If you’re just dipping your toes into the vast ocean of programming this 2023, you may feel like you’re drifting in a sea of syntax, submerged in a whirlpool of while-loops, or treading water amidst an array of arrays.
Not to fear! You don’t have to be an expert in computer science to get your first coding project off the ground. Learning to write code yourself is much easier than you think, and with the right guidance and tips, you can make programming part of your skill set.
In Spain, those working in the exciting field of developers and computer programmers can expect to earn an average of 31,500 EUR per year or 34,370 USD per year.
So if this is a dream job for you, here are some essential tips to get you started and keep your momentum going this 2023:
1. Know your goals and stick to it
If you’re eager to embark on a coding journey, there must be a driving force behind it. Maybe it’s your sheer passion for coding, the desire for a lucrative career, or the need to streamline your Excel tasks. Whatever the reason, hold onto it tightly.
Programming can be challenging and frustrating at times. There will be instances when you’ll want to give up or switch to something else. Remember that initial motivation will fuel your determination to persevere during those moments.
We recommend that you jot down your goals and milestones on paper or a digital document. Read it before you start coding and every time you hit a stumbling block. This way, you can easily monitor your progress and stay motivated.
2. Never abandon the fundamentals
When you’ve finished chapter 1 of the programming fundamentals, it doesn’t mean that you should just forget about it. It is always important to learn and practice the basics as they set up the base for other concepts that you will be learning in programming.
Mastering the building blocks of programming is crucial: the data types, structures, variables, control structures, syntax, tools, and text editors. These concepts will help you understand the software development process and how to build a reliable application.
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned coder, understanding the fundamentals sets the stage for conquering advanced concepts down the line. Skip the basics, and you might play catch-up in the coding world.
3. Find your niche and master it
Programming encompasses numerous worlds. Discover the one that captivates you and devote your attention to it.
Instead of attempting to conquer 8 programming languages, frontend and backend, compiled and interpreted languages, a text editor or a developer tool, etc., why not focus on one programming language or a select few that truly pique your interest? Master those and become a virtuoso of your chosen domains.
Quality of knowledge will always trump quantity. So, don’t be fooled by the temptation of learning everything at once. If you try to “learn it all,” you’ll have difficulty staying focused and motivated in your programming journey.
4. Practice writing code on paper
But why? You ask when, today, we already have the luxury of hitting that run button in a beloved editor. Well, it’s all about embracing the old-school charm and proving that coding skills can triumph even without the comfort of our digital playground.
Coding by hand can make you a better coder by promoting intentionality and precision. It helps develop a deep understanding of syntax and algorithms, strengthening the connection in your brain. Moreover, it can enhance your job prospects and kickstart your coding career.
When hiring a computer programmer, employers frequently request that applicants complete a coding test that involves hand coding. This test measures a programmer’s proficiency and is, therefore, crucial for you to master this skill.
5. Don’t be shy to ask for help
No matter how experienced you are as a developer, getting stuck is an inevitable part of the journey. Mastering the art of asking for help is a skill for life, not just for coding. Let’s face it, you can’t know everything, especially when you’re just starting out.
So, what’s our advice? After you’ve given it a shot on your own, don’t be shy to reach out and ask someone else for help. The quickest and simplest way to acquire the skills you need for a successful coding career is by reaching out to those who have the answers.
Here’s the thing: it doesn’t matter if you ask silly questions or feel a bit foolish. Asking for help will actually benefit you in the long run. If you don’t seek assistance, you may end up struggling with coding down the line.
6. Turn theory into practice
When it comes to learning programming, beginners often make a classic blunder: they stick to reading books or staring at code samples on their screens, thinking that’s enough. But if you truly want to master coding, you need more than just reading and note-taking—you need to get your hands dirty and learn coding yourself.
Coding is not just about theory. It’s like composing a symphony of efficient applications. That’s why aspiring programmers should dive into coding while learning. Start by using sample code and tinkering with example programs, then unleash your problem-solving skills to produce mind-blowing outputs!
Keep going with this process, and soon you’ll be coding like a boss. No books or internet needed! Just remember, don’t get caught up in the trap of memorizing code while learning. Stay focused and practice actively. This way, you can build a strong foundation of good habits for coding that will carry you through to success!
7. Learn to use a debugger tool
Testing is a critical part of programming, and the sooner you become familiar with debugging tools, the better. A debugger helps you see code faster and detect errors early on, saving time and avoiding frustration.
You will make many mistakes before you get to write clean code, and the help you get from debugger tools will boost your productivity. Plus, debugging tools are pretty straightforward to use and understand, so you’ll easily get the hang of it quickly.
Also, don’t forget that, in computer programming, there is a difference between debugging and troubleshooting. Both processes keep bugs away from your code, but each has its specific purpose. For instance, debugging helps identify errors, while troubleshooting helps identify the cause and how to fix them.
8. You deserve that break
We can all agree that the learning process is exhausting, even more so when it comes to programming. So, don’t hesitate to take breaks or pat yourself after completing a coding milestone.
Take some time away from your books and tutorials. Go for a walk or watch your favorite show—anything that can help you relax and recharge for the next round of coding exercises. It’s essential to maintain a good balance between work and rest. Just remember, the more you practice, the faster you can learn to code!
Taking a break can work wonders for your focus and help you find that elusive solution to your code. Don’t forget to minimize distractions too—turn off phone and email notifications and create a quiet space to fully concentrate. This will save you time and spare you from unnecessary headaches and frustration.
9. Take advantage of the free online resources
You know what’s great? Anything can be found online nowadays! So, if a concept doesn’t quite click, whether it’s in a textbook or during your programming language lecture, don’t worry. There’s likely a great online resource out there waiting for you.
Exploring online resources, such as an online coding boot camp and free tutorials, can help you learn what you need to know to start writing code. Remember, everyone learns differently, so if one source doesn’t make sense, there will be answers out there in various formats that will make things click for you.
The internet is like your playground! Exploring more resources on becoming a computer programmer opens up new opportunities and takes your coding career to new heights.
10. Join a coding community
Aside from the other programmers that you meet at coding boot camps, you should also interact with learners in online coding communities. This will help you get more insights into different concepts and techniques from experienced developers who can provide valuable feedback about your code.
It’s also great to have a bunch of fellow coders who are in the same boat as you. Plus, you can find all the resources you need to learn programming and even get job opportunities. Some of the finest communities out there you can find at:
- Stack Overflow
- Code Institute
These are where you can learn about new features and complex code solutions related to various programming languages. At the same time, these communities offer a lively environment that can be a great stress reliever during breaks.
BONUS TIP: Celebrate your wins and embrace the journey!
They say the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. That’s true for programming too—no matter how small your successes are, they all count!
Learning programming can be a truly challenging process, filled with moments of frustration and triumph. So, when you accomplish something, no matter how small, take a moment to acknowledge your progress and celebrate your achievements.
Remember that these small victories pave the way for greater success in your computer programming journey. Keep pushing forward and savor every step of the way!
Hire Our Programmers at StarTechUP Today!
If you aim to build projects quickly and keep your coding efforts on schedule, hiring a team of experienced programmers is the way to go.
Want to be one of our fellow programmers? Our dedicated team is always looking for new talent. Work with us today!