(From my blog for my company)
If thereâ€™s one thing that hasnâ€™t changed for me from the first day I started writing code until today, about my 500th day, itâ€™s that not knowing where to start is incredibly intimidating. I acutely remember the panic of learning HTML and having no idea how to get my divs to go where I wanted them to go. The concept of setting up a grid system made sense to me, but the execution eluded me for days.
My relief finally came when I had the greatest realization of my young coding life: good lord, there is working code everywhere! Itâ€™s all over the internet! Just find it, copy it, and see how it works and youâ€™re golden! I became a Google, â€śview sourceâ€ť, and â€śinspect elementâ€ť maestro over night, learning structures and logics by reading other peopleâ€™s successful executions. And for a while, this was all I needed. I needed to learn such basic things that just reading and seeing how other peopleâ€™s code executed then editing it to fit my needs was the best thing for me. However, as my skills improved, I found myself lacking the skill to write code from scratch as elegantly as I wanted to. So I started a new system: instead of coping other peopleâ€™s code, I type it out.
When Hunter S. Thompson was working as a copy boy at Time Magazine in 1959, he spent his spare time typing out the entire Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway in order to better understand what it feels like to write a great book. To be able to feel the authorâ€™s turns in logic and storytelling werenâ€™t possible from reading the books alone, you had to feel what it feels like to actually create the thing. And so I have found it to be with coding.
And itâ€™s working. Itâ€™s awesome. I suggest you try it.
Nobody ever learned to become a great writer by reading a dictionary, youâ€™ve got to feel it.