I am so passionate about technology and coding that after a year learning to be a programmer, I recently decided to start a degree in Computer Science. People say that you do not need a fancy degree in Computer Science to start a career in programming, which can be true. However, in my opinion, if you have the opportunity to be involved in it; it will be beneficial when you look to work for a great, prosperous, and recognized company!
Making the computer to do what you want by giving it instructions is fascinating. Though it is far from any professional application development, it is an enjoyable and joyful experience. However, to accomplish this you need to follow the rules.
Rule 1: Start with the Basics
Start with simple things like “Hello World!” printed on your computer screen or in your internet browser. Do not venture into libraries and frameworks before you acknowledge and understand the basics of the language that you are starting to learn. Understanding the basics will help you in determining how to structure your code.
Rule 2: Take your Time
You might hear talk about things you have yet to learn, but don’t get frustrated. Now that you have started to do what you are passionate about, you need to accept and understand that there are people who have been there before you. Moreover, they probably will know more than you. However, don’t worry. Don’t try to rush things while learning! Be patient and follow Rule 10.
Rule 3: No Worries
We take nine months to born, probably one year to walk, two years to talk, 18 years to drive, and so on. Like any skill in our lives, it takes time and a lot of patience to excel. This is the same with programming. You might have moments where you think to give up entirely, but consistency is the key to be celebrated in what we love. Don’t rush your training. Be patient and start to document your progress; saving any code you produce for future reference.
Rule 4: Read and Watch
As mentioned in Rule 1, reading about coding, reviewing friends or shared codes, and watching good internet tutorials will help you gradually take your coding skills to the next level. Search on the internet for tutorials on various subjects, including free and paid content. That is the purpose of having an internet browser in your coding apprentice.
Rule 5: Personal Projects
As suggested in Rule 3, it is of great importance to save your coding exercises and more complex projects for future reference and to share with the community (create an account on GitHub). Your coding exercises are your portfolio. Learning and following tutorials is one thing. However, when you start to build and practice real coding, you begin to learn and understand how to implement best practices into practical life solutions.
Rule 6: Try a Unix Based OS
I have been a Windows OS user ever since I first got a more sophisticated computer. I started with a Commodore Vic-20 followed by a Commodore 64. However, it was a moment of enlightenment when I began to use an Apple computer, which is based on Linux OS. In terms of programming and working with the command prompt, it is more reliable, simple, and efficient. It was a turning point in my career as a programmer. I continue to use Windows OS, but for various reasons, in my opinion, a Unix based OS is better than a Windows system for development.
Rule 7: Get into the Community
Sharing your initial and future codes with friends or colleagues will bring you a lot of experience and knowledge. However, if you can insert yourself into a group, community, or collaborative space with people who have similar interests in coding and language, it will propel your career. Even on the internet, there are important groups of developers who dedicate their time and effort to maintain and improve communities like Python.org, Nodejs.org, MongoDB, and others. Get in touch with a group and explore their initiatives, guidelines, documentation, and work. Additionally, follow the Twitter network, Facebook network, and other social media spaces of a group. Being part of a group will help you to keep up-to-date with coding industry.
Rule 8: Find a Mentor
One thing that will increase your motivation in your development as a programmer is to identify and get in touch with a mentor. Early in your career, find a good friend or colleague from the community who can be a mentor to you, and enjoys being a mentor to others. Many of us, developers and programmers, are very social. If you ask nicely, they will help you to acquire new knowledge and techniques. All you need to remember is that everyone is busy, so don’t be demanding to them.
Rule 9: Share your Code
As described in previous rules above, practicing social coding will be of great help to your development as a programmer. Don’t be afraid to share your code. If you don’t share your code, it will limit your knowledge and you will never know if you are on the right path. When you share, you get feedback.
Rule 10: Practice! Practice! Practice!
Experience and perfection come through practice. The more you practice, the more you can say:
“I am a Programmer.”
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