Programming tips

Read Relevant Material

This could be an extension of the last tip, but in a different context. In this tip, the advice to read extensively is not just about the coding process alone. The idea is to boost your domain knowledge while doing coding work. In a majority of real-life situations, if you are engaged in writing code for a particular client, the client’s team will possess complete knowledge of their business, how it works, and everything else there is to know about it, but they would not know how to write the code for a program to improve that process. You may be an expert at coding, but your knowledge of the business you’re dealing with may be very limited. That’s why equipping yourself with information about a particular business is crucial. It will be much easier for you to program and deliver what’s expected of you.

Learn From the Bugs

Life is an endless learning process. The previous generations had the luxury of making mistakes, learning from them, and then finding success. In today’s context, you have to be more alert and learn from others’ mistakes, and not commit the same errors yourself. Bugs appearing in a program you wrote are part of a fully acceptable and commonly occurring situation. Your programming skills lie in quickly detecting the bug and resolving it. In many cases, detecting the bug may take a while, but once found, it may take very little time to resolve or reset the codes. There are debuggers available that you can use to make the resolution process faster. The effort may have to be repeated a few times, since you will have to get back to the full program to test out the changes made in the coding and check if the expected output is being achieved or not.

Never Get Tired of Practicing

The adage “practice makes perfect” holds true no matter what profession you are in. In the case of coding or programming, it becomes even more critical, since your first exposure is through books or other theoretical methods whereas the real work has to be done hands-on. You must, therefore, spend as much time on a computer as you can to get the hang of it in the initial stages. Take any model project and start doing it. Some experts suggest personal projects as an effective starting point. Think up a project and start writing the codes. You may feel like you’re getting nowhere, but slowly, the solution will emerge. The more you practice your coding during your learning days, the sooner you will end up feeling confident to take on any coding assignment. That kind of confidence will help you perform quite admirably in a technical evaluation by your prospective employers. If you are lucky, you might start off with a tough assignment that could even fast-track your career.

Keep Your Cool

Coding can be exciting, yet exhausting. People are known to spend many hours at a stretch trying to find a solution or debug the errors. Your complete schedule of meals and sleep could be affected. That’s not a very healthy situation to be in, particularly when you are young. You need to balance this by keeping yourself physically and mentally alert. Our brains need to cool off from time to time. It helps to moderate your levels of stress, which ultimately helps you be more focused on learning and excel in your performance. One way is to remain calm through the rough days. There may be situations in a full-time programming assignment when your boss might blow their top because a project is not getting completed on time. You must prepare right from your learning days to remain calm even in the midst of adversity. This will help you not just with your programming career, but also in your personal life. There are many ways you can achieve this calm state of mind. Some would suggest mindfulness exercises such as meditation or yoga. Others say to take your mind off it for a while. Just moving out to the balcony to take in some fresh, cool air and watch the traffic moving on the road below could bring a sense of calm. Maybe you are fond of gaming on your phone. If that’s the case, play for a few minutes to refresh your mental faculty.

Use Online Resources

This, again, is not rocket science. When learning any subject in a traditional classroom, we sometimes stumble upon difficulties grasping the materials teachers teach us. And that’s when we seek other resources to get a better understanding of the subjects. Learning programming in a classroom environment or through an online tutorial is no different in this matter. Browse online resources and programming guides, and use search engines to gather insights to help you understand the subject clearly. You should have the time and the patience to dig out the information needed.

Take Breaks to Get Refreshed

You’ve probably come across friends in the same profession burning the midnight oil, yet not arriving at the solution to a bug detected and reported by a client or testing team. These are commonplace occurrences in the industry. But you might have heard of instances where the coder takes a break, plays a game, or even takes a nap, and then, back at the monitor, the solution pops up like a flash. Taking advantage of the benefits of taking breaks will make you better at learning programming.

Reach Out to Others for Guidance

Seeking help from professionals while learning a new skill is never looked down upon. As with many professions, a fellow programmer will likely not feel any hitch in sharing their knowledge with you. In most cases, they have been in the same position as you find yourself to be in now, and help will be forthcoming. You may need help with understanding where the bug in your program is or when getting stuck in a debugging effort. Like solving a Sudoku game or a crossword puzzle, the other person’s glance might go straight to the point, which might have escaped your attention all day long. Your co-programmers can be included in this exercise too. Don’t feel shy that they will make fun of you. They may be stuck with a similar issue one day and will feel comfortable coming to you for help.

Fiddle Around With the Codes

This basically means you need not be stuck in a straight jacket of coding exactly as per the inputs are given. You must try your hand at making changes in it just for the heck of it. That way, you may learn how the end results get altered when you make changes to the coding. This does not mean you go about changing the whole program; far from it. When you reach the stage of being capable of changing whole code programs in the learning process, you may be given an assignment to write the codes for a certain program. You will know the final output that is expected from your code. After doing it right, go back and tinker with it a bit here and there, and see how the output changes. This will give you enormous confidence in your skills and you will know how you can make these changes if the desired output is not achieved in any future assignment.

Make Your Fundamentals Clear

A common mistake that a student or beginner commit while learning programming is skipping the fundamentals or chapter 1 and directly jumping to the next chapter right away. To understand the advanced concepts of programming you need to be very clear about the fundamentals of programming. If you will be doing the same mistake then at some point, you will end up with lots of confusion and you will have to come back to your basics again. These fundamentals are Data Structures, variables, control structures, syntax, tools, or text editors. When you start doing programming pick one programming language, stick with it, and clear all the basics of programming first before going to the next level. Your overall time to learn coding will be definitely saved if you will follow this path.

Learn By Doing, Practicing and Not Just Reading

A common mistake beginners do while learning programming is just reading a book or looking at the sample code on their desktop without practicing it. It’s easy to read about the loops, variables, and getting all the things in your head but actual programming doesn’t work in this way. You really need to get your hands dirty in coding and keep practicing it regularly. When you start programming you face a lot of problems, you get stuck there, you will be asked to implement the code practically and find the solution for a specific problem and there you will scratch your head while implementing the code. When you write the code, play with the code, change your code to see different results, optimize the code and try different solutions, your logical thinking ability get improves day by day and you eventually learn a lot of things that make you a better programmer. When you start coding, practice the same code or sample again and again until or unless you don’t need to refer to the same book or resource from where you have learned. Also build your own project, participate in coding challenges, play coding related games, practice it at your own end every single day.