For the last few weeks I have been seriously considering attending a coding boot camp next year. I have become extremely disgusted with selling on Amazon the last few months and I cannot bring myself to spend another dime on inventory. Amazon has had a $6,000 shipment of mine in a holding pattern for close to three months now. Because of this I have decided to look for other ways to improve my skill set.
Why I Like “The Idea” of Coding
Coding is creative
While many people do not think of software engineers as “creative” they seem to be building the future faster than anyone else. Software engineers and coders work on the most critical business issues and their opinion, preferences, and values are constantly displayed in the code. The more I research about software development the more it seems like magic. If you are a full stack developer you can build basically anything you can dream up. Right now I am in a highly uncreative job. I am an analyst and spend most of my day pulling reports, building dashboards (barely creative), and putting together power points for other people to present. I don’t think having a purely creative job is the right call for me personally. But a way to be both technical and creative is something I am really interested in.
Another huge perk of software engineering is leverage. Naval Ravikant talks about leverage a lot explaining that you want your output to be greater than your input. Basically you want the amount of value you generate to be greater than the amount of effort you put. He argues that coding is the purest form of this because code can work while you sleep or even if you die. The code you write could theoretically be creating value 100 years after you die. For more practical purposes writing code once will allow you to keep earring without having to work in the future. There are many different forms of leverage the biggest outside of coding is probably creating content. You can post a video to youtube that will literally be there for enternity. You can continue to make money off of that video until the end of time. That’s a big part of why I’m writing on a blog. i’m well aware that pretty much everything I have written sucks so far, but over time this blog could build leverage which helps me get a better job, paid sponsorships, or access to a network I normally would not have access to. Compare this to doctors or lawyers. Both are extremely high paying professions that are thought of as the top 1% of earners. However, these jobs have 0 leverage. Both are paid by the hour or client. If they stop working they stop making money. These are highly unleveraged jobs unless you own a law firm or medical practice. The same can be said of coding of course. If you code for a company and just collect a pay check you really do not have leverage. But your ability to immediately create something with no cost other than time makes software engineering the highest leveraged skill in existence. You can learn to code online for free. All you need is a computer and wifi. If you want to be a doctor or a lawyer it takes 3-4 minimum plus at least $100,000. Coding can be done with no investment other than time. There are a lot of bootcamps which I am currently looking at. The top bootcamps cost 1/15th of what it would cost to go to medical school. The programs also typically last 6 months tops as well.
Coding is a really in demand skill which is not surprising. Also if you are a full stack software engineer you can basically do any business job. I have started using bits of code to automate my current job as an analyst. If i was a full stack engineer I think it would be easy to do my current job in 4 hours a week (hehe). A friend of mine once said “if you want to be a great analyst be a shitty data scientist, if you want to be a great data scientist, be a shitty software engineer. No matter what your job is coding makes you infinitely more valuable and brings in a ton of leverage with employers. Which takes me to my next point
Right now most people in office jobs are able to work from home because of Covid-19. Some people will probably be able to work remote permanently. However, a lot of big companies will probably try to make people come back to work. The more leverage you have (AKA the harder you will be able to replace) the more likely you will be able to negotiate a remote work agreement. I have read literally dozens of posts on Reddit and Twitter about people who have taken multiple full time jobs and have been working both from home during quarantine. These people are pulling in anywhere from $200,000 – $400,000 just because they don’t have to be in the office. if I stayed remote full time and picked up another job I could double my salary overnight just by not having to go to the office. Even if I don’t end up going this route I’d still like the ability to move somewhere warm and save myself 5-6 hours of commute time a week.
This one probably makes the least amount of sense to other people but it makes the most amount of sense to me personally. My biggest goal is to start my own business so I can be my own boss and more or less control my own destiny. I don’t have the interest (or talent) to create some crazy billion dollar company. However, I think I am intelligent and driven enough to be an owner or co-owner of a million dollar company. So far I have tried to do this through e-commerce. Although I’ve made a decent amount of money I haven’t been able to scale anything or get anywhere close to the equivalent of my full time salary. The recent set backs I’ve had with Amazon have caused me to realize that this company most likely will not be built off of Amazon. If it is it will be because I created a brand new product or acquired a brand. Off of Amazon I’ve realized I don’t really have a skillset to be “the guy” for a startup company. Most of my knowledge is in the Amazon space. I know basic web design and SEO but if you were looking at a group of people to start a company with you would not look at me as a potential “quarterback”. I think becoming a software engineer would put me in quarterback status for a small company or at least give me enough leverage to recruit really talented people for a product or software I wanted to build. Becoming a full stack engineer is not easy it’s really difficult. It will be an extremely heavy time investment and possibly a significant monetary investment (for me) if I decide to enroll in a bootcamp. Not only would the bootcamp cost $8,000-$15,000 but I would probably have to quit my job too. There are part time options available but at some point I’ll have to go all in and take the leap.
Another great Naval quote is “Hard Choices, Easy Life. Easy Choices, Hard Life”. Learning how to code is going to be a pain in the ass. Huge time commitment and really just less time for me to screw around. The more I investigate it the more I think just biting the bullet and enrolling in a coding bootcamp may be the right call for me if I am serious about creating my own company. There is still a lot of stuff to figure out. Ideally I could get paid to learn how to code rather than just paying someone. But more on that later.