5 Tips to Learn Programming Whilst at School or in a Job

Wednesday, Aug 07

So you’re probably wondering what’s the best way to get a jump start into the programming world? Frankly, the best answer I could give you is to start whilst you still have the time, but I’ll explain it a little further.

See once you leave the world of education, you are going to get less time to do activities that you probably used to do; and the same thing applies to those in jobs already who want to learn how to code perhaps as a side hobby developing into a passion. I will give you some tips on how you could prioritize your time so that you can balance your learning time with your social life.


1. Make Coding A Daily Hobby

When I mean hobby, I don’t literally mean spend countless hours learning to code. Rather you should devote at least 1-2 hours a day to coding. This will slowly but surely improve your knowledge of what’s being taught, however, I don’t want you to be skipping through the lectures (videos) one after the other, try and learn everything in each video mentally so that you don’t forget it the next day. This is a common mistake that most beginners make so don’t be one of them! The following day, recap on what you learn yesterday by perhaps finding a project online that associates with what you learned. Even if it takes you the whole 2 hours or so, at least you’ll learn something. The rest of the day you can spend doing whatever you desire, but I do say this with caution that you will forget if you aren’t learning every day.


2. Overworking Causes Stress

Try keeping a long-term outlook rather than a short-term one as you may feel miserable from spending half your day coding. Your health is more important at the end of the day.

For example, if a project required 5-6 hours to make, split it into small 1 hour sessions, that way you’re keeping yourself restrained from working your body out. It is unhealthy to sit in one position for long amounts of time. It also has to do with how complex you yourself have made it; so if possible, lookup online for a simpler solution.


3. Start Early

They say that your mind is at its best in the morning, so what better way to spend it than to learn to code? As well as that, your mind is fresh and you will find that you’re able to learn more with perhaps less stress, simply because no one is awake (or they are just up for no reason). Before heading to school or work you could take some time out to recap on previous topics, allowing more time to spend after you come back home to begin learning something new, what’s more time-efficient than that?


4. Make Friends With Other Programmers

Stack Overflow has become one of the best resources for many developers, new and old. You will typically find what you are looking for but sometimes, it can be quite confusing. Nowadays, I would just ask a fellow programmer friend how to solve a problem and if I have any additional questions, I can ask them there and then rather than waiting for a reply on a forum. Having friends teach you will not only help them but allow you to reinforce that knowledge yourself by teaching others!


5. Comment Your Code

Now, there are a few individuals who do this, but the majority don’t. Comments are essentially little sentences that can be written next to your code, so in the future when you can read back over your notes and understand it. Commenting code identifies which parts you struggle with remembering, so use it to your advantage!

To conclude, I believe that programming isn’t actually hard, it’s the way that you yourself choose to learn it. Many successful programmers don’t want to stop learning because they love doing it with a passion, finding ways to make their code as simple as possible. This is the mentality that all of you should have by now if you really are interested in becoming a developer.