If you are running a company that is heavily reliant on technology, I can tell you learning to code is, hands down, one of the most valuable skills I have ever acquired. Even if you don’t plan on becoming a full-time developer, having an in-depth knowledge of the inner workings of software development will save your company time, money, and resources. If you consistently find yourself hitting walls due to a lack of technical knowledge, I encourage you to learn how to code. In the long run, it will make your life that much easier.
Here are my five tips if you want to learn to code:
Don’t Use an Online ‘Coding Academy’
While websites such as Codecademy receive a lot of good press, I believe they miss the bigger picture. Online courses such as these will teach you syntax—how to declare a variable—but they (in my opinion) do not show you how everything works within the context of the entire application. I once finished a Ruby course on Codecademy, and by the end, knew how to write an IF,THEN statement. However, I still had no idea how to actually build a web application, and get that IF,THEN statement to run inside the application.
Instead, I’d recommend courses that focus on how to build entire function applications, rather than learning specific languages. Sites such as One Month and Code4Startup can help you out in these areas. If you really want to get your hands dirty, Michael Hartl’s Ruby on Rails Tutorial will not only provide you with a strong foundation on how to build an application, but teach you basic programming fundamentals. It took me almost three months to get through the entire tutorial, but it was well worth the time invested.
Nate Andorsky is co-founder and COO at Creative Science Labs.
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