why do I start coding at 66 …

People wonders why I decide to learn how to program at 66. What is the point ?

Photo by luis gomes: https://www.pexels.com/photo/close-up-photo-of-programming-of-codes-546819/
Photo by luis gomes: https://www.pexels.com/photo/close-up-photo-of-programming-of-codes-546819/

why now?

For the sake of full disclosure, I am retired from full-time employment, but that does not mean I stop working. May be my physical activities have reduced in terms of quantity and intensity, my mental exercise has not reduced. I now have more time to do what I like to do rather than what I NEED to do to earn my living.

I always want to be involved in programming. I thought it was the best way to keep my brain working and not getting my hands dirty. I can create things and destroy them if they do not work. Unlike getting woodwork as a hobby, I won’t get yelled at for making my house full of sawdust. All I need is a basic level computer and Internet connection. It does not incur enormous capital investment like photography. It does not take up much space, compares to fixing up vintage car on the opposite end of the spectrum.

my first step

So I embark on my journey to learn to code or programming. My goal is not to develop the best-selling video games to boost up my retirement savings. I am lucky enough that this does not have to be financially self sufficient. I already have the hardware (computing equipment) to start. What I need is to enhance the knowledge side. I need to learn, literally, from scratch. Although I have the basic fundamental mathematical skills as part of my engineering training, this is no way adequate to do coding.

The first natural step is to learn as much as possible from the vast resources available on the Internet, from websites, YouTube, etc. I even enrolled in some online training course. I now have a basic understanding of what I need to start. So I made some progress from “I do not know what I do not know” to “I know what I do not know”.

As I mentioned before, writing blogs has given me the opportunity to learn some technical skills related to coding. I learned how to set up my own domain, WordPress site, some basic HTML coding, writing markdown text, etc.

the next move

To continue on my programming journey, I now have installed Git and some coding editor (Atom, VS codes, etc). I have set up my account on GitHub. I have enrolled some basic course on Python.

I am sure the professional developers will have a laugh when they read these baby steps. However, for me these are substantial progress that I have made. At least, I did not know what these things mean.

I am under no career development or financial pressure that I have to develop a certain program in whatever timeline. From now on, I just have to continue my learning journey, maintain my interest, conquer the challenges and soldier on.

Hopefully, I am in an excellent state to write another update in 12 months’ time.