My Passion for Programming

Author: Jacob Gardner-Shortall - Junior Developer

Date: 3 April 2023

computer with code

As you might expect from a developer, coding plays an important role in my life. Programming seems to have exploded in popularity over the last decade, with new opportunities for developers to break into the tech sector all over the place. 

However, it’s about much more than a job. It’s about the love for the craft, the process of development and also simply creating cool things that interest you. Here’s what I love about coding.

How Did I Get Started?

I’ve always had an interest in computers, how they work and how I can get them to do what I want, but for one reason or another actually writing code wasn’t at the forefront of my mind. Though, a couple of years ago I finally took the plunge and started learning Python, just for fun. I was instantly hooked. Even writing the tiniest of programs to print some text on screen was exciting to me. 

After a few months of working on my skills by myself, I realised I wanted to pursue this as a career. I enrolled in a software development bootcamp over the period of a year where I expanded my knowledge on web technologies such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Python web frameworks, SQL and bits of Heroku/AWS for deployment. This was my springboard into the tech sector.

What Do I Love About Coding?

The entire process of programming is extremely rewarding to me (even the parts where I’m staring at my screen wondering what’s going on). Watching something come to life that you’ve built is a large part of the satisfaction. I think that creating the moving pieces for a project helps you gain more appreciation for the end result.

I also love the constant learning and development. You never know everything, and new pieces of information, technologies or advancements are arising every day. With so many different areas of software development out there, there’s always something you could be learning. 

It’s also something I can do with a team or all by myself in my free time with nothing needed but a computer (and caffeine)!

two men looking at a laptop

How Can You Get Into Coding?

I think the most important thing is to learn by doing, so use tools that facilitate this, rather than watching a video or reading an article and not actually typing anything out. If you are just looking at code from an article, I’d recommend copying it into an editor and playing around with it, trying to break it, and see what affects what.

There are almost unlimited resources out there to get you started on your journey, so it can be a bit overwhelming when thinking about where to start. It’s important to try and specialise and choose an area that you love the most, such as web development, machine learning, or making games. This helps you stay focused and learn deeply about something, instead of having a bunch of surface knowledge about many things. 

Your route is your own. Choose what’s right for you. Don’t feel pressured into qualifications that don’t suit your learning style, but also don’t dismiss them. If you like standardised, structured learning where you look deeply into topics, a degree may be the best thing for you. However, this might not suit your learning style or you just might not have the time. In this case there are online courses, part-time or full-time bootcamps, or even old-school books for learning.

Keep at it! Whatever route you choose, it’s crucial to be persistent and not give up. The answers are out there for you to find, it’s just a matter of time before you crack that tough topic. We’ve all been stuck many times before so don’t be discouraged, it’s part of the journey!

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