“To learn a language is to have one more window from which to look at the world,” says a Chinese proverb.
Languages, weather spoken for programming languages, are windows that enable someone to see a different and certain shade of the world where that language is being used. It opens up a window you’ve never looked out from. It helps train our minds and see things our brain can’t.
Learning a programming language allows you to experience the same joy.
They open doors of opportunities to the technology world; a world many people are yet to understand. To learn programming effectively is as challenging as learning Spanish or French or any other language (if you’re an English speaker).
Here are some tips that will help you learn programming effectively:
1. How to Choose What Programming Language to Learn
Of course, before you start to learn programming, you have to choose the language you want or need to learn first. How? Research. There are things you have to consider before you decide what language to learn:
- What language that interests you
- What programming languages are the most popular or in-demand
What we learn with pleasure, we never forget.” ~Alfred Mercier
It’s also a smart move to study and learn in-demand programming languages because it’s what most companies are looking for; therefore, it will be easier to find and land a job.
Check out the most in-demand programming languages of the year to see which languages companies desire the most when making a new hire.
2. Study Coding
Data is everywhere. And with today’s technology, it is available in just a few taps or clicks; some are free, some are paid. There are programming tutorial sites that will help you learn programming—if not everything about it, at least the basics or the fundamentals. As long as you have internet access, you can learn. You can also download programming ebooks or pdf for your offline learning. Buying hard copies of programming books from bookstores is also an option.
When you know more, you do more. Just like what Maya Angelou—an American poet, and singer—said, “When you know better, you do better.”
3. Code at Least Once a Day
Knowledge is power. but it’s not powerful if it isn’t applied. Learn by doing.
The key to mastery is applying what you’re learning. So, code every day. Literally, every day. Our muscle memory plays a significant role in learning and consistency in coding practice will help you develop that muscle to perform better. You don’t have to start with a big project, you can start small, start with the basics. You can consider coding at least an hour a day.
You can also consider to challenge yourself with committing yourself to code every day. You can start at 50 days of coding. When you achieve that, give yourself a reward and then make another challenge with “100 days of coding.”
If you have to code the same program over and over again for about three days or even a week, do so. Challenge yourself until it becomes a habit and until you master or understand what you are coding.
4. Focus on One Concept at a Time
You might be part of the few people who can focus on multiple concepts at once, but I still suggest when learning programming to focus on a single concept before moving on to the next one. Here are some of the benefits of focusing on one concept at a time:
- You can avoid possible future confusions.
- You don’t only get to learn, but also understand the concept better.
- You can move to the next concept quicker.
- Your time spending on looking back at the previous concept(because you aren’t sure) will decrease.
5. Seek a Mentor or Teach Someone
“I think mentors are important and I don’t think anybody makes it in the world without some form of mentorship. Nobody makes it alone. Nobody has made it alone. And we are all mentors to people even when we don’t know it.” – Oprah
Entering the tech world for the first time is like entering a foreign place with a foreign language. There will be times you’d feel lost and don’t know what to do. This is why you need someone who already knows the way and the language to teach and guide you.
An experienced mentor in this field is the best option. He or she will accelerate your learning process, help you with your career goals, and develop your skills and discover your potential. To further understand the need for mentorship, read “The Need For Mentorship From Experienced Developers.”
Additionally, one of the best ways to learn is to teach. Why? Because you are your first student. When you attempt to teach, you are pushed to learn. Thus, it deepens your understanding of what you are learning, and what you are going to teach. Robert A. Heinlein, an American science-fiction author, once said, “When one teaches, two learn.”
6. Do a Pair Programming
Pair programming is a practice of working on a programming task with a partner—a peer, a colleague, a friend, or even your mentor. As s beginner, this practice will help you learn programming not just from your partner, but also from your own mistakes.
You share your knowledge with each other, face problems together, suggest and try solutions together, and you also get to review each other’s code. Reviewing and understanding other’s code gives you additional learning on what’s the best way to solve a problem.
Teaming up with a beginner like you, or with an experienced developer have their own advantages. For example, working with an experienced developer is almost the same as having a mentor. You get to learn a lot from someone who has the knowledge you don’t have. You can also grab the time to ask questions that will help you more in learning to program.
And pairing with a beginner like you will most likely push both of you to your limits. Aside from learning from each other, you will need to learn more than you already know to make your project a success.
7. Take a Break
Let’s go back to our “50 days of coding” challenge. The reward you could give yourself when you beat your own challenge is to: spend time with your family, give your partner a special date, spoil yourself by buying something you love, sleep to make up for your all-nighters, or just do anything fun as a reward.
You don’t have to overload yourself and forget to relax. You can take a break. You have to! It helps you not just mentally, but also physically and emotionally.
Here are some of the benefits of taking a break:
- It will rest your stressed mind.
- It will help you decide, think and work better.
- It will restore and refresh your motivation to reach your goal.
- It will give you time to reflect and evaluate yourself.
Join a Coding Bootcamp
Going to school and taking a Computer Science course is probably the most common and traditional way to learn programming. You would have the resources for learning and studying. You would study and code every day. You would have professional developers to teach you. You would have your fellow student to pair or practice with.
So, why am I suggesting to join a coding bootcamp instead of taking a CS course? Coding bootcamp is an alternative education to solve the tech talent shortage. In a coding bootcamp, you will learn, you will be taught how to learn effectively by instructors who will act as your mentor, you will have cohorts to code with every day, and you will be taught one concept at a time.
But what are the advantages of joining a coding bootcamp?
Less time, faster learning. CS courses last for years. You will get an associate degree after two years, and the bachelor’s degree takes four years. And coding bootcamps’ average length of a program is just more than three months. In Coding Dojo, we offer a program that will help you become a three full-stack developer in just 14 weeks!
Many companies prefer coding bootcamp graduates. Indeed reported that 72% of employers think graduates from coding bootcamps are “just as prepared” and as high performers as the degree holders. 12% of employers even think they are “more prepared and more likely” to be high performers than CS degree holders. And only 17% of employers think they are not as prepared or likely to be high performers as CS graduates.
Learn Programming Effectively Now
“The capacity to learn is a gift. The ability to learn is a skill. The willingness to learn is a choice,” says an American author, Brian Herbert.
Learning something new to you is challenging, and to continue learning until you reach the goal you are fixed to achieve, you need to be willing; willing to learn, willing to face the stumbling blocks ahead, willing to ask for help, willing to communicate and collaborate, and willing to stay on the path no matter what.
And most importantly, you must have the willingness to start. So, start learning now. Start programming now. And start having fun with codes!
Coding Dojo can help you have the fun in learning programming and be a full-stack developer in just 14 weeks/ We also offer an online course for students who want to learn at home or according to their schedule.