Learning to Code Today

Duct Tape, fixer of all things!
Ken Mazaika [via Medium]: “Problem #1: You NEED to Learn HTML9 Responsive BoilerStrap JS (or whatever JS Framework is trending today on HackerNews)”

Go read the entire article. There is a lot of truth to what Ken says, in particular, ignoring algorithms in favor of the just learn this thing shortcut. That is a disservice to anyone interested in learning to code. If you’re focused entirely on some “stack” of software that’s popular today, but don’t understand the fundamentals, you’re going to hit a lot of brick walls when you need to move to something different. Moving to a new set of tools is difficult enough, not having a firm foundation only compounds the problem.

Here’s an example from my own experience. I’d like to learn Ruby and Ruby on Rails, but I’d really like to learn Ruby first. Rails is full of magic and that doesn’t sit well with me. I need to understand how things work before I’m willing to use them. Same thing goes for JavaScript. It’s why I bought Douglas Crockford’s JavaScript: The Good Parts, so I could focus on understanding the language without all the garbage piled on top of it. 

I’m not recommending you start there, this is what I need to do to learn new stuff, but if you are just getting started you need to learn the basics before learning today’s hot programming language, or the latest “stack.”

Fundamentals matter.