pretty painful for an early stage startup.

Here were my goals when I set out to learn to code:

  1. Be able to make my own prototypes to get my first customers.
  2. Be able to hire and communicate with the right developer when ready.

At the time I knew next to nothing about coding and building web applications. I’d tried to learn to code before but found that most of the online tutorials focused purely on syntax and not on building actual apps. I wanted to just build something and learn at the same time.

That’s when I found One Month.

The company is run by serial entrepreneurs Mattan Griffel and Chris Castiglione. They’ve both been through the same pain of learning to code and building a startup at the same time. Their first course, One Month Rails, takes you step by step through the process of building a Pinterest clone in Ruby on Rails. The best part is that it’s designed to be taken in just 15 minutes a day for 30 days. The course is a series of interactive and fun screen casts that got me to the point that I could actually build my own prototypes. Put simply, they crush at this format of teaching.

Here are some of the apps that I’ve built/tested since then.

ViralRails.com: A class teaching others how to build an open source app that can grow your email list by 100k. I used a Wordpress site but I was able to take a free template and add a ton of customizations.

Tunapig.com: a Pinterest clone and my first app ever!

Venture Owls: An app for finding the emails of bloggers who you can pitch to.

WeWrite.io: A creative writing game I built with a friend at my first hackathon at Product Hunt.

Stripe Integration: I built this after taking my second One Month course One Month Stripe Payments.

I can now get my ideas out into the real world in a fraction of the time and save thousands of dollars. One Month also offers great courses on Growth Hacking, Content Marketing, HTML/CSS, and Jquery.

After my first 30 days of learning to code I felt confident that I had the skills to build prototypes and more importantly, google the correct questions when I ran into bugs. I was able to learn to code in just 30 days but that said, learning to code is truly a life long process. One Month was perfect to accelerate my growth to the point where I felt I could learn more complex coding skills on my own.

Over the last year, I’ve found some other great services (paid and free) that have helped me continue to grow from a beginner developer to intermediate.

Go Rails: A series of great rails screen cast that will help you learn how to build specific features for your app and gain a deeper understanding of rails. This is a must have for anyone who wants to take their rails skills to the next level.

Push2: I love Push2. Instantly deploy and host your website from codepen.io , cssdeck , jsbin , or just upload a .zip file. Push2 also offers great articles like How to Launch a Website using CodePen and Push2.

CS 101 by Udacity: This free course is great for learning Python and gaining a deeper understanding computer science but I suggest taking it after you’ve built a few apps.

Kahn Academy’s JavaScript Course: JavaScript is a super important language to learn. You’ll learn the basics of animation.

I hope this gives some direction to anyone who wants to make something on their own but have struggled to get started. I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.

As part of the Maker Challenge, I’m going to make the viral landing page that the founder of Harry’s Shave Club talks about in his article on Tim Ferris’ blog How to gather 100k e-mails in one week. They open sourced the rails app they built to create a viral sharing pre launch frenzy.

Happy Making!

P.S. Go visit my blog for a free list of 40 + tools and resources to help you start, grow, and run your business.