Disciples of Code: Decoded, Part 3 -- Discipline as disciples

Discipline is important in learning any new skill.

So you are ready to begin your journey and learn to code, but you don’t know where to begin. Of course, information is free, for those willing to find it, but not all information is as valuable or worthwhile when you are just starting out. At this point, you can’t tell bad code from good. You have no idea whether you should start out by thumbing through some massive tome of seemingly arcane jargon in an attempt to glean some tidbit of understanding, or simply fire up your trusty Internet search engine and dive in head-first.

Here’s where I have to throw out a few caveats. If you want to reap all of the benefits outlined in Part 2 (and many, many more), you’re going to have to put forth a not insignificant amount of effort. You need to learn the correct way of communicating before you can make the machines sing. You need to gain a deep understanding of the methodology and purpose behind each symbol, word, or sentence to be able to fluently and effortlessly convey your own meaning. And all of this takes discipline. You must make the decision now to set aside some time every day to learn and practice, to sharpen and reinforce, to improve. But don’t worry, before you know it, you’ll be writing code in your spare time just for the joy of it. Trust me.

It’s said that if you want to learn the essence of something, mentor with someone who is passionate to the point of obsession about that thing. Surround yourself with others who live, breathe, eat, and sleep the thing which you yearn to understand. Ask questions fearlessly, and accept criticism courageously. Find other who are on a similar journey (and really, we are always on a similar journey). Learning from and teaching your peers will only serve to strengthen your own grasp of the subject matter. You must have discipline in learning. You must be a disciple.

Some say that writing code is an art-form. In fact, I’ve often referred to myself as a ‘code artist’. If this is true, some inherent or implied mystery must exist, as with all art, some deeper meaning self-defined within each of us. Some interpretive quality to our individual experience with code that we carry with us, and convey unto others. While it is true that there will always be someone out there who knows more on a given subject than you, you can rest assured that only you feel and experience code as you do. So let’s take the journey together, and learn from one another, as Disciples of Code.