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Hello from the antipode

Been listening to Code Newbie for a couple of months, hoping to get inspired by other unlikely late bloomers and career fugitives.

I really, really, really wanna break into a coding career, but there are so many trees blocking my view of the forest.

So... the point is, where do I start? Any bootcamp recommendations? Free paths? Paid paths?

BIG challenge is that I have six kids with limited me-time. I work around 30 hours per week around family on my graphic design business. I gotta fit in code learning and practice there somewhere, without passing out.

Can't wait to hear from you all!


  • Have tinkered with (but never mastered) JavaScript, Perl, ASP, VBA, ActionScript, PHP, SQL and more.
  • Am spending spare moments on SoloLearn app.
  • Rarely experience quiet + am easily distracted.
  • Rely on caffeine.
  • Have a hot wife (hence the six kids).

Discussion (4)

mccurcio profile image
Matt C • Edited

Hi Brett,
Sorry for the delay; I saw your post and wasn't able to respond until now.

The 'Where do I start?' is the perennial favorite and hands-down winner.

I attempted this question recently. Where Does Everybody Begin

May I suggest 3 steps, ask yourself;

  1. What do you want to do with this new tool or skill? AND
  2. What are your interests? Then
  3. Start learning HTML and CSS. (So many start with FreeCodeCamp)

It's incumbent on you to find what you like about this work/tool/vocation, or whatever you call it. ;))

Personally, my interest started with Stats, so I went toward machine learning and data science. But as you can see on Condenewbie, a lot of people have headed toward web development or full-stack.

As an aside: I feel that the computer teaching world does not present the big picture enough. Hell, I know people that love IT management and security work. So it's a wide net.

Getting back to my list of top three tasks, I suggest starting with HTML/CSS because it's everywhere. Changing doc layouts, structures, and fonts is so commonplace for everyone. Hell, even Word generates HTML for you now.

Another argument for HTML is it is so easy little kids 10-12 start with it. You can do a ton of stuff with HTML/CSS alone without needing much else to start. One can learn HTML basics in days to weeks. CSS will take longer. But here again, the basic principles are picked up in days to weeks.

On the flip side, others say that starting with Python or C can be helpful to teach one the fundamental science (read: concepts or tools) below the surface. @anitabe404 , Anita, would you like to chime in? ;))

Just my 2 cents,

mogsta profile image
Brett Author

Top notch reply, thank you @mccurcio

I'm lucky in that I've played with coding several times in the past, just a few splashes in various pools to know I love it, but too many pools to know what I love most.

Since writing my original post, I started the FreeCodeCamp journey and have finished the HTML, Basic CSS, Flexbox and Responsive Web Design courses, so I'm on the way! (I'm currently half way through CSS Grid)

I guess until I know where this will lead me, I'll keep following yours and others' advice and keep learning/playing!

I plan to look at SASS next, then maybe Javascript (I tinkered with it years ago, as well as Flash's ActionScript, which was similiar, but trippy at the same time).

Thanks again for your encouragement and advice!

mccurcio profile image
Matt C

Hi Brett,
Happy to help,
Since advice is cheap, I will happily give one more piece. ;))

Checkout and local Uni. tech groups, As you might be aware, has a lot of techie groups.

I have "been to" more than a few meet-ups over the pandemic from groups in England, Boston, Germany and San Francisco or maybe in your country. haha.
What I want to learn is what people in the fields and trenches want/need to stay fresh. It's my reality check.

Thread Thread
mogsta profile image
Brett Author

Holy goodness! Forgive my absolute ignorance, I've never bothered with sites like Meetup cos I'm from a tiny country town where not much happens.

You just woke me up to see the forest amongst the trees - ONLINE! Duh!

So I just joined and I'm overwhelmed with choices :D Thanks again!