How the global pandemic turned more people to code and why you should do it too
Our world has been changed forever because of this global pandemic. One of the best things to come out of it is an increased awareness for having good hygiene. Another unexpected outcome occurred when everyone was forced to stay at home in lockdown for months. Naturally that led to us having more free time and more screen time. The upside of this other than increased bandwidth on streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon was more people learning how to code! When you are spending a lot of time at home it is important to be comfortable. I remember when I was shopping for a decent office chair and in all of the reviews people were talking about how they are working from home now and needed a proper chair to sit on.
Way back in 2019 BC (before covid) I bet nobody expected something like this to happen to us. But here we are now trying to adjust to our current situation still waiting for vaccines and deciding whether they are safe to take or not. It has been a traumatic time but in the process many people have found their voice. Learning to code, joining communities and sharing their personal journey on social media.
1. Why should you learn programming?
There are dozens of reasons why programming is a good skill to learn. For starters it is more than a skill it can also be a hobby. Creativity is something that most of us possess and programming is a great medium for expressing yourself. You can build almost anything you can dream of the only limit is your own imagination. And let's face it programming is cool when you bring something to life its a great feeling.
You can either choose to do it in your free time as a way to generate some passive income or go all in and make it your full time career. Whichever path you choose you will get some excitement out of it. Tech jobs usually pay very well and how many can say that they are living and working in their dream job?
Another great benefit comes from solving real world problems. You can use those skills to build things that make yours and other peoples lives better. For example you could make an app that keeps check of your home inventory and warns you when you are low in stock. Or in another example an app that does something to make your business more productive by cutting down on repetitive tasks.
2. What benefits do you get from blogging?
I actually started blogging last year in 2020 because of the pandemic we were all at home with plenty of free time. Initially I started blogging because I wanted to show companies that I was active in the community so that it would improve my chances of getting interviews. I never imagined that I would become a technical writer and content creator. One of the biggest benefits has to be that you can use it as a personal journal. This way you will be able to keep a track of all of the progress you are making.
Another extremely important point to mention is the fact that it is not only a learning tool for yourself but for others too. Sharing stories is how we connect with each other. The more authentic you are the easier it is for people to relate to you. It is also an amazing way to network and when you are a job seeker having these connections does wonders for your reputation.
Blogging is essentially a brain dump. A brain dump is basically a way for you to declutter and empty your mind of thoughts. It lets you manage all of the things that you need to do and is a way for you to organise your time efficiently. All of this leads to you having better productivity and you can de-stress.
3. How to plan out a winning strategy
This step is super important! You won't get anywhere fast if you don't know what you are doing. I have talked to many developers who tell me that they don't really know where to begin and they need a roadmap. I think a talking point that people should be figuring out right at the beginning is "why are you learning programming?" and "what do you hope to achieve?". As soon as you can answer those questions the next step would be to create a plan that you are going to follow.
I have noticed that its easy for people to get overwhelmed if they have too many options put in front of them. So I will just give you one strategy for getting started.
Download and install Notion on your computer and phone
Join Twitter and start the 100 days of code challenge. Start following developers on Twitter.
- Sign up to DEV Hashnode CodeNewbie Medium then start writing articles.
- Create an account on Discord and Slack and join developer channels
Notion is going to be your command centre this is where you will be managing everything. This is a powerful application I highly advise you to check out videos on YouTube so you can get an idea of how you can integrate it into your workflow. Let me give you an example. You can have page for blogging where you will have a table of all of the articles that you plan on writing. Give them a priority from low to high and make sure you have a start and completed date so you can sort them all.
It would also be a good idea to have a page called Monthly Goals or something similar. And here you can write notes and see which targets you hit or missed and what you will do next month etc... Those are just a few ideas I am sure you can come up with more of your own that works for you.
4. What is the best programming language to start with?
5. When will I know I am ready to start looking for work?
Now this is a complicated question to answer. The game has changed so to speak as these days developers are expected to know a vast set of languages and tools. It can be incredibly frustrating and overwhelming to look at some job descriptions. Fortunately the day to day workings of the job are not usually as intense as the job descriptions lead you to believe. No job is the same and the development industry is quite diverse when it comes to skills.
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👋 Hi I'm Kieran | Front-end developer | Passionate about coding and helping aspiring developers
Nice article Andrew Baisden. I myself started to learn to code just before the first lockdowns began. Can't agree more with points 2 & 3 which have helped me break out my own solo coding bubble and become a better developer in the process.