Having a hobby is helpful. It keeps you happy and at times augments productivity. After entering medical school I felt the need to fill up the spare time with some activity. I was good at very few things, so learning something new sounded great. After some consideration, I chose to learn web development. Here’s why…
An Ideal Hobby
What does an ideal hobby look like? If you ponder upon this question for some time, you might come to the conclusion that it must have three essential properties.
- Room for Growth – If you want your hobby to last for years or decades, it might as well have a scope for growth. Otherwise, very soon you’ll end up repeating the same thing over and over and that might take away the fun of doing it in the first place. The more the uncharted territory lies ahead of you, the greater the probability that you’ll explore it creatively.
- Aesthetics – If your hobby isn’t presentable, chances are that you’ll never really show it to others. This is why art, singing, dancing, etc. are such prominent hobbies. Because these carry a sense of aesthetics along with them which render them extremely presentable. It is easy to demonstrate these hobbies. Such demonstrations usually draw appreciation and further motivates us to do the same.
- Functionality – In some cases, hobbies can be derogatory if you’re spending countless hours trying to build something that adds little or no value to the society. But the same hobby can be an investment if you figure out a way to benefit either yourself or anybody from your creations.
Perks of Web Development
Alongside being presentable and functional, learning web development immediately signs you up to several perks.
- Cheap Resources – Almost all the frameworks you’ll ever use is free and open source. The languages themselves are not copyrighted. You can explore codes of other developers, adopt parts or even directly plug them in to your app for free. You don’t need a fancy computer to start learning web dev. Just your browser, terminal and text editor is enough. And even if you wish to switch, most tools like IDEs, containerization and virtualization softwares are in fact totally free.
- Free to Learn – There’re just so many resources! Coming from a background of conventional education, I was initially drawn to buying books and enrolling into courses to learn web development. But as I realized later, when it’s just for a hobby, the easiest and the quickest way to learn is from the free tutorials present online. YouTube has bunch of channels sharing 11 hour long videos explaining the basics. Github has awesome list of curated stuff you can use to learn something. And then there’s stack overflow! Honestly, the need for books and courses vanishes overnight.
- Requires no inborn talent – This was a big reason for me. When I’m starting to learn a new hobby, the last thing I want is to back off because I wasn’t born with the talent. Every time I sing, I’ve heard even mosquitoes plead me to stop. No such thing happens with web development. I’m bad at styling? Well, I’ll spend a weekend learning some css attributes and then exploring some codepen examples and sooner than not I’m performing marginally better. Albeit a little improvement, but over time such changes compound. Since every aspect of programming eventually rests on logic, you can semantically learn every branch of the tree, even the intangible aesthetics!
Web vs App Development
There isn’t much difference between the two. Except that with App development you’re probably building for a platform that is owned by a tech giant and chances are you’ll have to pay substantially to get your application registered.
In that sense, the web is free. But, such distinctions between web and app development will soon be diminished with the popularization of cross platform development languages like react native.
High-Code, Low-Code and No-code
I’ll write an article about it later. The basic concept is that conventional programming is high-code. This wordpress blog that I write is low-code (actually no-code but I do have some custom html elements inserted hither and thither). Finally, no-code is the pristine drag and drop builders.
These transition in development will incentivize reusable codes and make web development available for a bigger audience. It will also ease up the redundant parts of web development and make it more exciting.
I hope this motivates you to check out development as a potential hobby when you’re searching for one the next time. Just remember that when it’s just for a hobby, the best way to learn this is with youtube and not paid courses and books (although a few udemy courses might be helpful).