Don’t Learn to Code!

I’m sure you nearly spit out your cafe latte and perhaps your monocle even comically flew off your face after reading that title (you fancy bastard).

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Pictured above: average perpetualNoob blog reader.

Whether or not you learn to code is entirely up to you and monocle-popping blog titles shouldn’t determine your coding trajectory, however, as a bootcamp graduate and mentor, I’ve met a ton of people who seem to be getting into code for the wrong reasons.

I get it, a 4 year degree is becoming more worthless by the minute and the massive amount of debt accrued from its pursuit all but guarantees you’ll be living in your childhood bedroom well into your adulthood. Coding can seem almost easy by comparison; a high paying lucrative career that you can gain entry into in a matter of months! If it sounds too good to be true, that’s because it kind of is:

There’s nothing wrong with getting into coding for the money; it’s a steady job that can pay more than your average entry level office job but if you’re getting into coding solely for the money… chances are you won’t make much of it. The great thing about coding is that technology changes so fast that you’re always learning something new which can also make it the worst thing if you don’t particularly like coding.

I try to hang out with guys that can code circles around me and the one thing I notice about them and every other successful programmer I’ve met is that they really enjoy what they do. They code at work, have side projects at home and spend time mentoring younger, dumber coders like me. In the short amount of time I’ve been at my job as a developer, we’ve already switched to a completely different framework for our apps and I guarantee it won’t be the same one we’re using in a few years from now. If you expect to learn what you need to at a bootcamp, then float through tech companies while making a cool 150k a year, you might be in for a rude awakening. One of the main complaints I’ve heard from recruiters looking to represent bootcamp grads is that their github, codepen and side projects seem to stop as soon as their classes end.

If money is really your motivation to code, you should know that there are a number of ways to rake in the bucks that don’t require a four-year degree: underwater-welder, hot dog vendor in NY (seriously), construction manager and a slew of others I’m sure. What you’ll probably learn from a successful underwater welder or hot dog slinger, is that they likely enjoy what they do (see a theme here?).

So before you drop your savings on a bootcamp and enter into a lifetime of learning about asynchronous callbacks, javascript debates and neck beards, you might want to make sure you actually like coding.

Now put your monocle back in.

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