phantasia[i]

If you want to learn how to code but are afraid to start

April 20, 2020

Are you afraid to start learning to code? I have good news for you - by the end of this post you probably won’t be. I will not tell you THE SECRET. There isn’t one. Instead I am going to reason a little bit.

I want you to do a very simple thing. Something you already can do.

Look at your friends who already make their living coding. If you don’t have friends who code, just look at random people who post about programming on the Internet. Seriously, go look at their photos. Look at their Twitters.

Do you notice something?

These people are just like you. It is very easy to imagine each of them doing something completely different. This person could be a barista and that person could be a dentist. Maybe YOU are a barista who is reading this post.

In other words, people who can code are not some galaxy brain superhumans who know THE SECRET or have powers that you don’t. Don’t believe me? Well who do you think wrote this post? Look at my profile pic - I swear I didn’t just steal some random dude’s photo from Google.

If they could do it, you can do it.

It is as simple as that. But it is a very powerful thought that I want you to entertain. How do I know this? Well, I was afraid to start too, a few years ago. In fact, I even managed to start once and then gave up. I gave up because even after I started to learn programming, some things were so confusing that I lost all confidence halfway through. And I lost it because I didn’t internalize this simple mindset - if someone can do it, then you can do it too.

Ever since I realised this, everything has been smooth sailing.

This is why I want you to bear this in mind even after you start. In fact, this idea extends to other activities as well. Maybe you want to start learning drums. Or writing. Or whatever. Unless there are very objective walls in front of you, you can do it.

If for some reason this is not enough, you can use a trick. This is a trick I sometimes use to do the first step, which is the hardest.

Imagine that you are someone else. This person can be your role model, or your friend who codes, or even someone who doesn’t exist. All you know is that this person is very confident and doing the first step for him is super easy. He’s almost like some badass movie character that just happens to succeed.

And then do it.

After that, you can go back to normal you. The hardest part is over. I hope this helps you as much as it helped me.

1