The internet is full if not overloaded with videos, books, articles & other forms of materials on how to learn programming. This article is not going to give you another “10 things to avoid” or “7 things you MUST learn in 2020” with flashy thumbnails. What will be mentioned below is my direct experience.
I am a self thought programmer & I have done a lot of projects both for my clients, companies I worked for & personal ones. I want to reach out to other individuals out there who might find themselves in my boat currently and perhaps give them a bit of advice. My twitter is always available to you should you require more information about a problem you are facing, I would be excited to help you.
Why do you wanna do it?
This is a question that seems so obvious to the person but the answers are usually not the right ones. I often hear answers such as :
“The job market is growing for IT so I wanna have a piece of the cake”
“I don’t like my current job & I heard IT businesses pay more so I wanna become a developer”
“A high school friend of mine became a developer & I also wanna be one too. I think if he could do it then I can do it too, no?”
I am not going to judge these answers however, let me give you my own answer if I were asked 7 years ago why I wanted to become a programmer :
“I want to build a video game because I love playing & I was always fascinated with how they were made. I also have an android phone & wanna make some apps because I love the platform”
As you can see, I had measurable goals & the decision was personal to me. I never ended up making any games but I did make many android apps. Programming is not an easy task because it requires hundreds if not thousands of hours of dedication to learn & practice certain skills. This is true about almost any skill worth of any value such as a sports & arts. No matter how many resources are out there to facilitate, the facts will not change. It might become “easier” as a result but it will never be “easy”.
So my first advice to any fellow human being interested in this subject is this, have a goal and make sure it is something you are passionate about because it needs to keep you motivated & behind your laptop for a while. Everybody is different & we don’t always know what made it work for them so do not use others as your reasons because most probably they do not know either why it worked for them.
There are no shortcuts
Sooner or later you need to come clean about this fact. We usually start a course & enjoy doing the small tasks in the beginning but there is always a bell curve where it becomes intimidating. In those moments we tend to look for another course at best or delay the learning process. I have been victim to this & perhaps still am. The truth is that there really are no shortcuts & even if there are, we end up spending more time finding them rather than learning the thing we need to learn in the first place.
When you are faced with something that is difficult to comprehend, do not give up. Use the internet to get your answer. Remember that nobody was sent from the skies with the knowledge you are seeking & if you reach out to people who have already acquired it, they will be happy to help however, most of your answers are a google search away but the key is not to give up.
It is all connected
Programming is about solving problems. One huge part of finding a solution is defining the problem as clearly as you can. I am not a neuroscientist but there is something I believe in. If you solve problems in one area, you become a better problem solver in every other areas in your life because it’s all connected. Imagine the brain as another organ of your body with muscles. When you train your muscles in the gym lifting weights, It’ll be easier for you to lift weights even outside of the gym.
Find problems in your own life and fix them. Is your desk bombarded by stuff? Organize it. Is your room messy & dirty? Clean it. Are you getting up late & sleeping late but you don’t know why? Get up early & sleep early. You need to train your mind to become a problem solver. The quicker you react to a problem that occurs, the easier it is to find a solution for it. Don’t get fooled by the myths about genius people & their terrible life styles & remember to only focus on your own. You probably are a genius yourself & not all geniuses are the same.
This is part of my daily blogging activity & I am going to continue this topic more with part 2 very soon. As you might have guessed the tips mentioned above are not exclusive to programming per say but to life in general. In next parts there will be more technical knowledge involved into different languages & domains of programming.