Avengers, Star Wars, and learning code


I’m a weirdo. I’m always working (either coding or teaching you how to code). I code on during work, at night, and even on weekends. I can’t seem to separate myself from work.

Recently, I learned to relax. I discovered that one of my favorite activities is to watch movies. I only watch some of them though. For example, I chase after every movie in the Marvel universe (for Avengers), but I don’t watch anything related to Star Wars.

But why? Are Marvel movies better made than Star Wars? Do they contain more compelling stories? Do they have better actions and effects?

Not exactly.

I wanted to know why I watched some movies and not others, so I dug into my own psychology (like I said, I’m a weirdo; forgive me for doing weird things). I found a surprising reason. I can even use this reason to explain how I learned to code 😂.

Why I watch Avengers

I watch Avengers because it is complicated 😅.

I wanted to see how stories that seem irrelevant (at least to me) can come together to form a mega-story. If you don’t follow the Avengers series, the mega-story has something to do with infinity stones—superheroes from everywhere band together to protect the galaxy from the ultimate evil. (Something like that).

This interest drove me to watch every movie in the Marvel universe. I watched Dr. Strange, Wonder Woman, Guardians of the Galaxy, Iron Man, Spiderman, and even Batman vs. Superman.

Some movies were awesome. Others were crap, but I didn’t regret spending time (nor money) on the crappy movies. Even though they’re crap, they gave me a data point to help me piece the puzzle I wanted to solve.

Why I don’t watch Star Wars

Star Wars, revolving around Luke Skywalker and his hero’s journey didn’t appeal to me. They story seems straightforward. I could pretty much tell what’s going to happen—Luke would fail, then succeed in every movie. (Did I predict wrongly?).

At this point, if you are a Star Wars fan, you may want to jump in and correct the sweeping statement I made about Star Wars.

You don’t have to. I’m sure Star Wars has an interesting story too. I may enjoy it if I find time to appreciate its beauty. (Except, I’m not interested).

What we’re talking about today isn’t why Avengers is better than Star Wars or the other way around. It isn’t about convincing you to watch Avengers, or me to watch Star Wars. It’s about learning.

Avengers and learning

Learning becomes much easier when you’re curious about a topic.

First, you won’t care if the topic is large and nebulous. You’ll find ways to chip away at it until you finally understand what it is about. You won’t care how long it takes. That’s why I try to watch every Avengers related movie whenever I can—I want to understand how everything comes together.

Code is complicated too. To master CSS, you need to know over 200 CSS properties by heart. You need to know how to combine them to produce anything you want. You also need to be able to write CSS that’s maintainable and scalable.

To master JavaScript, you need to know how to work with vanilla JavaScript. You need to understand DOM and Web APIs. You need to know the difference between frameworks, tools, and libraries. You need to know how to use the libraries too.

If you’re a web developer, you need to know HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Accessibility (at a minimum). You may even need to understand Node and databases if you want to make your own apps.

Its hard. Let’s not kid ourselves.

But it’s possible to learn these technologies. It’s possible to get good at them all. You can learn if you’re interested in them. You can chip away at one small aspect every day until you’re good enough.

I’m still learning every day, by the way. I’m still not an expert in all fields. I have much to learn.

When you are interested in a topic, you will find ways and means to get your hands on the topic. For example, I missed out on Black Panther when it hit the cinemas in Singapore. I was too busy then, but I’m going to watch a DVD to help myself catch up.

When I learned JavaScript, I tried to cram everything I could find into my brain. This process leaves me with a headache every time 😂, but I persisted because I wanted to understand it.

CSS was simpler for me. I could understand it without too many problems, probably because I’m a visual person to begin with.

Accessibility is hard. I have never tried browsing through websites without my mouse. I always need it. But I still try my best to pick it up. It may take time. But I know I can become good at accessibility. I’ll do whatever it takes to get good at it.

Everything worth learning requires work

As humans, we want to chill. If given the choice, we will all prefer to sit to watch Game of Thrones. We won’t want to reward ourselves headaches while we try to solve problems.

But everything that’s worth learning requires work. When you learned to cycle, you had to practice cycling for a period of time. When you learned to swim, you also had to practice swimming for a period of time.

If you want to be good at coding, you don’t have a choice. You need to spend time coding.

Getting mixed up

It’s okay to get things mixed up. It’s okay to get confused. I mix things up all the time.

For example, some kind folks have pointed out to me that Wonder Woman, Batman, and Superman aren’t from the Marvel Universe. They’re from DC.

I didn’t know that! I was expecting them to show up in Avengers somehow. But the good news is, now I know! Another mystery solved.

If you don’t know something, ask. Someone may respond with the right answer. You learn.

If you think you know something, talk about it. If you’re wrong, kind folks will point it out to you. You learn.

Wrapping up

It can be a difficult process to learn anything—especially code. But you can enjoy it if you’re interested in it.

It takes time to learn. It takes work; maybe a lot of work. But you can do it. You can improve a tiny bit every day until you get good at the topic you care about.

If you’re not interested in code. I suggest you stop trying to learn to code. Find something else you like instead. You’ll have an easier time there.

I enjoy Avengers, coding, and business. What about you?

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