Just Code It

Just Code It

I taught myself to write code. If I look back on it now, it was a lot of work and took a long time to get where I am now. But at the time, it didn’t seem like it. I was too interested in what I was building to pay attention.

But it was about a year between the idea and when I started writing code. I tried one language and didn’t like the syntax. I tried another and didn’t like it either. I stopped looking for an solution for a while because I gave up. It was just too hard to make a decision. I didn’t know where to start.

And then I got tired of my bullshit, picked a technology, and wrote the first prototype over a weekend. It did not do everything I wanted it to do. It had a lot of bugs, but it ran. And after that, I worked on it almost daily for a month.

By sitting down and actually trying to code, I caught the bug. Sitting and thinking about it for weeks did nothing. I did not progress. I was waiting for everything to be perfect. I wanted the perfect language and I wanted to know everything I needed to know to get started. And I was afraid of doing something the wrong way.

And what was this? Resistance.

Even after the first month of development, my software wasn’t even ready to be a prototype. I refactored it multiple times. Every other day I found a new bug.

I did things like generating reports on the fly and storing data in html files that I generated, because that is what I knew how to do when I started. I learned a lot by doing things that way. I learned a lot more when I realized I was doing things the wrong way and had to rewrite my code.

So just code it. Find a tutorial that does something similar to what you want to do and get started. Use Google when you get stuck. It is the only way to start.

Now if only I could figure out how to fight my resistance to writing.

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Stephan Miller

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Kansas City Software Engineer and Author

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