Before You Start Learning

Time for change

Never in the history we had better conditions to teach ourselves anything than today. And never were our excuses so lame.

“Too late, I’m out of school now.”
“I can’t, I already took this job.”

People think they have to keep doing what they are doing because they made some decisions in the past. Or because they’re afraid of change, failure or what others will think. Nope, you don’t have to.

You can change almost anything, because you can learn almost anything.

Let me show you.

Before You Decide to Become a Programmer

First I suggest taking a minute to think about why do you want to become a developer. Are you fascinated by technology? Want to build interesting stuff? Want to make more money? Or you don’t know?

It’s good to think about this beforehand, because when a process of learning web technologies gets hard, it’ll be what drives you that’ll decide if and how’ll overcome challenges. And sometimes it’ll be hard for sure. What is your WHY?

If you want to become a programmer because you want to make your parents proud or because you want to be the cool IT guy in the neighborhood, well that’s probably not the best reason. Very likely it won’t help you to keep your motivation long-term.

And it’s not just your WHY that will keep you going. There are also some other important things like habits (more about that later).

If you don’t know your WHY, but you just want to try it anyway, then you definitely should. Start learning programming and after some time you’ll see if it’s still interesting for you. If it is, it’s a good sign. If you hate it, well then it’s actually a good sign too. How come?

Well because if you don’t like it then it’s pretty clear you can move on and try something else. Many people don’t even try. They keep thinking about if they’d like it or not, and just waste time. Don’t be like this. Don’t be afraid to find out you don’t like something. And don’t be afraid to fail. Try stuff. It’s free.

Another important fact many people don’t realize: You have to give it some time to see if programming is fun enough for you to continue learning. Now you’re just testing yourself and noticing if you like it. Rather start small. I started by dedicating 30 minutes daily learning HTML. After a few days I knew I like this programming stuff and it seemed even more interesting.

So if you know you want to do this, then … then we need to talk about the way you learn, because it’s probably not good enough if you want to learn effectively.

You Need to Be Learning Better

Before I tell how to learn properly, I assume you want me to answer the question “So how long will it take me to go from a beginner to an employed developer?” According my precise scientific calculation the answer is: Well I have no idea.

I’d tell you if I could, but I can’t answer this for you. We need to consider several factors here. Are you a good learner? How strong is your dedication? How much time can you invest into this? Whatever your options and qualities are, it can take you much less time if you do things right.

If you do this properly it can take 4 or 5 months, or even less, depending on your situation. And to do things right, we need to first evaluate some things. We need take a look at:

  • Quantity of available time for learning
  • Quality of your learning
  • Quality of your thinking
  • Quality of your motivation & mindset
  • Quality of your habits, lifestyle and health

Any of these things can be improved. You maybe didn't expect some points to be mentioned. Will you find this in most of articles about learning programming I mentioned earlier? It's quite neglected. Nobody told me before I started learning. I had to found out by myself and it had its cost. Cost of unnecessarily wasted time. So please don’t ignore what I’m telling you.

Even schools don’t explain this stuff properly, or not at all. If you’re lucky enough to grow up in a country with practically oriented school system than I can only envy you. Because I didn’t.

For example although my high school was among the best in the city, I never felt it really prepared me for important life situations. And definitely not for independent learning (To be honest I think most of the teachers there weren’t even aware of the techniques explained on this websites).

And so I had to reinvent my own learning. Thanks to knowing all about learning and productivity I know now, if I’d have to learn programming again I think I could do it in the third of time it took me back then. I hope your learning will improve as dramatically as mine.

Alright, ready to finally start learning?