These days, everyone and their dogs want to learn to code – that’s fine, as long as you understand what you’re about to take on. Since I’ve been getting this question a lot lately, here’s my response.

First an important point, sites like codeacademytreehouse, etc. give a false sense of progress, skip those.

If you want to really learn to code, you need 3 things: Focus, Determination and a focused Resource. You bring the first two, I’m recommending the third.

I recommend you start with either Javascript or Ruby. One or the other, not both.  Here are the steps:

    1. Get a solid book.
      1. If you’re younger than 15 years old, for Javascript, get Introduction to Programming in Javascript OR For Ruby, get Ruby Wizardary
      2. If you’re older than 15 years old, For Javascript I recommend Eloquent Javascript OR for Ruby, get Ruby the Hard Way
    2. When you’re going through your book of choice, never copy-and-paste. Zed Shaw tells it best,”You must type each of these exercises in, manually. If you copy and paste, you might as well not even do them. The point of these exercises is to train your hands, your brain, and your mind in how to read, write, and see code. If you copy-paste, you are cheating yourself out of the effectiveness of the lessons.”
    3. Get a mentor or mentors that can guide you and show them short-cuts and untangle them from impending frustrations, there will be lots of it.
    4. Patience, and persistence. It will be tough sometimes, but have your end-goal in mind. It gets easier and better.

    You will notice I’m recommending books. If you can, stick to books. Remember, you want to train your mind how to read, write, and see code, books make that even easier.

    Go take action, now.

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