Learning programming is undeniably challenging. Achieving some level of mastery requires great focus and time. This applies to students pursuing degrees in computer science, veterans who can operate the GI Bill, aspiring self-taught programmers, and coding Bootcamp students. And even as mastering programming craft remains a perpetual struggle, it is something doable. Unlike other sectors of education, technology keeps changing, making it difficult for beginners and seasoned developers to keep pace. Below are some tips to learn how to program quickly.
Start with the Basics
Most beginners make the mistake of ignoring the fundamentals, which is key to understanding any topic. You will have trouble trying to build an advanced application without knowing the basic programming language concepts. To understand advanced programming concepts with ease, you should be very clear with the basics of programming.
The basics include getting to know the various data structures, control structures, text editors, variables, and syntax. Once you have known these, you can then proceed with one programming language before advancing to the next level. Trying to learn everything about coding immediately is a waste of time, and you will end up being less productive.
For instance, beginners looking to advance as Java developers shouldn’t waste their time learning C programming language. You can directly focus on Java, after which you can pick your framework of choice after mastering the basics. Advancing with the right foundation will make it easy to adopt new tools as well. There are many free coding education sites available.
Code by Hand
Even as advanced technology makes hard drives lighter, thins computer monitors and empowers programming languages, coding by hand remains the best way to sharpen your coding proficiency. Practicing coding on your notebook or a whiteboard enables one to learn with utmost caution and precision. You will also learn to extract intents behind every code line drawn. Coding by hand eliminates the advantage that coding with computers provides, as you can’t check if your work is correct midway.
That aside, coding by hand will help you excel in programming interviews. If you attend an interview for a programming job, most hirers will include coding by hand in the technical evaluation stage. As such, the sooner you adapt to this at the beginning, the better.
Learn by Practice
Learning programming requires extensive theory and lots of practice. Once you have learned something from your theoretical source, develop a project; doing this will give you an unmatched experience and a better understanding. It might be easy to read on variables, loops, and getting them in your head. However, this is not how programming works.
You should get your hands dirty and keep playing with the codes. This is because once you start programming, you will have to implement the codes and find solutions to problems practically. Therefore, when you have a code, make some changes, play with it, optimize the code, and try alternative solutions. This will improve your logical thinking and enable you to learn several programming tricks that will improve your programming skills. Even better, try building your projects, taking part in coding challenges, playing programming-related games, and practicing it daily.
Reach Out for Guidance
Sailing through programming smoothly is impossible. At some point, you will come across a difficult code or a bug that seems to have no solution. Just like a puzzle game, having an extra pair of eyes can identify what escaped your attention. In such situations, seeking guidance from experts comes in handy. Like any other profession, an experienced programmer won’t feel any hitch sharing their expertise with you. This is because they might have been in the same position some time back as well.
Avoid Common Mistakes
Among other common programming mistakes, avoid the following mistakes as you learn to program;
- Perfection – being a beginner, attaining perfection might not be beneficial. Aiming to be perfect will have you procrastinating and stagnating instead of progressing to the next learning phase.
- Comparison – comparing yourself with others can be very demoralizing, and you should avoid in your journey of learning programming. If your peers appear more talented, it doesn’t mean that you are not doing the right thing. Actually, be proud of learning from them as you improve your skills.
- Complexity – programming and coding are about solving problems. As such, find ways of breaking problems into smaller, solvable pieces. Also, work bearing in mind that there is no perfect code.
Simple Steps can better your Programming Knowledge
Despite programming being a creative job, your creative abilities remain tucked away from the public view. Only those who know coding will understand the value of what you have done. Besides being an interesting career, the estimated salary as a programmer is a major driving factor for learning programming. Implementing the tips above and attending a coding bootcamp will ease your learning curve and better your income.