I’ve been trying to learn how to write web applications for about 4 months now, at the age of 21.
I remember trying to start learning years ago, at 14 or 15 years old, without much success. Between school, and work, and scouts, and girls, and whatever other stuff went through my mind at the time (including a very low self-confidence and an inclination to slack) I just never made it past the first half of the PHP book.
It’s not that it wasn’t interesting. I’m a break-apart kind of guy – always taking apart everything I can get my hands on, to understand how it works inside (and wrecking it at times) – computers were the same, I wanted to understand what was going on inside.
But the reason why I really got into it was because of the fame and the glory.
I wanted to be Mark Zuckerberg; a young kid, with a laptop and a fast internet connection, who can conquer the world. I wanted to be Steve Jobs; introducing cool new stuff at conventions packed with thousands of anticipating industry leaders, and getting praises from everyone. I Did It For All The “Wrong” Reasons. It wasn’t passion, it wasn’t the joy of learning, it was me wanting the “Star Effect” – me wanting to be “The Guy Who Made It”.
However, is it really important why did you start doing something useful? I mean, yeah sure – it might not last for long. But the fact that I picked it up again, even 5 years later, means the seed has been planted. When I’ve tried to learn something once, the experience is “logged in” in the supercomputer that is my brain, and stored for later use. Even after I’ve failed to learn to program, I looked at websites differently. Suddenly all the actions that took place when I clicked a link or posted something on Facebook had a different taste.
So, maybe it’s not about why or when you start, it’s about whether at all you pick up the guitar and start playing. Don’t you think?