Learning to code

Peter posted this on August 22, 2017

Learning to Code featured image

If I’ve not mentioned it before, I’m a DIY person.

Apart from Books, I love buying tools I don’t need and I’m that sort of person that would fix electrical, woodwork and co issues at once before remembering I should have called a technician.

I find thinking through challenges like that therapeutic and a lot of fun.

I’ve also owned profitable internet/web businesses at every point since 2009 but I’ve one dirty little secret 😑.

I never learnt to code 😂

Not knowing how to code to me in this case means though I can easily read a block of HTML or PHP code and hack my way into fixing issues (code is basically English & logic) and build a fully functional Website using WordPress, Joomla, Magento or Drupal, I never either bothered or had the time to learn how to build a software application starting with a blank code editor screen.

Though at Clue WebHost we’ve built custom software for people – Scholarship Management, Inventory Management, fleet Management etc, the truth is, like I can’t make good Roast Chicken & chips or Bole and Fish to save my life but successfully sold same to hundreds of customers Fuego and Bole King, I consider myself a talent finder and problem solver at heart so with every software project, I try to understand how any problem they are having hurts the Business, what successful outcomes would look like to them, what information needs to be collected and used etc etc AND, I hand these scribbles (usually pages of them) over to to someone who can actually code and stay on their backs till we get the required results. Even though I’ve had to change programmers sometimes thrice during a project this approach has worked and every project has been delivered on time (because our time estimate is usually far more than needed).

BUT

Recently, a year ago or so we completed a project (in PHP) and the client wanted extra features.

While going over the features and co with one of my favorite coders from Vietnam, a lot of the {{ ;; << started to make sense to me and it gave me the same feeling I have when I knock rudimentary furniture together, fix a wiring issue or fix an issue with a vehicle myself (without the accompanying physical exertion),

At that point I decided I’d try again to learn to code, even if it’s just for fun like my other DIY stuff.

I’ve tried to learn code before though.

2011 when we built hundred’s of SMS Websites at Clue Webhost as a result of our SMS Business in a box promo, I resolved to learn PHP (the sites were built with Joomla – a PHP CMS).

I went online, read a lot about it School style (I was a year out of the University then) and ended up with a notebook filled with irrelevant crap like the full meaning of PHP being Hypertext Preprocessor and it being founded by some Rasmus guy. None of that lead to me writing a line of code and it was taking a lot of my time too (I was starting Fuego around then) so I just dropped the whole thing like a hot potato.

Advice: If you want to learn to code, don’t be like me. Don’t go learning useless definitions.

So what works?

I started again this week (5 years later) and this time, no definitions. I’ve just picked a small project, outlined the specs like I’d usually do and I’m hacking my way away (with Google and Stackoverflow’s help) and it’s actually making a lot more sense now than before! to think of it I didn’t learn Woodwork and co by learning the History of the hammer.

I’m enjoying it a lot but hope I don’t turn into a hermit (more of a hermit actually).

I’d update on progress sometime 😀

 

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