About six months ago I started to code. Or, more to the point, code again. I learnt to build websites over 15 years ago, well before WordPress or even any ‘what you see is what you get’ editors, it was in raw HTML code. I stopped when changed jobs and I no longer needed to maintain the website. I watched the launch of the Raspberry Pi with jealousy…and never bought one because what use would I have for it?
I decided a while ago to delve back into my techie, geeky self and start to learn to code. Amusingly I couldn’t set up a username on one coding site as it was taken. Jen Farrant is relatively unique name, I’ve always managed to get it as a username in the past, so after putting in an old, abandoned email address the account popped up. I’d set this up over six years ago. Hmm, if only I’d followed up on that whim at the time!
Like with everything I’m realising that to get good at code, you have to put the time in. Decide that’s what you want to do and then do it. I absolutely love coding and I am getting better at a steady pace, because I work on it every day (aside from Sundays, when I have a complete day off from all things digital and learning focused).
Whatever it is that is my core focus, music theory, Python, piano, I tend to do it first thing in the morning. I am definitely a morning person. That way, my strongest focus goes on the thing that is hardest and I have a fantastic sense of achievement to kick me off into the rest of my work.
As when I was learning music theory, I use a variety of methods. I primarily use Team Treehouse as an online academy, but I supplement this with various books, Codecademy (which is similar to Treehouse, but explains things in a different way), Google searches when I get stuck and I’m going to be studying Python with the Open University too, which will take a different approach again.
Learning new things is hard, there is no getting away from it. Few people sit down and discover THIS was what they had been born to do and are suddenly virtuoso at it. You have to decide this is what I want to do, then figure out the right habits, and environment, for you to keep turning up day after day after day to do it.
I love getting back to my techie roots – my first ten years of work were in the IT sector. Oh and the Raspberry Pi? My husband bought me one for Christmas and I’ve been enjoying building and coding with it. I wish I had done that years ago. I think this comes down to Liz Gilbert’s exhortation to follow your curiosity to find out what your passion is, rather than telling yourself not to be silly.