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5 Best Practices When Learning to Code
June 13, 2022
CAREER | TECH TRAINING

Trends in the software industry are always changing, but a skill that always remains in demand is the ability to read and write code. If you are preparing to start your tech career, learning to code is a good first step to ensure you’re adding skillsets to your resume in order to get noticed by tech recruiters and stand out during a job interview.

While there is no universal way of learning, we’ve consolidated a list of our top recommendations to ensure you are successful in learning how to code:

  1. Figure out which programming language is most appropriate for you. 

There is no best language to start with, and your first language might have no effect on your future career. At the end of the day, most of the fundamental concepts will transfer from language to language, even if programming languages look very different on the surface.

 However, every time you switch languages, you’re losing time you could have spent applying what you’ve learned to improve your problem-solving skills. Make sure you are comfortable with one language before moving on to another language that may differ in a fundamental way. Some beginner-friendly languages we recommend include Python and Java. 

  1. A project can help you stay motivated.

 Find a small problem or project that you’re interested in tackling that a can be solved through programming.  For instance, try building a tool to solve a small problem in your life or implementing a program you find interesting from scratch.  A project will motivate you to continue to learn and will give you opportunities to practice applying what you’re learning.

 Your non-paid projects can also be a great way to highlight your experience and bridge any skill gaps your resume might have. When you are starting, coming up with ideas for a project might be a challenge. We recommend GitHub as a starting point. The more you learn, the easier it will be to choose you next project.

3. Don’t be discouraged by having to debug.

Spending time debugging or googling is perfectly normal, even among professional programmers. Effective debugging is an essential part of coding because no matter how good you are at solving programming blocks or questions, you will always enter a situation where you are stuck at the problem, and you don’t have an idea on how to proceed. Be patient with yourself and avoid being stressed. Even if you’re making no progress on your actual code due to some bug, if you’re being systematic, you’re still practicing your problem-solving skills in a different way.

4. Practice programming regularly.

Programming is like exercising; you improve through constant practice. A great way to make sure you are getting enough practice is to code for at least a few minutes every day. By coding every day, you will learn to avoid repetitive mistakes and improve your overall efficiency. You will also gain further knowledge and discover new methods and ideas to approach different types of problems.

5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

If you’re completely stuck and have no idea what to do next, don’t feel bad about asking for help! Other programmers will understand what it’s like to struggle as a beginner and to be completely stuck. Speaking with more experienced tech pros can also help you learn tips and tricks you might not have on your own – furthering your knowledge and preparing you for real-world scenarios.

Coding is only one aspect of getting your tech career started. SkillStorm can help you with other pieces like getting your tech certified, strengthening your soft skills, and more. If this sounds like something you are interested in, we would love to share with you more about how you can become a Stormer! Just shoot us an email at apply@skillstorm.com.

 

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