Many youngsters are choosing software development as their chosen career as it’s quickly becoming one of the most prestigious industries in the world. The tech boom of the late ‘90s is still sending shockwaves in the job market, attracting top talent from all over the world to online coding academies.
However, some students find it hard to learn coding; they’ll need help to navigate the coding landscape and accelerate the learning process. So, how do you brush up on your skills successfully?
Well, consider the following tips to learn to program faster and quickly join this booming industry.
First, you have to determine which career pathway to pursue in the software development industry. You can either learn it or gather more skills to become a programmer. These two careers have different skill requirements, so setting up clear-cut goals will assist you in training for coding a lot faster.
A coder translates logic into a programming language to help the computer understand it. That’s why coders only need to acquire basic skills without any software tools.
Programmers often have to work on large-scale projects to design fully functional software solutions. Unlike programmers, coders use simple text editors to type away lines of code without any modeling/analyzing tools.
Do some research on coding vs programming and find out which career suits you the most.
Graph showing different programming languages used on a regular basis.
Before moving on to the next phase, you have to gather some learning materials for your academic crusade. A lot of educational resources are available for amateur and seasoned programmers alike.
Plenty of YouTube videos will help you get introduced to the basics of programming. You should also consider joining boot camps to master coding in a short time with more flexibility.
From free tutorials to paid courses – use whatever educational pathway you find more comfortable. Bear in mind that your future employers will be more interested in your skills than credentials.
The second phase involves learning the basics. In this stage, you will be introduced to the most popular language out there, i.e., C++, so you can become familiar with the landscape.
Grasp the logic behind how languages work and become in tune with the way a machine thinks. Memorize the rudiments of C++ and then move on to more advanced languages.
If you go by the self-taught route, it takes 6 to 12 months to master the requirements, while grasping the art of coding itself takes more than a year with lots of practice, patience, and perseverance.
As we just said, practicing persistently makes a programmer perfect. Some students like to practice for half an hour a day, whereas the more studious ones aim for several hours. However, the key is to add some consistency to your practice schedule.
That’s because the more time you put in, the faster you master. Never forget that consistency is the cornerstone of programming practice.
That’s what makes software development different from traditional subjects; it’s entirely practice-based.
Try to go a little old-school and practice your coding skills on paper. A lot of students skip this part as they can’t debug their code that easily when it’s in the shape of a few lines scribbled on a notebook. But not relying on autocompletion or error prompts is a great way to reinforce basic concepts for beginners. That’s how you will foster a deeper understanding of the code.
What’s even more beneficial is that you can prepare for technical interviews by practicing on paper; technical interviews involve coding on a whiteboard so the examiners can check your ability to turn a simple flowchart into code without an IDE.
Anyone can write a decent line of code, but it takes a professional to quickly identify the error when the code doesn’t work. If you want to master faster, then understand the logic behind how your line of code works. And learning how to fix the errors is the best way to grasp the machine’s logic.
Find out what some common errors mean, what causes them to emerge, and how to rectify them. Debugging will improve your problem-solving skills, promote a deeper understanding of code, and prepare you for real-world scenarios.
Don’t forget that identifying and fixing errors is a common task in software development.
Discuss your journey online by joining online communities dedicated to programming. Share your passion for software development there and try to turn this into a hobby so you can invest a lot more time into it.
Use platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn to connect with other programmers, both students and professionals. Create your portfolio on GitHub to kickstart your career.
All this socialization will keep you motivated to acquire knowledge and connect to a wide pool of talent in the world.
Even reviewing someone else’s code can help you get a good grasp on your efficiency. You may pick up a different style and learn some new best practices, greatly improving your skills. Give your problem-solving skills a much-needed upgrade and find new ways to tackle the same old challenges from someone else’s perspective.
Also, reviewing another person’s code fosters collaboration. This collective learning experience will support you grow as a coder, contributing to a more comprehensive understanding of programming.
To sum it all up, you have to set clear goals and decide which career pathway you wish to pursue, coding or programming. Then, learn the basics via online resources (like academies and coding boot camps). Watch useful content on how to code and then hone your skills by practicing on paper.
Teach, discuss, review, and write about programming to better understand this science. Practice makes a programmer efficient, but don’t forget to take a few breaks to avoid burnout during your studies.