Coding is fucking hard.
Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. Personally, I would look over ‘said individual’ and wonder if their next words might be, “In addition, I have great deals on purses in the back of this van over here…”
So, imagine my surprise when this start-up company, Makers Academy, decided to offer a free one day course to give a sample of what coding FEELS like.
Myth No. 1: I know nothing, can I learn?
What I love about Makers Academy is their honesty. Right away we’re told the exact opposite of what we’ve learned in school from the beginning.
“You’re going to fail. You’re going to fail a lot. Only after you fail do you learn.” – Jedi Master aka Makers Academy Instructor
Sound discouraging? At first yes, and this was a huge eye-opener. We’re always expected to exceed, excel in everything. Society looks down upon failure. How many lectures have I received in a work environment if something didn’t work out exactly? Failure is indeed an option. It is the ONLY option. Why? Because making mistakes is part of the learning process. It’s all so simplistic and yet complicated at the same time. It’s all about asking loads of questions, questions and more questions. Then testing, testing and more testing.
I’m an English major working in brand and communications. Guess what, I wasn’t the only brand person in the one day course. Nor the only FEMALE (ladies, take note). That said a lot in my opinion! Creative minds, analytical minds work across a broad spectrum of different fields not limited to only computer science. It boils down to a) personality b) analytical abilities and c) motivation. Men and women are both on an even playing field with coding.
Myth No. 2: Is Learning is a Waste of Time?
No, being a Kardashian is a waste of time. Learning to code is AMAZING. Aside from learning the language of computers, you’re able to actually create useful things in the world. I can’t express how many times I’ve said, “Gee, wouldn’t it great if I could just make this app to do X and help with Y” or, at work, “If I could create this web program/database/SharePoint centre for our global teams it would make life SO MUCH EASIER.” Instead of hiring someone to do it, we can do it ourselves.
Coding provides skills for DOERS who want to create.
Myth No. 3: Coding is solitary work
I pictured techie geeks in their solitary corners, plugged in, typing away at macs for hours with hardly any social interaction. And yes, there are times where this is necessary in trying to finish projects. But coding actually works BETTER in pairs. That is, two people coding together on one computer. I really like this concept. Not only does it provide human/computer/human interaction, but promotes that age-old expression “two heads are better than one.” It’s absolutely true. While we worked on coding our own websites there were certain CSS things I remember reading previously and other things my partner remembered, which I completely forgot. Together, as a team, it just WORKED.
Not to mention, there was crazy good energy with everyone in the team environment. I dig that.
Myth No. 4: Coding takes years to learn
Makers Academy, again, floored me with their honesty. “After 10 weeks you will NOT be a pro, but you’ll be a proficient entry-level software coder.” Going back to my “Coding is fucking hard” statement, this does take time to develop. You’re learning a language, computer language. Did I leave the one day course feeling more confused than ever? Absolutely. But you know what, I enjoyed every freaking minute of it. The day went so quickly, I was eager to learn more.
Lastly, Myth No. 5: There will be no jobs for entry-level coders
Not only is coding in extremely high demand but it’s only going to keep increasing each year.
My Take Away From the One Day Course
I had an extremely positive experience with Makers Academy. I found the staff and CEO very friendly and approachable. They are a start up I’ll be watching closely in 2013. Ideally, I’d love to sign up for their 10 week course given the opportunity. Their initial tuition is a bit steep though, which is probably turning a lot of people off.
It’s full-time, which makes sense, but it’s difficult to manage if people are already working full-time, or have monthly expenses.
I’m leaving the door open and seeing what happens. It would be a fantastic opportunity.
Disclaimer: All thoughts and opinions are my own. I was not paid nor asked to blog/post anything about Makers Academy.