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Michael Perry
Michael Perry
Michael Perry

San Francisco, CA

Michael Perry

San Francisco, CA

"Being patient, and aware it was going to be hard, was the first step in tackling it."

When Michael Perry founded GVING, he knew he would have to learn to code eventually. With Codecademy (and the help of some friends) he finally met his goal.

1. How did you get started learning to code?

I made a ton of failed attempts over a year because I thought “I should” learn to code, but can’t say that I truly wanted to. I was using YouTube videos and even made one attempt on Codecademy previously. GVING was at a point where I absolutely had to learn how to code. I ended up coming back and committing to Codecademy because even on my previous failed attempts I had made the most traction there.

2. What was the most challenging part, and how did you tackle that?

For the first couple of attempts the most challenging part was repetition. I would have days in-between taking classes so I wasn’t able to “really” recall previous lessons.

Being patient, and aware it was going to be hard, was the first step in tackling it. I was also fortunate to have a couple great friends (and CSS/ HTML masters), Andrew Cornett and Dean Pogni, coach me and help me through tricky parts.

3. What resources do you recommend for creating an app (or learning to code)?

Codecademy, Google and (if you are as lucky as me) great, talented friends who are willing to be patient with you.

Also- be prepared to dip into your own greatest resource: time.

4.If someone wants to create an app, what are the first five steps they should take?

I think this depends if they are looking to build something for fun or something they hope can turn into a business.

In my opinion:

  1. Get something on paper, make your ideas feel more concrete even if its just wire frames. It’s fun, and is the best place to start.
  2. Talking to people you trust and respect, getting feedback is a great thing- can also help shape and prioritize build
  3. Find the right players to build with you- you cant do it alone.
  4. Ship something simple- keep it simple.
  5. Mentally prepare yourself its going to be hard- but amazing. So stay light hearted and have fun.

5. What advice do you have for someone who wants to create an app (or learn to code)?

Jump in and do it. It can be a bit intimidating to try and build something yourself, but nothing feels more satisfying.

Read more about GVING and app builders learning to code in the Wall Street Journal.. To get started yourself, head to Codecademy’s JavaScript track.