This weekend, I started building my first iOS app. This was a monumental moment for me because the past few years had been an exhausting voyage to make this experience possible.

I wasn’t a developer 3 years ago, I was a photographer. I always preferred the post-production side of photography and most of my work was actually retouching. I had a full-time job where I was retouching, which I was blessed with because it is actually kind of rare in the industry. The monotony of retouching all day long allowed me to realize I couldn’t do it for the rest of my life. I needed something to sink my teeth into. I needed something that challenged me on a daily basis.

I have always had a passion for software and interfaces and I was already spending most of my social time critically discussing design decisions of whatever app was hot at the time. I decided I would become a developer.

I knew how to put a theme on Wordpress and some basic CSS, but that was about it. I had no idea where to start.

I want to make this next part very clear. I went from knowing very little about programming to being pretty-functional in three years by doing this one simple thing:

I didn’t say no.

No matter what the challenge was. I just didn’t say no. “Migrate this database.” Ok. I would just figure it out. “I want this site in Django.” Ok. I’ll learn Django. There were so many mind-blowingly hard moments. I just literally believed I could figure anything out. And I did.

You can too. It sucks, but you can do it. Just Google it. Check out Stack Overflow. Read documentation. Never say no.

You might do a kind of bad job at it the first time. Don’t worry, someone is going to tell you why it sucks, and next time you will do it better.

Just keep going. Trust me, it’s worth it. If you want to be a developer it’s possible. Just commit to it all the way, always say yes, and before you know it, everything will keep getting easier and easier. Patterns will start to emerge. You will read things and understand the concepts better than before.

No matter what anyone says, there is no correct order to learning. Just follow your intuition, stay positive, and try to take something useful from every experience.

Talk to you in a couple years. Go get to work.