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.
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.
When you start programming as a beginner you will be thinking that why should I code by hand. It’s a time-consuming process, I can’t run and check my code on paper and also if I actually need to implement something on my system then why should I use pen and paper. One of the biggest reasons is the interviews. When you will apply for jobs in programming, most of the time the technical evaluation process will include code by hand. You will be asked to write code using pen and paper or you might have to use a whiteboard. Coding by hand is something old-school technique but it actually involves a test for a programmer’s proficiency. Coding by hand can give you a clear understanding of syntax and algorithms, you make a deeper connection in your brain. Learning programming this way will make your work easier and faster later.
One of the best ways to understand programming easily and quickly is teaching. Teaching to someone, sharing your knowledge, doing discussions with other programmers will make you a better programmer quickly. Teaching to someone is teaching to yourself too, so if you are able to teach to somebody that means you truly understand the concepts. It is the best habit to learn something in-depth and you will realize that you don’t need to come back on the same topic.You can also participate in open source projects, discuss your code with your co-programmers or contribute on Github, also you can take help from forum or discussion site. When you learn programming do not hesitate in asking for help. Beginners do this mistake and feel shy when they need to ask for help. It doesn’t matter if you ask silly questions and look stupid, it will help you in the long run and if you don’t do it you will be struggling in coding later. So it’s good to find a mentor or take help from fellow programmers to understand concepts easily and quickly. Your mentor or professional can guide you better because they have been already in your shoes before.
There are plenty of online resources available paid or unpaid. You can take help from these online resources and start your programming journey. You can subscribe to youtube channels or try coding boot camps to learn programming quickly and effectively. GeeksforGeeks, Udemy, Coursera and plenty of resources available for guidance and to learn programming. Also make a habit of reading programming related blogs, and taking help from Stackoverflow, Reddit’s “learn programming” subreddit like site or online community.
If you want to learn programming it’s not good to sit in front of a computer for hours and hours and try to grasp everything in one go. You will be exhaust by doing this so it’s better to learn coding in chunks. Take some short breaks to get refreshed. You should also keep this thing in mind while debugging your code. Sometimes you spend hours and hours to find the bug but you don’t get the solution for your code so it’s good to take a short break, clear your mind and do something else. It will restore your focus and you may come up with the solution for your code where you were stuck. Also, try to eliminate all kinds of distractions. Turn off your phone notification, email notifications and try to isolate yourself to be focused. By doing this you will save your lot of time and will stay away from headache or frustration.
Making mistakes in coding is very common and it’s completely acceptable in programming. You will find a lot of errors in your code at the beginning so it’s good to use debuggers to find out errors, impacts on your result and check where you have made the mistake. You will save a lot of time using a debugger or a tool to fix the errors in your code. If you are good at debugging, it will be easier to learn to program. So learn to use some good debugging techniques or use tools to check your piece of code. In the end, the last tip is not to quit when you start your journey in programming. You might be thinking in the middle that you are not smart enough to code but keep in mind that in order to think like a coder it takes some time and patience but to learn it quickly, you just need to follow the right path and be consistent. Follow everything step-by-step, make your fundamentals clear first, keep practicing it and once you are done with basics take the challenges and participate in competitive programming on different sites to get better at it, to build your logical ability, and to think like a coder. You will find yourself later how good a coder you have become by practicing it each and every single day.
With every new subject, the sooner you start playing with the code, the faster you will learn the given concepts. Even if you blaze through an entire chapter of reading and a topic like for loops seems straightforward – so a monkey could do it – you’ll still be scratching your head when tasked to implement the code for the first time. You’ll think, “wait, what was that one piece of syntax again?” As the saying goes, you need to “use it or lose it”, because despite the evolution of technology, this ole’ proverb holds true when learning to code. Hint: Build a project as you go through the material. A personal project is often the best starting point.
As elementary as they may appear at first, programming fundamentals always need to come first: the better you understand them, the easier it is to learn more advanced concepts. From our experience at Coding Dojo, students who rush through the beginning of our courses – where we focus most on web development fundamentals – are often the first to get stuck as we transition into more advanced material, such as back-end programming. So before you ditch the first class of computer science 101, or skip chapter one of an online tutorial, keep in mind that you are overlooking the most important step in your learning. Hint: Read this great article about the 5 Basic Concepts of Any Programming Language