Code as a way of life
PHP Patterns is a small team of PHP developers that tries to ignite interest in coding in young children. Read more to find out who we are exactly, and what our mission is.
Coding powers the world
It might sound like a cliche, but coding really does power our modern world. Everything from cars, microwave ovens and even this very website is possible due to code, just sitting in the background, and executing on demand. PHP Patterns is a diverse team of programmers. Some of us even dabble in creating code for the increasingly more popular devices like remote controlled drones with follow me feature, smartwatches, fitness trackers, you name it. P.S. Be careful with drones because some of them need a FAA license. Since there’s this notion that programmers have to be great at math, or science, a lot of people seem to be discouraged at taking up programming as a profession. We are here to dispel that myth.
Start learning young
Key to learning how to program like the pros lies in reading lots of good books, to get the theory down right, and then practicing on examples and by reading code of other people. Soon enough you’ll be thinking up your own algorithms and complaining how other peoples programs aren’t good, you could do it better. Key to becoming good at something is to start practicing young. Same is true for anything else basically, learning the guitar, playing soccer, you name it. Minds of young kids are like sponges, I’m sure you’ve heard this already. They soak up things quite easily, the only thing that’s tricky is to get them interested in learning how to program. That’s where we come in. Fun way to learn programming young is probably coding some cheap drone for kids.
Start with basics
“Don’t get ahead of yourself” is our motto here at PHP patterns. We’ve seen numerous young people who start learning how to code enthusiastically. Then they try to figure out things that are too advanced for them. At that time frustration sets in, they become discouraged and begin to lose interest in coding. Being discouraged is an everyday state of being. Don’t allow yourself that every time something doesn’t go like you want it to, that you give up. Coding takes patience, you won’t know everything right away, some skills take years to hone and learn properly. That’s why it’s important to start young, when you’re able to pour time into something, learning a new skill. It gets harder to do that later on in life. Don’t forget, start with the basics and stick to them for a while.
What started it all
PHP Patterns initiative started back in 2012. That’s when me, and a couple of my friends from college got together after a few years of not seeing each other and got to talking about our jobs. All of us, total of 7, got into different types of programming. Most of us are employed at web dev companies, hence the name that we choose, PHP Patterns. We do have one guy, Brian, that works at a company that manufactures remote controlled tech. We’re talking things like RC boats, planes, and even one those remote controlled foldable drones that follow you around. Brian is actually in charge of writing firmware for these. How exciting is that.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. That’s one of the things we’ve said that shouldn’t be done. Programming RC gadgets takes skill, what we’re after is getting people of all ages interested in coding. It doesn’t have to be just kids or young people, everyone, people of all ages can start and get their hands dirty with code. After that initial meeting of the 7 of us, we worked on small scale, within our community, but with the launch of this website we’d like to go big. Find as many people as possible who are scared of coding and help them realize that writing program isn’t as scary as people seem to think it is.
Starting from scratch when you’re older
Economic situation in the country and the world for that matter, has left a lot of people either unemployed or under-employed. It’s not just the economic downturn that’s to blame. Factors like production automation, and even automation in the service industry has decimated the number of available jobs. To be employed you need to have a diverse skillset. Adding new skills to a resume can be difficult, especially if you are older. Starting from scratch when you’ve worked as a truck driver your whole like can be difficult, but people have done just that in campaigns initiated by other project similar to ours like FreeCodeCamp.
Parting ways from old, established trade, especially when you’re closer to retiring then you are to your first day at job, can be daunting. We here at PHP Patterns cannot speak from experience, but we hope that you will be able to trust us on our word that losing a job due to lay-offs isn’t the end of the world. Starting a new career, in a new field, if there’s no work in your old one, is a must. If there is nothing wrong with your health, then you have no excuse taking up a few courses on programming, even if it’s just one of the ones that are available online. Read more if you’re interested.
Steps towards coding
Our mission here at PHP Patterns should be pretty obvious from everything that we’ve written until this point. However, if we are to define our mission in 5 easy steps, here’s how it would look like:
Lose your fear of coding: chances are that if you see learning how to program as some insurmountable task, this type of thinking keeps you down in other areas of life.
Challenge yourself more: you do not learn and you do not grow without putting challenges for yourself. Make learning how to code a challenge.
Start small and go from there: bitting off more than one can chew is the biggest and the most tragic mistake that pretty much all would be programmers do. Start small and go from there.
Look at what other people are doing: in other areas of life this piece of advice isn’t necessarily applicable, but in coding, looking at what kind of code other people are writing is a must. This is especially true for beginners. It’s a great way to learn and learn tricks of the trade
Don’t be afraid to ask questions: often times people get stuck with something when solving a problem without asking for help. First there’s Google, and if all that fails, you can visit community forums centered around coding and programming.
Starting from scratch when you’re older
So if you have decided not to be scared of coding, and would like to know more, good. Hope over to the Resources page in order to find the correct tutorial for your skill level. Some of you might already be familiar with coding, so you won’t need start from scratch. We’ve devised a cheat-sheet of sorts, that can be used to set you off on the right path regardless of whether you never heard of coding before, or if you already have some grasp of things and would like to start with more advanced lessons.
PHP Patterns team is of course here to help. We’re working on a forum that our members will be able to seek help. It should be launched in the following months. In the meantime we will also post advice for our reader on our blog. There you’ll be able to find advice on cool new courses that can be used to get familiar with coding, or explanations for common problems that people learning how to code face. We will answer questions that people have and send through using the contact page, so don’t forget to use that as well in case you get stuck with a problem. We’re mostly focused on web programming languages, PHP in general, but there are other team members that cover different types programming so don’t hesitate to get in touch.