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 learning 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 prioritise your time so that you can balance your learning time with your social life.
Tip 1 – Make Coding Your Daily Hobby
When I mean hobby, I don’t literally mean spend countless hours on learning to code. Rather you should devote at least 1-2 hours a day coding. This will slowly but surely improve your knowledge on 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 learnt. 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 everyday, some things you will need sacrifice.
Tip 2 – Overworking Causes Stress
Try keeping a long-term outlook rather than short-term as you may feel miserable from spending half your day coding; your health is more important. 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 it one position for long amounts of time. One thing that links with this idea of spending hours on-end on a simple project is how complex you yourself have made it; so if possible look up a shorter solution if you have to.
Tip 3 – Fit Time in the Morning
They say that your mind is at its best in the morning, what better way to spend it than to learn coding? 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 recap on your prior coding, allowing more time to spend after you come back home to start learning something new, what’s more time-efficient than that?
Tip 4 – Make Friends With Other Programmers
This may seem a little weird but I remember when I used to refer to Stack Overflow (I still often do) for snippets of code I needed for a project but usually I found it somewhat confusing. Now, I can ask my fellow programmers how to solve the problems since I will understand it better face-to-face and if I have any additional questions, I can ask them there and then. Especially if your a beginner, you will find that you will get stuck most often.
Tip 5 – Write Comments Besides Your Code
Now, there are a few individuals who do this, but the majority don’t. Comments are essentially little sentences which can be commented next to your code, allowing you to understand it later in the future when you read back over your notes. This is beneficial to everyone, as for example, if you can’t remember what the ‘position’ attribute means in CSS, the comment if you’ve written one will define it for you, no extra work needed. Commenting code identifies which parts you struggle on remembering, so if its there, then you use at 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.