Learn to Code: Apply the Golden Circle

[8 minute read]

I’m Max

Welcome to Elium's first blog post! I’m Max, a full stack web developer with Elium Academy, and an expert developer with 7+ years of experience in multiple stacks including Java, Ruby, Node.js, and Python. I’ve gone through the process of learning to code, and want to share the best ways I've discovered to help you begin your journey into tech.

Golden Circle Applied to Code

In this post series on “Learning to Code”, we apply the golden circle theory to set out the ultimate guide to getting started in web development.

We will look at the :

  • Why - your purpose
  • How - your process
  • What - your results

in your path to learning to code, including which technologies you should focus on according to your needs.

Check out the Golden Circle below for a visual representation of what I mean. We start at the center and work our way outwards.

Golden Circle

If you've never heard of this circle, check out start-up guru Simon Sinek's TED talk to get up to speed.

Getting Started

You are at the start of your coding adventure, but there is a massive amount of information out there! So what do you do? If you are an independent person, you probably want to be capable of putting together a ‘Full stack’ application.

This means that you know a ‘stack’ of technologies, from the backend to the frontend, and are capable of putting together a web application by yourself. That's something we teach you in the Elium Full Stack Web Development Bootcamp.
But let's take things one step at a time.

If you want to be able to put together a web app by yourself, then the next question is:

How do you learn what you need to learn to put together such a web application according to your specific needs as an entrepreneur, developer, tech manager, etc. ?


I want you to start learning the right way. And the truth is that you need to adopt a certain mindset to be effective in your learning.

I often get people asking me things like:
“What language should I learn to make money fast?”
or “How can I learn programming in 3 months?”

These questions are missing the point. They are an attempt to short-circuit the process to learning how to code. And you will get burned by that short-circuit if this is your approach to learning how to code.

If you want to gain critical skills or build something, with coding as with everything else, there’s a mindset you must adopt to obtain good results. So, you need to start asking the right questions before investing your time into learning programming.

Why do I want to learn to code?

There’s really only one question you should be asking yourself when deciding to learn how to code, which is:

“Why do I want to learn to code?”

This may seem trivial but it is powerful. If you understand truly why you are doing something, you are more likely to be successful because you are driven towards achieving a goal.

The Why Technique

If you want even better results, you’ve got to dig deep with your answer. Try using what I dub the ‘Why’ technique. Ask yourself ‘Why [do I want to learn how to code]?’, until you boil down to your real feelings. For an example of this, see my answer on Quora.

You probably aren’t used to using this technique but trust me, if you do, you will discover things about yourself you didn’t know before. It is an extremely powerful technique which you can also use to find meaning in many other areas of your life.

Next step: Turning Why into How

If you’ve answered the why for yourself, you’ve probably done the hardest part, so cheer up!

In the next post, we’re going to look into what the market of web technologies looks like. That way, by understanding what is out there, you will more easily be able to turn that why into a how - and actually start doing something.


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