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My Approach to Learning Programming Concepts - When, Why?

fikradev profile image Fikra_Dev ・2 min read

While my coding journey might be young, there are several observations that I have made. One of these observations surrounds how programming concepts are taught and how we as learners interpret the concepts.

Now, in this day and age there are a million ways and a million sources that facilitates someone learning to code without going to college or a Bootcamp. Some of the most notable include FreeCodeCamp, YouTube, Udemy and we could go on forever. But what I think is lost upon students of code, and it happened to me when I just started out, was not asking the right questions in order to cement or clear up our understanding of a concept.

With that in mind, I am going to briefly explain the approach that I have personally taken to take my understanding of programming concepts to the next level.

Now, a lot these concepts, no matter the language or framework are taught in abstraction. You understand the syntax of the language, you know how to create a variable etc. At the moment the instructor or lecturer is teaching you the concept of say, Arrays. He then gives you some data and tells you to solve the problem and you do because at that moment you are learning Arrays.

But as a student of code one should not be just following along blindly and copying the code. As a student of code, one should be actively asking themselves two questions when learning a programming concept, when and why.

When?

Since adopting this process in my learning, whenever I am introduced to a new concept the first question I ask myself is, when would I use this? For example, I am learning about Arrays in JavaScript, when would I use an Array?

When is an interrogative word and in that vein it leads you to more questions and more questions and by the end of it the concept is cemented.

Why?

The second question I ask myself is why? Why use this concept over another. Why use Array.Map() over Array.forEach(). One why will lead to another and then another but I guarantee you that this will enhance you understanding of any concept.

Conclusion

These are the steps that I have taken in my young coding journey. They might not work for everyone, however, they helped me significantly improved my understanding of concepts and simultaneously my confidence in knowing when and where to apply concepts.

Thanks for the taking the time out to read my post. It is truly appreciated. If you want to know more about my journey follow me at:

Twitter: @fikra_dev

Github: https://github.com/FikraDev

Discussion (4)

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andrewbaisden profile image
Andrew Baisden

Good article you explained your points well.

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fikradev profile image
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sentinel1909 profile image
Jeff Mitchell

Excellent points to keep in mind. Thinking about the application of concepts in this way, and going off and doing exercises to answer the questions you generate, is the strongest way to learn.

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fikradev profile image
Fikra_Dev Author

Yes sir it is