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I am extremely jealous of anyone learning today. I am going to put on my old man hat and grumble “You kids nowadays don’t know how easy you have it, back in my day we didn’t have no videos or blogs. I had to chisel code onto granite blocks!”
I started learning development almost 23 years ago, QBasic and Turbo Pascal, Woo! Two languages that are still completely relevant… Nowhere. I will be honest and say that I did take high school courses on those languages, but I will gloss over the quality of those courses; I still consider them self-learning. One of the primary things that kept me going was persistence, I just kept writing code. I would spend hours poring over why the lines I was drawing on the screen were not exactly where I wanted them, or the output not exactly what I wanted. I would spend days writing applications that would mess with AOL to impress the digital ladies, with metal music clanging in the background. That’s what every teenager did right? Maybe it was just me.
There were times where I did not write much code, or got caught up in my normal day to day life. The passion for wanting to expand that skillset was always there. As new languages or new technologies came out I would tinker around and see what could be done, or what would be useful. I think I was addicted to learning.
I cannot imagine trying the same journey nowadays. Years and years ago there was a lack of information, and now suddenly there is almost too much information. It is hard to navigate around this ecosystem and figure out what knowledge is valuable and what is not, what tutorial or video to watch. That’s why I’m jealous of today’s learners; because there are people like me, and industries built around helping people become software developers. There is demand and a desire to lead people into development careers, because that is what the future looks like.