1. Focus on the Fundamentals
Think you don’t need to go over the basics? Think again. Like in any field, getting a good grasp of the fundamentals is critically important to achieving long-term success. The information you learn at the beginning of your programming education or coding bootcamp will allow you to grasp the logic of more complicated topics further along. If you don’t learn basic computer programming, you could fall behind in the future. So, even if the fundamentals seem boring or unimportant at first, you need to recognize how essential it is to learn them.
2. Learn to Ask for Help
Knowing when to ask for help is a skill you’ll need throughout the course of your life, not just in your coding career. The fact of the matter is, you aren’t going to know everything, especially when you’re just starting out. The fastest and easiest way to gain the skills you need to have for a successful coding career is to ask those who have the answers. After you try to figure out the answer to your question on your own, be sure to ask someone else. Whether you do it in person or online, speaking to your mentor or teacher and listening to what they have to say is critical when you are learning to become a computer programmer.
3. Put Your Knowledge into Action
If you really want to learn how to code, you need to do more than just read the book and take some notes — you need to put the information you’re learning into action. You might be surprised at how something you read can seem so simple until you try to do it for yourself. Therefore, you should actually start coding as you’re learning. That way, you put the information to use immediately. When you learn by doing, the information will be more likely to stick with you.
4. Learn How to Code by Hand
It might seem old school, but if you really want to succeed in computer programming, especially if you are seeking a coding career, learning to code by hand is one of the most important skills you can learn. First of all, it will make you a better coder because you’ll have to be more intentional — you won’t be able to run your code halfway through to see if it works. This results in an increased level of precision. But learning to code by hand doesn’t just improve your skills; it can also help you get a job and jumpstart your coding career. Employers looking to hire computer programmers often require applicants to take a coding test that involves coding by hand. Therefore, it’s essential that you acquire this skill.
5. Check out Helpful Online Coding Resources
These days, you can find countless sources of information on the internet on just about any topic. This information can be especially helpful when you are learning how to code. Whether you decide to sign up for a coding boot camp or simply want to check out free tutorials on YouTube or other streaming services, you can learn a lot about coding by just going online. One of the main benefits of learning this way is that you can find the answers you need in many different formats. Therefore, if one explanation doesn’t make sense to you, you can always find a different explanation elsewhere. Seeking out additional resources on becoming a computer programmer will help you take your coding career to the next level.
6. Know When to Step Away and Take a Break from Code Debugging
- Debugging can be one of the most frustrating processes when you are learning how to code. After all, it can take hours to find a bug, and you can easily lose your sense of time when you are trying to fix the problem. This can lead you to feeling overwhelmed or stressed, so you need to learn when to step away from the bug and take a break. Try doing something you find enjoyable, like reading, cooking, or exercising. Taking this step will allow you to clear your mind enough to go back to the bug with a renewed sense of focus.
7. Do More Than Just Read Sample Code
When you get your hands on sample code, it’s easy to just read through it and think you have an understanding of what’s going on. But when you really want to become a computer programmer, you’re going to have to take this a step further. You should actually run the code and tinker with it to figure out how it truly works. This is a much more effective way to learn than simply reading through the code. Remember, being able to read the code isn’t the same as understanding it. To start a successful coding career, you need to cultivate a deep level of understanding, and playing around with sample code is a great way to do that.
Learning how to code is exciting and even a bit daunting at first. But when you choose the right coding boot camp or educational program and apply these tips, you’re going to get all the information and skills you need to start a prolific coding career. Remember that every coder struggles a bit when they’re first starting out, and you shouldn’t expect anything different from yourself. It’s simply part of the learning process. But if you stick to it, and you’ll learn these skills faster than you ever thought possible.