When you work in coffee shops you get to make friends with the regulars. Note that I said “in coffee shops,” not “for coffee shops.” I spend most of my afternoons working on my laptop, maybe two or three hours a day. I have no other occupation. Actually, I don’t like work that much. If I accepted a $15/Hr job I would need to work all day, five or six days a week; no thanks. I’d rather charge $50 an hour, thank you. How can I do that?
Computers these days come with a flurry of bundled software. It didn’t used to be that way. You bought a computer, turned it on, and all you got was a blinking cursor. The computer out of the box could do nothing, not even an addition. You had to program it, give it a list of instructions in a language it could use. This hasn’t really fundamentally changed. You just get the “free” software included. Same goes for a web site. Old web pages were simple texts with links, sometimes images. Today they do all kinds of things. You still have to tell the server how to do this, by writing a program.
It isn’t as hard as you might imagine. Think of a program as a recipe. You have a list of ingredients and instructions on how to make a cake. Someone needs to follow those instructions in order to make a good cake. Well, that’s programming. You’re the chef, the computer is the cook who follows your instructions. Great thing is, the cook never makes mistakes! On the downside, he speaks a weird language you haven’t heard before..
Could you do it? Most likely. The main issue people have with programming is patience. Imagine a chef developing a new cake… How many cakes will he botch up before finally getting what he wants? Programming is as much about solving glitches than it is about writing code. It can be very frustrating, but you learn to take a deep breath and keep on going. If you can do this, as well as sit down and concentrate on a task for a while, you are very likely to become a decent programmer.
There is a lot of work in web site development, linking sites to databases and getting servers to talk to each other, like when processing a credit card. I am looking at Android application development right now to see if it could be my cup of tea.. I got my first programming gig after reading a Perl language book and studying for a month… The book cost me $50 and I made $2K the following month using what I had learned. I wouldn’t suggest Perl today but you get the picture.
How much is it going to cost you? Nothing! Only time. These days all you need to know is online. You can go to Udemy and get classes for free or for a reasonable fee. It will take you a while if you never wrote code before, but don’t give up. Sweat it now and make a decent living for the rest of your life. Programmers get paid anywhere from $20 to $200 an hour.
So what language to learn? Apple uses Objective-C and Android uses Java. For the web, learn PHP. If you want to work on servers, Python is very useful and a good starter language. C++ is still a very good option which can lead to pretty complicated (and well paid) work. Learn it along Objective C if you want to get into iOS programming. For Window$ applications I’d suggest Delphi, but finding good support for it has never been easy, though it is a great development platform. There are hundreds of programming languages, if not more, but these are the main ones. I’d suggest not getting into obscure or experimental languages unless you’re already fluent in a marketable one. Don’t forget to learn some database management skills for which I suggest MySQL.
If you like computers and can think analytically, why settle for minimum wage? As a programmer, you can work anywhere in the world if you have an Internet connection. You can choose to work two hours a day or sixteen, it’s up to you. I prefer to work less, charge more and enjoy my free time.