By John Sonmez July 26, 2018

How High School Students Can Become Developers?

If you're a student and you want to become a developer you've probably wondered how you could possibly become a developer while studying.

Bottom line is: It is not easy. There are a lot of challenges along the way, especially when it comes to time and mixing work and life.

So, what can you do to minimize those effects? Watch this video and find out!

Transcript Of The Video

John Sonmez: Hey, what's up? John Sonmez here from simpleprogrammer.com. I got a question from a high school student. He wants to know how high school students can become developer. This is from LJ and he says, “Hi. My name is Lijun. I'm 15 years old and I am learning programming. I have an issue in finding which platform to learn. Can you recommend me some online platform or courses that have good content for learning programming? Can you give me some tips for planning my time to do coding? Can you make a video on how high school students can plan time for coding?” He gives a little bit of additional info. He says, “I'm 15 years old currently and I need to go to school, come back home at 5 PM, do homework and study. I have less time to plan—time to do coding. Can you make a video for how high school students can become a developer as I'm having difficulties in planning time to learn? Maybe you can give a guide on planning time too. I'm currently a beginner in Android development. I need help with getting the right platform to learn too as there are so many platforms and courses that are available.”

I've got a few suggestions here. First of all—I mean awesome that you're like 15 and you're watching these videos and you're like planning this out already. You're concerned about becoming a developer. That's awesome. At 15, I wasn’t really thinking that big and I was doing some coding, but I wasn’t thinking along the lines that you are. It's hard because you have time pressures, but I will tell you something that I don’t mean to paint a negative picture of life, but I will tell you that you're not going to be getting more time in life. It's going to be less. That's what happens. It's like you always think you're going to have time for stuff and you never have time for stuff. If you want something, if it's a priority to you, you have to make time and you just have to learn how to do this.

I get so many people that email me asking about working out and they say they don’t have time for workout. You can't possibly maintain the physique you do if you've got a family or you've got work responsibilities, or something like that. My answer is no. You have to prioritize the time, like I put on my calendar when I'm going to the gym or when I'm running and I don’t miss it. It's like a date. It's like the most immovable thing on my calendar every single day because it's a very, very high priority to me because I feel like my physical fitness is really important to develop my mental fitness, and that everything sort of relies on that and being tough and being strong, and having that discipline physically is what gives me the mental discipline to be able to continue to do what I'm doing so I make that a high priority.

The reason why I'm saying this is because what you've got to figure out is how you can make this a priority. Right now, I know you got to school. I know. You know, I went to high school once and I know you've got commitments, but can you set aside a specific time every single day and make this a routine? Maybe it's like one hour a day or maybe it's two hours a day. Whatever it is. You got to set aside that time and make that commitment. It doesn’t even have to be a lot of time, but it's a cumulative effect of things. It's doing an hour a day.

When I wrote my book, I wrote The Complete Software Developer's Career Guide which you can check out here—when I wrote that book, I literally wrote that book in an hour a day for six months. Think about it. It's an 800-page book. That's the power of the cumulative effect. There's actually a really good book on this. I think it's called The Compound Effect. You can check out that book. I think I did a review on it, a really, really good book. I highly recommend it. You need to figure out, you know, if you're going to set aside an hour a day for coding or maybe 2 hours or personal development, you can spend some time. Consistently, figure out a few things in your life that you're going to consistently do to build on that are going to benefit from that compound effect.

Again, I can't help you as far as making more time because we've all got busy schedules, but you got to put the first things first. Put the priorities first. That's the only thing I can tell you and I can you tell that you're just not going to have more time in life. When you get a job, when you have family, when you have—the only time maybe—maybe going to college. I think maybe if you do go to college. I don’t necessarily recommend it, by the way, but if you do go, you'll find there's a lot of gaps in time because you just—it's ridiculous, kind of how a lot of the schedules are set up where you have like a full day where you're not doing anything. Waste of time.

Anyway, let's talk a little bit about what you said about learning like resources online. I've said this a couple times. I've done a couple videos today where I've talked about this, but I'll rehash it real quick which is that you need to pick a goal. There's no place that you're just going to learn. I know school system teaches you like you go to a class and you learn a thing. It doesn’t work that way in the real world. In the real world, you have a goal. You learn X so you can do Y. What is the “do Y” that you want to do? What do you want to do? Do you want to build something? Do you want to build a robot? You want to build a web application? How about a mobile application? What is it? Pick the goal first and work backwards from there, and then go and find the resources, so you won't need my help. You'll find the resources.

One resource I'll always recommend because they're so damn good is Pluralsight. You can check that out. Here, I've done 55 courses for them and they have the biggest library of developer content that's of high quality. That's not your end all be all. You're still going to have to find some books. You're still going to have to find some blogs and tutorials online, some YouTube videos and stuff like that and you're going to piece together the pieces that you need in order to achieve the goal that you want. That's how life works. That's being resourceful. By the way, it's the most valuable skill that you can have for an employer is being resourceful. Employers want to hire someone who can put together the pieces that they need. They don’t need to just like go to a training. They could figure out—they say, “Yeah. You need to learn about this technology,” and you're like, “Oh, yeah. Okay. I know how to do this. I could figure out how to do this thing that we're going to do a pull from here and pull from there, and pull from here. That's going to be more valuable, anyway.

Anyway, I hope that helps you and congratulations on being on this path. Figure out some way to prioritize what you want to do and pick a path. Go down the path. Like I said, pick a goal and you can always change directions later, but pick a definite direction and a definite goal and start heading towards that goal. You'll be fine. By the time you're 18, you'll graduate high school or whatever. You're going to be well on your way to being a software developer. I'm sure of it and you should be, too.

All right. If you like this video, if you haven't subscribed already, make sure you click that Subscribe button below. Click the bell so you don’t miss any videos I do here on the channel about two to three a day. I'll talk to you next time. Take care.

About the author

John Sonmez

John Sonmez is the founder of Simple Programmer and a life coach for software developers. He is the best selling author of the book "Soft Skills: The Software Developer's Life Manual."