Video Transcript, Enjoy 🙂
Aziz: First of all, tell me about yourself,what are you up to? What you’re doing these days? And why did you decide to learn how to code?
Ashley: So these days I’m still currently involved in my previous endeavor which is real estate, but I’m extensively every damn putting hours into coding. I haven’t obviously had the time to actually create something solid because I’m still in the process of learning but as I’m learning, I’m kinda creating draft here and there and getting in to the hang of something that I have on my mind.
Aziz: So what do you have in mind? What was your motivation to start learning code? Why not just stay with real estate?
Ashley: It really kinda goes back a few years back around 3, 4 years ago I was still in university and I was meddling between the courses and programs that I had no idea what I wanted to do.
The idea was to go to university, finish that and become something of yourself.
That’s when I met my current business partner and we started doing real estate. When we started doing real estate, We had the need to create a website and obviously we have an online presence to advertise our project or working on things like that.
And although for the majority of the projects, I used WordPress, because it was easier copy and paste for those kinds of project but I wanted to have more of a control in terms of customization and things like that.
So what I did is, I went to the bookstore and I picked up a really big book on HTML alone. So I’m like okay “this must be a good book” so I went home and I looked through it very quickly and fall asleep right on it and I couldn’t, it was just so overwhelming – Lots of unnecessary information now that I look at it what’s put in to that book.
Although I did learn some useful HTML tags from there, I didn’t really take it much further than that for the next few years.
Next few years, I was working on WordPress and teaching myself through trail and error. I did learn obviously some coding, some tags, how things worked in here and there, but I never got too deeply into it.
Now about a year ago, I’ve started coming up with web development ideas and app ideas which has really started making me think about creating something with raw code.
And my first thought was okay, I wanna create something really fast and what’s the best way than me having to learn, it would take a long time so I thought of having someone else do it for me. Right? so I looked around then considered hiring a contractor to do the work for me.
But looking at the pros and cons of that, I kinda saw more cons as in and obviously you have to keep paying them to maintain and create and it would never necessarily be exactly what you want, somebody else having to do, as apposed to me doing it myself.
In addition to that, I had more than one idea. So it’s not like every time I have an idea, I don’t wanna have to put it in the hands of somebody else. I wanna have my own ability to create it.
So I have gone online and I have started looking up for resources and just starting to learn how to code. So now I’m here maybe, few months I have been really extensively doing it and putting kinda a lot of hours in to it and that’s also around that time that’s how I came across iLoveCoding.
And what was really different about iLoveCoding from that book long time ago is that you cut all the clutter and out and you focus only on important things. Even other things that I found online, other resources they focus on a lot of different languages and you’re like “Ugh, what do I do, which one do I choose?”
And it confuses the heck out of you.
Aziz: Right, so you have brought up many good points… Let me start with the first one that you mentioned is the book… And, that’s one of the things… a book is great but a book will focus on one topic and it’s gonna go very deep.
But it’s unnecessary, it’s gonna go about, it’s gonna have about 20 pages just about the history and how it came about, who freaking cares?
You just wanna know, how do I go from the minimal effort, how can I put a page together and have a success under my belt immediately, and the book will not give you that very quickly. Reading a book as a reference is good, because if you wanna look up something, a book is fine.
Or there are resources online like W3Schools, they have a lot of references It’s like documentation. Oh, does the image tag have a border properties? Yes or no! You can just look it up very quickly…
So one thing is, you do not wanna memorize that. The way I came about that is Einstein said that “do not commit to memory anything that you can look up in a book” But these days, you can look up on the internet.
So a book strategy for a newbie is not the perfect path, If you have that as a resource and started off to get your juices flowing. That’s a great thing so thank you for mentioning that.
Ashley: And that’s why I left university, I cut it short to do extensively my real estate, that’s what the idea is, you fill up your head with the bunch of memorized information and then at the end of a day and you also don’t know how to apply it practiaclly. You teach how to apply that information that you learned without the unnecessary memorization but into practical scenario.
Correct, exactly… a great point. The second point that you also mentioned, you mentioned about hiring developers.
And that’s actually I was in the same shoes as you were in. That I had this idea and my motivation was that I wanted to become rich. Right, all these companies are billions of dollars and stuff like that.
Why can’t I just create a stupid app and put my heart into it and then sell it for whatever lot of money. So that was my motivation. And I did that. I hired a bunch of developers I had them coded. I even launched it, the idea did not become successful eventually.
That’s besides the point but I had spend $20,000 dollars outsourcing stuff and after I had lost this company, I felt out of control because I did not know how to code and I was at mercy of my developer, and one particular time, the developer disappeared for one month.
And I was like “I don’t even, I have the code but I don’t know what to do with it” So that just made me fearful that I am at the mercy of somebody else. Sometimes if you gets hit by a bus or whatever right, whatever happens.
I’m just gone. If you have a fight with your developer whatever, he can just put your site down live, right? You’re putting some trust in somebody else that you don’t know. So that’s the second point that you make really well. So thank you.
Do you have something in mind or I can move on to the next question?
Ashley: You can go ahead
Aziz: Okay, so you talked about your motivation and talked about why you joined iLoveCoding to learn and launch your app idea. So why did you decide to learn from iLoveCoding vs others?
Because of course, you don’t know about iLoveCoding before you joined, you know after. So why did you decide to join?
Ashley: Yeah, I do learn from other resources because I like to get the idea from multiple source and kinda make up my mind. Some things are mentioned in other places that aren’t mentioned in the same resource and I take points from everything.
And what I do like about iLoveCoding a lot and it was the first course that I actually ever signed up for is that like I said you get to the point straight, you don’t waste my time or I guess other people’s time who sign up with the none sense detail.
You also very well actually show how to create something of substance and you don’t teach all those kinds of languages that aren’t necessarily required. When I went to university, I took one computer coding course and the beginning of it was Python.
And right now I can’t really imagine choosing Python, I’m sure there’s way you could use it that are benefit but at this point, I feel like I’d choose any other language but that.
Aziz: Right, interesting, that’s great! And that’s again a very good point. Getting to the first success under your belt is extremely important.
Another point that you made that although it’s not totally beneficial to me as a founder of iLoveCoding, but you make a very good point which I’m totally for is that you look in multiple resources.
And it doesn’t mean that you just sign up for multiple courses, you may sign up for one or two but you wanna keep on googling stuff.
So let’s say if you are not figuring out this particular point because iLoveCoding or any other resources, resource is not a Bible. It will not give you everything
And it shouldn’t. If it does, then it becomes that stupid book that is not helpful so it will give you the path, it will give you a lot of necessary information.
But there’s gonna be points where you’re gonna get stuck, and for that you simple google and you might come across certain blog post, certain tutorial, some other courses and you’ll sign up for that course and read certain blogs and you will get that clarification there.
So one resource does never work for anybody even world class people they will have multiple coaches. A coach specializing in wrestling, a coach specializing in jiu-jitsu or whatever.
So you need that broadness. And thanks for bringing it up.
Ashley: Also, I have to add that I really like the analogies you use often. I’m a visual learner so for me, it helps really put the picture into my mind the understand in that way
Aziz: Right, again a very good point. I love this and I wanna tell you that I’m not putting these things in your head, you are bringing these things out which has been my motivation.
My another principle that I have is that people, as when we are born as children, we build knowledge on our baseline knowledge that we have…
So when we’re kids, we have no knowledge so we poke around and touch things and we say “Oh I can feel this, this is soft, this is hard” and we build that understanding and then if you wanna build another level of understanding.
Let’s say in coding, which is gibberish code like you don’t know what that means.
You have to, you have a baseline of understanding of the world of the door of the computer of the hands or fingers
You use that basic understanding, build those analogies in to the real world of coding, so you build that knowledge from your baseline knowledge and analogies are the best.
Or not the best but one of the handy tools that you can build that knowledge from your baseline knowledge. So the analogy is a big thing that I use a lot.
Ashley: Exactly and the reason it makes me feel so comfortable is because back in school, maths, physics and things like that in my opinion weren’t my strongest subject. But I think it’s the way that it’s delivered.
Because that’s so similar in line with coding and computer development, when I looked at code I was like “Ugh, what is this?” I cannot do this, it’s not something I’m good at.
But then the way you present it, it makes me feel very confident and then when I’m writing the code and understanding it, it’s really something, it’s a way of learning in the way of teaching that makes a huge impact on how you observe that information.
Aziz: Exactly, I am so happy that you are bringing this up and explaining it so well, and that’s been my motivation that people, it’s not about coding. It looks so alien, what is that? tht’s not English, what is that?
Know what it is, it just makes sense then. So it’s the process of communication and that’s not done well in colleges I have taken multiple classes and it’s just, you know It’s just waiting for it to be done. I’m a computer geek but I couldn’t understand it.
So thank you for bringing that up. What is the next question, let me look at my list.
Aziz: You already mentioned what’s the best part about iLoveCoding.
So what is your next goal? So my last two questions.
What is your next goal in journey with coding and stuff like that? You have learned certain aspects tell me what you have learned so far and what is your next goal?
Ashley: I’m pretty in depth now I think I have learned quite enough or not enough I guess there’s never enough cause you can always learn more. But I have learned a lot of HTML & CSS, I’m in the process of learning SASS and things like that.
And I’ve looked at the calculator app as well, which is very neat
So that’s where I am now. Now that I feel like I can more or less create, I’ve also learned bootstrap, I create like an outline and the visual part, I need to create the functionality, behavior and learn more about the back-end.
Aziz: Right, that’s awesome. So that is what you have done so far. So how confident are you that you will achieve what you’re set to do.
Aziz: That’s awesome and why is that? Why do you have that kind of confidence? Because people who may be listening to this, may not have that confidence. They might be totally lost like you were a few years ago
So why do you have that confidence now that you didn’t have a few years ago.
Ashley: Because I guess after learning a quite a bit, and now instead of reading and you know the Facebook posts of my friends maybe back in the day, I like to go on a website and just click view source or things like that and just go through their code and read that instead and figure out how things are done.
And the fact that I have that understanding now and I just play around and kind of samples of what i wanna create eventually, I’m typing my own code and it appears as I type it when I click on live preview in brackets for example.
It actually shows as I imagined it, the fact I’m getting it and it’s working. That’s what gives me that confidence and every time I learn something new and that works, I’m proving my skills.
It’s just a constant up ladder, and I’m keep climbing the ladder up and up that’s giving me more and more confidence. Plus learning is so exciting.
Aziz: Oh my god, you make so many great points. I wanna expand on those. You actually made four points and I don’t know if I’m gonna remember all that.
So first thing you said that the reason you have the confidence is because you can simply view the source and then you know how things are done.
So now if people are listening to this, they may say “viewing source”? That’s all gibberish but since you have this practice, you know, since you know how to read English.
You can pick up any English book and start reading it and after sometime, it can make sense of it. So the web is specifically HTML & CSS.
All the code that is on the website is downloaded on your computer and then rendered by the browser and then when you have that fundamental understanding, you are, you have more empowerment to see how things are done.
So iLoveCoding will give you that empowerment because you will see, you will get the basics and then see how the basics are turned into something and when you know the formula, you can see other formulas.
And that’s number one point. The number two point that you made is the Live Preview.
So when you’re using the tool brackets in your case, you can use other tools and editors as well. But brackets has this neat feature called “live preview” so as you’re coding, you see something and the feedback loop is instant so you do something and you see the results and you know what you did wrong, you know what did right.
And when humans have instant feedback, that’s addicting because in school, let’s say in school you were four years in school or you go three months for school.
And you give your test and you give it to your teacher and after 2 weeks or one week, you get the result and there’s a delay and when you shorten that delay, when you short the feedback cycle that’s when the excitement of learning happens.
So that’s the second point you make. Learning is excitement I already mentioned that and you mentioned one another great point which I’m forgetting.
So that’s fine, I’m just picking those details as you’re saying.
Oh and the other point that you mentioned is that you’re keeping on climbing the ladder and I wanna make everyone aware that there’s no top of the ladder.
It really isn’t…
You will get to a point that where you feel very comfortable like I know everything I can build this, I can build that.
That in a few years or months you’ll find another person who likes knows another area which is really good Like you are learning into SaaS.
Tomorrow you may learn jQuery then learn you know Angular then React then data science. The topics are endless and you will always keep on learning.
But of course, you will be faster at learning those concepts because your baseline is there and you’re gonna build on top of that baseline.
Awesome, awesome points.
My last question is, what advice do you have for people listening to aspiring developers from your journey?
Ashley: One of the things is that definitely don’t get discouraged. Like there’s time like even with WordPress I couldn’t figure something out. It was bugging me but there are so many resources out there like StackOver flow.
There’s so many solutions and any problem you may see, you have tons of support. Even from you, what I really like is that you provide support, you provide the live calls and the 1 on 1 call and things like that.
So that amount of support is very very nice. Well, it’s definitely encouraging for anybody who is starting out.
And what I really like is that you give kinda a map or a big picture of things as well.
For me, that’s something really helpful. I can’t just narrow down okay that’s HTML, that’s CSS etc. I need to see kinda how everything falls into place and functions.
You provide that and once I think people learn and see that, that will also be an encouraging factor.
Aziz: Absolutely, great point again.
Aziz: So just for people who don’t know what StackOverflow is, I wanna clarify. So StackOverflow is a very popular website, the free website, where you, anybody can ask a very technical question, detailed technical question.
And the StackOverflow community is gonna respond If you liked that answer, you can accept that answer and just like you have that particular problem and posted your question.
Hundreds and thousands of other people have the exact same problem so it’s a shared resource and the way every developer is gonna discover it.
But as you’re developing, you’re gonna come across the certain problem you copy the error message, paste it into google and eventually, you’re gonna land to a resource that StackOverflow is a web page with that question that you asked.
And with an exact answer. So that’s a resource available for the collective knowledge of developers so that’s pretty much it. I mean that’s all I wanted to talk to you about
Any thoughts? Any finishing thoughts that you wanna mention? Any project that you wanna mention that you’re working so people can visit?
Ashley: Actually, I don’t have anything published right now but in the future, I’ll for sure give you a shout.
Aziz: Okay, cool. I’d love to see your project as well and share it with the community.
Thank you, and thank you for doing this.
Author: Aziz Ali