If You’re a Shy Bee, You Might Want To Ignore This Newbie Coder Advice

Attending as many in-person workshops, events, and meetups as possible is not always the best approach to learning how to code.

Gracia Kleijnen
4 min readFeb 13, 2021

Toddler touching the Apple mouse, looking up at a computer screen. The young one barely reaches over the tabletop.
Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

The magic of the Black Box

She pulled the door closed behind her. Awoken from his afternoon nap, he met her in the hallway. “I got us some Club Mates”, she tells him and hands him one of the bottles. He stares at it and recognizes his favorite flavor. “Nice.” Still lethargic, he slouches toward his ergonomic chair and drops himself on it. Here complex queries are crafted to exist in harmony like the chords of a catchy song. Just a few test runs in, and all bugs from the day before have ceased to exist. He exterminated them. Because that’s what programmers do.

Hello World

Mystery attracted me to coding. If you did well, I knew it could lead to a fat paycheck too, as in any profession. The allure of controlling your computer (and if you’re crafty, your neighbor’s computer too) from a Matrix-like black box with lines of code was too strong to ignore. They call the box the command line, and for good reason. You are the commander.

Past-me who witnessed this sorcery at first hand decided that I too had to learn this black magic. I started from zero. I thought it would be easy. I was delusional and dead wrong.

But where does one start without a wand, brewing pot, and a pointy hat? Industry veterans advised me to go to as many meetups, events, workshops, and otherwise in-person gatherings as I could to:

  • Show my face
  • See what others are working on
  • Learn how they approach problems
  • Practice coding myself
  • And to build up a network in this new playing field.

Also, if you’re just starting out: you only need one company to give you a chance at that first developer job, no matter if the title is junior or intern.

Following the Path of the Workshops

From his ergo chair, the wizard, also a weathered programmer, lifted his arm. It pointed to…

Gracia Kleijnen

Sheets maker. Comic illustrator. Words on relationships, mental health, productivity & self-development in 35+ pubs. 📕Book author: https://bit.ly/Gracia-Book