Hey, non-programmers: surprise yourself.

Note: Day 13 of the #Trust30 initiative.

The 3 most surprising things I discovered about myself thus far:

1.) I was capable of deep & meaningful love with the woman who is my wife

2.) Parenthood came somewhat naturally to me (after a fearful and rocky start)

3.) I was capable of learning to program and getting off my life’s railroad tracks

I can’t help many people with the first two, other than to offer the advice that most people I meet who are fearful of long-term relationships or becoming a parent shouldn’t be. I wasted a lot of energy worrying about both of those things before plunging in.

But the third one, I’m wildly evangelistic about. My friend Jarom told me that everyone should learn to write a program, just like everyone should learn to change their oil, or grow a garden. It’s a part of being a participating citizen of the world in which we live.

Fortunately, I don’t have to invent the means by which you can learn and discover that learning to program is a simple, even magical process. Steve Klabnik runs Hackety Hack, a project to teach programming to non-programmers. 3o minutes with Hackety will do more to address the question, “why do people do this for a living?” than 20 hours of explanation.

It’s so fun that my wife, a non-programmer, finished it in a couple of hours and asked, “Isn’t there any more?” You’ll know whether it rings your bell (as it did mine) in less than half an hour. If you haven’t taken the plunge yet, I emphatically ask you to do so.

Seriously, click here and try it out. If you like what you experience, get in touch with me and I’ll get you lined up with more fun stuff you can do.

As for me, my challenge this week is to take the meager skills I’ve amassed over the past couple of years of tinkering and actually turn out a functioning product.