Is Learning To Code Still Worth It in 2024?

Sunday, April 14, 2024

So is it worth it? should you learn to code in 2024? I've seen this debate going around the internet. Everyone I've heard talking about this is a programmer, talking to programmer beginners about getting a programmer's job.

I have a different perspective, I want to share my thoughts from the side of entrepreneurship. If you are like me and are pursuing financial freedom through business, then the question "Is learning to code still worth it?" applies to us more than anyone else.

Coding Will Change Forever

The owner of Nvidia (which is now in the top 5 most valuable companies) recently said some mind blowing stuff about the current state of programming. What he shared has been making every programmer on Reddit cry:

I'm going to paraphrase Mr. Nvidia. He said that in the last 15 years, every expert used to say kids should learn programming. But he claims that this is completely wrong. The goal of modern technology is to make programming as simple as human language.

He closes with this epic quote:

"Everybody in the world is now a programmer. This is the miracle of artificial now have a computer that will do what you tell it to do to help automate your work to amplify your productivity."

This changes everything, you heard Mr. Nvidia, you are now a programmer, congratulations! Now how do you harness your new powers?

Non-Programmers Can Now Code With AI

I have truly experienced what Mr. Nvidia said. Like you, I used to call myself a non-programmer. But now, with AI writing code for me, I can easily build awesome mini apps for myself.

The apps I build for myself improve my content creation workflow and streamline my online business as a solopreneur.

AI coding is incredible because it let's you become what's called a full stack developer. This is just a fancy term for a code generalist, who can do it all.

This means that in programming, where specializing is the norm, by being a generalist you can build things without a full coding team.

AI lets you do everything that comes with being Mr. full stack. This is a big advantage in the programming world. That's why AI is slowly killing specialization. Like in more industries, because of AI it's now better to become a powerful generalist.

Getting Obsessed With Building Your Own Apps

The feeling you get from writing some useful code that turns out to be helpful is like nothing else.

You can now start making your own useful apps. What's so cool about this is that you can modify them to fit your exact needs. This is by far the biggest advantage.

I get so obsessed with making AI code work. When I'm working on it, I get in the zone, and time seems to behave in strange ways.

I'm completely blown away by the power of what's possible when you create your own code.

Building your own useful AI tools captures all the stages. It goes from the joy of a new idea to the frustration of being unable to troubleshoot something (which AI will massively help with). In the end it's worth it. The feeling you get after you build something useful is unbeatable.

How To Start

I am a coding beginner to the point where if I were given an exam, I would fail it. But I am also advanced enough (thanks to AI) that I am able to build anything I want with enough AI power and a good night's sleep.

My main focus in AI coding is creating personal automation workflows, for myself.

I use AI written code to build personal mini-apps. They can automate tasks in my daily workflow. Once you try to automate something with code, you'll see how powerful this is.

Two Ways To Start AI Coding

We have two options for getting started. The first one is copying code written by AI, you can go to ChatGPT and ask it to write the code we want, you'll then paste your code in Vs Code to run it.

The other option is using AI Agents which are apps that write the code, but also create files and automatically paste the code for you.

Option 1

Even though it's more manual, I prefer the first option where you simply ask ChatGPT to write code, and you manually paste it. The beauty of this approach is that it's the most cost-effective method.

If you learn where to place things and how to run them, you can create unlimited apps. The only cost of this is a monthly subscription to ChatGPT, which, either way, is super worth it. This gives you access to the latest ChatGPT model (in 2024 it's GPT-4) which is way better at writing code than the free version (GPT-3.5).

The first time you try it, you'll have to learn some basics to run the code. You can ask ChatGPT to explain it in simple terms, which helps a lot.

Once you have the right code you'll need to paste it in an app like VS Code which makes it easier to manage and run all the code.

Option 2

Copying and pasting from ChatGPT is a straightforward method, but troubleshooting can sometimes be a bit challenging at first. That's why we also have the option of using AI agents instead.

There are apps that can help you create your project in VS Code, run the code, and help you troubleshoot. As for a practical tool I've tried, there's one called Pythagora, but there are several out there. If you are curious the best way to search them is by looking for "Devin alternatives" (more info about Devin below).

These tools ask for your instructions in an interactive way and can assist you writing the code for you.

When needed, they ask follow-up questions about your goals. It's impressive how they can help you build things in a semi-automatic way.

When I tried this method, I found it interesting, but it's definitely the more expensive approach compared to option 1. Also, the actual code isn't much different from just asking ChatGPT to write and copy the code. That's because most of them still use GPT as the AI, but they provide you with a more beginner-friendly method to organize the code.

I do recommend option 1, but if you're a beginner and willing to spend a bit of money, AI Agent tools can help you start much quicker, since it does simplify the coding process.

Devin - The Future Of Easy AI Coding

If we look a few months into the future, we will soon have something called Devin, for now, it's still behind a waiting list. But, let me get you excited about what will soon be possible.

Devin will be quite easy to use, like a ChatGPT interface. But, instead of just a chat, Devin lets you tell it the type of app or program you want to create, but will be able to not just write code but also run it, that way you don't need to learn how to use VS Code or the terminal.

This will save a lot of time and manual copy pasting. If Devin gets stuck it has the ability to search for the right answers online. When needed it will also ask you questions to help you achieve exactly what you want.

You simply provide instructions in plain English, and it will craft the code you need.

In preparation for this next stage of tech, we will benefit a lot from getting better at prompting AI. This means asking the right questions and expressing what we want in clear ways.

Until we get Devin in our hands for now using ChatGPT to write code for us will help us improve our prompting skills.

No-code Vs AI Written Code

My recommendation is you get started straight aways asking ChatGPT to write code and paste it to run yourself, you'll see how powerful this is. But as you go down this rabbit hole you'll notice many no-code tools being recommended to you. They'll tempt you to take the easier way. I'd recommend you stick to using code.

No-code tools are designed to make things easier. They help people who aren't programmers to build useful workflows. They are easier to use. They involve more intuitive things, like drag-and-drop systems.

You have to keep in mind that these will always be more expensive. And, worst of all, you'll eventually find annoying limitations. They will stop you from doing what you want.

I've spent a lot of time mastering no-code tools in the past. In some cases I do regret not learning to code sooner. For some things, it does make sense to use pre-built apps that large companies made to save us time. But, you'll find many cases where you can write code yourself that fully replace some apps you might currently pay for.

To begin learning AI coding, I would start by generating an idea, typically inspired by a problem I frequently encounter in my daily life.

I used to spend a lot of time searching for an existing app to solve my problems. But, as my problems became more specific, I realized that sometimes there's no app that does what I need. That's when I started turning to AI to help me code.

With AI we can streamline that whole process, without the need the memorize thousands of nerdy things that old-school programmers know.

Of course, if you understand some of the basics of programming, you can go much further.

What I suggest is a classic 80/20, where you learn 20% of programming to unlock 80% of the benefits.

Learning To Code With AI

I have tried learning programming before, but it was difficult and boring without AI.

One of my favorite aspects of using AI to code is that I can also ask it to explain things as it codes for me.

I get AI to write some code that actually achieves something practical I need. Then, I ask AI to explain the parts I found interesting or need to learn to improve things.

You can ask ChatGPT to explain things in simple terms in as short or as long of an explanation as you wish, and it will do that.

It's the best way I found to actually learn code.

I skip the boring stuff and only learn what I find interesting or useful. And, the best part is that no one will tell you off for skipping the boring.

This is not school, this is real life where you can do whatever you want.

Who cares if @billy-the-programmer-57 on Reddit doesn't agree with our way of doing things.

What Coding Language Should You Use?

Wondering what coding language to use when asking ChatGPT to write code? I you start by asking AI to write Python for you.

AI is great at writing python and python can do almost anything you want, so it's a great choice.

This is the language I use most to build simple and useful automations for myself.

Python is a bit annoying to install at first, but don't worry ChatGPT can walk you through it.

What Should I Write Code For, What Is The Point?

Hopefully, I've inspired you to go to ChatGPT to start writing your first code, but of course, you need to have a strong "Why" first. Without knowing what you want to achieve, you won't make progress towards your long-term goals, so as useful as AI coding is as a skill, you'll be able to make so much progress in your life if you have a deeper reason to do things.

If you've read this far, you probably resonate with the things I mentioned. The biggest driver in my life at this stage is the pursuit of financial freedom to give my family a better life. I'm sure you relate to that, so let me break down how I connect AI coding to this larger goal.

Let me present to you what I believe is the best business model to make money online, which is also where our new AI coding skills will be the most useful.

For lack of a better word, let's call this a "knowledge influencer".

This is a modern business model that top entrepreneurs are using. They might recommend drop-shipping, crypto, or real estate. But, the people you listen to are actually spending their efforts on making content online, because that's where the real money is.

The three steps to making money online in this modern way are:

First, build specific knowledge around something you care about.

Second, learn to teach that knowledge in a way that others value.

Third, use marketing strategies to find and sell what you offer to the right person.

In short, you get good at something. Then, you package it and sell it as a service or digital product.

Why Take Things In Your Own Hands?

If you think you don't want to sell something, pause. Realize that you already are selling something.

You currently fall into one of two categories. You sell your own product. Or you work for someone by helping them sell their product and get a small cut of what you sell (a salary).

You can't avoid this if you want to afford living in the modern world. So, if you are gonna play the game, why not play it well? Cut the middleman and sell things yourself.

You can sell physical products, digital products or services.

I recommend you sell digital products, that way you can start for practically free, and you get to use AI coding to improve your entire business system.

Then you can use content creation to reach the right people who would love your help to achieve their own goals.

You serve the right people. They reward you with money. Then, you are closer to the financial freedom you always said you wanted.

I know you are thinking "it's not that simple" and you are right.

But why not start building something of your own on the side, with the free time you have available?

I know what you'll say next: "I wish I had free time, but you don't understand how busy my life is."

Fair enough, now I apologize if what I'm about to say sounds rude. I'm speaking to you as if I were speaking to myself, so here it is:

You say you are too busy, alright Mr. Excuses, keep in mind that this is the life you built for yourself. You have no one to blame but yourself, so put on your big boy pants and take some personal responsibility.

Now how do you make time for this? I bet you spend a little bit longer than you wish mindlessly consuming social media.

You can start by replacing time spent consuming with creating. Start building something of your own online.

Just start sharing your thoughts online and take it from there.

Take it one step at a time and make some progress, however small it may be, slow is smooth and smooth is fast.

If you go slowly, you may not see the results you want as quickly as you wish. But, time is going to pass regardless. So, why not make the most of it starting today?

Great, now you finally have a worthy project to work on. You'll immediately start finding problems you'll be able to solve with AI code.

There you go, that's it for this week. If you want help on your journey into content creation and AI coding, join my free community. Talk to you there!

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