3 Tips for Learning to Code

kiley, web development
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A few thoughts for those of you who are just starting to learn how to write code and build things.

1. Keep your hands on the keyboard.

When you watch video tutorials, constantly pause them and type the code yourself as you go. Do not sit back and watch a 2 hour tutorial without typing anything yourself! It will feel like you're learning, but most of it will evaporate from your mind a few days later. Get your hands on the keyboard while you watch, and don't take them off the keyboard!

2. Surf before you dive.

When you are just starting with a programming language that's new to you, or a framework that's new to you, don't be afraid to just type what you see from tutorials and guides without understanding what's going on (at first). Your goal in the early stages should be just to start playing with the pieces of the language or framework, not understanding their inner workings. Feel totally ok about typing an entire function and having no clue what it's doing. You'll get there eventually, but for now just ride the wave of the tutorial and let it carry you to shore, then repeat.

3. Solo is slower, pair up.

Find a buddy who's also learning to code. You'll go so much further together than either of you would alone. Send each other good guides and tutorials. Create github repositories for every mini project and share them with each other. Make pull requests against your own repo and ask the other person to review the pull request and leave comments and questions on the code. You'll double or triple how fast you learn how to code, and you might make a friend that lasts for years.

© Kiley DortonRSS