Is coding easy?
Richard Wood Oct 12
My eldest son asked me - is coding easy?
Where do you start. At the Dev Academy bootcamp they were adamant that just about anyone can give it a go. Yet I still think an ability to think logically, some mathematical nous and basic communication skills are essential.
I suspect their message was mainly to get people who had self-doubts over the sign-up line. Some people just don't realise what they can do and some of this can certainly also be taught.
If you can think logically and have a lot of patience then you can work through the hard-to-read documentation. If you can sit at a computer for hours. If you can create the right search online. If you can generalise off the examples that don't always match the difficult problem you face. Intuition helps immensely there too.
It can be easy if you don't have a constant need to interact with your colleagues - although working remotely mitigates this for me. If you enjoy that fully focused in-the-zone time when everything else disappears. If you enjoy solving puzzles and problems that you know must have a solution even if you just can't see it. That's part of the answer.
It can be easy. If it's something you've done a few times before. It's all relative to the difficulty of the problem you face and your familiarity with the tools you need to use. New and unknown have to be treated like exploring rather than doing.
It also depends on how tired you are and whether you are really doing in life what you want to do.
It will be easier if you surround yourself with people who are better at it than you. If you work in companies with big teams. With people who want to help you. If you love to hang out on technical forums and don't mind posting dumb questions. If you are a good person and look after your relationships with the people who are answering your questions.
It will be easier if you are immune to the sort of technical criticism that suggests you are the dumbest person in the room because you don't quite get something yet, when that is more about the other person's lack of communications skills or dumb ego. The reality is everyone is always learning.
It will be easier if you like to go to meet-ups with like-minded people and like pizza. If you like to go to conferences and can actually absorb what is being said. Or you love to watch tech videos or work through tutorials online in your spare time.
It will be easier if what you are working on actually inspires, your team is fun, and your boss doesn't suck.
And over time yes the technical side gets easier as you learn the tools. As you come across the same concepts in different guises and odd things you learnt on one job become useful in another.
It gets easier as you come to understand the parts of the job you are good at. When you learn to recognise when you need to go for help vs banging you head against a wall of unknowns.
So yes for me, after four years, while there is the occasional day when it seems impossible, it is otherwise easy.
For you I don't know.