If you want to learn to code, don’t learn to code

Code requires purpose.

You must want the computer to do something specific, such as displaying this text in the font you’re seeing right now.

When you learn to code, just for the sake of it, there is no purpose. Your enthusiasm will wane and as things get complicated, so will your motivation. If you want to learn to code, start with a purpose.

Try phrasing it like: I want to build X for (or to) Y.

  • I want to build a newsletter for fans of secretarybirds;
  • a web page to showcase my skills;
  • a mobile app to send me new music when my favourite artist releases some.

Once you start, go for MVP: minimum viable product. It doesn’t have to be as good as other sites, it doesn’t have to be as beautiful, just get it to work. Figure out how you can tweak the CSS of Wordpress themes to get your site to look like you want. You are now learning to code.

You’ll learn that what you code is never finished. Something can always be improved and it will stick out like a sore thumb to you, but nobody else will notice.

If you want to learn to code, start a side-project. Build something for yourself. Then make it useful to others.

Don’t have a side-project in mind? Start smaller. Automate one thing in your life using IFTTT. IFTTT stands for IF This Then That, which is one of the first lessons you’ll get in programming: if/then statements. If a certain condition is met, then execute this command.

IFTTT connects services that you use and then lets them interact based on conditions. Not only does it teach you about the basics of programming, you’ll also learn about APIs. Read what I wrote about IFTTT before.

Now get to work. 😉

Maybe some of these cool products can inspire you: