the blog of Tina Hui

Learning to Code: Week 2…I’m HOOKED.

Posted on March 21st, by Tina in Uncategorized. No Comments

After the initial hesitation and intimidation of all those numbers and characters…beyond the syntax and many rules….coding is turning out to be so much unexpected FUN!

I’m still a newbie noob and might always be but with each new bit of code I learn, I keep wondering why and how people forgot to tell this former gamer, puzzle lover, linguistics major, artist and card player that coding will be a lot of strategy, addictive challenges met with solutions and so much amazing creation?

First things first…so many published articles and programs are cost effective, straightforward and incredibly well written that are available now that I wonder what the heck took me so long in the first place. Second, if you’re at all into puzzles or languages this can get to be a TON of fun. Yes, there’s an incredible amount of vulnerable delicateness to writing code…scripts are highly involved and yes you’ll be writing yourself your own little glossary and cheat sheets to keep rules you keep fumbling straight but practice as the author of Learn Python The Hard Way and Jeff Lindsay, my first code tutor ever, says over and over again, does make tedious perfection.

I can’t tell you how strange it can be when you’re learning and you actually discover that you are retaining the tools and skills you’ve learned. If you’re trying to learn to code too perhaps you can relate to the frustration of needing to refer back to your notes for a specific character you missed or some formation you botched. Hey at least it’s turning out that the copiousness in which I take notes is finally being rewarded, because of all the languages and subjects I have studied of which copiousness may or may not have been exactly necessary, in the instance of coding, I’m finding that the notes are actually critical and details rewarded.

If you’re ever curious about coding or just want to learn…do it. Forget the many reasons to do so or not to, give it a shot. Why not? It’s always a good thing to at least learn as little or as much about any curiosity. Maybe you discover you hate something and maybe you discover a passion or at least some solutions or some “useless” piece of information that will inevitably at least be amusing or useful to reference at some later date. Because the point of life and the gift of being human is to try, to experience, to love and be passionate about things, to be amused, to muse, to be curious, hypothesize, discuss, share and experiment and to pass the stories and lessons on – and to enjoy all the trial and error and all the successes that make up the beauty of experiencing life and work and discover new things about your self.

For me, this path of dedicating some time to learn some basic code elements has me discovering that I find coding to be interesting and am loving learning the new languages while being more appreciative of all the code that others have created and shared that exists and makes up our world increasingly. This post in itself exists because a visionary I have had the chance to befriend, Matt Mullenweg, the founding developer of WordPress and the founder of Automattic, the company behind had a passion for “making the web a better place.”  Wordpress came to fruition as an idea which become a labor of love and of a lot of patience, creativity and dedication to detail and function.  A team of likeminded entrepreneurs came together to help make it the successful tool used by countless people daily to communicate thoughts and ideas and that team continues to constantly innovate and think and create and educate on how to empower people to express ideas, share and create on the web better.  THAT is amazing.  It’s inspiring and motivating and incredible.  Thank you for following that passion Matt.

To be honest, remembering and sharing Matt’s story with WordPress was a blessing blended in a writing block and brainstorm’s disguise.  I’m trying hard to fight not being discouraged with my own ideas for a company.  That’s the secret that startup folks carry…we carry the burden of  constant worry…every day has frequent highs and lows.  No two days are identical and this job of early stage stealth CEO which I love is stressful, there are countless unknowns, tasks to accomplish, roles to fill, resources needed and things to learn and navigate.  Some days the person getting in the way most is my own self, fears of failure, feelings of dismay in finding amazing team members who also share the same passion and visions to create something that makes a difference in the impact it makes and the discouragement as well as the encouragement that comes from so many infinite factors.

Some days sticking with consulting and advising other startups and projects for companies or forgoing the uncertainty of clients who can pay and getting a full time job again sounds like a really good idea because it isn’t half as risky and isn’t half as stressful and frankly it’s a lot more stable and I miss having coworkers and people to trust and be sounding boards on ideas.  The great thing about being able to consult for and advise startups, non profits and companies is that on occasion you get to provide real value to a project that means a lot to the livelihood and success of teams of people who believe in a good, service or cause and sometimes your contributions make a big difference and impact, but if I’m frank, there is a tremendous amount of risk in working with people who are not so fun to work with, who don’t have everyone’s best interests at heart and often if you like to help and take on projects, you end up also working a lot for very little because you believe in people and ideas but they also are struggling to make ends meet.  The reality is that this is a pretty scrappy lifestyle – startups, consulting and non profits in general are delicate and volatile – you never know where the work takes you but it’s also an extremely rewarding profession where you get to be creative, be around incredibly intelligent, interesting and talented people and you get to create things that make a difference.

Lately, I am looking at co-working cafes and places since there really is a value in being surrounded by smart people who you can trust to bounce ideas with for consulting, advising and startup hacking.  In fact, we are searching for a coder right now to join a team keen to bend some rules, create some things that hopefully will make things like jobs and lives better and easier and hopefully make some contributions.  If you are reading this and know someone who will make a great lead engineer or CTO or even are just someone with some coding experience who is a self starter and eager to really put the grease and muscle down to contribute to some ideas that you will also add to, please email me:

Alas, for the time being I need to stop writing and go back to work.  I also need more throw pillows to throw across the room when I mess up while learning to code because it is incredibly frustrating at times when you misstep one character and your code doesn’t work. Clumsy as I am though, I really like learning to code and it’s pretty fascinating thus far.

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