Programming is one of the top tech skills of 2018. It is useful in creating games, websites, mobile applications and stuff in general – things that pay. And so, more people are learning this useful skill. If you’re one of these people, then good on you! You’re heading on what promises to be a fruitful career. A career that pays, is purposeful, and entirely satisfying for many. Perhaps, most so because of the opportunities this skill provides people to serve an increasingly global community and societies of people. The task of acquiring this skill should not be underestimated however. Not everyone who attempts to learn coding perseveres. For the determined lot, here are a few coding secrets that will help along the way of becoming a better developer.
Goals Give Direction
In the beginning is the end. Learning how to code will be a lot harder if you do not know what you want to create. On the other hand, knowing this at the start will help you seek the knowledge that you need. It will help you learn progressively without the process becoming haphazard. And it will provide you with the motivation you need to keep going as you will have a sense of what you’re achieving.
Programming is not Cryptic
This might seem counter-intuitive, I agree. Although codes are useful in guarding secrets, coding is not mysterious process. In fact, programmers tend to be quite collaborative and generous with their “codes”. They share them openly to help other developers easily solve problems that they have solved. Coding is a skill at the end of the day. It can be the way you learn any other skill – with grit, perseverance, and attention to best practices developers follow while using tools and techniques of coding.
Failing is Common
Believe it or not, even developers with experience are not surprised when their codes don’t work the first, second, or even third time. When you’re starting out, you are bound to fail. You cannot expect your codes to be perfect – you shouldn’t! If it turns out flawless, you must be lucky. If it doesn’t, don’t take it personally. Don’t get disheartened.
If there is any difference between how beginner and experienced developers deal with this reality, it is this – experienced developers believe more in the process, and therefore, in their chances of discovering the reasons for their coding problems. Beginners tend to lose heart quickly when they have trouble finding the source of their problems. Don’t lose heart when you find yourself in this situation because it will happen to you.
No “Real Way”
Different developers have different ways of coding. When you work with other developers, don’t let other developers rattle you with the knowledge of their ways. Be open to learning from their inputs, but don’t be quick to abandon the paths you take. Remember, there is no ultimate way and multiple paths could lead in the same direction. It is worthwhile to always check how far you’re wrong. If you are absolutely, the advice others give you will help you find your way back. If you’re wrong partially, or even better, right, then even that will help you explore the ways of coding. Let the lack of one definite way of coding be fertile ground for healthy criticism, sincere introspection, continuous growth in your coding journey.
No “Real Coder”
There is no single definition of a developer. Some will argue that those who work with HTML are not coding. Others will say “real programmers” must know C. These definitions are neither all binding nor entirely invalid. They are simply different ideas and conceptions that coders have of themselves and their peers. They indicate the ways in which developers experience coding, but they do not describe this experience comprehensively. Your coding journey, too, will be unique. Cherish it. Do not let anyone disregard or undermine your skills and experience. Instead, continue building great things. At the end of the day, no one has the authority to define “real” coders and your work is all that matters.
Persistence is Key
There are many ways to learn coding. You can read a book, complete exercises online or learn from code that developers have already written. None of these ways is easy. Decide what programs you want to make and start learning how to make them. You may expect some difficulties along the way that may cause you to question your coding foundations. The key to overcoming the challenges is persistence. Coding is not for the fainthearted. It is a valuable skill for those with determination. These coding secrets are only pointers in the right direction.