When people think of coding, they imagine a computer screen with a terminal displaying binary characters from top to bottom. The characters, although still in English, begin to look nonnative as it’s used and organized in such an uncommon way. Coding, nonetheless, is a skill that you can tame with enough practice and patience. Here are 7 things that can help teach you the fundamentals of coding:
Don’t aim for a multi-page website or an app that creates other apps for your first project. While these are all ambitious projects, they tend to discourage people from actually following through. The more complicated the project is, the more stressed you’re going to be, which means the less likely you’ll finish the project. Starting small will enable you to complete minute features, such as a form that accepts user input or a navigation menu that you can click to and from. Seeing them work can give you the motivation and confidence boost you need to tackle more difficult problems.
Pair programming is a popular learning technique, especially in the tech space. Only one computer is used, with one person acting as the driver and the other one as the navigator. The driver types the code into the text editor and actually tests to see if it works while the navigator is in charge of guiding the way and thinking about solutions to problems. Every 30 minutes or so, the pair switch roles. This technique can help you understand complex problems faster by exposing yourself to another perspective or approach. It also helps improve your communication skills and ability to work with others.
Before writing on your computer, plan everything on a piece of paper. Jut down everything related to your project, from what files you’ll need to what functionality you’ll want the site to have. Programmers can attest to the fact that planning constitutes half of the work when starting a project. Writing everything down to the last detail helps you identify the technologies you’ll need, potential tech issues that you might encounter, and how you’ll divide tasks if you’re working on the project as a group.
Don’t Recreate the Wheel
It’s common for novices to try and hand-code every function they need. While this can be beneficial to your learning, there isn’t always enough time to write dozens of lines of code that a module or library can do. Efficiency is what’s valued, especially by employers. Low-code platforms come in handy when you want to design and develop feature-rich user interfaces, databases, and business processes.
Patience is perhaps the single most important trait that a web developer will need. Patience is what gets you through complex coding problems. As a coder, it’s natural to be nailed down to your chair for countless hours trying to figure out a bug on your codebase. You’ll need patience to actually check every minute detail of your code.
Write Developer-Friendly Code
When you write code, you want others to also be able to understand it. After all, they might want to use it for their future projects. Adhering to standard naming conventions and accepted coding practices are what distinguishes good developers from bad ones. Always keep others in mind when you write your code. In addition, it will help you easily recount what each line of code does when you need to temporarily leave it to pursue another project.
Although it sounds overused, it’s the simplest yet most powerful way to learn coding. Find time in the day to tinker with your codebase or other people’s code. Refactor your existing applications or websites. Read or watch tutorials and the latest tech news.
Coding has become an essential skill set to have in today’s increasingly digital world. With more technologies being developed and discovered, demand for competent developers is no surprise. Not only can this help propel your professional career, but can also improve the way you think about challenges in life.