024 - Making Time To Learn To Code
18 Jul, 2017
Learning to code while working full time is a huge undertaking. Here are some strategies to help you get there.
The main 2 requirements are:
- Having clear goals about why you want to learn to code. It will help you make the tough choices when figuring out how to spend you time.
- Code every day! Even if it’s just a review of the previous day, look at code every day to ensure you don’t have to learn the same things over and over again (check out episode 10 and episode 12 if you want to hear about what happens when you don’t do this!).
With these things squared away, you can try the following strategies:
- Log your practice. You can use a simple wall calendar or a habit building app like HabitBull to keep track of your study days. Then you will notice when your “short break” turns into a longer one!
- Schedule your coding time. And it is sacred! Phone off, email closed, just focus. Even if you only get in 20-30 minutes, this time is key.
- Work on fixed-term projects. Find a course that has set deadlines, or set a deadline for yourself–if you’ve not made progress by a certain date, find another tool that’s going to be more motivating for you personally. (If you want to check out FreeCodeCamp there’s the link.)
- Work on projects in a group. If you’re like me the social pressure of not letting your team down will be a great motivator to keep your studies up! Depending on your level, you could find some coding buddies or contribute to open source projects to get that accountability.
If you’re a parent, all is not lost! Here are a few of the articles I mentioned about other parents who have learned to code with young kids in tow:
- How I got a second degree and earned 5 developer certifications in just one year, while working and raising two kids
- Front-end Development: So simple a mom can do it?
In the end, you may find that you just don’t want to spend the little free time you have learning how to code, no matter how much you may want to know how to code. And that’s ok! This is where being clear on your goals will help you figure out how much pressure to put on yourself.