Why I’m giving up learning how to code (well, sorta’).

I’ve been trying to learn Python for a while using Learn Python the Hard Way. I made some progress, but it’s not working out for me. I had gotten to the point of being able to write a decent “game” in command prompt. But let’s be serious, it’s not really a game if there are no colorful characters or flashing lights. No one wants to stare into a dark box and type in numbers and answers to my questions no matter how funny they are. This is 2012, not 1982.

It’s hard to admit defeat to Python because I hate to lose. I was committed and went through the lessons regularly, but as they got progressively more difficult my progress slowed exponentially. Yes, I can make lame excuses about life being busy, but everyone’s busy. I consulted with my friends who actually know how to code and they told me to download that, set up this, and warned me that even with all the tools it’s just going to more difficult learning Python on Windows than it would be on Mac or Linux.

So yes, I am admitting defeat. You win Python, but only for a short while. At the recommendation of a friend who’s built many successful website, mobile apps, and even hacked into the network of a large institution (which shall nameless because he told them immediately and made their network stronger), I am going to re-start my programming journey with PHP. It’s an older language, but I’m told it would be easier to start with for a complete novice like me. I’ve demonstrated that I suck at coding so I’ll take his word for it.

So technically, I am not really quitting. Me, quit? C’mon, you’ve got to be kidding. I never quit! I hate losing more than I like winning. I’m going after your older cousin first and then I’ll be back for you, Python.

I think I just need a re-boot. Once I get comfortable with PHP and am able to build something I can share with the world, I’ll be back. Oh yes, As T-101 once famously said, “Hasta la vista, Baby.”

By: Jonathan Lee
Twitter: @hi5at5


3 responses to “Why I’m giving up learning how to code (well, sorta’).

  1. I think you’re going about this the wrong way. PHP is really not a good language to learn programming. Note, to _learn_ programming — not to _learn_ PHP or Python.

    There is a difference between learning a language and learning programming. I think you’ve probably learned programming using Python. Once you learn programming, languages do not matter as much.

    Before losing faith, I would write something in pseudo-code. If you really want to learn programming, try Scheme, a derivation of Lisp. I think what you’ll find is whenever you learn a new language (Python, PHP) or platform (Django, Ruby on Rails), there is a steep learning curve to learn the nuances and particulars. Afterwards, you can just go at full speed. I just started looking into Django and Python, and am in it now.

  2. I should have made the distinction clearer (learning a language vs learning programming). Thanks for pointing that out with your insightful comment, Brian.

  3. Pingback: Well, hello HTML, CSS, and JavaScript! (My long journey to literacy.) | Jonathanlee.me

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