How to learn programming for people with low Ti


I’ve flirted with learning how to program for a few months but I can never remember everything and I use my inf-Ti as a convenient excuse to suck at coding since I’ve heard that you either get coding or you don’t…but it’s also really important to learn this skill because machines will take over the world probably…

So how do I make this seem interesting and easier to learn?? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

What's your enneagram?

If you want to do it use free code camp. But nothing is going to make it seem interesting. Haha. Learning programming is very much like learning a new language. If you’ve ever done that you might know the feeling of thinking you understand the language from studying it in some courses and then landing in a foreign country and realising you really don’t. The only way to “learn” it to constantly push up against failure in this way and gain some knowledge bit by bit.

But I think there are great tools that have come available lately to provide the thing your comment implies you want – that is, the ability to control computers.

Here is what worked for me:

A few companies have really good documentation (instruction manuals) about how to use their software as a developer. Thus documentation exists often at websites like “” or can obviously be found by googling but sometime I try the and am surprised how many companies have a dedicated developer documentation effort.

The companies who Build software that straddles the line between “technical” and “nontechnical” customers tend to have documentation that is very much an education in programming for the web.

These are the products I most appreciated in this regard:

Google Sheets, Zapier, Slack, Trello, Airtable, and Twilio.

Trello isn’t as easy to understand as the rest but with Google sheets and Zapier and $20 a month for Zapier fees you can build a lot of cool stuff. And while you are doing it you’ll start to think about computers as just big chains of commands executed quickly with “if this than that” baked in all over.

The only thing you need to do imo to keep up with the average tech savvy but not technical Person in the future is use these products or others like them, push yourself to read the documentation, push yourself to build things using the documentation, and then, well, at some point, learn one other thing which is how to use the text interface on your computer, called the terminal on a mac. It’s pretty easy at least relative to how hard it looks. Type echo I <3 johnonymous and hit enter and it will show I <3 johnonymous on the line. Type echo I <3 johnonymous > ~/Desktop/loveNote.txt and hit enter and you’ll see nothing but go to your desktop and you’ll see a new file called loveNote.txt and inside it will tell you that you love johnonymous.

Type curl -L | egrep "johnonymous" | egrep -o "[^<>]+" and probably it will return nothing but maybe it will scrape the forums for mentions of me and then parse them for anything other than < or >.

This is all to say that you will then have to learn how to use the command line but really it’s not that hard, you probably need 10 commands memorised.

Of all the products, Zapier is fastest to get going on fun things with, Google sheets has the best “right when you need it” documentation and also is great because it sort of teaches you a style of programming that is mathematical and this doesn’t involve messing with a lot of variables and so therefore is sort of what is called functional programming, which is a good thing to have baked in to your worldview on programming, and slack is the best one I found for bringing the gap for me between "stringing things together " and “building my own actual software that runs in slack.”

Anyway. As far as “what language to learn,” there isn’t any question that the language you should learn if you want to learn for fun is JavaScript, which is the language that creates the web and is the language that will win all the things for a long time. But all the things above will help you learn javascript and critical they will help you learn http protocol.


Arrgghh so much workkk :stuck_out_tongue: but irregardless thanks so much for the detailed advice!!


Omg ok I adore the Google Sheets developer page…it makes programming seem a lot more feasible to learn!! Sometimes I have trouble staying engaged and interested in memorizing all these coding conventions though :sweat: You seem to really enjoy coding, how do you stay passionate about it??


The best part about google sheets is how it gives you advice while you’re working on it.

notice how when you type = and then almost anyhting it hints all the functions and then shows you how to use them correctly:


You need an emotionally compelling reason to learn programming. Like for example you saw those robot fighting arenas on TV and you want to program robots that are as badass as that. Something like that.


Agghhh but I don’t really have one :stuck_out_tongue: which is why I’ve stalled in actually learning programming…


Want to help me create a small AI bot to enter into a Tetris competition? I have been putting this off too and seems like a fun team project.

Edit: how bad could it be?


Yes. So what put the idea of learning programming in your head in the first place?


Tbh?? I think it’s going to be a skill that would make me a better job applicant and with the rise of technology I feel like I need to stay informed :upside_down:


Programming’s pretty fun
But I’m so done

Took some classes in college
Not my cup of tea
Ain’t gonna stick with it until my dotage

Big O
Test cases
Infinite looping
In my head even while I’m pooping

Geniuses blazing away done in one hour
While I’m still debugging away with face so dour

Why is this not my cup of tea you may ask
(Even though I am able to complete satisfactorily the assigned task?)
Because algorithms are for the artistically inclined a jacket strait
Sadly for me code and poetry are not equal made.


Oh my god so cute


@iamrl did you see my offer above or is that a no? Either way I agree you need to have a project to work on. If you don’t then it won’t stick because you need to learn by trial and error, and if you don’t have an end goal that becomes really hard.


i think 80% of todays programmers got into programming in order to figure out how to access nekkid pictures they knew were out there on the interwebs in the early 90s. thats the sort of motivation one needs.


I learned computer programming waaay back in the dark ages (OK the late 70’s). We’re talking BASIC and COBOL and FORTRAN and even some early Assembly languages.

Back then it was almost essential to have some basic programming skills to be able to use the old-fashioned corporate or university computer installations with their punched card data-entry systems:

I thought it was pretty cool at the time, but the proliferation and increasing complexity of programming languages in the subsequent decades rendered the task of learning programming too difficult for all but IT professionals or those with a genuine interest in the field. Plus modern PC’s with their high-level operating systems (such as Windows) made programming skills obsolete for the majority of users.

It was still valuable to learn the basics, however, as it taught me to understand how computers work at both a technical (hardware) and programming (software) level. Today, I would have to have a very good reason to learn modern programming techniques, though I sometimes wonder about learning how to develop apps for handheld devices.


Ahhh I don’t know how I missed this the first time around!! When is it due?? I have a deadline coming up and my experiments are all failures so far so I need to really grind at I think for a while…:cry:


Lmaooo that’s the kind of motivation I definitely do not have :tired_face: Your remarks are so priceless I would heart everything but I’m hardly ever on the maze on my phone :crying_cat_face:


YES!!! I agree with everything you’ve said even though I wasn’t born yet during the late 70’s…like give me some Hidden Figures style challenge and I’ll learn the cute clunky coding languages. I don’t want this complicated modern schtick :stuck_out_tongue:


Ithink? You mean the systems thinking software? I learnt that a looooong time ago in school for a systems thinking module… and I was pretty skeptical about how extremely complex situations could be simulated using causal loop and stock-flow diagrams in what is essentially a step-by-step simulation… as if you can account for every single variable out there. It’s like the old mechanical Newtonian paradigm still underlies the supposedly “new” fields of system thinking and complexity.


I’m so soooo embarrassed but I actually have no idea what you’re talking about :no_mouth: