Coding. The final frontier.


But not really. It's just ONE of many paths someone can take in life.

For me, coding came early. I wasn't good at it. I don't think many people are naturally great programmers, it's a mental mindshift that's honestly not easy to adopt when you first start.

Luckily, when I was a kid I had youth on my age. Today, I see a lot of people getting into coding in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s. If I'm being blunt: it's not easy. I get that... but if you're reading this, just keep at it! It gets easier over time just like every other skill in life.

How coding gave me career freedom

Coding started as a hobby for me. Then turned into some freelancing as a teenager. Then I got into startups and the web development agency life style.

Yes, you heard me right. I've worked for myself, for others, and my own companies. But it gets better.

I've also worked in different countries including:

  • The US
  • Mexico
  • Canada (where I'm from, so this doesn't count)
  • The UK
  • Northern Ireland
  • Republic of Ireland

And soon that list is going to grow to include many other countries. But this isn't a brag post, so enough of that nonsense.

Coding allowed me to support myself when I was having financial difficulties in my life as a freelancer. It let me start my own companies and fund them on my own. It helped me get through the hard times of startup life when we don't quite know what the offer is and if the market values us enough fill our banks with ramen noodles and RedBull (Should I get a case of RedBull for dropping a name like that? Someone message them for me!)

I've been able to do a lot of cool things, like start a business that failed.. and financially survive it with relatively low damage (not counting the mental implications).

But coding is more than money.

Being able to code or program has let me explore adjacent industries, offer advice, and understand how technology in general works. Ever open an app that just doesn't work? Knowing how the code works gives special insight into why it might be broken. Knowing that alone makes living with technology easier.

That's just the tip of the iceberg.

It's about demand

The world is hungry for good programmers. Not just juniors. If you are a junior dev, keep plugging away and growing your skills! (Tip: Solve real world problems for real people, you'll learn faster).

I have people asking me to work with them all the time. I simply cannot say yes to everybody — it's a real problem. It's a good problem, but still a problem. But as long as I have laptop and internet access.. guess where I can work?

Anywhere. Seriously.

And if you get a job in tech, you can move sideways to other companies fairly quickly (within 1-2 years, usually). And because so many jobs are remote (working from home!) it doesn't matter where you live. Or move to. Or want to move to. The only thing that changes in your day to day job as a coder is your timezone.

Think about that... think about your last job. Could you do it from anywhere in the world? Could you go to New Zealand and work? Australia? Sweden? Cuba? {insert 180 other country names}

The best time to learn to code

... was about 20 years ago. The second best time is today.

It's not an overnight success story. It takes time and hard work. It takes powering through frustration and struggling with hard problems that stretch the limits of your brain. It takes learning new things every single day for the rest of your life. It takes admitting you don't know everything, and being able to ask for help. It's not as easy as it sounds.

But if you put the effort in, you can have the flexible life you've always wanted.

Oh and did I mention it tends to pay pretty good compares to other industries?

What should you learn first?

Well.. I work in web development. The #1 thing you need to know is HTML. But as general advice, here's what I would recommend for everybody:

  • Learn HTML first.
  • Then learn some JavaScript. Just the basics is enough to make your brain flexible.
  • Then learn Python.
  • Then start making websites for your friends and family. Solve their real problems. Treat them like real clients even if they aren't paying you for your work. You'll learn more this way than by doing tiny projects that come with a Udemy course.

Ready to learn to code?

Check out my courses page to get started on Udemy or Skillshare for as little as $10.