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The Myth of the 3 Day Developer

Nothing is more convoluted or complicated than a computer. So what's up with this idea that web development can be learned in a few days?

Was it the bootcamps' collective promise of turning code newbies into adroit MERN stack Ninja Rockstar Gurus in 8 weeks?

People in my own YouTube niche?

High-profile high-performers peacocking about on Reddit insisting that this stuff was pretty much easy and mAyBE iF yOU rEaD the MDN DOcuMeNtATion YoU coUlD fIGuRe JaVaScrIpT oUt?

It's hard to place blame in any one place. But the truth is, I meet developers more often than I should who beat themselves up for not learning X concept or tool or language in X amount of weeks.

Remember, a traditional CS degree takes 4 years PLUS extra time spent learning web development.

Also remember that as developers we're attempting to control and understand the infinite every time we fire up our code editors. In other words? This stuff is tough.

In response to this fervor of learning to code in X days/weeks, last year I published a video starring Tina Jensen. Tina is my alter ego who learned to code in just 3 days.

Crude, confident and oblivious, Tina is sure she is job ready with her newly acquired dev skills. It doesn't occur to her that HTML doesn't stand for Hypertextual Misogynist Leprechaun or that "finding a job" doesn't mean spending 5 minutes scrolling through promoted listings on and calling it a day.

Meet Tina: YouTube Demo video

The ultimate message is that this stuff takes time. It takes tons of practice, causes much frustration, inspires huge dreams, gives us a sense of victory when stuff works and triggers frequent brain melts. And if you ask me, it's all worth it.

Of course, there will always be very high achievers who learn how to code in X days. Right on.

For the rest of us, it's OK if it takes awhile.

Top comments (1)

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Sebastian Vargr

There's a big step between knowing how to use a wrench and being a mechanic, or and engineer for that matter.

I usually chalk these kinds of statements up to sensationalism.

The annoying part for me personally tho, is that it de-evaluates the years of work i put into my trade for people who do not now it well.