Motivation Tips for Coding

If you are like me, then you’ve surely come across situations where you say to yourself that you just don’t feel like learning anymore or you just want to give up.  Here are some of my thoughts on what you can do to get around those feelings.

You should set goals (Read this article http://www.mindtools.com/page6.html).  If you don’t have any clear goals, then you just most likely aren’t going to get where you need to go.  If you set a goal, you will be naturally more motivated and you will feel bad if you are ever slipping.  Set a goal that is measurable and that is feasible but kind of aggressive.  If you do that exact thing, you will be that much more motivated.

Have someone like a buddy keep track of your progress.  It would best if that person were learning how to code as well.  If that’s the case, then you can push each other to get better all the time.  If one person is slipping in their progress, then the other person will try to push that person forward.  Having a buddy always helps with any task that you may undertake.  SO, see who around you might be a good candidate for being your buddy and starting courting that person asap.  My programming partner built a site called Slumber Sage, which now has over 1000 twitter followers!  It really can make success for anyone.

Think about the financial goals.  If you are learning web design, try to get a client who you can do design work for.  If you have a financial goal that you are trying to reach and you need to do good work in order to get paid, I have a feeling you will be much more motivated.  SO, see if you can get someone to pay you to do some web design work, and if so, then you will be motivated to do a good job and learn as much as possible about what you are doing.  You will be that much better of a coder because of it.

Lastly, have the right music!

Those are just a few ideas.  I’m sure you can come up with some other ideas on your own.  I want you to stay motivated and never get discouraged.  Learning to code isn’t all fun and games.  It takes hard work to succeed and that means facing a little discouragement along the way sometimes.

Where Should You Get Started?

If you are a true beginner, I would first want to congratulate you.  Becoming interested in the topic and being motivated to start is half the battle.  You should first figure out what everything, like what is HTML and CSS?  Then you should figure out what your goals are.  If you don’t have concrete goals, you aren’t going to be half as effective as you could be.  You should figure out exactly what you want to learn.  And first, you should read my last post here.  Do you want to be a web designer?  Maybe you want to make cool iPhone apps.  Maybe you want to be able to run an e-Commerce site some day.  I’m not really here to tell you what you should aim to do.  You can make a really awesome hobby or career doing any number of things.  You could just be a simple web designer on the side and make an extra $2,000 a month.  Or you could be a badass web programmer who makes the next Facebook.  You need to figure out what your goals are and then set a plan.

Setting a plan is equally important to knowing what your goals are.  If you don’t have a concrete plan and timeline laid out, you may easily lose motivation and never really get to where you would like to be.  To avoid that, always think of your plan and try your best to stick with it.

starting line

No matter what you are trying to do, you should learn HTML and CSS first.  Even if you just want to make iPhone apps, you will have to understand how web design works.  It’s absolutely critical.  These two markup languages are really easy to pick up, although they do require a good deal of practice.  You just can’t really avoid getting to know these two languages.  They will provide a good basis for how to move on after.  You can’t really learn Javascript without knowing HTML first, for example.  So to get started, you should learn these two languages.  But how should you learn them?  Check out W3schools or Skill Voyage or even Codecademy to get a game plan for how to learn them.

Learning How To Code Is Easier Than You Think – Try It Today

I had an interest in learning how to code for quite a while but didn’t really pursue it because I thought it was complicated and more technical than I could handle. With some free time on my hands I decided to look into it and I was surprised to find out that learning how to code is rather easy and even the least technical people can do it. Although most people think of code as the stuff behind websites it is used for a lot else it is the one that powers apps, games, it is used to control gadgets and you can even generate code that switch the lights on and off in your home through a mobile or a tablet. I simplified my experience in 5 easy steps that can guide you:
1. The first thing that you need to do is make time. Anyone who tells you that you can learn how to code in a day is lying to you. Like anything else that is worth doing, learning how to code takes time.
2. Learning the principles is the second step. Code is basically language that issues commands to a computer. There are programs that you can use to get familiar with the basic principles o0f coding. They do simple tasks you can be asked to issue commands that help you navigate a simple course. Once you are familiar with the principles of code you will have an easier time getting the real thing done.
3. Get coding software that can help you learn. I used a program called Scratch which allows you to use very basic code to build your own game. There are other more complicated ones so it is really up to you to decide which one is best for you. You can start with Scratch and then advance to more complex software.
4. Code every day. Coding is like everything else you have to do it every day if you want to become a master at it. Set aside at least 30 minutes a day where you do nothing but code.
5. Don’t give up if you feel particularly challenged by a coding task just keep going at it.
Use these steps to learn how to code.
social media and coding first impression

Building A Good Secondary Income!

So it’s been a while now, and I apologize for not updating this site more.  I’ve been pretty busy.  Outside of my normal job, I’ve of course been learning to code.   That’s been pretty heavy on the front-end side and I’m starting to get pretty good at web design.  Well, I’ve been doing some networking and I now am doing work for three somewhat local clients.  Two clients need a new design and another person is doing a new website from scratch.

Got some clients yo!

I’m very excited about this but also terrified at the same time.  I would like think that my skills have really advanced and I can easily do these projects, but I’m just not sure what the time commitment will be like and you never know how well you are going to perform.  I’m going to work extra hard and make sure my coding skills really show.

To give myself some more leeway, I am going to tell these people that it will take about twice as long as it probably actually will.  If I set their expectations to that level, then they will be really happy if and when I finish ahead of time.  It also allows me to kind of mess up and still have more than enough time to fix things.  I have talked with more than a few web designers recently and this is the number one advice they told me as far as project management is concerned.

If you are looking to get a web design client and show off your coding skills, I have a little advice for you.  Do some networking.  Meet people’s friends and casually mention that you know how to make websites.  Go to local business events.  Get referrals from friend.  If the person has some sort of familiarity with you, then that will go an extremely long way to helping you land that person as a client.

I’m not currently doing this, but if you have your own website and can show up highly in Google, you will easily get clients without much effort.  You will have to learn something called SEO, which is an always changing ball game as I’m told.  Take a look at Seomoz.com for more information about that.

New Years Resolution- Your Year Of Learning

Well, the new year has come and gone, and once again New Year’s Eve was an overrated nightmare haha.  It’s time to really focus on what you want to change about yourself and make better for the new year.  A lot of people will sign up for gym memberships.  I want you to learn to code.  That’s a general thing to say, and I’m doing that intentionally.  I want you to fill in the gaps.  What’s that, you say?  I want you to take a full audit of where you are and where you’ve been.  If you are really good at web design, then maybe you should consider looking into programming.  If you are really good programming, then maybe you should consider looking at learning a new programming language or focus on some other skill that could help you become more valuable like SEO.

Whatever it is that you want to learn, see what you can do to maintain your goal.  It’s easy to set a resolution, do it for like two months, and then eventually stop doing it.  I want you to get aggressive and set an awesome goal.

What is my goal?  I want to learn Ruby on Rails.  I think it’s awesome and that’s mainly because everyone I know says that it’s awesome and allows people to make really cool web apps in just a few days compared to weeks or even months with other platforms.  I’m going to do this by trying my best to stay motivated and having a friend of mine mentor me and keep track of my progress (he’s a really good coder who knows Ruby on Rails really well).

That’s basically all I had to say.  Get after it this year, and start learning some new things.  Don’t let life get in the way.  You should be getting in the way of life and not the other way around.

I Think I Really Understand CSS Now

So I like CSS and it’s awesome that you can make really good-looking websites, but it’s really frustrating in practice.  In fact, it’s kind of the worse.  The only solution is lots of practice.  As I was going through my online lessons, the instructor would always say that you need lots of pracitce with CSS to master it.  I thought it would just be like everything else or any other skill that you would learn, but it’s really really true in this particular circumstance.  I mean, you’ll learn a rule and you’ll think that everything makes logical sense, and then your entire container has collapsed for no reason.  Then you’ll just have to know that that is what CSS for some reason does and you will need to know the hack around it.  It’s pretty annoying, because a lot of the time there is no logical reason why CSS would do what it does.

I guess this is kind of a rant and a little motivation to just keep pushing through.  I feel like I finally understand CSS and it just took me a really long time to do so.  Now that I understand the little hacks you have to figure out with lots and lots of practice, I feel like I can design anything.  My advice would be to get something like codepen. or something really similar to it that allows you to practice really easily.  I’m sorry for the little delay from the last post, but I was going through some major coding issues with CSS that I think I finally have resolved.  I hope you have enjoyed my little rant.  If you are learning CSS, then you will surely go through this rant at some point in time.  It’s pretty straight-forward until you get into the weeds of it.  Then it starts to get a little hairy.

The Right Music To Listen To While Coding

There’s a lot of debate about this exact issue.  I have a friend who listens to really hardcore and loud EDM and rap music while he is coding.  I think that’s fine, but I think it’s also really distracting.  You don’t want the music to get in the way of your coding.  You want it to assist you in your coding.  For this reason, I don’t think you want to listen to music where you are really familiar with it and know the words.  Naturally, your mind will wander and you will focus on the song and not focus as much on your work.

So, if you can’t listen to songs that you know and you shouldn’t listen to loud music, what does that leave you?  Well, I happen to be a classical music and jazz lover.  There are songs/pieces without words that can enhance your mental spirit and put you in the right mood to simply get stuff done.  However, I don’t like to listen to classical pieces that I know really well because I love them so much that I’ll just get distracted again and we’ll miss the point of putting on the right type of music in the first place.

As a result, I recommend listening to baroque music.  There’s no major singing melody and it’s pretty complex.  It will definitely get your mind active and you will be pretty productive in my experience.  Aside from that, I just like jazz.  I love how chill it is to listen to and it’s really great for coding because there’s no particular melody that you follow that can distract you.  It keeps your mind active and helps you stay engaged.

So, for an example of good baroque music to listen to, I’ll put the youtube video here for Bach’s C Major Fugue (one of his C Major Fugues).  Alright, I included the prelude here as well.

For jazz, I simply recommend Miles Davis.  I just think he is amazing and is truly the best you can find.

I know some of you might not agree, but I love this music and think it’s great for me when I just want to get stuff done and code for along period of time.

Where Should You Look To Help You Learn To Code?

I’m glad that you are asking this question.  First, check out my post on getting started (here).  If you are reading this and don’t care about this question, then I’m sorry for wasting your time.  The answer is a bit complicated.  There are a ton of places where you can learn to code.  You can sign up at a community college or something like that.  You can do live workshops or bootcamps.  There are tons of hardcore, several month programs that will teach you almost everything you need to know to be prepared for a job in coding.  I guess the first thing I would recommend would be to figure out exactly what your goals are.  After that, only then can you decide where you should focus your efforts and turn your attention.

Let’s say you wanted to become a full-time developer and you don’t have a background or schooling in this field at all.  There’s really intense programs, like the Flatiron School in NYC, that will take you from an absolute beginner to a very advanced level.  The problem is that those programs are exclusive and they are costly in terms of time and money.  BUT, they are extremely effective and probably well worth the investment.  You should definitely take a look at one of these programs if you are serious about really getting into coding.

If you just want to teach yourself at your own pace, then there are certainly a ton of options.  You could start with Codecademy.com, which is what I would recommend getting started with because it’s free.  The content needs to be expanded, but you will get a first look at what it will take to really learn coding.

If you are willing to pay a little bit, then you could try lynda.com or teamtreehouse.com.  Those are subscription services that have video lessons that will teach you pretty well how to code.  You have to be willing to pay something like $30 or even less per month, but the value you get is really good.  If you are willing to pay this little bit each month, I think one of these two sites might be the best option for you.

Hopefully that gives you a good overview of your options.  You could go to W3Schools.org, which would be the free, old-school way to learn.  That might be a lot of effort compared to the other options, however.  Either way, good luck!

Teach Your Kids To Code Too!

Teaching yourself to code is one of the best things that you can do.  It can set you off on a lucrative and stable in-demand career.  It can also provide you a really great secondary income that can push you over the good edge financially and give you that flexibility and freedom you always wanted.  So, obviously I would recommend that you teach yourself to code if it is at all feasible.

But what about your kids?  You should get your kids to learn coding at an early age.  This can put them at a huge advantage and they will have a tremendous skill set that will serve them well for the rest of their lives.  You don’t want your kid to become a recluse who can’t handle him/herself socially.  BUT, at the same time you can find the right balance where your kid is active physically and socially and still is really good at coding.

A lot of people are worried about their jobs eventually being replaced by technology.  Well, coding is one area where job growth is only going to increase.  This type of career will be in demand for a very long time.  You don’t have to worry about that.  So, you will be setting your kid up for a really strong shot at a good financial future.  While I really like and recommend a liberal arts education, I also think that kids should learn practical things that will be able to make them money as well.

Can I learn to code, daddy?

Kids will probably find friendship with other coders as well.  They will compete with and collaborate with each other and become better coders as a result.

Your kid will be able to make his own income at a very young age as well, which will make him more mature and responsible as well.  You will have fewer costs because your kid will be able to pay for things on his/her own.  So the financial reasons are plenty to have your kid learn to code.  There’s really no reason to at least try to get your kid to learn.  What do you have to lose?  This article here (https://www.edsurge.com/guide/teaching-kids-to-code) goes through how you should go about having your kid learn to code.  Whatever the way you do it, at least give it a shot!

Most Websites Look Old And Bad

One of the cool things that you will realize when you get into coding is that most websites don’t really look that good.  If you look at an average dentist or law firm website, they look terrible.  This presents an opportunity.  Eventually most people who run such websites will realize that they are losing site visitors because their design is in such poor shape.  What should they do?  Well, currently there are not enough web designers to go around.  This alone is why I think it’s super worth it to learn to code.  You can enter a space that is highly valued and in high demand with not a lot of supply to match.  You can do project work on the side and earn a ton of money with not a ton of time commitment doing web design work for people.

You can even just set up basic WordPress websites for people.  You can grab a theme that someone has already made.  You can customize it a little bit, and then after a few hours of work, you are pretty much done with your site and you just made a couple thousand dollars.  So, even if you don’t want to be a full-time web designer, you can really start to make your way in coding and set off towards financial independence if you learn good web design.

I found this article (http://webmarketingtoday.com/articles/learning-from-bad-web-design/) that talks a little bit more about bad web design.  You can quickly learn what is good and what is bad and then try not to make the same easy mistakes that other web designers in the past have made.  You should also figure out how to make a nice responsive web design, which means that your website will look good on a desktop , tablet, and/or a smartphone.  Web design is really cool, it’s in demand, and it’s highly valued, so what are you waiting for?