Good to have you here.
You have heard around that getting into coding can be a very profitable and rewarding career.
And you know what? It is true for most people.
But you know what is also true? Many people starting out find that learning to code can be difficult and frustrating.
I know it was like that for me when I first started back in college.
But don't you worry because in this occasion, we'll talk about the main reasons why learning to code is hard. Plus, you'll get some useful tips on how to overcome these obstacles.
Now, if you're ready to start improving your learning, read on!
Why is it so hard to learn in the first place?
One of the main reasons is that coding is a complex skill. It's not like learning to write an essay or cook a dish, where you can just follow some instructions and get the hang of it with relative speed.
The more practice and experience, the better your results will be.
Instead, coding requires more than just following steps for already solved problems.
Coding requires you to understand how computers work, and how to tell them what to do using a programming language.
Having the proper mindset for problem solving plus knowledge of how the language works is what makes a competent developer.
But this can be tough for beginners, especially ones coming from a different non-technical background.
For this, the online learning model has become very popular in the last years.
But in this new model, there is a different set of challenges that have to be overcame to be successful.
Those challenges include things like:
- Many different programming languages to choose from.
- Difficulty to find the right resources to learn coding.
- Lots of competition to get an entry job for "self-taught" developers.
- Coding can be repetitive and boring.
- Unrealistic expectations about time and difficulty.
- Too many courses/content/people to listen to in the first stages.
And so on...
This can make the whole process of learning to code very daunting.
But... there are ways to make the process easier and not such a painful experience.
How to make the learning process easier and more effective
There are several ways you can use to make your time learning to code more useful, effective, and enjoyable in general.
These can go from the really general ones like "find out what is that you want to be working on first".
To the very specific ones like "take Maximilian Schwarzmuller's course on Udemy about React 18".
But here, I want to share with you some practical tips you can start applying to see an improvement in your next learning session.
Start with the basics.
Don't try to tackle complex coding problems right away. Instead, focus on mastering the basics.
Once you have a solid foundation, you can move on to more difficult coding challenges.
This might seem obvious. But what happens is that we tend to jump straight ahead into what looks fun and impressive without realizing everything that goes behind it.
For this, it helps to break the task down into smaller parts. You don't need to learn everything at once. Focus on one concept at a time.
Rushing through topics absorbing only theory and doing very little practice is going to leave you frustrated in the end.
Find resources geared towards your learning style.
If you're a visual learner, look for coding tutorials that include step-by-step instructions with accompanying pictures or videos.
If you're more of a hands-on learner, look for coding games or exercises that let you practice coding in a fun and interactive way.
You can also listen to tutorials on your commute or coding podcasts.
What's important here is that you find good, high-quality resources.
This can come in the form of courses by top rated instructors or talks by creators and maintainers of the specific tech.
Always try to find the best material you can possibly get your hands on.
Look out for help in coding groups or communities
Once you're doing all the above, you can always reach out to others when you find a difficult subject or a problem you can't seem to solve.
For most people I know this is easier said than done. We tend to not ask for help when necessary because we think we will be "bothering" others with "stupid" questions.
The reality, however, is that there several people that are not only not bothered by beginner questions. They actually seek out to answer them in any way they can.
There are plenty of online forums and coding communities where you can get answers to your most pressing questions.
Bonus tip: Reciprocate anytime you can if you've received the help you needed.
Contribute back to those forums and communities. Help other people who come before you and are trying to learn something you already understand.
You'll be sure that folks there will be more receptive next time you ask about something.
Finally, I can't stress enough the important of practice in this process.
The more you code, the better you'll become at it. But... And it's a big but.
Not all practice will cut it. The right kind of practice will take you further, faster.
I'm talking about what's known as deliberate practice.
This special type of practice is about being intentional with what is that you're practicing. It also helps you to overcome sticking points more efficiently.
Now, you can do all of this by yourself. Figure out what you need to learn, in what order, and how much practice you need.
You can take advantage of resources out there that break down the concepts into small, manageable pieces.
A great resource for beginners is FreeCodeCamp. This is an online platform that teaches you how to code through several learning tracks depending on the role you want to have as a developer.
The platform also has one, if not the best and friendliest of communities out there for newbie and aspiring developers.
You can have the support of teachers and more advanced students for any roadblocks you will find in the way.
So, if you're feeling overwhelmed by learning to code and don't know where to start, hopefully the tips in this article can help.
Break down the learning process into manageable chunks.
Find high-quality resources.
Ask for help when needed.
And last, but certainly not least, practice with regularity.
With enough dedication and focus, anyone can learn how to code and become a proficient developer (if that's what you want to do).
It can take more time for some types of people depending on the background they're coming from.
But anyone can acquire the necessary skills to become a competent developer even without a formal degree.
Now, keep going forward and use these tips to make your learning process simpler and more effective.
Happy coding! :)