I’ve been a big fan of Skillshare ever since I first learned about the site and joined over six months ago. That being said, until last week I had never actually used the service. Despite the fact that I had managed to accumulate a watchlist which consisted of over 30 different classes, ranging from ‘How to Homebrew Beer‘  (much to my dismay this class still has yet to be taught) to ‘Launch Your Startup Idea for Less Than $5000‘ and everything in between.

So what class was it that I decided to pop my SkillShare cherry with you ask, Introduction to Programming with Ruby. Its a three-week, six class course taught by Avi Flombaum (@aviflombaum). Hence the title of this post; MINSWAN is an expression used by Rubyists that means “Matz is nice, so we are nice”. Matz is the creator of the Ruby language who is beloved by everyone because he is an all around awesome guy. The sentiment is that, because Matz is so nice, everyone who uses Ruby should be nice too AKA help the Ruby Newbies.

So what motivated me to take this course?

I enjoy learning … I really mean that, no bullshit. — Now that not to say that I haven’t taken classes that I found boring and hated, because I did. But I also took classes, which I loved, and I looked forward to attending and even doing the work for. By taking this course I hope to whet my appetite for programming/web design, in the hopes that it will cause me to crave learning more of it (so far so good, the class is awesome and I find myself practicing what I’ve learned in my free time).

The dream of building my own product … eventually. — Obviously it’s going to take me awhile to build up a skill set that allows me to create anything complex, but the prospect of one day accomplishing that is incredibly alluring. Hopefully I can get decent enough in the near term, that I’ll be capable of building a shitty MVP, which might help me attract a technical co-founder. Non-technical business/idea guys are a dime a dozen these days, so hopefully by having even minimal engineering skills I can separate myself from the crowd. At the very least I’m gaining a better understanding of how programming works, and the language associated with it, which I believe is vital for anyone working in the tech-startup scene these days.

Meeting people similar to myself … basically networking. — This is a common theme justifying a lot of what I have been doing this summer. Having just graduated college and previously only working finance jobs, I’m still an outsider (relatively) to the startup and tech communities, which is something I’m working to change. I figure that many of my classmates fall into one of two categories: programmers who are looking to learn a new language, or non-technical employees at startups who are looking to separate themselves from the pact in the hopes of advancing their careers. In short, the type of people I want to start creating connections with.

I already consider my first Skillshare experience to be a success, which has lead me to sign up for several additional classes! Stay tuned to hear more about those, and as always please share your thoughts in the comments.