Day 2. Choosing Right Learning Resources
Read this BEFORE you Invest any Time in Learning Coding
In the first part of this series — Day 1 — Programming Language to Learn — we talked about focusing on building something useful *before* even considering learning any programming language.
If you completed the action exercises by the end of the day you should have a list of technologies you could build the product you wanted, sorted out by approachability.
What you’re going to do with your list today — is to take the first item on that list — and find the resources where you can learn about the technology: books, articles, tutorials, online courses.
I will provide you with the example list of resources below. In order for your to come up with your OWN list is to focus.
Remember the first principle you learned yesterday — Learning vs. Building. When you’ll be looking at the resources — evaluate them by this one simple rule:
Will I have built something after I finished reading this book, watching this tutorial, completing this course?
Now, it must not be exactly the product/service/app you decided to build yesterday. It just needs to be a finished product. The book, tutorial, course — must specifically mention that by the end of it — you’ll be able to build: an App, a Website, a Service etc.
How to Choose Right Learning Resource?
Things you want to look for:
- Building clones of exiting products: Instagram-Clone, Facebook-Clone, Twitter-Like Service
- The resource must have explicit timetable — how long does it take to finish it. It’s very, very important! You must understand upfront — how much time you’re going to invest into building it. A goal without a deadline — is not a goal at all.
- Ratings, reviews and comments of the courses / books / tutorials
- Very important!!! Is there a way to *contact* an author directly? Find on Facebook? Twitter?
Example List of Good Learning Resources
Things you’ll build: artificial life simulation, a programming language, a platform game, a paint program, and a dynamic website.
Timetable: there is a finite number of pages, you can determine your pace when you start reading this book. It took me 15 days to finish the book.
Ratings: 4,5 stars on amazon based on 77 reviews
Things you’ll build: social network (Facebook clone), chat app (WhatsApp clone), tutorial app (youtube clone).
Timetable: 71.5 hours of video. So, if you study hard you can become a real iOS Developer with existing working apps in 2 weeks.
Ratings: 4.5 stars based on 9,190 ratings
Contact: the creator of the course is active on Twitter, but even more so — on Udemy itself — actively answering students questions. I’m sure if you dig dipper, for instance on his personal learning platform, you’ll find more ways to contact him.
Timetable: there is a finite number of pages, you can determine your pace when you start reading this book. It took me 10 days to finish the project.
Ratings: This one is from the creator of Sails.js himself — Mike McNeil! Trust me, it’s brilliant.
Action Exercises to complete TODAY
- Choose ONE resource you’re going to use to build ONE product.
- Set a definite goal — in the future — one week, two weeks, three weeks — when this product will be ready. Plan your time — so that you’ll get to study every day. The minimum amount of time you should be spending on this is 25 minutes a day. With the longer session once or twice a week — where you can really concentrate and get into “the flow”.
- Comfort challenge: Contact to the author BEFORE buying with the following message:
Dear Mr./Mrs. ________,
my name is ________. Recently I’ve set the goal to learn programming. My internal goal is to build the following product: (Describe the Product/App/Service you decided on yesterday).
After some research I’ve done — I figured out using (Name of the Technology you decided on yesterday) would be the best way to build this product.
I’ve found your course/book/article/tutorial and would love to start my journey with it. My goal was to find something that would help me understand programming by building a product.
I have created my internal deadline: (name your deadline here). Do you think it’s realistic?