The tech sector and web development companies have long considered the growing demand for programming experts and programmers. It is excellent news for aspiring software developers, computer programmers, and Web developers, who all make the Top 10 list of best Technology Jobs of 2015, according to U.S. News and World Report.
There is one downside to this, however: Learning to program on your own is challenging work. Whether you’re pursuing a degree in computer science, a student at a coding boot camp, or attempting to teach yourself how to code on nights and weekends, you’ll need patience, grit, perseverance, and lots of time along with tips to learn programming faster.
Top 5 Helpful and Critical Tips to Learn Computer Programming Faster
Here are five tips and tricks for beginners and intermediate individuals to speed up the process so you can learn programming faster without making any mistakes:
1. Learn by Programming, Not by Reading
Children don’t learn how to tie their shoes by reading about it; they must do it repeatedly until it’s firmly entrenched in their brains. Coding works in much the same way. You might fly through a chapter of reading and have no problem understanding a topic like “for loops,” but if you don’t play with the code right then, you’ll never remember the syntax when you implement it for the first time. The same applies to sample code.
Thanks to the additions of comments and instructions, it’s easy to read and always seems relatively intuitive, but to fully grasp the concepts, you need to tinker around and write (or at least run) the code yourself. Therefore, get your hands dirty whenever you can and embrace the mantra, “code as you go.”
If you’re starting on any language, PHP or Python, build a personal project with your reading so you’ll always have an actual canvas to try out what you’re learning.
Best Computer Programming Courses for Beginners
Following are the computer programming courses you should learn:
- Object Oriented Programming
- Data Structure and Algorithm
- Computer Architecture
2. Grasp the Programming Fundamentals for Long-Term Benefits
As elementary as they may appear, programming fundamentals always need to come first: The better you understand , the easier it is to understand code and learn more advanced concepts. At various learning platforms, the students who rush through the beginning of the software boot camp are often the first to get stuck as the classes transition into more advanced material, such as back-end programming.
So before you ditch your first Computer Science 101 class or skim Chapter 1 of an online tutorial, keep in mind that you’re overlooking the most crucial step in your learning. As eager as you might be to reach the end, you must be patient and respect the process.
Fundamentals of Coding
The fundamentals of coding includes the following basic concepts:
- Data structure
- For Loop
- Control Flow
3. Program by Hand to Sharpen Proficiency
Computer monitors have become thinner, hard drives lighter, and programming languages more powerful, but coding by hand remains one of the most effective methods of learning how to program. Whether on a whiteboard or in a notebook, coding by hand forces you to be more cautious and precise because you can’t run hand-written code midway through to check if your work is correct.
While this restriction will slow you down a bit at first, it will mold you into a more fundamentally sound developer and help you tremendously in college exams. So start early and get used to this old-school practice.
Coding by hand will also help you land a job! When it comes to technical interviews—a critical component of the job interview process—you’ll have to code by hand because it’s universally viewed as the ultimate test for a programmer’s proficiency. Ace that, and you have a serious edge over other job seekers.
4. Seek Out Help and Additional Resources for Programming
Too often, aspiring programmers feel that asking for help is an admission of failure or a sign that they’re just not “cut out” for programming. In truth, every programmer has needed help along the way. So when you’re stuck on something, don’t hesitate to reach out to classmates, mentors, or even established developers. If there’s one thing passionate individuals enjoy, it’s sharing their knowledge with others.
Likewise, try out a different resource if you’re struggling to understand a concept in a textbook, class lecture, or Code Academy. Everyone learns differently, and just because one source doesn’t make sense doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. It means that you’re not clicking with the delivery of the material.
There are countless online resources to help you learn computer programming, and there’s always a Reddit post, YouTube tutorial, or blog explanation that will make the material-at-hand crystal clear. We are especially fond of Stack Overflow and Reddit’s “learn programming” subreddit. We do not even need to mention GitHub and The Coding Forums, where you can get real-time feedback from thousands of programmers worldwide.
Best Online Coding Courses with Certificates
Here are some of the best online coding courses with certificates for people who have just entered into the world of programming:
- Free Code Camp
- Code Academy
At Coding Dojo, we suggest the 20-minute rule: Take at least 20 minutes to figure out something on your own before seeking help. Not only will this force you to think in new ways and become a better programmer, but there’s a good chance the answer is right in front of you.
5. Take Breaks When Debugging
Debugging—hunting down and fixing that errant code causing your website or application grief—is painfully tedious work. It’s easy to go down the rabbit hole for hours, becoming more frustrated as you go and thus less productive in your career. To avoid this, take regular breaks. Stepping away for a while—30 minutes or three hours—will allow you to clear your head and come back with a fresh perspective.
Give your eyes a break, ditch the computer screen and go outside, read a book, eat food or take a nap. It will not only keep you sane, but it will restore the focus you need to fix the bug successfully.
Conclusion – Keep Calm and Code On
In addition to these tips, one other thing you can do to learn to program faster: remain confident. Be patient with your progress and accept that you will fail repeatedly—it’s the only way to learn. If doubts ever cloud your mind, remember that every programmer has walked this path before, none of them anymore “destined” to become a developer than you.
How can I improve my programming skills fast?
To improve programming skills quickly, set clear goals and focus on learning the fundamentals of your chosen programming language. Practice regularly by working on coding exercises and projects.