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Why I never learnt to code, and why I'm learning now

Why I never learnt to code, and why I'm learning now
By Aron Korenblit • Issue #31 • View online
It was great to take a few weeks off! It’s not easy to take a break in 2020 but I felt like I was able to get some mental and physical distance from the carnage of 2020. Feeling energized and excited to get back to work.
Some scheduling notes: I’m pushing the Learning Airtable scripting series by a week so it will start on October 14th. Reason is I’m working with the Airtable to broaden the audience a little… I can’t say more now but I’m really excited to share an update next week.
Today at 6PM EST, I’ll stream how to avoid common Airtable database design mistakes. If you want me to review your base, reply to this email and I can review it live on the stream
You can find the updated calendar (and a way to be notified when I go live) at

Over a month ago, Tom Osman asked folks what their unpopular no-code opinions are to which I responded.
Aron Korenblit
@tomosman I’ll bite: that “no-coders” are folks who attempted to learn to code but it took too long to get to something tangible so they dropped it.

No code provides results immediately so it’s easier to stick through.

This is me as evidenced by my udemy purchases.
I don’t know if this opinion is unpopular or actually the case for most no-coders but it’s definitely the case for me.
A little backstory: I actually started out studying software engineering! Back in 2010, I enrolled in a software engineering undergrad. At that time, the App store had just launched, Facebook was supposed to connect us all. It felt like we were at the beginning of something big to which I could hook my little career dreams onto. I had so many ideas of what I was going to build!
However, I quickly realized that it was going to be a very long road until I could actually build something worthwhile. The bulk of the work was getting started – getting servers up, managing dependencies, figuring stupid shit out. I couldn’t get to something useful before I exhausted all of my built up motivation so I quit! I transferred over to the beautiful world of mathematics where you only need a paper and a pen to get started**.
Looking back, there was a large gap between my expected progression and the actual learning curve:
Fast forward to today, most of the work around that second hump is pretty much abstracted away. You can use an IDE to pretty much just start coding! That doesn’t make any of the actual work of writing code any simpler, but at least it limits the problem to learning the code! Coding itself has never been more accessible!
Now if we turn to everyone else, that initial hump is still very much a hurdle. To output a simple website from scratch still requires learning HTML, CSS, and Javascript (in some form of fashion). That’s a lot to ask! If you look over to building your own tool, well that becomes an engineering project with the need for a backend, front end, authentication etc. etc. Vertical saas tools and spreadsheets remain the only accessible tools for everyone else out there.
No code tools are very much an alternative to that dichotomy. That said, there are still very many hurdles in learning Airtable or Webflow. The difference with learning to code from scratch is that you can get something valuable up and running at each step! That provides the motivation to keep learning that extra hurdle! Here’s how I’m imaging my own path & motivation:
Sorry for the terrible handwriting!
Sorry for the terrible handwriting!
Like a lot of you I assume, I’m in that third groove: I’ve got something powerful but now I want more custom bases which requires me to learn Javascript.
The difference with learning Javascript in the past, is that I have a lot of momentum to overcome the hurdle. Furthermore, there’s no setup! Airtable handles all of the set up for me and the pay off is near instant!
It’s why I’ll be learning to code Javascript over the next 4 weeks and I think, this time, I’ll stick through it.
Next week I’ll talk about the different things you can build once you work with code on top of a no code stack.
** That is until I discovered the wonderful world of cleaning data
No links this week, but here’s a video of some whales I saw over my break.
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Aron Korenblit

A weekly Airtable/no-code tip & thoughts on the working smarter not harder with no-code tools written by Aron Korenblit

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