Tuesday, October 11, 2016

How To Teach Yourself Code

and I
thought who better to bring onto the show then Quincy Larson who is the
creator of free code Capcom if you guys are aware of what for your coat , is
it's my favorite website on how to teach yourself how to code specifically front
end web development though it's expanding to back-end and full stack web
development as well
with that being said I hope you guys liked this episode
hey Quincy you call yourself a teacher a freak own camp well actually no you're
one of the co-founders right uh yeah I started freaking camp back in October
2014 but i like the title teacher because I like to think of what i do is
mostly teaching people and getting people toward being able to go and get
the first developer job
you know I'm really honored you decide to i could agree to be guests on my
channel because I've tried so many different coding websites i've read code
Academy code school every single i can think of and free code cam has been the
best one so far by a lot because it doesn't hold your hand as much as the
other ones you and now you don't want a bachelor schools but i would say those
hold their hands too much which has its own place but if you actually want to
learn how to problem solve problems with javascript and front-end development i
would say free code camp is the best one and that shows in your user base right
three hundred thousand active users a month by Craig a 250,000 250,000 should
be three hundred thousand cuz you guys are only two years old and it's growing
so thank you for being a guest on my channel and I thought you'd be the
perfect expert to tell my audience how to learn how to code because I mean how
many people have become a software developers from free code camp that you
know of hundreds from zero to a front-end developers
just from what their knowledge on only on and free code camp I mean other
resources to but primarily from you again
yeah you's all all kinds of resources but free code camp is kind of the core
we review
Rico camp is like the core curriculum and then there are tons of awesome
online courses tons of books you can read so its own trying to teach
themselves how to learn how to code what's the first thing they should you
the guy who created jquery wrote an excellent blog post about it but it is
code every day
so if you're coding every single day you'll get into a rhythm
it will become much less daunting for you to sit down and start writing some
it's it's a great way to just kind of keep things keep going keep that for
going on
another important thing about anything if you take a break from it for even a
day or two
you know you start to recede and that can be really challenging to constantly
be playing catch-up every monday morning
so someone's trying to to start off and they're trying to build this habit and
this is something with a lot of people don't think a actually adding coating
every day is the hardest habit to build up out of all the current habits to
build because a lot of the easier habits so more muscle memory related it is and
lower cognitive thinking it is easier to select flossing working out
hi muscle memory low cognitive thinking it's really easy however coding is Lou
is the 180 from that it is high extremely high cognitive thinking at low
muscle memory
I what are some of your tips for someone who isn't being rewarded yet for their
coding ability so he's just starting off
we uh you know you have to build up that intrinsic sense of motivation where you
feel like your work is its own reward
where you feel your own personal all drive in order to achieve things and
it's it's very challenging to build that up initially I i I'm gonna say about
three tips and I want you to agree or disagree because you're the expert and I
i'm actually knew but this is what I found work for me and I'm actually a big
fan of your code camp so this has worked for me i would say as a beginner you
should just focus instead of thinking like how many gonna go from zero to
become a developer a job get a job you should just focus on three days in a row
like programming three days in a row and then after you do three days in a row
just focus on three weeks in a row and after you do three weeks in a row you
just focus on those three months and then if you can do it for three months
in a row
it's a habit now it's pretty close to habit yeah yeah i mean you can always
fall off but have it
that's the thing is he like even if you run every single day you can pull off of
that but you just said they're mad i'll take is a
it's absolutely you want to eat the elephant one proverbial bite at a time
but one thing that i find to be helpful certain lot of beginners find this
helpful is there's a concept called the Pomodoro clock
pomodoro is a italian for tomato it's a tomato timer some kind of old
you know object that we found him at modern a metaphor for but basically you
pomodoros or where you code for 25 minutes and then you take a five-minute
and the notion is like it's not so scary if you're saying i'm just going to sit
down and code for 25 minutes
no big deal what we find courses after that 25 minutes gone you're in the zone
you really don't care you're like I don't need a break i'm gonna keep going
so it just makes it easier to get going so i would say like if you want to make
the the advice you just gave you more actual night you could say I was going
to do one pomodoro of coating every day
ok so just 125 minute clock you said that was like three consecutive days of
a pomodoro ok
the low ask right everybody can do that yeah and then after that 25 minutes you
like you don't you want to stop codon because now your brain is in the mood so
that's like a nice a nice way of tricking yourself and it's all mental
game really
and then are the second thing adding with with coding every day and this is
kind of tough questions going to save it for later
but in the end I think everyone wants to code either for end goal is usually
either to make their own app or to get a job making someone else is happening
freelance work
so uh I know you have a lot experience in this but when is someone say that
coming every day and in and they are reaching a long-term goal when its own
ready to get a job
I i would say if you feel like you're ready to go and get a job
by all means go it's not like there's some network of companies that are
sitting around like this guy really bombed our interview don't bother
interviewing him as far as knowing when you're ready
oh you know free code camp has the certifications that you'll earn after
you build certain projects were completely implementation diagnostic
process agnostic
we don't care how you learn those skills we don't care what supplemental
resources use we don't care if you already have a PhD in computer science
or software engineering and some people that Franco can do have that and just go
in and like sit down in one afternoon just been about one after the other
as long as you complete those projects you can earn that certification and that
serves as a really good barometer for like whether you're really ready to go
and interview because you know like i said hundreds of people just completed
the first certification have been able to go out and get a job doing some form
of out my development forefront of development or organ
you know we got a broken down into three categories front of development data
visualization which is kind of an extension in front of development and
back in development which is you know api's microservices ok let's move on to
number two you
I think we react we talk a lot yeah we get to hang out with other people who
tell me about that one yeah so I think it's absolutely critical for building
that intrinsic motivation that keeps you going
that you hang out with other people who code and and make you feel accountable
to them that so when you see you know Sarah at a hackathon or a hack night or
just hanging out at your local hackerspace and she's like hey how's it
that you're not like I haven't done jack I just completely like drop the ball no
you're not going to do that because you're going to see Sarah and you're
going to be like wanted to report like yeah I just like I banged out all these
awesome apps and last month and a half and you know
check out how good I am at writing uh you know JavaScript on the whiteboard
for example again
random a skill that is rewarded in the job market are things like that so a by
being with other people who code regularly
not only can you pair program with them which is a proven way of getting better
air quality work done
I'll what are some ways of some practical ways say like someone you know
is in that situation where they don't know any programmers what's how can they
make programming friends
well our I'll tell you like the media pack media pack is you go to a meetup or
event first will create a meetup account create maybe an event right account
depending on where you live
a lot of these things we've conducted to facebook groups now
free coke and has over 1000 local groups
and then they participate in events just remember it's just like with like a an
insect or whatever they're just as scared to use your of them but i would
say like it's all momentum right like the first couple are our kind of like
it's kinda liked it he's gone to working out like the first couple workouts kinda
hard and the first like couple meetup is really awkward but then after you go to
like three or four five in a row
your brain just like gets used to it so I think that's what I noticed about
alright so let's listen to what your next card the tools really don't matter
are a lot of people get hung up on like oh should i be using them or emacs of
line with brackets
Oh should I be coding on a linux box or isn't ok
these windows or should I get a mac should I be doing ruby on rails or
python django or node express
yeah are you know PHP larval they're all these other stacks of a spring know that
the truth is it doesn't really matter what you learn on they're all pretty
comfortable and you can easily port skills you learned in one to another
now the reason why i say don't get hung up on tools to start coding is because
people get hung up on tools like crazy and I'll jump from framework the
framework from language to language and it's a very common way of
procrastinating that doesn't feel like procrastinating and you just have to
acknowledge the grass is always going to be greener on the other side
you're always going to encounter that random person who's like oh why don't
you coding and go or something like that
yeah you know like just don't worry too much about the tools just focus on
actual actually coding so the more time you can spend actually coding and
writing software building projects the better
would you say a great place to start off is front-end development which HD HTML
CSS and JavaScript sends free code camp starts the same way
and why have you chosen that as a starting place as opposed to other
software languages you start with great great question well first of all
javascript is everywhere javascript is eating the world so to speak
Jeff Atwood has a la it's called out with law and it's any program that can
be written in JavaScript will eventually be written in JavaScript
and I think that it's important to note that basically web development which as
I said is fifty percent of the jobs is utterly dominated by JavaScript you can
escape it
the first class language of the browser so that's why javascript I think it's so
important but why we started focusing on front of development specifically is
because I feel like you get so much better feedback when you change you know
even a color of text for example which is like with the report thing you do on
freako camp
you're getting visual feedback it it just feels like you can you can show
like an iphone frame or something like that
the HTML CSS and JavaScript interacting in there
it just feels so much more tangible and say like okay you just you know one of
the nochi number sequence generator or something like that which which is
something we also do like but that's slightly later because it
we would like to go from concrete to abstract what's your next card
don't worry what to build focus on how to build it
so a lot of people approach me and they're like hey what project should I
build or are
I've got this great idea for this you know social media app that's going to be
better than facebook arm and I think that's cool
I definitely think that that could be a huge motivator for people to to code
they had this project they're working on that was certainly important to me when
I was learning to code but at the same time
it led me down a lot of blind alleys and led me to be building stuff that wasn't
generally applicable and you know like if you want to stay on the straight and
narrow and just improve as fast as possible
it's important to acknowledge that what to build is ultimately a business
think about like just try to envision some aspect of like working at you know
Google or Amazon honors or one of these big tech companies or working at the
Ford the eighty percent of companies that are not tech companies that employ
you know the Walmarts of the world they are one of the biggest employers and no
Jess developers
or you know macy's or even our logistical companies you know financial
so when are you actually going to be creating a product from scratch
where you are actually going to be coming up with the idea on the job
so if your goal is to get a job somewhere on which according to our
survey probably a seventy percent of people who responded to the 2016 new
culture survey which preco camp conducted along with the organization
called Kobe are 15,000 people respond to that and I think like sixty six seventy
percent of them were hoping to get a job somewhere they were not looking to start
their own business or work as freelancer are if if that's your goal
you shouldn't even worry about what to build you should just find a list of
projects and there are so many of them free coke can pass 30 different projects
that you build throughout the curriculum and and those have a drug user stories
basically your reverse-engineering existing app and that way you're
focusing on the how not the what
let's go to your last card yeah sure last card is contribute to open source
if you contribute to open source
first of all people are going to be very grateful for your contribution you don't
need to go through an interview process to get a job at a company to dive into
their code base open source code bases are all online they're all transparent
and you can go in and you know download the the source running on your local
machine and then you can go in and an experiment with him on your own machine
without getting permission from anyone so and and if you do end up creating
some worthwhile improvement and i can tell you Rico camp which is completely
open source we have like 300 outstanding issues many of which are tagged you know
first timers only which means that like it's your first time to contribute to
open source
have at it this is we will literally coach you through how you can solve this
probably already know how we think it should be solved
so we're in a very good position to be able to
i'll give you feedback and guidance for this process because we think it's it's
important that you get experience working on larger codebases 11 is on
ready to you to dive into open source like after they finished the front end
certificate issue education program
it depends on what you're planning to do if you're if you're interested in like
for example improving bootstrap which is another popular open source project of
the response of CSS library
you know if you just know some CSS and HTML the guy who maintains bootstrap
doesn't even know JavaScript I met him he's a he's a he's a cool guy he's quite
knowledgeable but he is just basically a fun and designer who is picked up these
skills and understands the principles of typography
how do you assess which is the the CSS preprocessor that would strip for auto
uses so if you know those basic technologies
you don't have to wait until you master the entire stack you can potentially go
in and do meaningful thanks a lot of the fixes on free coke and for literally
just copy fixes literally go in and try to fix his copy on this pain
so we just involve you navigate through the code based upon the proper view
change the cob
I Quincy thank you for being against my channel and I really appreciate it and
if anybody wants to learn code my number one so i recommend is freaking Capcom
thank you for having me here alright so I hope you guys like that interview and
learned a lot from it if you guys want to get my book
new grad job hacks the complete guide to getting your first job after you
graduate college then click on the annotation there
you guys want a job or internship and you're a college student or recently
graduated from college
click on the annotation for web.com it's one of the best marketplaces I've seen
for jobs and if you get stuck on any of the problems from free code camp com
i recommend my friends channel coding tutorials 360 going to check them out if
you ever get stuck on any of the problems or the projects from free