Who am I?

I’m currently a lawyer working in Big Law. For those not in the know, “Big Law” is a term used to refer to the largest law firms in the world, those with more than 1,000 lawyers.

These firms, often colloquially called “megafirms” or “biglaw”, generally have offices on several continents, bill US$750 per hour or higher, and have a high ratio of support staff per lawyer.

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In other words, to use a football analogy (“soccer” if you’re American), the Premier League of law firms.

But recently I’ve begun to code.

Why coding? Why now?

Answer: I love technology.

I’ve been interested in tech since I was little. I trace it back to my geeky fascination with all things Sci-Fi and my grandfather’s and my father’s passion for mechanical technology. Later f60eeilms like The Matrix blew my mind – they inspired me with the power of technology and where it might lead, both good and bad.

As a 28 year old millennial I’ve also grown up with tech and seen it change rapidly. Our first computer was a second hand machine, surplus after my dad’s office upgraded to newer machines. It ran MS Dos and would look prehistoric if placed side by side with my iPhone 6.

But why coding now?

Well one day I thought, “wait a sec, I love all this tech and use a ton of it everyday (iPhone, internet and apps etc) and it seems everything is becoming more tech focused but I know zilch about how any of this stuff works”.

This struck me as disingenuous. Looking ahead, I want to be “in the know” and futureproof my career prospects. The way I see it, the future will communicate in English, Chinese, Spanish and code. I better start catching up and learn the latter three!

Where to begin?

Luckily I have several friends who studied computer science at university and now work in tech. Over beers I got some suggestions from these mates about where to begin.

They pointed me to MOOCS: “Massively Open Online Courses”. These are essentially free or paid courses available online via education platforms such as:

I experimented with each and found Udemy suited my learning style (disclaimer: I don’t work for any of the above, nor Udemy – these are my personal opinions!).

Udemy has a number of courses for web development and coding. I went a little nuts and signed up to several courses, including the following:

  1. The Complete Web Developer Course by Robert Percival
  2. The Complete iOS Developer Course by Robert Percival
  3. The Complete Ruby on Rails Developer Course by Robert Percival and Mashrur Hossain

I’ve been working away at The Complete Web Developer and The Complete Ruby on Rails Developer courses for some weeks now and I’m loving it.  687474703a2f2f72696b616e697368752e6769746875622e696f2f696d616765732f63616e762e706e67Both are really great courses and both instructors are incredibly active at responding to their student’s queries and requests – I honestly don’t know how they find the time!  I also recreated the classic arcade game ‘Pong‘ using HTML, Canvas and Javascript via this free Udemy course.  Check out my code on GitHub by clicking here.

What surprised me about coding?

  • Coding is creative
  • Coding is fun
  • You don’t need to be a maths genius to get into coding
  • Coding gives you instant feedback – it either works or it doesn’t!
  • Coding is addictive – to paraphrase Super Hanz from The Peep Show, “This code is really moreish.”

What next?

I’m going to keep plodding along with my Udemy courses and see whether the novelty wears off or whether I remain hooked.

If I really enjoy it I might consider other ways to immerse myself further in code. It’s pretty tough to keep coding while working full time at a Big Law firm as the hours are intense and unpredictable so I have good weeks (where I code a lot) and bad (where I code not at all) in terms of coding practice.

… watch this space

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