Programming Tips for Beginners

Photo by Dan Counsell on Unsplash

Before I started learning to program I did a lot of reading on what my options where and what I should expect. After months of pondering I finally decided on going the coding bootcamp route. While I’m glad I enrolled when I did, because I was gifted with amazing teachers and classmates. I would of enrolled sooner if I knew a few things in advance. So if you’re considering or currently learning how to program and are looking for tips to help better guide you consider the following.

As someone who made a career change from HVAC to programming, I definitely had my fair share of concerns. For starters, aside from working on reports or gaming’s I didn’t have a whole lot of knowledge about computers. Looking back on this particular concern that I and many other beginners have experienced, It’s kind of silly.

It’s okay to not know enough. In fact, you’re expected not to know anything when you first attempt something. In my opinion that is the best part of learning. In Front of you, you have the opportunity to experience the joy of learning. You’re allowed to attempt something, fail, reevaluate the situation and try it in a slightly different way until you finally get that beautiful aha moment. Don’t think about the knowledge you lack, focus on the knowledge you want to gain.

“Even though you’re fed up, you gotta keep ya head up” — Elon Musk

Another thing I worried about was being a slow typer. Even tho I’ve spent a lot of time typing, and type at about 50 words per minute I felt as if that still wouldn’t be good enough. For some reason I was under the impression that faster typing meant better programming. The reality is that isn’t always the case.

At its core programming is the art of solving problems through detailed explanation. You want to focus on learning how to learn. Prioritize analyzing problems and thinking of ways to solve those problems. If your solution isn’t working analyze why it didn’t work and make adjustments. This isn’t something you can efficiently do if you’re typing so faster than you can think. Don’t be scared to take it slow. Prioritize Learning from each mistake instead of How quickly you can solve each problem.

“Sometimes it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination.” — Mark Zuck

If you’re going to or currently attending a boot camp, there will be times in which you feel as if the amount of material you have to cover and labs you will be assigned can feel overwhelming. That’s to be expected you’re learning a lot in a short span of time. The only advice I can really offer is commit as much time as you possibly can to this. Get as many repetitions in as you possibly can. Treat your education as a full time job. At the end of the day you’re trying to better yourself and that requires time and practice. With the right amount of time and effort everything becomes easier, but it all depends on your actions.

“Remind yourself nobody’s built like you. You design yourself.” — Jeff Bezos

Just like everything in life, there will be times where you find yourself stuck on a problem. If you tried your best and gave it your all and still don’t get it don’t worry. Everyone gets stuck every once in awhile. But instead of going directly for help try to lean on your own ability to research your problem. Set a timer for yourself and try to look up solutions. Being able to unstuck yourself by reading through documentations, articles or even forums where people are discussing a similar problems can do wonders. Not only that they can help you understand different ways other programmers go about solving problems. once your time is up then reach out to someone. You’re gonna thank yourself later.

“I got it out tha mud, ain’t nobody ever gave me nothing” — Bill Gates

The last and most important tip I can offer you, is to be kind to yourself. Remember that you are only human, you are not perfect, and that’s ok. You are enough and you are capable of accomplishing anything you set your mind to. So stop worrying and focus on improving.

“Sunny days wouldn’t be so special if it wasn’t for rain. Joy wouldn’t feel so good if it wasn’t for the pain.” — Sergey Brin

Disclaimer: each of the featured quotes were satirically misquoted, don’t @ me please.

Software Engineer