Why this post matters to you ?
Before I start advising the newbie coders and devs, let me share to you why my advices will be useful for you in an unexpected way.
Often times, we get our career tips and advices from the most successful and talented engineers and ended up in a situation where we find it hard to related to them because they are just built different.
Yes, some people are just natural born coders from the way they look at solving problems and their ability to grasp technical concepts. But there are people who just thought they will be good at being a programmer and it turned out to be nightmare. I am one of you who had nightmares when it comes to programming and here's what I did to survive and become confident with my experience and skills.
Change of learning approach
This was the biggest game changer for me and I can't be more happy even though I only understood it at end of my bachelor's degree. Coming out from traditional education from high school.
We been adapted to a learning style where we tend to learn by reading, get informed, and watch more tutorials and lectures. We always keep it as our main approach when learning something.
But using the same approach while learning to code will only make you more anxious and grow self doubt from unseen growth in your coding skills.
The secret to learn to code, is to drop all the tutorials, lectures, and taking notes.
Watching coding tutorials and expecting to be a good programmer is like watching Football match and expecting to be a professional footballer
What makes you good at programming is practice. Practice what you learn. E.g. if you are learning about for-loop. Create a new project, and try to apply and make use of for-loop in that project. If you are looking out to be a web developer, create a simple button and make it clickable.
If you don't know where to even begin, ask yourself what's stopping you from doing what you supposed to do. Most often you may not have a tiny bit of idea if you're a completed beginner. That's okay, go read the basics, come back to create what you wanted to develop. Still have no idea ? Go back and read more and come back to develop and repeat the cycle.
This process looks so wrong but that's exactly how you teach yourself to code and that's how it worked for me(a guy who my peers used to say coding is not for me).
Also bare in mind, the hardest phase of learning to code is the beginning phase. It gets better as it goes. So expect to feel bad about your knowledge and skills once you start writing code on your own, we all do!
Now before you jump at me at the comment section, let me explain what I'm saying. Although following along the tutorials and lectures will get you more informed on what you are doing, it should never be the main learning technique.
Only because it sacrifices other experiences that you may strengthen while coding in your own like critical thinking, confidence in finding your solution, first hand experience in developing a program.
Be creative in finding learning resources.
As I mentioned, coding on your own without step by step guide should be your main learning to code approach.
Knowing where to find good learning resources comes second after that. Look out to read articles on engineers lifestyle, experiences, tech concepts breakdowns while you are not on your desk coding.
Sometimes explanation on certain topics may not be straight forward or we find it hard to wrap our mind around it. In this case, continue to find alternative articles that explains the topic in a way that you can understand it. It's very common to be in this situation.
Platforms like dev.to, medium.com can be used to learn tech topics and concepts. While Reddit platform is good for realistic, no sugar coating discussion among developers/engineers community.
Momentum in learning to code.
Be sure to engage yourself in coding or reading coding related articles frequently.
We are humans, we do have times where we don't feel like to code everyday. In this situation, feel free to relax yourself and try reading some tech articles or listen to tech podcasts.
Try to keep indulging yourself in tech discussion and keep the momentum going. And useful rule of thumb here is, don't go more than 3 days without writing code in a week. Only take that much break if you're burned out or totally busy with your schedule.
Technology world is potentially bigger than our actual world so you should be able to find something that you love within it. So don't stop exploring, you might be the leader for something we didn't even know it exists.
Hope this blog helped you to strengthen your first few steps into this amazing tech world. I will be writing more contents to help non tech savvy people.
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