Category Archives for Motivation

Can You Learn Code in 1 hour

Can You Learn Code in 1 Hour?!

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Is learning to code a full-time occupation? Do you have to quit your job and dedicate your entire life to it? Or is it possible to learn code in as little as an hour?
 
I am sure you already know that it’s going to take a little longer than 1 hour to learn code.
 
But with an hour a day, some consistency and the right mindset, it is more than possible, it’s INEVITABLE.
 
My aim with this article is to change the mind of anyone who thinks they don’t have the TIME to learn code. So let’s get into it by first asking that all important question that everyone seems to want to know the answer to.

How long does it take to learn code?

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Oh, now that’s a tricky question! A lot of it comes down to you as the individual, what you’re learning and you’re aims and aspirations are. It’s almost impossible to put a definitive number on it.
 
For me, I honestly couldn’t tell you how many hours I put in. I can give you a rough number of months. But that won’t be very helpful. You need to know the specifics. You need the HOURS!
 
To solve this let’s take a look at some coding bootcamps. These places specialize in teaching you how to code in a specific amount of time.
 
On average, most bootcamps offer a 12-week course, made up of 40 hr weeks, which equates to 480 hrs. That should then mean after 480 hrs, you should be able to code well enough to land your first job!
 
It’s worth mentioning that the 480 hrs is the average for coding bootcamps. Some specify more time, and some specify less time. This also doesn’t account for students learning outside of the bootcamp. Or breaks during the day.
 
So this 480 hrs is very much a BALLPARK. But at least we have something to work with. This can at least add a little perspective.
To be less specific, we can probably think of it as around 500 hrs.
 
Assuming it’s going to take you 500 hrs. If you spent an hour every night it would then take 500 days. Or, 1 year, 4 months, 1 week, 6 days, 5 hours, 46 minutes and 39 seconds…to be precise.
 
That may seem like a long time but it’s not when you consider people go to university for 3-4 years. Also, bear in mind that all stems from just 1 hour a day. Imagine if you did 2 hrs??
I know 1 hour doesn’t seem a lot, but the thing you need to remember is it all adds up.

Consistency is key

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Whether you spend 10 hours or an hour, the deciding factor won’t be time! Instead, it all comes down to consistency.

You can have all the time in the world. But if you’re not consistent you will find yourself taking two step forward, and one steps back.
 
I’ve been there, I used to have loads of time before my life was controlled by a mini dictator (love you son!).
Back then time was never an issue, but being consistent was! I’d spend a few days learning, followed by weeks of nothingness. And surprise surprise, this amounted to a whole load of nothingness.
 
The issue was that every time I returned to study, I’d have what is technically known as a brain fart! Almost everything I had learned disappeared. This meant going back over the material, ALL…OVER…AGAIN.
See what I mean, two steps forward, one step back.
 
Inconsistency has the potential to unravel any progress you make. It is far better to strive for a consistent, little and often approach. Rather than an inconsistent approach filled with big learning binges and gaps.
 
While I don’t have any formal qualifications to back up my claim (who needs a degree nowadays anyway, right?!). I do, have years of experience in how to learn code, by which I mean, HOW NOT TO LEARN CODE.
 
When you have a full-time job, kids or other commitments, and zero time in general. Keeping up that pace of binge binge binge for hours at night can be hard. Imagine a marathon runner trying to run a marathon while sprinting! That pace soon becomes unsustainable.
 
The danger then becomes that you flame-out and need to take a little break, but then begin to lose focus. Soon the cycle becomes binge. Flaming-out. Taking a break for a week. Then return, trying to remember where you left off. If you return at all!
 
I’m sure you see how counterproductive that can be.
 
This is not to say learning binges are bad, breaks are bad, or forgetting what you learn is fatal. Binges are ok in moderation. Breaks are necessary for well-being. And you can always recap what you have forgotten.
 
Instead, the point I’m making is by pacing yourself to 1 hour, you’re less likely to flame-out. That means you can get on making daily progress. Progress, no matter how small, is still progress!
 
The added bonus of consistency, besides continued progress, is the forming of habits. And I always say to turn coding into a habit.
 
Why? Because if coding becomes a habit it’s 10 times easier to remain consistent.
Habits are ingrained in us, something we naturally do. If coding is something you naturally do, you don’t have to force yourself so much. It’s just part of your routine.
 
*If you want to know more about building routines and turning coding into a habit, check this post!

You need to have a winning MINDSET 

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Being consistent isn’t easy. Especially at the start when it’s going to be a little while before you see any results. Even more so for someone who can only commit an hour a day.

Speaking from experience, it can be very disheartening to see such minimal progress. But, don’t fall into the trap of thinking there is no end in sight. There is!

The trick is not to let that negative mindset derail you. Stop trying to define WHEN it’s going to happen and rest assured that it WILL happen.

As long as you remain consistent! Whether that’s 2 hrs, 1 hour, or even 30 mins. If you’re doing something every day, you’re making progress.

My advice is to play the long game. Give it a year, or even 6 months, and you will see a difference. I promise.

A big part of this game is mental. Mindset can make or break you. If your mind says you can’t, then you can’t. Simple. So a positive mindset makes all the difference when you come up against a few “home truths”.

HOME TRUTHS about learning code

  • Some days you’ll feel like you know everything, and some days you’ll feel like you know nothing.
  • Some days you will love it, and some days you will hate it, and want to smash your computer.
  • Some days you’ll be really productive. Others you’ll barely muster enough energy to attempt 1 Codewars challenge.
  • Some days you will know exactly the next step to take. Other days you will be filled with confusion and self-doubt.
  • Some days you’ll feel within arms reach of your goal, and some days it might as well be on the other side of the world!
  • AND OF COURSE…One day your consistent coding streak will end, and you may even fall off the bandwagon.

I’m sorry if that sounds pessimistic, believe it or not, I am an optimist. I just wanted to be real with you, and also to let you know that the road will be full of ups and downs, but it’s OK. It’s normal.

It will be tough at times, and that’s why a winning mindset is vital. If you can remain positive. Stay focused on the long game. Keep coming back with every knock. You will EVENTUALLY succeed.

To help shape your brain to have that winning mindset I thought I would throw a few recommended reads your way.

Get a winning brain with these books

You’re never truly finished learning 

graduation cap and diploma

I want to leave you with this parting thought…The learning is never done.

At the start, I gave you a ballpark figure of around 500 hrs as an average time it takes to learn code. But the truth is no real end. 500 hr will come and go and you will still be learning.

*So I guess that 500 hrs is slightly redundant.

When I first started I imagined a day when I no longer felt like a student. Now I realize that I will always feel like a student.

There is always more to learn!

It may be another language, another framework, another library. Whatever it is, there will always be something. At which point can I finally say I’m done? I suspect, NEVER.

This is yet another “home truth”.

Don’t go in with the sole goal to learn code, thinking one day you will finally be able to put all the books down for good. Learning to code is less like running in a race, and more like running on a treadmill.

For that reason, it doesn’t make sense to focus on the destination of “learning to code”. But rather the journey. So my last bit of advice…Focus on the journey.

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My 2018 SECRET to achieve PROGRAMMING GROWTH

My 2018 SECRET to achieve PROGRAMMING GROWTH

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It’s 2018 and I am sure you have your sights set on making this year the best year possible. Maybe this is the year you finally learn code, land your first programming gig, start a business, become a parent. Whatever it is, I want to share a secret. It’s something the previous year taught me, and something I think will really make a difference to your 2018.

I want to start by taking a quick look back on my 2017, just to give you a bit of context. So here goes.

Quick LOOK BACK on 2017

What actually happened? Well, I survived my first year as a dad, started a blog, read more than I ever have, taught myself to code, and all while juggling my full-time job. To some people, this may not seem like a lot, but for me it was. You see prior to 2017 I was somewhat LAZY!

I mean…I wasn’t a layabout, but I just had a terrible habit of wanting to make improvements to my life but never doing anything. Does this sound familiar? Then thank God I’m not alone! Side note, in that case, you may appreciate this post as well…5 ways to MOTIVATE yourself into ACTION

Anyway…

For a long time, I had really wanted to learn code. Unfortunately, I was an expert at avoiding the coding grind. But not anymore! In 2017, I finally got off my arse to learn code and implement some big changes. Of course, some big changes also happened to me like becoming a dad (which you can read about here). Never the less it all added up to the person I morphed into over the course of last year.

It strange to say that at the end of 2017, that I felt different. Because, if I’m honest, I’d never had that feeling before. I never felt like I grew much the previous years. I felt very STATIC up until this point. Again can anyone else relate to this?

Now, while 2017 was an awesomely productive year, a turning point where I actually got stuff done! I don’t believe this feeling was solely down to the fact that I finally “got off my arse”. Partly it was.

However, I think there is something more fundamental that underpins my whole year, which really gave me this sense of personal growth. And I really want to share this in hopes it will to help others grow and bloom this year, like a pretty flower (my attempt at humor).

WHAT is the BIG SECRET?

security background with hand and mobile phone in flat design

I’m not going to waste time, I’m just going to jump in and say it. GET IN OVER YOUR HEAD THIS YEAR! This might sound like strange advice and maybe even dangerous advice, but please read this whole post to fully understand what I mean.

The simple truth is I spent the whole of 2017 in over my head! I was a new parent, who had no clue what he was in for. Any new parents out there? Strap in!

I was also simultaneously trying to learn code with very little time or energy while also attempting to build a blog.

SPOILER ALERT! I didn’t have a clue about code, blogging or parenting for that matter. To be fair, no new parents have a clue, we are all the same. Just dears in highlights; muddling through, keeping our heads above water until we finally learn to swim. Keep that thought in mind for the next section.

I really picked the perfect time to jump on the whole self-improvement hype. NOT. But honestly, there’s never a good time, it’s now or never right??

2017 was full of trials and struggles day in and day out, both as a dad, aspiring programmer, and noob blogger. However, these struggles change me for the better, taught me some very valuable lessons and ultimately helped me GROW into Code Dad. I know, it’s a crap superhero name! 

So how now you know the secret, where do you start?

scuba diver with sea creatures background in flat designDive into the DEEP END

In order to “get in over your head” you need to be swimming in deep water. It’s no use paddling in the shallows. So you might as well dive straight in.

The moment you dive into the deep end things start to get REAL. You’re in a challenging situation and you have no choice but to sink or swim. It’s by throwing ourselves into these situations that we FORCE ourselves to grow out of necessity.

What I find amazing is just how much you can surprise yourself in those situations. For example, you may have an idea for a project, which you haven’t the first clue how to build. Your initial thought is “this is impossible!”. Yet, by hammering away long enough you have that eureka moment.

To grow as a programmer and person you need to keep challenging yourself and keep moving forward. You don’t get anywhere in life by standing still. However painfully obvious that sounds.

Even though it is a painfully obvious statement, it can sometimes fall on deaf ears. I know because those deaf ears were mine once upon a time. It took hearing the same thing hundreds of times before it finally sunk in.

Now granted, the idea of jumping in the deep end can be a scary one, and it does have its drawbacks. The biggy is the risk of drowning. So I thought I would address exactly what to do in this situation.

What do you do if your DROWNING?

There are two sides to the sink or swim method, and unfortunately, you won’t always swim the first time around. But that doesn’t mean the game is over!

What you need to remember is that you can always SWIM BACK.

The whole reason I say “dive into the deep end”, is because I believe to grow into the person or programmer you want to be in 2018, you need to put yourself under pressure. After all, diamonds are created under extreme pressure.

However, I feel it’s unrealistic to assume there are no limits to the depths you can jump into.

Everybody has a limit, I am not delusional. We have to accept reality for what it is…AT THE TIME. And the fact of the matter is you may have bitten off more than you can chew. In that case, trying to stick it out can become very destructive and harmful, which is why I want to remind you to swim back. Remember that you are in control.

Now don’t mistake this for giving up, it’s simply a system to push the boundaries of what you’re capable of while making sure you stay ALIVE!

When you go the gym you aim to go flat out until you can’t lift anymore. But at that point you STOP, go home and rest, otherwise, you could incur a serious injury.

The next time you hit the gym, you do the same routine, only this time you push past your previous limit and discover you can lift more. WHAT?? I guess you grew stronger!

A pretty weak analogy I know. But what I am trying to get at is your limit is NOT an absolute. Sure at the time it seems pretty damn solid! But the truth is if you keep returning, learning, and growing. You will eventually push past that limit and on to a new one. It just takes time.

businessman falling downYou still GROW even if you FAIL…I did

Obviously, we aim to succeed at whatever we do, but failure is no bad thing. And when you are actively jumping into deeper and deeper water you’re eventually GOING TO FAIL. It’s just the nature of things.

But this post is NOT about how to succeed, it’s about how to grow. Regardless of whether you sink or swim, you are going to grow. And really, isn’t that the aim here?

I am not going to go into depths about how all successful people fail, or that failure makes you stronger, teaches you lessons, and all the rest of it.

Why? Partly because I’ve already touched on it, but also because many high profile people already preach the same thing. However, despite knowing this, it still doesn’t make failure any less scary. This is probably because these people are operating at a whole other level, which makes it much hard to relate. Take Elon Musk, for example, he almost seems superhuman!

I feel, in order to try and really help make the idea of failure less scary I would walk you through my experience of getting out of my depth, and yes, failing! Hopefully, this will show you that it does happen and it’s ok. It’s nothing on the scale of Elon Musk, but it sure felt big to me.

My Failure…

What I consider MY BIGGEST FAILURE of 2017 happens to be centered on my blog. Yes, this very thing you are reading!

I created the blog because I wanted to push myself more and more. I wanted to move out of the bubble I was in, start assuming the role of Code Dad and help as many people as possible.

I had so many big plans for the blog in 2017, I planned to do weekly posts and create a number of resources to help. However, after diving in I found I just couldn’t keep up with it all. I was trying to do all this blog stuff, while still learning code at night, working full-time, and waking up with a baby. Let’s just say, zero sleep was had it and it was killing me. Not ideal, when my whole theme is BALANCE!

In actual fact, I started to become ill and had bad anxiety. So I took a step back, re-balanced my life, pushed out my deadlines, and chose to post less frequently. I felt like a massive failure! I thought if I can’t even meet these deadlines what is the point. Clearly, this is NOT the mentality to have.

But even though I felt like I failed, I still wanted to keep trying and keep pushing. It was in my nature now.

So I continued! I started taking a different approach, planned things out more, and embarrass the idea of failure as a learning curve. I began to feel much happier and way more positive about the future of this blog. I’m now very excited to see what 2018.

Yeah looking back, there were still a ton of things I wanted to do in 2017. I had targets I didn’t hit, stuff I never got round to doing, and a list of failures. As much as I can say I achieved a lot last year, I can equally say I failed a lot. But I am proud to say…I GREW.

Hopefully reading this may help you conquer that fear of failure, which is stopping you from jumping into the deep end.

Conclusion

Right, so the whole point of this post is to help you understand what I believe is the fundamental cause of personal and professional growth. Be that as a programmer, person, or whatever.

And that is to GET IN OVER YOUR HEAD.

This year really go big, push yourself to do something you didn’t think you could. Make yourself uncomfortable, jump in the deep end, say yes to big projects. It really is the way we grow.

And remember…

Whether your “killing the game” or “falling on your face”, as long as your really challenging yourself, you will grow. So whatever happens in 2018, take solace in that knowledge.

 

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5 STEPS to overcoming IMPOSTOR SYNDROME as a NOOBIE

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Have you ever felt like a fraud? Like your lying to yourself and everyone about your programming abilities? Do you often question whether you can even call yourself a true programmer? Then you may have a case of IMPOSTOR SYNDROME my friend. Don’t worry it’s very common, especially for beginners. I can say with near certainty, that every beginner has faced this mental battle! Hell, even some experienced programmers may still occasionally be afflicted with this condition. But this article aims to help you overcome your anxieties.

worker with doubts - Designed by FreepikWhat is IMPOSTOR SYNDROME anyway? 

Call it what you will, impostor syndrome, feeling like a fraud, a fake, a phony, whatever. It’s all pretty self-explanatory. You essentially feel like you are pretending to be something your not. Even though that is NOT TRUE!

It’s a crappy feeling, which can make you feel anxious about being “exposed”. As well as slowing your growth as a programmer. And it’s that last point, which is the big issue, hence why I made it bold.

The mindset of an impostor comes from self-doubt, which inherently makes us scared to put ourselves out there. Or for lack of a better word, TRY.

To protect ourselves from the idea of being discovered a fraud, we wrap ourselves in bubble wrap. Until such a time as we feel it’s safe to emerge. As a result, we may pass on opportunities or fail to push ourselves because we don’t feel worthy.

You may find yourself in a situation where you are more than job ready and even have a nice little portfolio. Yet because of impostor syndrome, you’re still taking courses to expand your knowledge.

It’s a challenge we all face 

I think it’s good to know you are not alone. For one, I have experienced this and still do!

But in facing this problem I have deciphered a few conclusions on how to overcome it. Plus a realization that you may find interesting.

Before divulging the steps you need to take, Let me to share my realization.

Impostor Syndrome can actually a GOOD thing!

Really? A good thing? That doesn’t sound right. Bare with me a moment while I explain with a little hypothetical.

Consider someone on the opposite side of the spectrum, someone who’s overconfident, with too much self-belief. What’s the danger here?…The danger is their ego goes unchecked. No one likes an egomaniac anyway, but it can be slippery slope the moment you start believing you’re “the best”.

While it is good to exude confidence to impose your will, the danger is you may start slacking. If you feel like you know everything already, you are less inclined to hit the books and continue learning. And in my opinion, the moment you stop learning is the moment you start dying as a programmer. Extreme, I know. But that’s just what I believe.

However, I am sure from this example you can see that overconfidence can put you at risk of resting on your laurels.

By contrast, feeling like an impostor can drive us to learn and continue improving ourselves. We just have to make sure we take the opportunities to implement those improvements when they arise.

Impostor syndrome is very handy when it comes to keeping your feet to the fire. Versus an egomaniac, who assumes they know it all until one day it slaps them in the face!

Now let’s explore the steps to help you overcome this feeling.

STEP 1/ Compare yourself to yourself, NOT OTHERS

business people finishing a market race -Designed by FreepikMajority of the time we feel inadequate as beginners because we are comparing ourselves to professionals who have been living and breathing code for years. Obviously compared to them your going to seem like a NOOB.

Although this feeling isn’t just reserved for beginners. I have spoken to other programmers, currently working as developers, who have said they still feel like noobs; compared to the people they work with. This shows that impostor syndrome can hit at any level.

As a rule of thumb, there will always be someone with more experience, more knowledge, and who have achieved more. There are some real all-star players in this world, and while yes, of course, I believe you can be one of them! You may find more value in comparing yourself today to who you were yesterday.

Doing this you are less likely to feel like a noob or fraud. Plus, it’s a great way to motivate yourself and build confidence by seeing how much you have grown.

It’s hard not to compare ourselves. In some ways comparing is a good thing because it breeds competition, which pushes us to become a better version of ourselves.

However, to negate impostor syndrome you should use that person as a target, something to aspire to. Think of them as the finishing line to your race, rather than the guy next to you on the starting line.

STEP 2/ Learn to VALIDATE YOURSELF

In my opinion, having the ability validate yourself is a key component in overcoming this plight. That said, it’s definitely not an easy thing achieve. Naturally, we validate ourselves through the approval of others, whether that’s our peers, colleagues, or employers.

The problem is sometimes even receiving a stamp of approval from others is still not enough. Case and point, when you start a new job. Your new employers obviously feel you are capable of doing the job, yet despite that, you can still have your doubts.

Understandably there is an air of uncertainty because of it a new situation. However, even though you have the knowledge to meet the challenge. And that knowledge has even been vetted by your employers. You can still struggle to shake that impostor feeling.

People around you may sing your praises, but until you can learn to sing your own, impostor syndrome may stick around longer than you would like.

So learn to validate yourself, my friend! And if you’re wondering how you do that exactly, let me give you a little tip. You need to have self-belief, which brings me to the next step.

businessmen playing william tell - Designed by FreepikSTEP 3/ You’re underestimating yourself…you need to BELEIVE

More often than not you know more than you think you do. Majority of the time we underestimate ourselves. Not just in terms of what we already know but our ability to adapt and learn new things.

You probably feel like a fake because you either underestimated yourself, or you overestimated what’s expected of you. At some point, you’ve had to make an estimation (effectively GUESS!) as to whether you are capable of a certain role, or worthy of a title, such as “Programmer”.

Unfortunately, 9 times out of 10 we guess wrong, normally underestimating ourselves. As a result, we feel insecure and doubt begins to sets in. This inevitably leads us down the path of feeling like an impostor. Unknown to us we are more than worthy, yet because the mind is such a powerful thing, we perceive otherwise.

You should feel comfortable calling yourself a Programmer or applying for the job you’ve been training so hard for. But that is not the case when your suffering from the phony’s.

My advice? Attempt to realize that you are most likely underestimating your skills and knowledge. Also work hard to instill yourself with confidence and self-belief in your abilities. That, of course, is easier said than done. Sadly self-belief isn’t something you can just buy at the local supermarket. However, try these little tips to change your perspective.

  1. Remind yourself of what you already know and what you have achieved so far. This can give you a welcome ego boost as well as validating your knowledge.
  2. See your potential. Yes, you may not know everything but dont underestimate your ability to learn! Remind yourself it’s only a matter of time until you become an expert. Every expert started as a noob.

Before you move onto the next step, if you are a newbie who feels like impostor calling themselves a Programmer, then this is for you.

In my opinion, if you can write code which prints out “Hello World” on the screen, then I consider you a Programmer. Why? Because even at this basic level you have still technically “programmed” a computer to execute a command. Sure, you may not be the worlds most advanced programmer, but your still a programmer. So remember that and keep pushing to learn more.

research concept - Designed by FreepikSTEP 4/ How you appear is RELATIVE to who’s judging 

A reason Impostor Syndrome occurs is because we are worried about what other people think. We care too much about how we are perceived, when really unless we ask, we have no way of knowing. The truth is that we are perceived RELATIVE to the person we think is judging us. What does that even mean?

A simple answer….people from different background will perceive you differently from each other. To clarify, let me give you an example.

If you have been programming for a few months and have built some fairly simple programs. Then a person with NO programming experience will likely see you as a magician. Compared to a professional programmer, who will likely view you as a novice. In fact, the individuals own opinions will also shape how they see you.

So if that is the case, I really wouldn’t worry what other people think, because, in reality, they are all thinking something different anyway. And they can’t all be right! So ignore them and value your own opinion.

What matters more is how you perceive yourself! Your own personal view will have a greater influence on how you conduct yourself then the views of other people. And as I mentioned earlier, even sometimes when we get the approval of others we still see ourselves the same way. We value our own opinion above all else.

STEP 5/ Understanding that to some degree…You NEED TO BE AN IMPOSTOR 

Before anyone jumps down my throat, I am NOT saying to lie! It goes without saying that you should never lie or make up stories. Instead, what I am trying to say is that you should emulate the person you want to be. 

Whenever I am asked if I am a professional developer, I always respond “no”, I am an aspiring developer. I would love to turn around and say “Yes, I’ve been a developer for x number of years”, but that would be an outright lie.

However, after spending the past year teaching myself how to code, while juggling full-time work and becoming a first time dad. I now have my sights firmly on securing a role in Android App Development.

I try to put myself in the mind of a developer, and every day I strive to emulate the traits they encompass. And it is this mentality, which I am suggesting you adopt (rather than lying). You need to think you are.

I am sure you’ve heard the quote “I think, therefore I am”. Well, I want to adapt it slightly to illustrate my point. “I think I am a Programmer, therefore I am a Programmer”.

I know that merely saying you’re Programmer won’t make it true. You actually do stuff, you can’t just sit on the couch calling yourself a Programmer. But by saying this to yourself you begin to change your mindset to one of a Programmer.

For Programmers, writing code is part of their life. So by associating yourself with that title, code will soon become part of yours. In a short while, your transformation will be seamless. In no time your Impostor Syndrome will fade and you will have no trouble announcing to the world that you are indeed a Programmer!

I understand if you think this sounds like BS, but I truly believe by mentally assuming the roles we want for ourselves we begin to take steps towards them. This, in particular, helped me overcome my beginner’s insecurities.

So whether you’re just starting out or looking to get a particular developer role, remember to embrace the impostor feeling. Don’t shy away from associating yourself with that persona. Some call this faking it until you make it. I just call it having a crap ton of self-belief.

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5 ways to MOTIVATE yourself into ACTION

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When you’re trying to influence change in your life, the one major thing that normally stands in your way is YOU. If you have a tenancy to sit back wishing for change but struggle to move from the sofa, then this post may be for you. And don’t worry, I’m not pointing fingers because I am right there with you my friend.

I sat on the idea of learning to program for a long time, too long in fact! And to be frank, even today I still have days when I can’t be bothered.

In the past, I would have described myself as a frequent wisher, wanting for change, but never take action. So don’t worry, I know your struggle. And that is why I have created this article to help give you the tools that have, and still do, help motivate me into action!

1) READ inspiring and motivational books

Classic learning education and school concept - Designed by Freepik

It’s no big secret that some of the most successful people read. And here’s a few big names you may have heard of..

Mark Zuckerberg

The creator of Facebook, who vowed on a Facebook post in 2015 to read one book a week. To quote Mark, “books allow you to fully explore a topic and immerse yourself in a deeper way than most media today.” If Mr Zuckerberg puts a lot of stock in books then maybe it’s not a bad idea to follow suit.

Oprah Winfrey 

Celebrity, founder, and CEO of the Oprah Winfrey Network has championed books for a long time. She even created the Oprah’s Book Club in 1996. When someone so high profile really advocate for books in this way it’s hard not to take notice!

Elon Musk

Founder of PayPal, Tesla, and Space X, and likely contender of the man credited with colonizing Mars! Guess what his response was when asked how he learnt to build rockets? Obviously, he replied, “I read a lot of books”. It’s quite a humbling response, which demonstrated the capabilities books provide.

Sheryl Sandberg

The Facebook COO and founder of Leanin.org has actually credited one book with having a particular influence on her. To think that one book can inspire someone so successful, and have a big impact is just astounding. That particular book was: Portfolios of the Poor: How the World’s Poor Live on $2 a Day” by Daryl Collins, Jonathan Morduch, Stuart Rutherford, and Orlanda Ruthven.

Bill Gates 

Co-founder of the tech titan Microsoft has been known to read 50 books a year. That’s roughly one a week! Bill Gates has pointed to books as the main way he learns. Despite saying that he has the fortune opportunities to visit interesting places, meet with scientists, and watch lectures online. Gates has still said that “Reading is still the main way that I both learn new things and test my understanding.”

Essentially, reading is good. But how does it help motivation?

Personally, I really enjoy reading inspiring biographies from particular idols of mine. But the main reason I enjoy them so much is that their stories fill me with so much motivation!

It’s easy to think the reason someone is successful is down to sheer dumb luck. I mean, that may be the case in a few very rare instances. But typically, 99% of the time their success is the result of hard work, and dogged determination if the face of overwhelming odds and adversity.

Come, who doesn’t like an underdog story?

And it’s the tale of an underdog, someone who despite hardships, pushed through and achieve what they set out to do. Always make me think the same thing, “if they can overcome that! I am sure I can overcome this”.

Simply, they set an example, and provide you with someone to look up to and strive to emulate. We can all use a role model in our lives.

Here are a few of my favorite motivational reads

I will be compiling a more in dept list in the future.

People with speech bubbles - Designed by Freepik2) Listen to RELATABLE SUCCESS STORIES

This kind of links to the last one, however, when I talk about success stories, I am referring to RELATABLE success stories. The stories of people just like you and me, who have the same dream and same goal.

It’s great to read about how Elon Musk overcame the odds to build the world most successful commercial rocket company. But that not something most of the world’s population can actually relate too! A relatable success story is a powerful thing.

A relatable story is so empowering because it lets you know what your attempting is NOT IMPOSSIBLE. The moment you realize this, well that moment is a game changer. Why? Well, if you know something possible you are more likely to persist. Who will have the motivation to journey down a road they know is a dead end?

It’s hard to continually put energy and time into something, which has no guarantee of success. But you can take comfort in knowing that if you follow their lead, you will eventually reach the same destination.

You can treat a success story as a template for achieving your goal. In addition, they tend to be full of advice and guidance, which is invaluable to someone starting out. I don’t want to say it’s a formula for success, but it’s pretty close.

But above all else, relatable success stories inspire! Just like reading books about the underdog emerging victorious. This kind of story leaves you invigorated, and light a fire in your belly. You vow to follow in their footsteps charge wholeheartedly towards your goal.

Where do you find programmer success stories?

A great place to find success stories are on websites like Free Code Camp, Team Tree House, or Codecademy. Websites like these nearly always have a blog or page dedicated to the people who changed their lives by learning code.

3) Get pumped up with some EXERCISE

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I am sure you are already aware that taking regular exercise has a multitude of benefits that go way beyond just feeling physically fitter.

Countless studies have been conducted, which have shown that exercise can improve your mood, lower stress, boost your energy levels, sharpen your memory, reduce your risk of cancer, and is basically just a good thing!

However, I want to zero in on one key benefit I have experience. And that is a boost to my MOTIVATION! This boost comes from the direct effects of exercise. Namely, a jump in my energy levels, plus a fighting spirit, which stems from a positive mood boost (thank you endorphins!).

It’s not too far-fetched to think that feeling good makes you more pro-active. I mean, come on, think about it for a second. When you feel like crap, you can’t be bothered to do anything. Right?! However, when you feel good and accomplished, you want to take on the world. I am sure you are now beginning to see how exercise might help your motivation.

The mood boost you get from the release of endorphins. The energy you feel from the rush of blood pumping. All these side effects from exercise put you in a positive frame of mind and give you the energy boost you need to motivate yourself into action.

You don’t have to believe me when I boast about the benefits of exercise. Many of the worlds ultra-successful have touted exercise as their No.1 secret, including Richard Branson. And according to Forbes, exercise is one of the 5 things successful people do before 8 am.

It is thought that morning exercise gives you the energy and sense of accomplishment, which psych you up for any challenge the day can throw. While I think this is true, I also believe it can apply to any part of the day, not just the morning.

Personally, I tend to do my exercise in the evening because that’s when my real challenge begins, learning code!

Sometimes after a hard days work, mustering the enthusiasm to wrestle with a programming problem can be nigh on impossible. But I find going for a run or doing a quick workout help me overcome this. Why? Again, like I mentioned earlier, it gives me the energy boost I need when I flagging from parent life. And it fire’s me up with a positive ready to take on the world mentality.

Doing an evening workout does help me, but granted, it can be hard to get started when you are feeling particularly exhausted from the day. That’s where the power of music comes in!

4) The power of MUSIC

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Like a lot of people, I love music, but for me, it’s more than just entertainment. It can be a very useful tool to get me up, moving and motivated to take on the next challenge.

Have you ever listen to music while working out or going for a run? And did you notice that while you were listening to music you ran a little bit faster, or pushed a little bit hard? I can honestly say I have. And that’s because music has such a profound effect on our brains.

A great number of studies have been carried out looking into the links between music and performance. Many look the impact of music on exercise motivation. But personally, I find the results are applicable to motivation in general.

To give you a real sense of the power of music. Back in 2012, Dr Costas Karageorghis of Brunel University in London, one of the world’s leading experts on the psychology of exercise music, wrote that one could think of music as “a type of legal performance-enhancing drug.”. I feel that statement speaks for itself.

To give you a quick summary, music is said to reduce fatigue, alter the brain to a state of excitement, have relaxing effects, improve motor coordination, and act as a distraction from pain.

When I listen to music as a motivational tool I certainly notice that I become more alert and enter into a state of readiness. However, it does depend a lot on the type of music you are listening to! You’re not going to feel alert in the slightest if your listening to a slow jam. You need something with some energy so you can essentially psych yourself up.

Then next time you are struggling to move from the sofa, whether you need to workout or code. Trying popping your headphones in and hitting play on your favorite energizing track!

Businessman character meditating - Designed by Freepik5) VISUALIZE your life in X number of year

Granted, this one may sound like absolute nonsense, and possibly a bit hippy-dippy, but hear me out!

It can really help to visualize your life in the future and where you hope to be in the next 2, 3 or even 5 years. Hell, you could go as far as 10 years! Now, why does it help? Well, it tempts you with what is possible IF, and only IF, you put the work in.

I compare it to dangling a carrot in front of a donkey. You know that donkey is going to keep moving forward as long as he sees that carrot. And it’s exactly the same principle.

You need to keep your much-desired dream firmly locked in place to keep you moving forward. Every step is a step closer to reaching your end goal.

However, be aware of the dangers of getting stuck in this dream stage. It is all too easy to say “in 10 year’s everything is going to be amazing because of x, y, z”, without actually taking action towards x, y, z. I’ll admit I have been guilty of this, probably like most people.

But why does this happen? In my onion, by accepting that future you has already achieved your goal, the responsibility shifts from present you to future you.

Subconsciously you believe that it’s all under control because future you is on the case. As a result, you stop worrying so much about taking action because you believe that at some point in the future things will be different.

This is coming from someone who has fallen into that trap. And as much as I wish it were the case, things don’t happen unless you make them happen. So the trick is not to be so arrogant as to think you WILL achieve your goals, but instead, that you COULD.

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