I've heard and read this statement many times over

And I've also read people screaming as loud as they can, that you shouldn't. There are numerous articles out there already. In fact, they're so numerous I'm not going to bother going over any of them or comparing them. You can use google to do that.

But one thing is for certain, and both sides will agree. Learning to program is freaking hard. Some people say you need a CS degree. Others will tell you that getting a degree doesn't teach you how to program, or to code. But it will teach you the logic of programming and development. Coding bootcamps will teach you how to code, but they wont teach you the logic. Online courses, some say, will give you neither.

I recently read an article from some douche canoe, that was telling everyone to NOT learn to code. He states "I would no more urge everyone to learn to program than I would urge everyone to learn to plumb." WTF is wrong with this clown? I would suggest everyone learn a little bit about everything. Plumbing, electricity, lawn care, cooking, cleaning, etc. Don't become one of those people in life that are "Oh, I have a problem in life. I shall pay someone else to fix my problem". Do Not Be That Guy!!!!! Become a better human being, do it yourself. Ask a friend to help, research it, try it. If you fail, you've still learned. Good for you. For what its worth, I felt the author in this article was fearful of his profession becoming saturated and diluting his pay.

I strongly believe that every man should learn a skill in life. One that is not inherited, cannot be taken away, and takes a passion from within to master.

Of all the ways to learn, its an easy choice for me. I'm not young enough (this means I'm too old) to go back to college. Bootcamps are expensive and aren't that available in Dallas Texas. Plus I have a full time job, family, house, etc. that I can't take 3 months off to do. So this leaves me the online version. There are some online bootcamps, such as LambdaSchool (these guys are awesome), that will let you go through the school and pay zero tuition until you're hired (some conditions apply). And other online bootcamps that you're required to pay upfront. Not all camps are the same, so do your serious research before jumping.

And for me, there are self paced courses. I've went through some of them in my free time and have really enjoyed it. I love that feeling of finally breaking through and figuring out the puzzle. Right now I'm going through a Coursera course for Learn to Program: The Fundamentals. The course is from the University of Toronto. This is kind of neat for me, because they do many things that make me to do something differently. Such as testing in Celsius.

My problem, as I've written about before, is that I'll go through spurts of buckling down and focusing on a course. A few weeks later, I'll get busy in life and miss days. Which turn into weeks. After awhile, I'll guilt trip myself and I'll start looking back into a class. But not the one I left off at. This time I went back to my list, and looked for something that was more than pounding on a keyboard. Something to help me "see the light". How to think programmatically. This class is a beginner level, and they use Python 3 for the programming language. This made me happy, as many people say Python is a great first language. So to me, 2 birds...1 stone.

Being older, it takes a lot more effort to think differently. While I understand programming requires a different mind set, changing my thought patterns proves to be extremely difficult. I find myself trying to compare the new paths of thinking, to the old ones. Kind of like how people try to compare one language, word for word, with another language. And anyone that knows more than one language knows they aren't word for word.

I also know that one online course isn't going to lift the cover of darkness for me. So I plan on to keep taking these courses, classes, etc. until its someone normal for me. Listening to podcasts has given me a familiarity to some of the terms used. But its also shed the light on so many things I've never heard of. But that's why I'm doing this.

I do have a list of online courses I want to go through eventually. So here's to hoping that I can get off my ass long enough to start, and finish, them all at least once.

Here's a brief list of some sites that offer learning software development/programming/coding (no, they're not the same). Some are free, some require tuition. And this is far from a complete list. So if you know of more, please drop me a message and let me know. I want your help.

Quick shout out to those that help our military veterans help themselves.

Codecademy
edx
udemy
treehouse
freecodecamp
viking code school
khan academy
coursera