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Learn programming: 3 tips to improve your journey

pixodev profile image PixoDev ・3 min read

At first, learn programming can be scary as fuck, you can think about maths and complex operations, but actually, programming is as simple as talking with a computer, is like learning English or French, but you use programming languages to communicate with the machines.

When you start learning programming, you will feel overwhelmed by the number of resources you will find. I won’t cover where to find resources in this post (TODO: write a post about that), but you can find some interesting things in this article, instead, I will share some tips I used (and I still use), and how they helped me to improve my learning curve

Tip 1: Consistency is key

I’m a genious right? nobody though about this. Actually this is very important, and is the base of every habit you will try to build by yourself

When you learn something new, your brain will be trained based on two things: frequency and recency

Consistency here means that you should try to learn on a regular basis, try to stablish a time during your day where you can stick your ass in a chair with a relaxing mood and without being disturbed.

Tip 2: Write a glossary

You will find A LOT of things that you don’t understand, write them in a glossary and explain them in a way you can understand, this is for you, use whatever technique you want to explain the concepts, frogs? frogs then, amount of apples in a basked? amount of apples in a basket.

When I learn new things I use this technique: Scan – Learn – Read

  • I scan the information and identify concepts that I don’t understand, I write them in a simple .txt file in my editor
  • I learn every concept, I tend to use practical examples, they allow me to assimilate knowledge easily
  • Now I can understand everything I read, so I can read everything in a fluent way without stopping because I don’t understand something

Tip 3: Learn to deal with the frustration

Frustration will come, and that’s something every one of us should learn to deal with.

Sometimes you will feel frustrated because you don’t understand what’s a thread (this took me some time to understand), or a determinated concept, but you know what, THAT’S TOTALLY OK, you don’t need to understand everything at first. It can demotivate you, make you want to give up, but the truth is that is only a stone in your path.

People has several ways to deal with frustration, but my main advice is to step away from your source of frustration for a while, and try to think in other things, when you arrive to the problem next time, you will see it with other eyes

What to do vs what not to do when you are frustrated while you are learning programming:

DON’T

  • Don’t keep trying to solve the problem, it will frustrate you even more
  • Don’t try to learn other programming things immediately, you will keep thinking about that thing that is frustrating you
  • Don’t rush things, even if you solve this problem, you will face more in the future, improve the way you deal with them

DO

  • Do things not related to programming, cooking, videogames, do some exercises, for example, I like to watch youtube videos about restorations, I recommend you this channel if you want to try, they are really satisfying and relaxing
  • Ask for help, there are a lot of people on the internet who probably stepped into the same problem before and are more than happy to help you, but remember, their time is valuable, be polite and respectful.

I hope this post helps people in their programming journey, is directly extracted from my professional journey and these are some of the things that worked for me

Pixo

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