I remember when I first started to learn to code, I was aimlessly following a tutorial on YouTube.I was trying to code a simple batch program and even though I did manage to do it in the end I didn’t know why I did what I did.
At that point, I hadn’t learned anything new I just copied what has been told and did what the video illustrated. If I had just downloaded the batch file it would have been the same as me typing alongside the video.
The video sometimes was too fast for me to follow and I had to pull back a couple of seconds or there would be compiler errors which the video didn’t show how to fix. The frustration from that was insane but at the time I didn’t know better so I had to deal with that.
How to learn in a more efficient manner?
Learning anything, in general, takes a set amount of focus but with programming, you have to be even more focused on what you are doing. Some of the topics that you are going to learn might seem too complicated and abstract for you so you have to be all ears.
I learned that the hard way, one summer I began learning some basic CSS and HTML and was not doing a good job at taking notes or remembering things. Safe to say I was too distracted with the things I could do with the languages rather than how to learn it. This came back to haunt me because after some months passed I didn’t remember almost anything from that summer.
Tutorials are great as a beginner. Honestly, I’ve lost count of how many tutorials I’ve read. It’s a great feeling to create something that works from just seeing or reading a tutorial. Besides, watching videos of someone who knows what they are doing makes you feel like you know it too.
But it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of only watching tutorials. Putting on a video is simple. Doing the hard work isn’t. And doing hard work is what is going to make you a developer.
The problem I often had with tutorials was that all of the thinking was already done in advance, by the instructor. And the instructor doing that work meant that I didn’t have to. That wasn’t good, because it meant that I was fooling myself and thinking I was learning at the same time.
Practice, Practice, and More Practice!
I know that it’s hard to practice when you feel like you are getting the best usage of your time if you watch a tutorial on something new. But I guarantee you that it isn’t, practice is the best thing for an aspiring new developer. Don’t get me wrong though it’s still better than not starting to learn at all.
One of the best decisions that I could have taken at that age was to join a coding website and more precisely Codecademy. I’m not affiliated with them at any kind but this is just how my story goes. Back then they were a really cool and informative website. You could learn from there anything without having to sign up for a paid course or free-trial.
The cool thing about that place that I still hold dear to my heart is that I learned the concepts and immediately got test it by myself. I made the mistakes and they told me I was wrong, I fix them and I try again and what do you know again wrong. This was a loop that helped me figure out the right answer by myself, the option to reveal the right answer was there all along by this way it got ingrained in my brain.
Being a developer in 2020 is hard. Technology is moving rapidly, and advances are being made all the time. One of the concepts that allows us to move quickly is abstractions. Abstractions are a great thing. Someone has taken something hard and made it easier by abstracting away the hard part.
Don’t focus only on some things try to explore different platforms and concepts. Challenge yourself and try a difficult project if you can complete only half of it don’t get discouraged you are still better than without trying at all. It’s easy to get stuck in place but if you explore your possibilities and try to push your knowledge further you are going to achieve more.
Learning programming is not that difficult as most people make it out to be. Okay, yes it has some difficult concepts and things to get your head around but if you know how to do it properly you can achieve a lot of things. I have made a lot of mistakes when I first started but today I’m a published developer and my program has made sales all around my country. What would make me the happiest is that if some of you can learn from these mistakes that I have made.