Wordpress & nocode is the gateway drug to coding
Back in 2019, I made a promise to myself that I would really learn how to code that year. Looking back at my journals, I had been making this resolution for the past 2 years before that, but it all but fizzled out after some weeks. I tried going through the tutorials on W3 School, but lost steam after hand-coding two HTML sites. I signed up for a free online course on Python with a local university, but the lecturer was a conceited, disrespectful a**hole, and the course format boring beyond belief. After that, I stopped learning coding altogether for the rest of 2018.
I’m frustrated with the false starts.
2018 was a year of making products and learning how to build, launch, market them. I managed to make 8 minimum viable products. But because of the mad rush each month to make and launch a product, I didn’t have bandwidth to learn coding. The timeline was simply too tight to learn how to code, get down to programming my product, debug, and launch. A common maker refrain is “Just use what you know”, so I went with using what I knew - Wordpress. While the learning from making a product a month was immense and enriching, I fell short on the goal to learn how to code. That was okay at first (not learning coding), because the novelty and fun from being able to finally make products more than made up for that shortfall.
But after 8 products, I’m beginning to feel bored. Bored of using the same technology for every product. Bored of the constraints and limitations to the products I can make. It was hard to customize and create more complex, SaaS-type of products. A good example was a job board I made called Public Design Jobs. After it became inefficient to manually scrape and input new jobs into the job board due to sheer volume, I struggled to find Wordpress plugins to automate the scraping and posting on the job board.
Simply put, my product ambitions had outgrown the tech I know.
In a way, using visual website builders like Wordpress was the gateway drug to me wanting to progress beyond that, and spurred me to start learning coding.
Being able to make products and website made me catch the maker bug, and after that wanting to learn coding came naturally.
Now that's a much better way to want to learn coding, isn't it? Instead of saying you need to be computer or digitally literate, get people infected with the desire to create, and everything else will follow.
Reminds me of this quote by Antoine de Saint—Exupery, author of The Little Prince:
If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.
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