5 Best tips for New Coders

If you’re happy and you know leave a comment.(repeat 2x) If you happy and you know and you really want to show it, if you’re happy and you know it leave a comment.


1. Keep a Coding Journal

If you keep up with me at all on twitter or read my blog you’ll know I’m a big proponent of keeping a coding journal. Learning to code not only includes sitting in front of a computer all day, it involves the same activation of as many senses as possible in order for you to learn more effectively. If you’re only doing it this way then your brain is missing out on the opportunity to encode what you are learning in more ways than one. There are other benefits too by the way, your journal will also be a place where you write down code snippets and explain them for later use. If you’ve been coding for any significant amount of time then you think about programming a lot throughout the day. I frequently write down solutions to problems I couldn’t solve when I was in front of the computer.

2. Take your time… Let me explain

Or rather I’ll let you explain. Stop speeding through the massive amount of material you’re learning. As I stated in number 1 everything you’re learning is worth spending time on. When learning how to learn you will hear about the illusion of knowing. The only way to break free of these constraints is through proper testing on the material. Make it your life’s mission to create flash cards as you learn in order to test your self later. Another good practice is to use the Feynman technique after learning new material. The purpose is simply to write until you figure out what you don’t know and fill in the gaps.

This is your new motto now.

3. Double down on your coding journey.

Is this really what you want to do? Are you in love with the process? Are you not happy with where you are right now? Then double down on your goals. Why is “The Walking Dead” more important then practicing your craft. When you’re not where you want to be in life, sacrifices must be made. I’ll stop right there. What you need to know is cutting out the distractions is how you compound knowledge. Beating down on your craft everyday will help you in leaps and bounds when it comes to mastery. Which is an excellent read by the way.  If it takes 10,000 hours to master your craft wouldn’t you want to get there quicker. Lets do some math. If you only studied for 10 hours per week it would take you 19 years in order to reach mastery. Let’s double down, if you studied 20 hours per week it would take you 9.5 years to master your craft. Lets double down again. If you studied for 40 hours a week, the same amount of time you give that life force draining job, you would be able to reach mastery in 5 years. Wow…. Double down now.

4. Solve a problem.

I think Eli the Computer Guy said this one best. You need to find problems to solve. STOP LEARNING STUFF ON ACCIDENT. If you can’t find a problem to solve then you’ll be lost in your self-studying journey. There is simply no excuse as to study programming, which is the art of learning how to think, and not be able to find a problem to solve. I hear it all the time from new coders. They don’t have a structure so they get discouraged and don’t want to move forward on their learning journey. I can not find or conceptualize no better way to find structure in your journey then to find a problem to solve. If you’ve found a problem to solve then you now know what coding looks like in the real world. As of recently I found out what it was like working with another developer. It is the most productive thing you can do and it offers tremendous learning opportunities. But wait till you have to combine your code!!! >> If I didn’t find a problem to solve that could be benefited by the addition of another coder, I never would have gained this experience. Keep that in mind for the length of your career and you will be successful.

5. Get involved.

I know why you’re doing this. You want to take it to the next level. This is a new life for you and pursuing this dream is what makes you happy. There are other people out there like you. If you want to go anywhere in your coding journey then you have to get out of your bedroom, stop coding in the coffee shops, stop consuming, and start producing for those around you. Whether its writing technical blogs to help the code newbies coming up with you or whether you’re going to meetups and providing value to others with the problems you’ve learned to solve so far. Just get involved. No one will know what you can do unless you make a commitment to put yourself out there. I don’t think I have to tell you how important soft skills will be in your tech career. Developing them early, while also providing value to the coding community, will put you in the position you want your future self to occupy. Good luck on your coding journey everyone. I’m jogging right there next to you on the road to greatness. Don’t sell yourself short, believe in the neuroplasticity of your brain and sacrifice who you are now for what you shall become.



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