Why I'm learning to code nowJuly 6, 2019
After 29 years of no computer programming, I’ve decided that now is the time to learn how to code.
A friend of mine (Noel) thought it might be interesting to discuss my journey from business into tech, and I thought so too.
I write a lot on here about creativity, making things and the future of work.
I think that to figure out what the future of work is, you have to find out where future value lies.
What will people care about 10, 20, 40 years from now? And what will be valuable enough to pay for?
It’s increasingly obvious that you cannot have this conversation without mentioning how big of a role technology will play.
No matter what field you’re in, tech will be a part of it.
So, a significant reason that I’m learning to code now is that I want to be part of this change, not just figure out how to work around it.
Ultimately, I’m passionate about helping other people find fulfilling work as the world changes.
The more perspective I have on how technology is developing, the better I can accomplish that goal.
Also, my reason is kind of selfish.
I’ve been obsessed with startups, entrepreneurship and people who start their own business, because that’s my goal some day as well.
And the more people I listened to, the more I realized that software and technology is an awesome gateway for people to deliver value to an audience for minimal cost.
It’s scalable, sustainably valuable and just plain interesting.
It’s also a great way to find work that’s stimulating and rewarding.
All in all, I decided to finally learn how to code because:
- I was sick of using and admiring technology (and entrepreneurs who made it) while not having a clue how to build it.
- I wanted to feel empowered to embrace the change that technology will bring to the future and actually have a say in that change.
- I wanted an avenue to find work that is interesting, challenging, valuable and that improves other areas of my life.
- I wanted to have the ability to build software and technology for whatever project, business or passion I have down the road.
- I wanted to utilize technology and my own career change to help others who are struggling with their careers find engaging and satisfying work.
My initial avenue for getting into tech and learning how to code is through App Academy.
App Academy (a/A) is a software engineering bootcamp that basically trains you how to be job-ready as an engineer in 6 months. It’s pretty intense.
I know, however, that doing a bootcamp like this will not be sufficient for being a great engineer. But it’s a hell of a start.
I plan to give the next 6 months my full focus in order to take advantage of the cohort I’m in, the instructors and the program as much as possible.
I’ll probably share several updates about how the program is going, what my experience was and eventually, what my outcome was in the program.
I know this will be helpful to others considering doing a bootcamp in the future.
Besides a/A, I plan to build, build, build.
I don’t just want to pass curriculum written for me.
I want to learn by solving interesting problems, making things that excite me and turning my newfound knowledge into a tool to become even more curious about what I don’t know.
How it feels
I’ll be honest. I’m about to turn 30 next month at the time of this post, and I’m a little self-conscious about entering into a field colored with stereotypes of ever-younger programmers.
I worry sometimes if there will be an age bias when I’m applying to companies that I want to work for.
I wonder if I’ll be able to keep up and perform as well as someone in their early 20’s.
Sometimes, I fear that starting “late” like I am now will cripple my prospects of having the kind of success in my career that I desire.
This is the dark side of getting into tech at 30.
But, I also feel excited.
I don’t believe that I’ll actually be worse off because of my age.
I’m really excited to bring everything I have to the table and combine it with the skills I’ll learn as a programmer.
I’ve made performed and produced music, written hundreds of blog posts, worked at Big 4 accounting firms, made a really cool podcast, been a Digital Marketing Manager, built and tested out an ecommerce store, failed a lot, had some wins and learned a lot.
All of this experience will undoubtedly put me in a position to have a unique combination of skills and perspective that allows me to create a very specific value for whoever I’m serving.
I’m also really looking forward to the challenge of learning something new and doing my best in an area where I am initially incompetent.
It feels like an adventure. There’s so much possibility of what I can build, how I can contribute and the life that this may allow me to live.
Tech is ever-growing and ever-changing, so there is always something new and intriguing to explore.
Despite my doubts, fears and worries, overall I am confident, excited and hopeful to see what I can do, who I can contribute to and what I can build.