When I first started coding, I was lucky enough to have a coder friend who was willing to be on call when I inevitably needed help.
He was my guru on the mountain. An enlightened being, one with the computer universe, he had been coding since birth and knew absolutely everything!
As I was learning, I would frequently get stuck and frustrated. Desperate, after hours (or minutes) of banging my head against a wall I would turn to my guru.
“Dear all knowing one, please share your wisdom with me!” I would plead.
“Sure my fair haired child, I can help you” he would say. “Here is the answer to the question you ask.”
And so it went, I would start working on something, come to an impasse, turn to him for help, he would give me the answer, I would go back to work, come to another impasse…
And so it went about 15 or 50 times before I started to notice something: everytime I went to my guru for answers, he would send back a link to some blog post or another that explained what to do.
And then it dawned on me…he didn’t know all the answers! Turns out my guru was just googling for ‘em!
Better yet, I realized I could THAT. I might now know so much about coding, but I DID know how to use the Google.
This is the single most important thing that you have to know about coding.
You have to know how to find the answers.
What made my guru all knowing was not being all knowing, but knowing how to find all the answers.
And guess what? That’s not so hard to learn! In fact, I am going to guess that you already know how to do it.
So next time you are facing a technical challenge you don’t know how to solve, do what every developer from Mark Zuckerberg to your kid sister does: Google it!
Already good at the google? Then start learning to code!
Adda is not only the CEO and founder of Skillcrush, but also an instructor. With her self-taught tech skills, she’s worked on building sites for the New York Times, ProPublica and MTV.