Myth One – Do gender, and cultural background affect our ability to learn coding?
Shing: As a developer and mentor of Le Wagon for the last two years, do you see how coding or problems the students encountered got them emotional in the process of learning to code?
Jake: Coding is fun for people who like to solve problems. I relate to that so it's a lot of fun for me. I like taking a problem, breaking it down into its components and causes and finding a solution.
It reminds me of when I first arrived in China and met my roommate at the time. He was a skateboarder, the first I'd ever spent much time around. I'd previously had the misconception that skaters, once they've been practicing for long enough, can eventually just perform tricks perfectly on command. Imagine my surprise to learn that even my former roommate, who has been skating for over a decade, still spends most of his time lying on the pavement when trying to get a trick. It might take 5 or more tries before he can get it right.
Furthermore, one pitfall that students need to be wary of is to avoid getting emotional when they encounter an error. I've seen some students whose first reaction when they see an error message is to be upset that something went wrong. I encourage them to just take a deep breath and realize this is the reality of being a developer. It's completely normal and they just need to keep calm and debug on.
Myth Two – Coding is only for engineers and technology enthusiasts because it is SO difficult?
S: Just like most processes of learning and inventing, people across the world, perhaps in China, see coding is designed for the few. Only the best of the best would learn it. What is the biggest myth in the digital and coding world that blocks peoples’ future prosperity and career development in their self-started journey?
J: In my experience, the biggest and most harmful myth surrounding coding seems to be that it is fundamentally difficult by nature. Coding, like anything else, varies in difficulty depending on skills and thought processes that the learner brings to the table.
Code is not fundamentally difficult. It is not only for a specific class or type of person. It is a tool that anyone can pick up and gain substantial benefit from.
Learning code, with its myriad of different languages and frameworks, teaches one to learn and quickly adapt to new problem-solving environments.
It promotes mental adaptability and analytical ability that most students get only in small doses in other fields of study.
Knowing that the purpose of technology is to reach the potentials of our lives as human beings, coding plays an invisible and fundamental role in some of the most important aspects of our life. From online shopping and paying bills, to transportation and ordering take-out, some of us are using software daily or even hourly, while others are transforming lives through digital skills or coding.