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How to Learn to Code (Ep. 106)

The College Info Geek PodcastSo you want to learn how to code, eh? This episode’s for you.

I started coding at the age of twelve, when I started learning HTML and CSS so I could customize a website I built for a band I’d never listened to. Yes, I know that sounds stupid. I can explain (the story’s in the episode).

When high school ended, I picked web development back up and built a freelance web design company with a friend. During the summer before college, we built a website for a local client and made money hand over fist. And by that, I mean we made $350 for around 100 hours of work. Woot, $3.50 an hour!

Despite our incredibly low-balled quote, the project was a great learning experience, and I used what I learned to take on bigger projects when I was in college. For my final freelance project, I was able to charge over $2,500! Not bad for a college student.

My humble coding roots also led to a couple part-time jobs in college developing websites, and I was also able to use my skills to customize College Info Geek – which helped make it successful! For me, coding was a great skill to learn, and I’m incredibly glad I did it.

Here’s the thing; coding is a huge field with a wide variety of applications. You can do so many things with code. Sure, you can learn to build a website like I did – but you can also make video games. Or you can code super-efficient Excel spreadsheets. Or you can build a cell-phone activated door lock. There’s no end to the things you can do.

What’s important is that you start with a real problem you want to solve. The skill of coding is akin to the skill of using a hammer (or any other tool). You don’t get good at swinging hammers for the sake of swinging hammers. You do it so you can build things.

My friend Kevin Gisi articulated this so well in the video below, which I’d highly recommend watching:

Once you’ve identified the problem you want to solve, then you can choose the right programming/scripting language and looking for learning resources. Below, I’ve linked up a ton of them – but certainly not all of them. And that’s ok – honing your Google-fu will be essential if you’re going to be a coder.

Sites Where You Can Learn to Code

Coding Tools:

Places to Get Help or Study/Share Code

Other things mentioned in this episode:

Want more cool stuff? You can find all sorts of great tools at my Resources page.

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How to Learn to Code