When learning to program for the first time, it’s easy to feel like a deer under the headlights; everything is unknown and new. It’s like learning to play a new instrument or a foreign language – what is it and what the hell am I doing? I understand perfectly. When I first started coding I had no real-life experience, no one to teach me. I never got a computer science degree. Initially, I wanted to learn to code because I was building a website for a friend and was frustrated to ask for tech support more times.
I wanted to figure out how to improve the site on my own. I went from knowing nothing at the start of a career in the tech industry to a year, after studying about one to three hours a day. I’ve been through it all: confusion, frustration, lack of context, and that’s just the beginning. I didn’t know anyone in the tech industry to ask for help. So what did I do? I sat down and struggled hard. Did I feel overwhelmed? Don’t be.
Every professional, no matter how successful, started from zero, or level thirty negative in my case. Each expert was a beginner and felt like you. It could have been easier, however, with the resources and steps I know now. Whether you want to add a few lines of code to your Zap or start your dream career in game or software development, the first step in becoming a programmer is to start thinking like one.
Programming and Life: Solve Your Problems
Steve Jobs possessed tremendous drive and talent, a skill he used to take Apple from a startup in a garage to one of the most valuable companies in the world. However, beyond business acumen or entrepreneurial skills, Jobs valued programming knowledge. “Everyone in this country should learn to program a computer,” Jobs said, “because it teaches you to think. “a skill that can improve the way you approach new life challenges. Essentially, programming is about problem-solving: thinking logically and breaking a problem down into steps to find a solution. You’ve probably heard the phrase before.
“Think like a programmer.” From a certain angle, then be able to take a step back and look at the same challenge from another perspective. Repeat it over and over until you find a solution. Let’s take a scenario. I have always wanted to start my own business. Maybe you hate your job and want to start something new, or you want to start a side business to do something on your own. Yet something has always stopped you from doing it. How can you meet this challenge with a programmer mindset to solve right now? Yes now.
Start by analyzing the factors that contribute to this situation. Instead of looking first at others and how they made the change, start “thinking like a programmer” by stepping back, breathing, and taking another look at the problem: yourself. What is stopping you? Maybe you don’t have enough energy at the end of a long day? OK. There is your first mini-challenge within your larger goal: how do you solve it? After that, what’s the next step you can take? Do some research! Find out how others have built up energy when they are exhausted and do it, whether it’s by exercising for 30 minutes, taking a walk with your pet, or changing your diet.
You don’t have time for this solution? Take a step back and visualize the whole day. You’re busy working 810 hours a day, you’re sleeping another 8 hours, and you’re potentially unproductive for the remaining 68 hours a day. Looking at your challenge this way, finding 30 minutes to an hour of a full day for your new project shouldn’t be daunting anymore. Once you’ve solved the first challenge, other challenges will arise. Keep solving them with this problem-solving mindset and look at them from multiple angles instead of giving up.
Every challenge in life is a lesson to help us grow. Divide your goals into small steps. Solving a small challenge per day equals 30 solved challenges at the end of the month – that’s a lot. You will realize how much thinking like a programmer, essentially a problem solver, can help you in many aspects of life. You will encounter difficulties on the way to becoming a programmer almost every day. It will get better. Over time, and you will feel more comfortable with your surroundings, you will feel more confident and have fewer problems, as in most skills. Patience and persistence are essential.
Not giving up is a crucial skill
Maybe you feel intimidated by all of the programming terms before you even start learning. Maybe the challenges seem solvable, but you can’t think of a way to solve them due to the limited context. Once you start coding, you could spend hours looking for a bug and feeling good to stop.
How do you get around these common pitfalls? The most important thing, whatever your situation, is to be persistent. At first, when looking for ways to solve a challenge, push yourself beyond your limits, at least a little more than usual. When you feel exhausted, drained, and ready to give up, that’s often when you finally get it.
The time that most people give up is the time you need to move on because that’s when you get better. Anything that is uncomfortable is a gift to grow as individuals and strengthen our character. The first few months are the most difficult. Do not worry; I can tell you from experience that it is getting better. The hard work you put into it matters. I guarantee you will improve over time.
Keep your sights on the prize
Another way to push yourself forward is to remember your goals. Why do you want to learn to program? Keep a list of your goals on your computer, in a notebook, or pinned to the wall. I like to make lists of my goals and then remember them every morning. It sets my intention for the day and helps me focus on achieving them.
There are many ways to start learning. You can teach yourself for free online, go to a coding school, take classes at your local college, or even attend meetings – I’ve made a mix of these. But no matter how you learn, keep your goals in mind. They are what you study for and what will get you out of it whenever you get stuck.
Identify the coding challenges and find a solution
As you learn to code you will be stumped and not know what to do more than once or twice. This is true throughout your career, but especially in the first few weeks, as you still develop context around challenges and learn your way. One of the useful soft skills that you will develop as you learn to code is how to search for a crime scene investigator, either by finding the answers on your own or by asking others to type in what you cannot. to find.
Start by trying to find the solution on your own
Before asking someone, push yourself as far as you can up to your current skill level. This is the only way to further develop your skills and get where you want to go. The hard part is doing your research when you don’t have a lot of contexts. Let’s say you’re faced with a challenge and you’re asked to solve it with a method you’ve never heard of. Or you don’t even know if there is a method to solve this challenge. Start by searching on Google if a method for what you are looking for exists in your programming language.
Maybe you think you have solved the challenge, but you continue to have mistakes. Here’s how to troubleshoot: First, make sure you’ve checked for typos. Can’t find any? Then try to take a step back. Any method or idea you have can solve this problem if you look at it from another angle • If that doesn’t work, try taking a break. Looking at the larger image or looking at it from another angle doesn’t always work until we step away from the code. So take a walk, eat, exercise, chat with someone, take a break. Sleep on it if you need to.
Then when you’re ready, come back to the problem. You may find that the break is all you need. If you’re still stuck, start over with another Google search, or maybe a site-specific search on Stack Overflow or another programming site where you’ve consistently found solutions while learning to code. See how others have solved similar problems. Maybe the solution is already available and someone has solved it in a way you never considered. Maybe your current ideas are at an impasse and you will find a more creative solution. Either way, you will know more. The next time you face a similar challenge, you will know how to handle it.
Secondly, you should ask your coding community for assistance
Knowing when to stop and ask for help is just as important as knowing when to move on. As a beginner, allow yourself more time to research and understand the challenge you are facing before asking. If it’s been over an hour, however, it’s probably a good time to ask someone. If you are alone right now and there is no one to ask, not even anyone online, then follow him. At first, I spent hours and sometimes days on a challenge.
You agree with that. As long as you learn and apply what you learn with each mistake, then you get better! When you finally ask for help, you can improve your skills in less time. Similar to finding a solution online, getting help from others allows you to see the problem through their eyes. It teaches you both a new way to approach the problem and how to solve it. Most people are more than willing to help you when you show that you have worked to solve the problem on your own.
When asking questions of others, be sure to give some context, explain how to reproduce the problem, and try to make your wording as short and sweet as possible. When asking a question, provide as much detail as possible. Context is key, and it saves everyone’s time. Explain the steps you took that created the problem so that the person helping you can review them and share any code you have already written.
What you need to do
They may notice something you forgot or a problem in your existing code. Explain what you expected to see and what happened – and what you think the problem might be. Above all, be polite when asking your question. You take someone else’s time when you ask and the person helping you is generous, so be grateful. Thank them when they have helped you and if you found the answer before they can respond, let them know right away to save more time in the research.
If you’ve ever taken a programming class, you can probably ask your teacher, classmates, or other mentors you’ve met along the way. If you work in a company with other programmers, you might want to seek advice from colleagues. Or you can find an online community for help. FreeCodeCamp offers a multi-channel online chat where you can ask all programming questions. Check out Meetup’s coding groups for a local event or check out sites where you first learned coding like Stack Overflow to help other community members benefit from the responses as well.
Programming Your Way to Success
You’ve just learned the basics of thinking like a problem solver and how to start applying those skills immediately in everyday life as you learn to code. Whether you’re looking for a full-time coding job or want to learn simple coding steps to solve personal technical problems, these skills will help you get there.
Keep learning and don’t give up. With a little hard work and persistence, you can definitely learn to code! Want an easy way to start programming? Check out these guides from Zapier for some of the easiest ways to program without programming skills:
- Create a chatbot in Slack using Zapier workflows, filters and automations.
- You want do more in Our Google Sheets script guide will help you create your first spreadsheet macros to format your spreadsheets and find data automatically.
- Gather them in our guide to code your first landing page