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Paying it Forward: Teaching Family to Code

gurney_nicholas profile image Nicholas Gurney ・2 min read

I have been "learning to code" for about 2 years. Check out the skills on my profile and you'll see that clearly, I am not where I should be.

While many aspiring developers can go from Hello World to a full-time gig in 3-6 months I am over here trying to remember if it is Console.write or Console.Write() and hoping I can get in an hour of programming a week, much less an hour per day.

I was at a loss of what to do. I was working 40 hours a week, going to Uni full time, and attempting to keep up with This is Us on Netflix. Clearly no time to code, right? Well, I found that I always found some time, because I loved to do it, but how can I keep some consistency?

So one day my 16-year-old brother-in-law and I were chatting about learning together and building stuff together so that we can really internalize the things we were learning, which is when the 💡 moment came.

Let's build an entire dev team out of our extended family!

My wife has around 50 cousins aged between 1 and 25, so we had no shortage of participants. I jumped in our family group chat and had a huge response (let's be real, who doesn't want to learn to code in 2018?).

So this is our process:

  • Meet every 2 weeks for about 2 hours
  • Collaborate between meetings using Slack and Notion
  • Learn individually every day using freeCodeCamp and other resources
  • Build, build, build

We have now met twice and have 12 participants. I have coded every single day since we started and have been more motivated than ever.

I am excited to continue to share this journey with you, help me out by answering one of the questions below!

  1. What fun activities can we do as a group during our meetings?
  2. What other free resources can we use in addition to freeCodeCamp?
  3. What are some fun projects we can build together?

Discussion

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dev3l profile image
Justin Beall

Have you tried mob programming basic katas together? It is a great way to start building up skills individually, while crushing problems as a group.
youtu.be/SHOVVnRB4h0

Once you get good at that, then you can start following tutorials about hosting applications and building cool things together.

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Nicholas Gurney Author

This sounds fantastic! I’ll make note of it as something we can do together.

Thanks for the support!

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Justin Beall

We do this remotely at Skiplist. If you would like some guidance or pointers, feel free to find me on LinkedIn.
Not making promises, but I am working with my brother on building his programming muscles. Tomorrow morning, we will pair for 1-2 hours working on a small paying project. We could setup a time and could give my two cents on how to conduct a session and/or training programmers.

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Nicholas Gurney Author

I’d love that, I really appreciate it. I’ll make note and reach out when I can.

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Nicholas Gurney Author

Great suggestion, Ruth! I’ll make sure to add it to my list 😃

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Ben Halpern

Ha! This looks like a lot of fun!

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Nicholas Gurney Author

Thanks Ben! I’ll make sure to keep posting about it on the community.

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Nick Karnik

That's so cool! You could all play planning poker, lol!

Run it like an organization and build a real product. Might need to find something everyone likes.

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Nicholas Gurney Author

Yeah we’ve had a lot of talks about doing this! There is a lot you can do with 10 devs, even if they are all new!