I’ve been interested in coding for a long time. But I’ve never committed to learning it before. A few times I’ve started courses on sites like Codeacademy and quit them after a week or two.
So why try again now? When I tried before I worked in a field which didn’t need many technology skills. I was a press officer and I was doing well in that career so coding seemed like a distraction.
Now that I work in a technology start-up I’m working with developers every day. I write tickets on Jira and I help them out with testing. And when talking to our users I have to explain how parts of the site work. I can keep up, but I know I could do more.
A second change is in my mindset. Previously I didn’t like starting new things, I like falling back on the stuff I’ve always been good at and which I feel comfortable with. But by moving to Germany I’ve had to get used to doing new things, and doing them badly. Learning the language, getting used to the culture and understanding how life works differently here.
I mess up every time I speak German. I screw up when I try to change energy suppliers. And I’m getting used to feeling out of my depth.
But I have to keep looking forward to the rewards it will bring in 1, 5 or 10 years time.
So with that in mind, why not try to learn to code? I want to open up more possibilities in my career, and I’d like to make projects for my own interest too. I know I’m going to be frustrated and feel stupid, but I’ve got to start somewhere.
That somewhere is taking Harvard’s Introduction to Computer Science course through EdX, or “CS50” as it’s commonly referred to.
My first assignment was to make a small project in Scratch, an app where you code by dragging and dropping jigsaw pieces with different instructions on them. You can play the game I made at this link, you’ll need to do it on a desktop computer rather than phone.