Training the un-wanting is just plain hard.
Can you teach me to program/code? I get this question a lot in my day to day life. I have fallen for it almost 100% of the time and in total, about 10 times in the past two years. Friends ask me if I can teach them how to program. Other Friends want to create nifty little applications and need to know how to start. Then there are those that wish they knew, but don't know where to start. Every time I tell people I am a full time developer, I tend to get the question. The problem here is not that I get the question, its that 99% of the time I say yes. I actually don't really remember the last time I said no.
The United States along with other countries such as South Korea, India, Parts of China, Australia and Parts of England are now fast becoming post industrial countries. They are losing their manufacturing expertise and moving to more of an intellectual work environment. In this work environment, most people sit on their butts all day in front of a computer and get something done. In a work where the computer rules the office space, people want to manipulate their computers more and more. They want to figure out how to change information and manipulate the way things work. So because of this post industrial revolution, people want to learn how to program. Take for example, MySpace. You have to know how to develop for the web in order for you to make your page more personal. Its becoming more and more mainstream to hack a bit at code. It used to be the things that nerds do and now every kid on myspace.com has coded a little bit.
I have one friend who wanted to create a small application for user management of their organization (I ended up doing most of their work). I have another friend who wanted to learn how to create online games for Myspace. I sat down with him for a couple of hours and banged out some code. For the next week, he experimented a lot. Then he just fell off and I no longer heard him talk about code. I just had another friend who knew a bit of C and C++ in which she asked me if I can teach her to code. I said yes for the plain fact that its hard to say no. I learned to say no a while back and people tend to confuse me with someone as selfish or self absorbed. I usually let it go as that for the short answer. The long answer for those closer to me is I almost always said yes to things and became overwhelmed with things to do. It happens to everyone that says yes too much, so I had to learn to be a bit more selfish or people would just step all over you.
So, how do I make sure that the people I teach are actually going to continue doing it? This is a question I ask my self a lot and still don't have an answer for. For every person I taught; I have tried to seduce them to being my partner in crime but it just doesn't seem to happen. I still don't know how to keep these people working on code. To keep developing, to keep moving and firing. The point is, I need to start saying no to these folks as well or I need to bind them to a contract that says we are going to build this together and this will be how you learn to code. By helping me build this application, I will teach you how to code.
Thanks for listening.
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