If you have started learning to code recently then there is a question for you...
What was the reason you entered programming?… Why did you decide to teach yourself coding and make a career in the computer science field?
You might have fascinated by some software or application. You might have realized the power of software that how it has changed our lifestyle completely today or you might have inspired by some great programmers’ contribution to society. Whatever the reason was, you took inspiration from somewhere and you decided to enter into the computer science field to teach yourself coding and build some software that can make millions of people’s life easier.
Most of the students have a dream to build their applications or software and that makes them drive to learn to code. With full enthusiasm, they also start learning to code picking up some programming language but in most cases, students get frustrated and give up on coding due to some difficulty they face during the learning phase. They struggle with some barriers in coding and slowly these barriers kill the enthusiasm of the students towards programming.
We know that learning to code is difficult and as a beginner, you face a lot of challenges. But if you learn to overcome these barriers, you get a lot of good benefits to it. You become a more independent coder, you make progress faster, you enjoy learning experience much more and in the future, you don’t give up easily on coding whenever you’re stuck. In this blog, we will talk about some obstacles which most of the learners face, and we will discuss some tips to overcome with it…
1. You Don’t Know The Reason for Learning to Code
A lot of people start learning to code not because they are highly interested in this field but because they have heard from somewhere that it pays well and programming is a cool field to choose as a career option. If you also have this mindset and you’re learning programming because of these reasons then it won’t help you in the long run and you will be struggling a lot during the journey of learning to code. You don’t need to learn to code just for the sake of learning it. Before you decide to learn to code, ask yourself… why do I want to learn to code? what’s my end goal and what do I want to do with it? If you have a strong reason in your mind then most likely you’ll overcome with all the obstacles
Programming is living for a lot of programmers, and they do it because they like programming, they wonder how things work behind the scene, and they try to implement their ideas (or trying to improve on someone’s else idea). If you’re also one of them who is always curious about the technical detail of any application and you wonder how things work it’s a positive sign that you’re highly interested in coding and its importance is more than just a career option for you.
You need to find a strong reason and motivation if you want to learn to code. If you love to solve real-world problems, love to automate the things, and love to build some applications to help people then programming won’t scare you throughout the journey of learning it. You won’t give up on it and you will enjoy all the challenges that come along with it. But if you’re learning to code just because you simply want a career out of it then chances are high that you will give up along the way. At some point, you may also say to yourself “I don’t like programming anymore, and I am not born to become a programmer”
2. Confusion About the Technology to Start With
“Which language or framework I need to pick up first?” This is one of the most common and confusing questions for beginners when they start learning to code. But do you ever ask yourself why you are confused about picking up a specific technology or language? The answer is…you don’t know why you want to learn to code (Yes! We are talking about the first point.)
3. You Are Unable to Apply Your Theoretical Knowledge On Your Own
You have set a real goal or a specific project in your mind to build, you also know that which language or technology you need to learn, you have also found tons of resources to learn it and you started learning all the theoretical stuff and practical implementation as well. These resources help you a lot to understand the concept and most probably if someone asks how a certain code works you also explain it very well. The main problem arises when you need to write new code for specific features or to solve a certain problem. There you get stuck and you don’t know how to apply your theoretical knowledge to solve that problem. Your brain doesn’t get the logic to approach a specific problem.
This is a skills gap and to overcome this problem you need to do a lot of practice. Consider the example of playing tennis. It’s easy to read about the rules and techniques to play this game and you may probably explain it to someone very well that how to play tennis just like professionals do. But when it comes to using this information practically means playing it on the ground, you start struggling there and you start blaming yourself as well. A similar thing happens in programming and blaming yourself or self-doubt is one of the worst experiences for any coder who is in the learning phase. They start doubting themselves, and they start thinking that they are not smart enough to code. Read the tips given below to deal with this problem in coding…
- Start working on some complex project that excites you and split your project into smaller chunks. When you start implementing the small features on your own it becomes easier for you to implement the logic. Still, if you don’t get the logic, check how your feature is connected with the other parts of the app and how you can break features again into smaller chunks. This way you will be able to get the solution to your problem.
- Focus on solving one task at a time and try to write the code for your task within 20-25 lines of code. Make sure that you don’t switch to another task until or unless the current one is not completed. This is important because later if your app doesn’t behave the way it is supposed to, then it will be hard to find the root cause of the problem. So instead of doing multiple things in parallel focus on solving one problem at a time.
- Before you start working on any project or task, make sure that you know all the important theoretical concepts related to it. It saves a lot of time and during the practical implementation, you avoid doing the silly mistakes in coding. If in case you don’t know a few concepts or theory then ask someone for help or ask your questions on some developer’s community such as StackOverflow.
4. You Don’t Spend Time Thinking About the Consequences of Your Code
A lot of programmers immediately switch to the next task after completing the first one. They do not spend time thinking about the consequences of their code. You might have written the code that works, but we encourage you to challenge yourself with the questions given below…
- Have you considered all the edge cases in your code? If not then your code may fail in certain case scenarios. Even if it doesn’t fail, is there any other state or scenario that could cause it to break?
- Have you written a clean code that other developers can understand? Is it easy to understand and easy to change for someone else (even for yourself) in the future? Remember that you are responsible for the quality of your code and writing clean code is as important as implementing a feature in your application. Nobody loves to work on some horrible and messy code. Read some tips about writing clean code from link 7 Tips To Write Clean And Better Code in 2020.
- Have you written the best approach to implement the feature in your application? Is there any other method or approach you can write to solve the same problem? What are the pros and cons of each method? Which one is more efficient? In terms of time and complexity is it beneficial to solve the same problem differently?
- How one module is connected with the other modules in your application? How it can affect the other parts of your application? Can it affect any parts of your application in a bad way? Can it easily be used by other modules?
All the above questions are really important to ask before you switch to another task. This will help you to overcome another barrier, the bad consequences of your code.
5. You Don’t Know How to Debug Your Code
A lot of times it happens in programming that you know the solution but it doesn’t work for some reason. This is not the problem of just beginners but also it’s a problem of the experienced developers as well. Mainly the reason behind a solution that doesn’t work is most likely bug in your code. An experienced developer can catch the bug easily because of their excellent debugging skills. But beginners often get stuck because they don’t know where to look in their code when the solution doesn’t work.
Debugging is one of the most important skills in programming. You can’t find a bug randomly or by guessing it somewhere in your code. There are some specific patterns you need to follow and some steps you need to take to find and fix the bug in your code. Most of the learners get frustrated when their solution doesn’t work, and they find themselves in a situation where they are unable to fix the bug. At this stage, they lose motivation and give up on coding. Most of the time we find the best resources to learn to code, but we don’t get the best resource to learn debugging skills which are also one of the most essential skills in programming. Read the article Debugging: Tips To Get Better At It for some debugging skill tips.
If you think learning this skill is a waste of time then you’re wrong. This skill improves your programming abilities and makes you a better programmer. So whenever you’re stuck in a problem try to find the solution from different resources. With practice, you will start identifying the pattern to fix the bug in your code.