Teaching Myself Programming In Ten Years - A Documented Journey (Year 0)

Publish Date - 10th Feb 2021

Last Updated - 3rd Jan 2022

Note: I am started programming with a bit of an "advantage", its not absolute zero. Sorry. Not sorry :)

A Peter Norvig article changed my life.

Peter Norvig wrote a phenominal article article called "Teach Yourself Programming In Ten Years". He argued that programming one cannot learn programming in 30 days or 180 days. It takes 10 years to become good. I agreed because I once had a 7-year career as a Big Data Analyst. I wasn't "good" at that job until year 3 or 4. Good things take time.

I took Peter Norvig's article literally and I decided take the 10 year journey for myself.

If Peter's article changed my life, 50 lines of JavaScript (Node.js) changed my business.

These 50 lines delivered an internal operation required to sell our service. My team no longer needed to wake up at a specific time to execute this operation. The code performed the action perfectly, every single time without fail or down time.

I was hooked on the idea of writing code for my company.

But why would an entrepreneur, at 33 years old, focused on becoming a programmer?

With the advent of online and social media many people have goals and missions that are not their own. We see something online and we want the result of that thing. That is how I became an accountant (my parents told me accountant's make good money). Or an online entrepreneur (I heard entrepreneurs make lots of money).

But programming was the first thing I did, that I enjoyed, for the sake of doing it.

My programming journey will not focus on creating protfolio projects.

I write programs for my company or things I will use personally. As I write this, I am in month 3 of the first year. My hope is that I will write one article to document the journey every year.

For now I will focus on the fundamentals of software enginnering with JavaScipt.

One small caveat: I might be cheating a bit here.

This is a 10 year journey. When I worked as a Big Data Analyst for FTSE 100 companies in London, I became an expert in "Financial Modelling". A financial modeller is essentially an Excel Programmer. I would create custom Excel software for my audience (customers). Excel programming is very like software development.

I had a customer with a need, and I have to fill those needs with an excel program. This is my starting point.

See other posts in this series