Learn to Code: 14 Tips That Could Save You Years of Effort

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Coding is fun! It’s so gratifying once the job is over, and the app is up and running. But it has its pitfalls, especially for first-timers. There are several free online resources you can use if you want to learn, but the first point should be your love for it. If you feel the passion, you can approach it one step at a time, and build your skills until you deliver the first copy of your program.

Coding is not for everyone, and there’s no harm in taking a step back if you discover it’s not your niche. Some people can’t deliver a worthwhile application despite spending years, and lots of money, learning to code. Many buy into the image of a glossy developer lifestyle in Silicon Valley, but not everyone is going to get there.

Yes, you can learn it. But if you are not willing to give it your all, your efforts will be in vain. As you start thinking about coding, examine your capabilities - and if you’ve got it, then give it your best shot. Here are 14 tips to complement your effort

1. Forget University Programs

Your degree is an introduction to the world of technology, but it doesn’t mean you have the skill-set to meet industry demands. As you step into the reality of coding, don’t limit yourself to your academic papers. The real world will soon show you how limited that transcript is. Technology advances every day, and it matters how well you keep up. Let passion be your driving force, and use your university degree to complement that.

2. Start With JavaScript

JavaScript should be your starting point. JavaScript’s popularity comes from the fact it’s easy to learn, yet you can do a lot with it. From writing small programs for your drone to writing your first game, JavaScript has a lot to offer. Click here to get going.

3. Score a Quick Win Right Now

You need to keep yourself motivated. To heighten your motivation and boost your confidence, start from the bottom up. Programs designed for kids - like the ones found on Code.org - are a good starting point. Once you discover that it’s doable, you’ll be motivated to make bolder steps into more complicated languages. 

4. Learn How To Code By Doing It

There’s no better learning than from experience. Reading should take a backseat here. You can find tutorials online, with step-by-step guidelines on how to accomplish a task. For instance, there’s FreeCodeCamp which has tutorials with practical exercises. You can start JavaScript tutorials right away by following this link.

5. Learn By Example

Since coding is no easy task, don’t just lock yourself in your room and try to learn by yourself. Find a team of coders and join them, so you can watch and learn from them. Learning by example is very useful because of the team spirit and motivation. Some of the most influential coders made it due to learning by example.

6. Read Blogs

Blogs are generous with information which you will not want to miss. To keep up with industry trends, the latest tech, future forecasts, or inspirational articles on how to approach coding, you’ll find what you need in blogs. Java Script Scene is a good one to start with. Many blogs, especially the ones written by tech-savvy bloggers, are very useful in your learning curve.

7. Try a Boot Camp

Being accountable to someone else will give you the much-needed push to soldier on. Joining a boot camp might be worth thinking about. The charges range between $10000 and $ 25000, and they’re a valuable investment. Most fresh graduates perform marvelously after acquiring invaluable experience at boot camp.

8. Learn Online

Embrace the power of online learning. It’s affordable even if you have meager resources. If you trust yourself and are a self-starter, online learning will be perfect for you. Eric Elliot, for example, can teach you the basics of JavaScript by subscribing to his online course. After qualifying with the first one, continue enrolling until you attain the highest level- you’ll be coding like a pro.

9. Find a Strong Mentor

As in other professional fields, mentors are a source of inspiration. Find one if you can, because the road ahead is more easily managed with someone to lean on. Coding is a career that evolves daily, and a guide can help keep you on toes. You can find mentors in various places, like groups, career forums, and even by following them online.

10. Find a Meetup or Study Group

Don’t forget the power of study groups. It’s one place to find mentors, and it’s nice to belong to a like-minded team. Don’t shun forums whatever your skill level; you can be humble on your way to success. Meetup.com may be a good place to start.

11. Mix It Up.

If you focus on only one method of learning, you might end up missing a lot. Read books sometimes, and then watch video tutorials. Make a plan; figure out the right time to read, have a discussion with your group, meet with your mentor, and so on. Harnessing resources from a broad range of learning mediums will have positive results at the end.

12. Build a Portfolio.

Where do you see coding taking you? Aim for the top! And on the way, register your milestones so the industry can notice you. Your portfolio is what will make potential employers reach out to you. You can start a GitHub account for this purpose.

13. Learn More Than One Language.

The more languages you learn, the more open you are, and the better chance you’ll have in the job market. The more languages you know, the more creative you are when it comes to fixing complex assignments. But before you tackle other languages, always remember to perfect your JavaScript skills - it could take a year or so, but it’ll be worth it.

14. Teach Someone Else

When you learn something, the best way to make it stick permanently in your head is to teach someone else. After you’ve learnt something new, put it down in your own words. The next time you meet a friend, teach them something about coding. Your spouse, mentor or the online community are also good guinea pigs!

Coding can seem a daunting task, but if you’re passionate about it, you can find success.

Let us know what worked for you! Hit up the comments section to tell your story, and don’t forget to share this article on social media!

Ilmoitettu 5 syyskuuta, 2017


Software Developer

Lucy is the Development & Programming Correspondent for Freelancer.com. She is currently based in Sydney.

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