3 things I wish I knew when I started coding.
Coding can be quite scary if you’re new to it, but if you avoid a few pitfalls and follow some good practices, the process of learning can be much faster!
My first brush with programming was all the way back in school when I first worked with Java. It was love at first error!
But over time, my interest in code dropped as I progressed through my higher education and there came a point when it started scaring me! Even the simple problems that I could once solve without much thought, started feeling like an ominous impossible task!
I’ve found some ways to overcome this block, possibly even avoid it, and in doing so, found my love for code again. So if you’re a beginner looking to become a programmer, here are my top tips to avoid hitting a wall in this demanding field and keep your fire for code alive!
1. Apply what you learn!
But the biggest problem was that I learnt a lot of concepts in most of these and didn’t apply them enough.
For example, I spent a lot of time learning the theory behind Verilog, but never really had the chance to use it in an application, and obviously, it is one of my weaker languages.
So if you really want to learn, get your hands dirty and start building something using the language. Making mistakes and correcting them is what pushes you forward.
2. Don’t try to learn everything at once.
There is no point in learning every last bit of theory before you even start building apps. This is something our Indian education system does very wrong. Learning concept after concept from books makes programming seem very dull and boring. And honestly, there is so much to absorb that you eventually will forget a lot of it.
The better approach is to pick a project and learn things as you find it necessary to continue building. The experiential knowledge gained by this method will do you a lot more good and since you actually end up building something, this will keep you motivated and speed up your learning process!
Start before you’re ready!
3. Programming is a means to an end.
Programming “languages”. They’re called so for a reason. They’re a toolkit for one to solve problems. The real difficulty lies in coming up with viable solutions which work well and are easy to use. Learn programming to solve problems, not for the sake of programming itself.
It's like English! After you reach a certain level of fluency, further progress doesn’t make much of a difference. The important part is the message you’re trying to convey. Similarly, with programming languages, the approach to solving the problem and the steps you follow to make the final solution easily usable are the critical bits.
So spend some time looking at other established apps which solve the problem you’re trying to solve. Be it a simple calculator or the clone of a social media site. User experience matters a lot.