How to Code: Web Development

A podcast for aspiring web developers


1: Why this podcast?


Robert: [00:00:00] Hey, what's going on everyone. Welcome to the very first episode of the, how to code podcast. My name is Robert Gus, and I will be your host. And in this episode, I really just wanted to kind of give you the lay of the land and tell you why I'm creating this podcast. Share a load a little bit about who I am and the purpose for why this podcast even exists.

Seeing how it's the very first episode. I feel like that would be the appropriate thing to do. And my primary motivation for creating this podcast is really to help all the people out there that are trying to teach themselves how to code and get into the tech industry. When I was teaching myself how to code a little over seven years ago, back in like 20 14, 20 15 it was very difficult trying to figure.[00:01:00]

where to even start. And it was frankly really overwhelming even back then. And it's even worse now, in my opinion it's really hard trying to figure out, you know, which technologies should I learn? Which resources should I read? Which books should I read? Which videos, which tutorials, which courses, and everyone, you have all these questions.

And unless you have a mentor or someone who's in the industry who you can ask these questions to, you really don't know what the next steps should be, where you should start. You don't know if what you're learning is not very good. And if the course isn't very good and it's just a waste of your time.

And so. This podcast is gonna kind of help you navigate those waters. And I'm gonna do my best to try and remember what those days were like. And even though it was seven years ago or so those, those times are still very much fresh in my mind. And I see a lot of people online, who, and especially on Twitter and in Reddit, in various other online sites and [00:02:00] applications who are trying to figure this stuff out and they don't have anyone to help them.

And so this podcast is my attempt. To try and be that resource for those people. And it's really a labor of love, I would say the whole, how to code name brand, if you will, even though I don't think of it as a brand I started back in 2015 as just a simple. Blog where I was just sharing and writing about the things that I was learning as I was trying to get into my first job as a junior dev.

And then as I got my first job and it quickly gained quite a bit of traction. To my surprise and the site itself, which is, you know, how to code.io is the address. If you wanna check it out, has transformed into a whole bunch of different sites over the years currently, it's just essentially a bunch of blog articles.

And tutorials that teach you various different web technologies. I have some free books and [00:03:00] things like that. Everything on the website is completely free. I don't even require your email or anything like that. And so this podcast is really just another extension of that idea of not only sharing with you what I know, but trying to help others learn and grow and better themselves and, you know, get a career in this field.

And with that said, I just wanna be very upfront with the motivation and the, the, the people that I'm trying to reach this podcast that I'm primarily trying to target beginners. It's not to say that there isn't something for everyone here that if you're more advanced and you've been in the tech field for a while, you've been writing code for a while.

It's not that you're not gonna learn anything here, but I'm really trying to help out developers who are, you know, trying to get into tech for the first. Especially those without, you know, a computer science degree. And they're looking to change careers, you know, a little bit about me when I first started learning to code, I was 29 years old.

[00:04:00] Currently 36 I'll actually be 37 next month. And so I started pretty late. In life, I'm not like one of these kids who you hear these stories like, oh, you know, I've been programming ever since I was six. And you know, I've been writing visual basics ever since I was like four years old or something ridiculous.

You know, you hear a lot of these people say, oh, I got started pretty late in life as a programmer. I didn't start writing code until I was 12 years old or 13, which. R frankly, ridiculous. So I started when I was 29 and a lot of people say, would say like, oh man, you started really late in life. But to be honest, there's really, it doesn't matter when you start, you could be 50 years old.

There's no age requirement. There's no age limit. It's just a matter of how hard are you willing to work and how much do you want this thing? The whole age barrier thing is obnoxious in my opinion. And I wanna kind of squash all the stereotypes that you have to be writing code since you were like 12 years old or something [00:05:00] ridiculous in order to succeed And so this podcast is primarily for those people. Self-taught beginners looking to break into tech and I see a lot of people online, social media and Twitter, and they just, they're just lost. They don't really know what to do. They don't know how to get their first job. They don't know who to ask.

They don't have people around them. And so this podcast is really my attempt to try and reach those people and to try and help them out as best as I can. And so you may be wondering, well, why. and if to know anything about me, I'm very upfront and not ashamed whatsoever of the fact that I am a Christian.

I take my faith incredibly seriously. I was an atheist for about 10 years and I became a Christian when I was 20 and it completely turned my life upside down for the better. And so part of my motivation is that we are commanded by Christ to be generous, and we are [00:06:00] commanded to love our neighbors and to help other people.

And so part of my motivation is fulfilling those commands and honoring him and what he wants me to do. But it really just comes from a heart of really loving people and wanting to just help them in any way that I possibly can. I'm also very passionate about teaching. I really love to teach and I really love seeing those light bulb moments go off in people's eyes when something finally clicks and it's unbelievably rewarding and fulfilling, knowing that you've helped someone.

get further along or get unstuck or whatever it may be, even if it's something very trivial and small it's a big deal in God's eyes. So that's part of my motivation here. And It's also, this podcast is really trying to be a resource of, this is what I wish I had when I was first learning to code. I didn't have a mentor.

I didn't know anyone else who was really a programmer or a web developer. I couldn't really ask [00:07:00] questions to people. I just had to figure this stuff out on my own. And so by creating this podcast, I'm really trying to create the, the resources and the information and share the things that I wish that I had at that time.

Another thing too, is that part of the motivation is to really help people navigate all of the bad and misinformation. That's out there online especially on social media, about what it's like being a software developer and what it takes. And you pretty much have to have like a PhD from MIT and be like a math whi and all this nonsense.

It's really hard when you're first starting out, because you don't really know who you can trust and you don't know what's good information what's accurate and what's false. And even with that said, I think it's really important that you shouldn't trust me right now, simply because I have this podcast.

I mean, I'm literally just some kid recording, talking into a microphone in his bedroom right now, recording this podcast. [00:08:00] So. You shouldn't trust me just because I have this podcast or I have some followers on Twitter or because anything I think that you can only really trust people. If you take the time to really listen and read a variety of sources.

And see if what those people are saying lines up with reality. And so I would highly recommend you do that and you hold me accountable, frankly. Because I wanna be held up accountable. I don't wanna be giving misinformation either. But I think trust fundamentally has to be earned and you should make me earn your trust.

You shouldn't just blindly and naively follow me. I think also you shouldn't be so quick to follow people online simply because they have a podcast or they have a lot of followers online. Oftentimes what I've found a lot of the people online who have a lot of followers and who seem very important and influential are I don't know about oftentimes, but a lot of times are kind of part of the [00:09:00] problem.

And I think. What people don't realize, especially beginners is that, you know, social media is a game to a lot of people and some people don't play the game, but a lot of people online play the game. and there may not necessarily be anything inherently wrong with playing the game on social media and what I, what do I mean by that?

Basically what I mean is that there are people who are willing to say and do whatever it takes to get more, likes, more retweets, more exposure, and basically just do whatever they can to get in front of people's faces. That in and of itself isn't necessarily bad. It depends on what you're doing to get those retweets.

And a lot of times I see people saying a bunch of nonsense and bad information just to get likes and clicks and retweets because it's in people's best interest, even in tech to have a lot of followers and influence [00:10:00] because it can help them get better jobs. It can help them become more influential.

It can help them. Accepted to conferences and gives talks. And, you know, they, there's a lot of people online who are like trying to build their brand. You'll hear that a lot. And again, there isn't necessarily anything inherently wrong with that. It's just, what are the ways and what are the ways in which you're going about doing that?

Are you doing that by being honest and truthful and transparent? I think a lot of people online are really doing it because they just want to be popular. They wanna be well known. You'll hear about this notion of like tech celebrities and things like that, which you gotta stay clear of people like that in my opinion.

And then, you know, I'm gonna try and help you do that Even with that said my main motivation here and what I'm planning on doing, going forward is just being completely transparent with you. I have a wife and two small kids. I have a four year old son and I have a daughter who's a year and a half.

Don't exactly have a ton of free [00:11:00] time these days. So this podcast really is a labor of love. And I'm gonna try my best to be as consistent as possible with it. Hopefully put out an episode once every two weeks or so. But this is very new unchartered waters for me. I've never done this before.

There's a lot of learning that I have to do and hopefully I can remain consistent, but going forward the, the way that this is gonna work, as I see it so far is I'm primarily just gonna be, I have a whole bunch of topics when I was. Brainstorming this idea. It probably came of like 30, 40 topics just like right off the bat of things I wanna talk about and share.

So it'll probably minutes just, just be me sharing and discussing these topics and issues. I do plan on bringing on guests once I get a little bit better bringing on some people who are much more experienced and much better developers than I am, so you can learn from them. But I also wanna bring on A lot of newbies, a lot of new people who are new to the industry, people who are in boot camps, people who are just learning how to [00:12:00] code so they can share their experiences.

And you can cuz we can all learn from one another. This idea that, you know, you have to be an expert in order to share knowledge or that you can't learn from people who are less experienced than you is, frankly, just false. It's also unbelievably arrogant to have that attitude. And so, you know, another motivation for starting this is frankly, is like, I wanna learn too.

I want to get better. We can always get better. You never arrive at anything in life. You can always improve. You can always improve your skills. You can always get smarter, you can always get wiser. There's always lots to learn. And that's one thing that's really important in this. Is that you're a student for life and that things in this field are constantly changing on a weekly, daily, monthly basis.

And there's always new stuff and it's helpful to hear from a variety of voices and sources to find out what is going on. And then hopefully together we can try and navigate those waters and [00:13:00] figure out what the truth is, what reality. And then take it and apply it and learn from it and become better developers because of it.

So that's pretty much it for this episode. Relatively short in the next episode, I will be sharing more in depth about who I am and my story and how I taught myself how to code and my career and the jobs I've had and things like that. So look forward to talking to you in the next episode, see you later, friends.


Host Robert Guss is a self-taught front-end developer currently working as a Developer Experience Engineer at Cypress.io. We discuss learning how to code, strategies for getting your first job, web technology news, interviews, testing, and more on this show.

Hosted by

Robert Guss