Some people might read this and think, why would a plumber want to learn to code? Well, to be honest, why wouldn’t i?

Iv always been interested in computers and have dabbled with html and php in the past but work and life had always taken over. What actually gave me the motivation to start learning was late last year when i was fitting a boiler for a software engineer.

When me and my apprentice (who is infact my nephew) arrived at his house, we pulled up to the large detached house with two nice BMW’s on the drive and we were greeted at the door by a 30 year old gent dressed casually in an Adidas tracksuit. Throughout the day, we chatted, laughed and i still didn’t realise what he did for a living. He was just a normal down to earth guy that was clearly doing fairly well for himself!

When i found out he was a developer, as i knew a little (and i mean a little) about programming, i started probing and asking questions. I liked the look of this lifestyle – tracksuit, freedom and being able to stay at home with the wife and kids all day. It wasn’t the perception of money that was interesting to me, it was the lifestyle that appealed.

As we talked, i was expecting this customer to tell me about his university education and corporate career. What this customer actually told me was that a few years earlier he was living in a poor area with a child on the way. He was working stacking shelves at a supermarket. He had no qualifications, had left school at 16 and had decided to teach himself how to code by watching youtube video’s.

Fast forward 5 years and he runs his own software company, has a couple of employee’s and he works mainly from home.

As we were finishing up the job, this customer said he could tell that i had an interest in coding. He told me that if i had even the slightest interest in learning, for fun, or a career, then i should just do it. You are never too old to learn. We exchanged email address’s and said we would stay in touch.

It was this chance encounter that motivated me to start learning. Id always assumed that i was too old (i was only 28 at the time too) to start programming. I didn’t have a relevant degree. I have a wife and 2 kids, i cant afford to go back to college. Surely no one would want to hire someone without a giant list of qualifications or letters after their name.

I was wrong. I’d met someone who was living proof that if you wanted to change your job, career, lifestyle then it was possible. You just need to start, be determined and stick with it!



About Rick

Proud dad and husband. PHP Developer. Heating Engineer in a previous life.