How I got from being an idiot to an idiot who knows how to program

Bobby Robin
4 min readMar 9, 2022

Like every other superhero story, mine started with me complaining about my cereal being too soggy. “I mean if they’re supposed to be kept in a bowl of milk, shouldn’t they be designed to be milk-proof or something!”. Naturally, my family, along with every other sentient lifeforce on planet Earth chose to completely ignore my perfectly valid point. My sister drowned out my whining by turning up the TV volume. The weather reporter wearing a sharply trimmed blue blazer said, “There’s a storm approaching from the north with winds picking up speeds to 40 miles per hour. It is strongly advised to stay home during nightly hours.
It’ll never rain tonight.”, I exclaimed rolling my eyes, “It is the sunniest day in the history of the human race.”, gesticulating with my spoon for effect.

Three hours and forty-two minutes later.
The storm raged outside like the apocalypse was nigh. I was at the library working on a script for a play when the world suddenly decided to tear itself apart. A total blackout ensued leaving me all alone in the massive halls of the
library with my laptop screen the only source of illumination. I finished up with the script and looked at my watch.
8:04 PM

Shelves of books embraced in darkness
Photo by Henry Be on Unsplash

Couldn’t get back home until the rain died down. Had a lot of time to kill, so I went to the one place where I could find people who actually agrees with my soggy-cereal theory.

The internet.

I bounced from links to links until I finally landed on a travel blog. What piqued my interest was not the actual content, but the effects and transitions of the page (UI/UX — if you’re fancy). So I did a quick google search on parallax effect and copy/pasted the code into an editor. Now the code might as well have been Japanese, but I really didn’t care because when I opened the HTML file my very first webpage sprung to life and it was the best feeling in the world. So I delved deeper into the three main parts of web design-
HTML (markup), CSS (styling) and Javascript (logic).

Two books on web development beside a vase.
Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

Tip: If you’re a total beginner at programming, I’d advise you to start with Javascript. (Not that it’d be easy, but trying to learn something like C++ or Java would be like taking a gunshot to the head, and learning Javascript would be like watching Donald Trump trying to dance. Slow and painful).
Now there’s a common misconception that you’d have to be a math wizard or something to become a programmer and I have effectively debunked that theory by flunking every math test that is humanly possible. This doesn’t mean that it was easy to figure things out, but I’ve always stayed persistent in my efforts and never given up.
Tip: People usually say- stick to just one thing and master it. But I’ve often found the opposite to be true. I’ve discovered and learned a lot more by jumping around and trying out new technologies and frameworks like game design, backend engineering, and mobile development. This gave me a much broader view of the landscape of software development.

The words “Passion led us here” engraved on the sidewalk.
Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

Final thoughts
I suppose, in the end, the amount of time and effort you spend on mastering a new craft ultimately boils down to your end objective. For me, it wasn’t to get employed at a tech giant like Google or Amazon (Although that would be nice). It was simply to create something just for the sake of making something that people would love and enjoy.
One last tip I would like to give you is — to do what you love. What you love need not be necessarily easy but as long as you’re happy with what you are making, you’re in the right path.

“Everything is theoretically impossible until it is done.”
— Robert A Heinlein