Thousands of people start learning to code every day, but the majority of them quit after a while.
To be a software engineer, you do not need a CS degree, but learning by yourself is harder. You have to go through lots of mental challenges.
Our body always wants to stay in its comfort zone, but learning new skills — especially coding — frequently puts us in uncomfortable situations. It makes it harder to focus and you’ll want to stick to easier things that you’re good at.
That is why consistency is important until you make yourself comfortable with the new skill. I’ve been trying to learn to code for a few years, and I think there are a few issues everyone faces when learning to code for the first time that I’d like to address
1. Do not start learning without a clear goal.
It is super important to know where you want to go after a few months of leaning, choose your technology stack before starting, and stick to it until you get a job.
2. Everyone in this world is a master procrastinator.
You always have to find a way to push yourself and keep going. Do not believe me? Well, I want you to watch the video or go through the article, It is the best resource you could ever find about procrastination.
3. Do not try to estimate the time required for learning, because these estimates are rarely accurate.
Just keep going and you will get there soon.
4. Every developer feels the imposter syndrome at some point.
Even the best, new developers struggle
5. You have to understand that learning to program will take time, it’s never going to happen overnight.
It is a lifelong lesson so you should invest at least 6 months or a year on it.
6. Make sure you are writing code every day at least for 30 minutes.
This habit will take you further than anything else.
7. Create focused, quality time.
Tell your family that you are trying to learn something and not to disturb you while you’re learning. Learn to eliminate distractions as much as possible like watching YouTube videos or scrolling through social media feeds.
8. Prioritize your health.
You can not achieve anything without sound health, sufficient sleep, exercise, and listening to your body.
9. Learn the basics as quickly as possible.
But understand them very well; though this can be one of the most boring things to go through the process.
10. Do not try to follow every tutorial out there.
Try to follow one or two paths and focus on building your own things.
11. Do not try to build a big functional app at once.
Start small, build feature by feature. It is going to be frustrating, but that’s normal and a part of the process.
12. You are never going to feel like you are ready to program full time.
Imposter syndrome is real. Try to remember that it is normal to not know everything. The most important thing is understanding that you can figure out the stuff that you do not know.
13. Do not forget to celebrate the small wins.
Building stuff with code is really cool. Gift something to yourself, take breaks, and treat yourself with the food you love.
14. Learn how to ask good questions.
You have to ask for help almost every day, so work on asking smart questions.
15. Do not try to memorize things.
Instead, try to understand them. “Cheating” is completely acceptable — learn how to use Google to find things as this what every developer does most of the time. You will find almost everything by googling.
16. Learn how YOU learn.
Everyone learns differently, but you have to find your way. You have to learn new things every day, so you should really add this self-awareness to your skill set.
17. Find a mentor and a coding partner, if possible.
Learning by yourself is really tough. Having someone to guide you and talking about code and collaborating with other developers is a better way to learn for most people.Try to pair program with someone all the time there is no other way to learn faster.
18. Networking is super important.
Talk to people, reach out to them, go to meetups, keep in touch with them, do not hesitate to ask questions. Most developers are willing to help each other.
I am Adnan Afsari, currently a full time student of Microvese — an online, 28–week school/bootcamp for software developers. With a computer and an internet connection, you can be a part of Microverse, and enhance your learning from anywhere in the world. Plus, you don’t pay for anything, until you get a job.