Some say that every app idea already exists. Every great software company and social network are already built. There is no way to compete with that. So, why learn to code at all?
Instead of arguing the value of code, I believe the assumptions themselves are faulty.
Allow Me For A Moment To Challenge Those Assumptions…
I believe there are still huge opportunities in software.
Do you realize that the smartphone has only existed is it is now for about a decade? There are novel new ideas still created for the phone every day.
What about VR and blockchain? There are tons of things that haven’t started yet.
Every Possible Idea For An App Or Website DOES NOT Exist.
In fact, that VERY SAME idea was had 5, 10, 20, and even 40–50 years ago when computers were in their infancy.
Go back in time and read old magazines or books. You will find people thinking that what currently existed was all there would ever be. You’ll also find some people who think the future is totally untouched.
Both are wrong. There is a big secret to the whole thing which is as good of a reason to learn to code or any other skill worth learning…
However, before spilling the beans…
…Let Me Tell You A Story About A Woman Named Joanne
She was a huge failure. Her husband left her, she had no job, she suffered from depression, and was on welfare.
Life was not going well for Joanne.
And then Joanne did a stupid thing. She decided to write a novel. Now, if you know anything about being an author, you know how bad of an idea this is…
Becoming An Author Is A Terrible Idea
First of all, there are thousands and thousands of books put out every year on every topic you can think of. Go to a bookstore and you’ll see shelves and shelves and shelves and shelves of books.
Every topic has been covered dozens of times from every different angle.
To make matters worse, Joanne was writing a novel for children and young adults. A novel.
Do you know how hard it is to get kids to read a book instead of watching their favorite tv show or playing a video game?
Oh and don’t get me started on how difficult it is to get published. If you manage to finish writing your book, and editing your book, you have to take it to a publisher (who has all the data about how bad of an idea being a new author is) and convince them to invest thousands of dollars in publishing your book.
Most Authors Get Rejected By 20 Or 30 Publishers Before A Single One Shows Interest
Oh, and speaking of managing to finish a book, writing a book itself is one of the most painful and terrible experiences you can have in life. It takes hundreds or thousands of hours of writing to get the rough draft.
Think 2–3 hours a day for a few months of daily writing. And then you get to edit the bloody thing four or five times until it’s decent enough to read.
So Joanne, Broke, On Welfare, With A Small Child To Take Care Of, Wrote Her Novel…
She wrote the manuscript on an old manual typewriter. As you can imagine, writing a whole novel on a typewriter is a very taxing process.
Somehow, she got an agent who sent the manuscript out to twelve publishers. Every one rejected the book.
So, Joanne went on with her life and was advised to get a day job because her writing career wasn’t going anywhere.
A Year Passed And A Publisher Decided To Publish The Book
She got a very small advance of about two thousand dollars. Still, the odds of her making any money writing children’s books was about zero.
Time went by and an initial run of 1,000 books was printed, half of which went to libraries. It won a few awards and the next year an auction was held for the U.S. publishing rights.
Joanne “nearly died” when Scholastic books bought the U.S. publishing rights for $105,000.
The next year in October of 1998 Joanne’s book - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone arrived in America. Since then…
Joanne Aka J.K. Rowling Went On To Be The First Billionaire Author!!!
…for the series of books and movies in the Harry Potter franchise.
It’s easy to look back now and say “of course Harry Potter was a brilliant idea!”, but that misses the point. There was no good reason to become an author and JK Rowling was not a huge success out of the gate.
You Could Say That She Got Lucky…
And that is a huge part of the secret to success in programming, writing, sports, or anything else.
Timing is key. Being good is important. Having all of that work together at the right moment takes both luck and preparation.
…But That Is Not The Whole Story
There is an almost infinite opportunity in every field for success.
Nobody is guaranteed anything. If you are willing to work hard and put the time in, the odds of getting lucky and changing the world get higher over time.
The possibilities are endless for those willing to work hard at programming.
Also, the field is hotter now than it ever has been before. There are millions of programmers out there making very good wages working for companies like Google, Apple, and Facebook. There are thousands more building the next big thing and creating apps like Snapchat, Uber, or Castle Crashers.
Every Decade There Is Another Big Opportunity
If anything, it’s far easier to make it big programming now than ever before.
So the idea that learning to code is somehow a bad idea is a bit silly. There will be opportunity in the world of software for decades to come. The need for software is growing every day.
Even if the whole world woke up tomorrow and learned to code, there would still be a shortage of programmers. So, if you want to code, you should learn to code.
Today is always the best day to get started.