Teaching Yourself to Code

How to Make Learning to Code a Little More Manageable

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Teaching yourself to code

5 Tips to Help You Learn to Code

Teaching yourself to code may seem like a very daunting task. However, it’s one of the skills in life that you don’t need any prior experience to undertake. You simply need to have the right mindset to do so, an interest in problem solving and the desire to craft incredible pieces of custom software development.

The majority of the developers at Clever Software Group are all self-taught, including the company’s Managing Director, Andrew Matthews. Either through an inquisitive desire to learn more or as a hobby on the side, our bespoke software developers have taught themselves to code to an incredible level. Each and every one of our agile software developers are experts in the field. The whole team is highly skilled and committed to offer a unique blend of experience working across various technologies and industries.

Coding has now become easier to learn than ever before, with so many tutorials, guides and free resources available online. The UK’s education and syllabus regarding computers, technology and programming is majorly lagging behind so many other countries, causing a massive skills shortage, meaning there’s a large gap in supply and demand.

Here are some hints and tips on how to make learning to code a little more manageable.

 

Processing New Information

Everyone deals with the intake of new information differently and we have each learned how to retain material in our own way. As much as watching online tutorials and videos is good in terms of learning to code, you may not be able to hold onto all the information you have seen.

It can often be difficult to remain focused when learning a new skill, especially when it involves looking at a screen for extended periods of time. It is also completely normal and healthy to feel confused and overwhelmed by all the information you will be bombarded with. Make plentiful notes as tutorials progress and screen record when possible, so that you can refer back to specific points that you may need to pay more attention to.

It can sometimes be hard to explain code to non-coders. Code comes in various different languages after all, so in a way, it’s not different to learning French or Spanish. But take you time with it and revisit information if you need to; the fundamentals will be the most important part of the learning process. Try and avoid copy and pasting code in the early stages. This will help strengthen your muscle memory when it comes to syntax and drastically strengthen your coding skills. Copy and pasting code is also a very bad habit to get into – avoid it at all costs.

 

Go Over Newly Acquired Knowledge

To help you work through bits of information you may not completely understand, try and explain them to yourself in your own terms, or as if you were explaining it to someone else. This will allow  you to understand where some skills and knowledge may need a little more refinement and extra support.

Working on a small project of your own, whilst also actively learning new information, will help you improve your code quality and skills tenfold. Try and implement every new thing you learn into your project, no matter how small, to gain a better understand of how code performs. You don’t need to be a slave to online courses and tutorials, but making time to work at improving your skills will do wonders. Simply knowing the information won’t help; you need to practice and apply it to help you expand your skill set.

 

Staying Motivated

We undertake tasks and activities we enjoy to achieve instant gratification. This is a really good view to apply to coding; make sure you take ample pleasure in the small wins.

Setting yourself small, manageable goals will make the process of learning to code more enjoyable and less demanding. You will be able to take things in your stride, remain on track and ultimately stay motivated. Being able to tick-off a to-do list will allow a sense of achievement and allow you to grow in confidence as you progress.

Remember how far you have come and don’t let it go unnoticed. As time goes by, remind yourself that at one point you didn’t have the knowledge to produce the code you now can. You may not be able to feel yourself actively progressing, but each piece of code you retain and put into practice will be a step in the right direction.

 

Work on a Project that Interests You

As you start your journey of learning to code, make sure you begin a project that is of interest to you and will hold your attention. It will be good to follow some basic tutorials to begin with, but make sure you transfer these stills into something that you will enjoy creating.

Ensure it’s a light project, that won’t consume all of your time, allowing you to feel motivated to complete it. Whether it be an app or a piece of web development, shape it around something that will be beneficial to you and potentially make your day-to-day living a little easier.

 

Don’t Compare Yourself to Other Developers

As human beings, we are very quick to judge ourselves against how others are doing. This is a habit we desperately need to shake.

Everyone learns and progresses at a different pace, don’t put pressure on yourself to keep up with others. You have undergone learning to code purely because you want to, not due to the expectations of others. Just because you find a certain aspect of coding hard to begin with, it doesn’t mean you’re going to be a bad programmer. It’s a cliché, but Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Allow yourself time to nurture your newfound knowledge and expertise. You don’t need to code all-day-everyday, but setting aside time to practice will allow your coding skills to bloom.

Don’t be scared to ask for help either, if you get stuck. There are so many forums and blogs available out there to share and expand knowledge for this exact reason. Getting stuck and hooked on a specific issue will cause you to become frustrated and potentially want to throw in the towel – but don’t take this route. Take a break from it, get some help and come back to the problem area with a pair of fresh eyes. You will thank yourself in the long run.

 

If you have any questions for our custom software developers about how they got into coding, feel free to contact us. They will be more than happy to answer any of your questions.

Not Just Travel

Not Just Travel (NJT)

Our client's current internal reporting tool was in need of a series of complex developments to facilitate key administrative tasks. Our specialist software support developers made enhancements to make the system easier to manage internally and to give the client greater control of their software.

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