08/31/2012 07:43 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Art of Going Back to School (When You're...Older)

by guest blogger Maya Rodale, writer of historical tales of true love and adventure

At the age of--well, never mind that--I have gone back to school. This time, instead of yet another English degree, I'm learning another language entirely. I'm learning how to write code.

Yes, computer code. I used to be one of those people who believed in Internet fairies and couldn't fathom how it all worked. So I didn't try. Let me tell you how expensive that was--actually, I can't even stomach it.

And then I met The Husband, who happens to run an Internet company. I'd like it to be noted that I can now code more than he can. But he was the one who got me started by setting up a Wordpress website for me to play around on and by pointing me in the direction of coding classes and online programs. He also introduced me to a world where coding was cool. And incredibly lucrative. There are members of his team earning triple what I make--when I have way more college degrees--but they have a valuable skill that's in high demand right now.

I'm not very good at all. But I know enough that I'm starting to see how things are built and understand how it all works (without fairies). I love the immediate feedback of code--it either works or it doesn't and you know it. Currently, I'm learning

HTML and CSS, and it reminds me of organizing a pantry with neatly labeled bins--and we all know how much I love that! I've also learned enough that I can manage my website myself (and save lots of $).

I do not miss school--with two degrees, I did my time--but I do still like the challenge of learning new things, especially because these days it's just for the pleasure of it.

In fact, I've gotten hooked on the fun of discovery and accomplishment. After I finish this Front End Web Development class, I'm going to sign up for another class to learn something I've always wanted to: sewing.

What's a new skill or hobby that you have always wanted to learn, just for the fun of it?

(P.S. If you're interested in coding, try these FREE online resources: Codecademy and Team Treehouse).


Maya Rodale is the author of multiple historical romance novels, as well as the nonfiction book Dangerous Books for Girls: The Bad Reputation of Romance Novels, Explained. She has a master's degree from New York University and lives in Manhattan with her darling dog and a rogue of her own. Her latest book is The Tattooed Duke. Learn more at