I Wish I Had Stuck With Coding When I Was Young

bernard

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Coding is so fun, I wish I had stuck with it when I was 10 and coded my first Qbasic programs, alas it was deemed "too nerdy" and no support from parents.

I just spent some hours writing a script in php (a first there, only python previously), to grab affiliate earnings from a network api and then write it to a database, so I could get it to my Google Dashboard (next up, scrap Google, write my own dashboard).

It's a lot of fun and time flies, but on the other hand, at my age, I will never be near good enough to sell it on the market. A regret for sure.
 

CCarter

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was deemed "too nerdy" and no support from parents.
You think most of the people in tech were “supported” or “encouraged” by their parents? I can’t count the amount of times I was screamed at to get off the internet cause it was tying up the phone line and go outside. Eventually they gave in and got a second line - YEARS later.

It doesn’t matter your age, you are only defeated when you think you can’t anymore. All the people I ask coding/programming advice from are 10 years my senior, yet I probably have more coding time than most of them. What does that mean? Age is just a number in your head, and if you use the labels society gave you then you’ll find yourself saying “I can’t because I am (whatever)” for the rest of your life.

It’s time to throw the chains away. One day of freedom is better than a continued life of subserviency.
 

SmokeTree

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It's a lot of fun and time flies, but on the other hand, at my age, I will never be near good enough to sell it on the market

That's just not true unless you really believe it. If you have already created a working script and you have the passion/drive, there's no reason you can't do this professionally. Just keep the things that are making you money on the front burner and work at the code, automating here and there for yourself first until you are confident you can do it for others. Being able to make your own tools is invaluable and if you stopped there and decided to never do it professionally, it's still time well spent.

I'll be totally honest here. I meet a lot of people that claim to have 10+ years of experience but many times that means that they have "1 year experience 10 years in a row" because they plateau after the first year and end up sticking to whatever crusty tech they first learned because that's "all they know" and honestly that's all they'll ever know because they think/act more like a human resources exec than a passionate dev and don't really know what they don't know.

yet I probably have more coding time than most of them
most... :smile:
 

Ryuzaki

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There was a time when I didn't know much more about development than how to install something like Wordpress, migrate it around, use cPanel, etc. I was a "install a theme, install plugins" guy.

One day around November a zillion years ago, I got excited about front-end development. I started from scratch on purpose so I had a solid foundation. I got a "How to write CSS" book, a physical book, and it became my "toilet book." If I was taking a dump, I was studying. I did the boring Codecademy courses, even though I knew what was in them.

Then I started building my own stuff, making mistakes, seeking answers. By January I was designing my own completely encapsulated Wordpress themes. Of course, that led me to learn some back-end stuff, especially focused on Wordpress.

Within 3 months I was a fully functional Wordpress developer. I wasn't making my own plugins, but I could make any damn type of theme I or anyone else wanted with sophisticated features. Three fricking months of just living and breathing the topic, and I was as good as the guy that inspired me to start, who had been doing it for years.

Fast forward tons of years down the road and I'd call myself a master of Wordpress, having added on tricks, improved my chops, learned the best ways to do things, encountering and conquering new problems.

My point is, if it only takes 3 months to get to a high intermediate stage, it doesn't matter what age you are or when you started. 3 months is nothing. Just get moving! Don't let your memes be dreams!

Eventually I need to take the same journey on scripting. My philosophy has always been to learn it when I need it, and I've yet to have a need, though I have been whipping up an entire video game from scratch on and off. That's been an interesting ride.
 

bernard

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As the OP of this thread, I can update that I have improved A LOT, since writing this first post. I am launching a scraping service (local), within a few months. It has probably taken me about 3 years to get to this point, while coding as a hobby. I feel like coding is a perfect supplement for the creative online person to GET THINGS DONE aka have a working prototype ready quickly. It makes it so much easier, when you're the type who constantly have new ideas in your head. Some work, some don't, but when coding, you can put up something to test quickly, while the competition are still debating and trying to decide if its worth the money.
 

BCN

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My grandfather taught me coding when I was a kid. Also, math like calculus and statistics. He taught math at the university (he did up until one year ago, now he's retired) and wrote one of the first books on Pascal programming in my language. He also bought one of the first calculators when they came.

He would always pull out a notebook and a pen and teach us interesting things like the birthday paradox and Ibn Khallikan's wheat on a chessboard problem. He even still does, when I visit him.

So the same way kids can learn languages intuitively, I guess I have a good intuition for code and math.

I think it's a lot harder to learn some things as a grownup. I.e. I learned English when I was 10, but now when trying to learn new languages, it takes a lot longer - but it's far from impossible.

Since then I've been on and off doing programming but always picked it up again. In the last couple of years, I've been coding more steadily, and now I can actually make some cool things.

It's mainly things I use myself, but also small things for clients i.e. data scrapers that I can do in a few hrs and charge a couple of hundred for.

I see coding as something very creative, and not 'nerdy'. More like painting, art, music or writing. In fact, the best coders I know personally, are very creative people not the typical neckbeards you see in movies ...

You can get to a very good level of i.e. playing the guitar if you actually play consistently for 3-6 months (and not spend the time watching Youtube videos or learning how a guitar is built). The same with coding, you can learn i.e. Google Apps Scripts in a week and actually make something, and then take it from there, or shell scripts, or basic Wordpress plugins.

But once you start trying to learn everything, like microservices, AWS, design patterns and other stuff that isn't necessarily relevant for a solo developer, you will only know the theory - and you'd be better off just making a WP plugin and make more money.