Why should I use the techniques discussed in this article to learn to code?
Aspiring developers are often attracted to this field after hearing an inspiring story about someone who learned things quickly and attained success with a lucrative job. I bring this up because the biggest mistake I see people make is having unrealistic expectations in terms of how quickly they expect to learn things. Ultimately, your end goal is not to learn just one language or how to use a single technology. Developers must be able to use coding languages and technologies to compose projects and problem-solve challenges in the real-world to get hired or make money as a freelancer.
Why is pacing yourself important?
Proper pacing is the cornerstone of learning a new skill. This concept is important because it is easy to sprint through the material at a quick pace. Students who do that get to the end of the course and not remember anything. Most people who attempt to learn development skills end up in a loop of having to start over from the beginning, constantly relearning things. You do not want to end up doing this. It is easy to cycle through the same information repetitively for years, jumping to different learning platforms and instructors hoping the information sticks. The best remedy to the issue is to commit to the process of taking notes.
Why is it important to take notes?
Note-taking is the most powerful thing a new developer can do to make sure they are pacing themselves properly. Note-taking allows students to assimilate information to their prior areas of knowledge before moving on to the next concept. When you take notes, each concept has to be filtered through your mind actively. Often, the subject matter is rewritten into your own words with references that you relate to. Try not to write down only what the instructor said, or the use the exact wording you saw in the documentation. The best notes are technical explanations of topics that deliver the information in a grounded way as part of a larger picture.
Pro-tip: Use notecards to take notes. They have the added advantage of being highly portable so you are likely to shuffle through them readily as opposed to having to open up a notebook. Have a different set of notecards for different courses, languages, projects, and issues. This will help you troubleshoot issues in the future because you will know where to go to find a particular solution for an issue. Number the cards sequentially, front and back so that you can maintain the logical order of things. Highlight important points with unique colors to keep track of a particular theme.
Make sure you are coding along with the instructor as you go through the course. For an added benefit, watch the sections you plan on working with before coding along with it. The double exposure to the content will give you the ability to relax and notice things. Ideally, you want to pick up on themes, and how the pieces fit together in general.
Computer programming is impossible to learn unless you are writing code. Computer science graduates learn this the hard way when they graduate with a degree centered around years of theory and problem-solving paradigms, but lack experience putting things into practice with a relevant language or codebase. The most important reason you want to code along with the instruction is so you learn to deal with errors in your code as you make mistakes. The daily workflow of every type of development centers around solving errors. You will want to gain familiarity with common errors, so you have the confidence to relax and use your knowledge to build cool projects.
Pro tip: After you get the code to work predictably, try different things to break the code. The best developers have a deep understanding of the fundamentals and underlying logic of the codebase that allows them to debug issues that result from concerns not reflected in the error messages. This tip will allow you to have a hands-on understanding of the boundaries of the language, or technology you are working with. Use an online editor like Repl or Codepen to do some of these experiments because some things may require you to restart your development environment if things freeze [this way you just reload the current page instead of restarting your entire computer].
The most important way to learn to code…
Build cool projects that are based upon practical applications businesses will spend money for. This is the most important suggestion of all because it will allow you to put together an attractive portfolio that demonstrates your skill level as a developer. Project-based learning will keep you engaged as you look forward to applying your knowledge to different things.
Learn what you need to get hired…
The CodingPhase platform is the only place where students consistently learn the required skills to get a job while building real projects, using the fundamental developer software, documentation, and real-world approaches used within the industry daily. Project-based instruction enables students to learn in a grounded sequential matter that removes the burden of having to rely on memorized instruction because each project drills through how things are used repeatedly. Project-based learning is important because it saves students from the frustration of having to start over multiple times. Students learn the practical workflow used in real-world development so the skills learned can be duplicated intuitively.
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Take advantage of the Yearly Plus option if you would like access to this course as well as the full library of coursework on how to Make Money Online as a Developer, Career Bundles, and daily support with the ASAP Developers Group. This unprecedented option is unlike anything else offered within the industry or bootcamps.