The complexity of the learning process alone is enough to discourage any normal person, combine that with a possible lack of resources and several hindering factors then we have a whole juggernaut of factors that can hold one back from actually learning how to code.
Being skilled as a coder is a big asset in today’s world, the unlimited potentials and opportunities that accompany the acquisition of coding cannot be overstated.
Some of the biggest problem solvers on earth today were and are still coders either at some point in their life and presently, same goes for a sizeable number of the richest people in the world today.
Coding in itself is an intellectually uplifting activity and is bound to help improve an individual’s thought process and problem solving skills.
In the immediate future, there is certainly going to a continuous spike in the demand for the services of coders and programmers, this is not a new trend actually, but it is a trend that is not expected to decline at least not in the next 10 years.
Considering all of the benefits that comes with being a developer, why then would anyone be discouraged to learn how to code to a professional extent? I feel the answer to that is not farfetched and can be summed up into three words Coding is hard.
Coding is hard, really? Well, not really but to someone that is just starting out all the ‘if’ statements, the loops, variables and other coding concepts might just seem like hieroglyphs. But the sweet thing about all that is that while coding may be hard it can certainly be learned by applying lots of patience and doggedness.
Depending on commitment and approach to learning, one can go from beginner to intermediate within six months to a year of starting out, some even lesser.
The first advice I would give to anyone starting to learn how to code is to get a mentor. Really, you need a mentor. The mistake a lot of people make when starting out is to just go online and start reading tutorials without getting guidance.
I am not saying that you cannot get started this way though, you certainly can, I know I did. But the thing about that is that it would be easy for you to find yourself in tutorial limbo if you go at it alone without experienced hands to guide you.
In case you don’t know what tutorial limbo is, it is that state where you find yourself reading tutorial after tutorial with a conviction that keeps telling you that you don’t know enough. This is a dangerous position to find yourself in, it can cause you to keep going around in circles and lose confidence in your abilities even if your skills are obviously good enough.
Getting someone to guide you through the tide will be of immense to your growth as a developer. A mentor will not only help you get started, he or she would also help you create a roadmap that will take you directly from beginner to “ready for your first job” stage.
A journey that might have taken you years alone will be completed in a matter of months.
In order to truly master the art of coding, just like every other art, you need to practice constantly and consistently.
Practice is the only way to sharpen your skill. Your coding skill is sort of like a double edged sword, if the edges are not sharpened consistently it becomes blunt, the more you work on the edges of the sword the sharper it becomes.
When starting out as a coder, you would need to go through tutorials to help you set yourself up. Even when you become really good at coding, you would still need tutorials to help you understand any new concept you are just getting familiar with or just to refresh your memory.
Reading all the tutorials in the world nevertheless, does not guarantee that you are already good at coding. The only way to truly reassure yourself of your proficiency as a coder is to build something.
Working on a personal project provides a number of benefits such as
Yes, coding is hard and not for the partially dedicated individual, but it doesn’t mean it is impossible. People learn how to code all the time and make careers out of it.
When I started learning how to code, I didn’t have a mentor. This caused me a lot of hiccups from the beginning. I would abandon courses mid-stride, most of the time I was confused on what to actually learn. I lost my will more times than I could remember, my lack of guidance caused some serious distractions.
Something that shouldn’t have taken more than 8 months tops ended up taking more than two years. I really wouldn’t like for anyone to face the same issues I faced which is why I would implore a newbie coder without a mentor to take proactive steps today to find a mentor.