Learning to code is not in any way easy and sometimes not as hard as many perceive it. You may find many websites citing how easy it is to master coding. However, it is one of the hardest skills to garner and excel at.

Although many people think of programmers like one kind of specially made creatures from mars, which is not so far from the truth. I’m kidding.

Apart from the fact we’re all from this planet earth, we all are humans and there is no special alien knowledge attached to programming.

As someone who is aspiring to be a programmer, the first attribute of a programmer you must possess is to be ready to take pleasure in things many consider boring. That actually, is the fun of it.

As a beginner, you may want to know what the journey holds, or what it’s like to progress from beginner to intermediate level. Learning experiences may vary from person to person, and you are completely free to choose your own path.

You will fail more often than not, just make sure you don’t take it too seriously, we have all been there, and everybody trying out new things, fails. It is not something that one should have to tell you, but sorry not sorry, that is the hardcore truth you need to know before delving into programming.

 

Here are some points to help you in your journey to becoming a programmer:

  • Be Determined: The first thing you really need to do before delving into programming is to determine within yourself you really are ready to face the challenges in the journey to becoming a programmer.

You’ll fail more often than not, don’t take it too seriously. Everybody fails when trying something new. It’s not something that one should have to tell you, but I’ll say it anyway.

I usually tell people that programming isn’t a piece of cake and it’s not as hard as many perceive it to be. But it’s no job for the lazy, those who find it difficult to make up their mind are likely to back out when faced with challenges.

Here is a tip-off: Coding is like playing games, the deeper you go, the difficult the tasks and obstacles to encounter.

  • Self-Motivation: Self-motivation is very paramount in your journey to becoming a programmer, you’ll need this at every point in time.

Close to a decade now when I was learning, I’d at times spend over a week trying to resolve errors, how discouraging that could be, even at that, it doesn’t stop any other error from popping up as soon as that is resolved. The only thing that can scale you through this though time is to keep encouraging yourself.

There will always be a strong voice telling you to quit and possibly give you thousands of reasons and different kinds of trade to venture into if you quit programming, but trust me, you can do it.

Whether you like it or not, challenges are inevitable in programming, but with self-motivation and strong can-do attitude, you definitely will scale through like every other fulfilled programmer.

  • Patience: Another necessary attribute an aspiring programmer must possess to become successful is patience. Patience can help you become a better problem-solver, and improve your understanding of computers.

Solving problems is more than just hitting keys on your keyboard. You may have seen or probably be impressed seeing programmers in movies who are being given problem to solve and they immediately start typing things down, reverse is the case in the real, nah, it doesn’t work that way.

In fact, programmers spend more time thinking than hitting keyboard. It’s almost always a good idea to try to solve a problem first on paper or in your head before writing code.

So many beginners have given up learning programming sometimes because of wrong expectations or advise given to them when starting their programming journey. Computer concepts are complex and require resilience, patience, and hard work to understand.

  • Start from Basics: Before you start learning how to code, you really need a solid idea of how computers actually function. Familiarise yourself with the usage and operation of computers, networking, command line etc. and series of commands available on your own choice of operating system.

Before your start learning, the first thing you need to be sure of are the “basics”. It is the first step of becoming a guru in coding.

To get the basics right, you need to learn the core of computer science, just like any other trade you will come across.

Getting the basics of programming and aptitude to make logic is more important than choice of language, there are loads of great starter resources out there for beginners that will help you get on track.

  • Practice: Learning programming is like learning fashion designing, you can’t just keep writing down the processes of cutting or making a dress and assume you know how to make a dress, until you start making it. In fact, you’ve not start learning reading books and taking courses until you start the actual coding.

Don’t misunderstand me, it’s good to read, but believe me, programming is more of practical than studying. Reading helps you with fundamentals and theoretical parts which are necessary to become a professional programmer and broaden your knowledge of computers as a whole, but what is more important than study material is practice material, assignments and projects.

Trust me, you will never become a good programmer by reading more, practising will help you learn even more quickly than reading books and taking courses ever will.

  • Set Goal and Work Towards it: Goal-setting is very important as far as programming is concerned, and can be a powerful motivational booster on your journey to learning programming. It will help you the most to set a goal and do simple projects weekly on any of your desired or chosen language. Once the goal is achieved, set another goal, and repeat the cycle.

There is no end to learning and improvement in programming, and that’s why it is a good idea to keep setting goals, and not to lose track of your primary goal.

You can start by setting simple and achievable goals for yourself from start, don’t try to focus on building Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or a fully featured game when you just start learning, Rome was not built in a day, trust me. Try to move as slowly as possible till you understand the basics and then aim for bigger and more complex projects as you progress.

Lastly, spend more time understanding what you’re doing, rather than copying codes online to show off to your buddies, the truth always stands at the end of the day.

  • Get A Mentor: Programming can be a time-consuming task and frustrating at times without a mentor. With the help of mentor, you can save not only your time, but also get value from the pool of experiences your mentor possesses. A good mentor will accelerate your learning process, help prevent you from making common mistakes, guide you through projects, evaluate your progress and help you become a better programmer.

Getting a mentor will help you to quickly get acquainted to how to code the right way. There are lots of resources that will solve your problem at the moment you needed to resolve an issue, but it doesn’t always mean it’s the right way to do it. With the help of an experienced programmer, you can easily be guided.

So, if you want to start or already started learning programming, getting a mentor can help you hasten your learning process. You can get a mentor locally, or try out an online code mentorship program as well.

  • Continuous Learning: On a daily basis, there’s new technology releases, this makes it impossible to know everything as a programmer, and it’s the reason why programmers don’t relax as they have to constantly improve their knowledge and upgrade their skills to meet the latest market requirement.

As a beginner, you must prepare your mind to always be ready to learn new things as long as you’re married to this profession. Apart from marriage, this is another institution you never graduate from, except that you can decide to retire or divorce, but trust me, old habit do die hard.

Conclusion

The purpose of this article is not to teach you how to code, but to guide and prepare you for what’s ahead of you. Like I said earlier, programming is not a piece of cake, and with the right information which has been offered to you at no cost through this article and other resources available online, you will be able to learn and learn the right way very quickly within weeks if possible, what takes others years to learn because of lack of information. But gone are those days.

The best decision anyone could make is to learn programming, even though it seems difficult in the first place, it’s benefit cannot be over-emphasized.

Also, it is understandable that the endgame of almost everything is to make money, but your success in this profession may be really difficult if you put money first. Try your best to build yourself and make sure you’re good at what you do before you monetize your skills and the sky will be your starting point.

Thank you for your time and I do hope you’ve learnt one or two things and ready to embark on this journey.

Watch out for the next episode “Programming for Beginner: How to Start Programming” where I will be discussing how to start and what language to start with as a beginner.

You can drop your comment below this article or send message to us for advice, we’ll be happy to see your progress.

Happy coding. With love from Scnip Learn, by Johnricho.