Take a few minutes (or an hour) to think about the reason why you want to learn a particular programming language. Is it because you want to get a job? Or maybe you just want to try something different? Whatever your motivation, there will be plenty of resources out there to help you along the way.
A programming language is a set of symbols, grammar, and rules with the help of which one is able to translate to understand the computer. The programmer communicates with a computer using programming languages. Most of the programs have a highly structured set of rules.
Can I learn programming myself?
Yes! it is entirely possible that you can able to learn yourself. However, it will be a long, tedious process. There’s a saying that it takes roughly more than 10,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field.
Learn how to code faster by doing.
With every new subject, the sooner you start playing with the code, the faster you will learn the given concepts. Even if you blaze through an entire chapter of reading and a topic like for loops seems straightforward – so a monkey could do it. You will think, “wait, what was that one piece of syntax again?” as the saying goes, you need to “use it or lose it”, because, despite the evolution of technology, this ole’ proverb holds true when learning to code.
1. Learn the Fundamentals to gain core knowledge
As elementary as they may appear at first, programming fundamentals always need to come first: the better you understand them, the easier it is to learn more advanced concepts. From our experience at Coding Dojo, students who rush through the beginning of our courses-where we into more advanced material, such as back-end programming. So before you ditch the first class of computer science 101. or skip chapter one of an online tutorial, keep in mind that you are overlooking the most important step in your learning.
- Variable Declaration.
- Basic Syntax.
- Data Type and Structures.
- Flow Control Structures (Conditionals and loops)
- Object-Oriented Programming(OOPS)
- IDEs and Coding Environments.
A. Variable Declaration
Variables are the containers for storing data values, and a memory location for a data type. Variables are created using a declaration or keyword that varies across languages.
Variable names are usually alphanumeric. that is, they contain a-z and 0-9. They can also include special characters like the underscore or the dollar sign.
Variables can hold values of any data type supported by the programming languages. This value may change during program execution.
B. Basic Syntax
Every programming language has a syntax of its own, and you must learn the fundamentals of the syntax of the language you are learning.
Syntax refers to the set of rules that define the structure of a language. It is almost impossible to read or understand a programming language without its syntax.
For example. let us declare a variable named prime_techie and assign the value for that “Hello World” to it:
Example in Python:
prime_techie = “Hello World!”Output: Hello World!
C. Data types and structures.
Data types refer to the classification of data. The most common data types include:
- Boolean (true or false)
- Numbers, which include integers (whole numbers from 1) and floating-point numbers (decimal-base)
- Characters (includes single alphabets or numbers)
- Arrays (a collection of data, usually of the same data type)
A Data Structure is a collection of data values. These structures include operations that can be applied to that data. Data structures are important in computer programming for organizing, managing, and storing data quickly and efficiently.
Some common types of data structures include:
- Linked lists
D. Flow control structures
Flow Control Structures are the fundamental components of computer programs. They are commands that allow a program to “decide” to take one direction or another.
There are three basic types of control structures: sequential, selection, and iteration.
The most basic control flow is sequential control flow. It involves the execution of code statements one after the other. A real-world example is following a cooking recipe.
The basic premise of selection flow control is, that the computer decides what action to perform based on the result of a test or condition equalling true or false.
A loop is a programming structure that allows a statement or block of code to be run repeatedly until a specified condition is no longer true (will return Boolean, true or false). It is one of the most powerful and fundamental programming concepts.
Functions are containers that take in a set of inputs and return an output. It is not required for a function to return a value. Pure functions will always give the same result for the same set of inputs.
Functional Programming is a straightforward method of building software that involves using pure functions. This method eliminates the occurrence of data mutation or side effects.
E. Object-oriented programming
*_Object-Oriented Programming(OOPS)_* is a programming concept that revolves around “Objects” and “Methods”.
There are four principles of OOP:
Debugging is a crucial skill. it involves detecting and removing existing and potential errors, defects, or ‘Loopholes’ in one’s code.
G. IDEs and Coding Environments
IDE stands for Integrated Development Environment – they are application programmers use to write code and organize text groups. It increases a programmer’s efficiency and productivity and had added features like code compilation, debugging, syntax highlighting, etc.
some common examples of IDEs are:
- Visual Studio Code
- IntelliJ IDEA
Always remember to write clean, readable codes.
2. Write a code by Hand.
Computer monitors become thinner, hard drives lighter, and programming languages more powerful, but coding-by-hand still remains one of the most effective methods to learn how to program. Try to practice a Program on a whiteboard or notebook, coding-by-hand requires further caution, precision, and intent behind every line of code. Because unlike on a computer, you can’t run hand-written code midway through the sheet to check if the work is correct
For college exams and technical interviews – a critical component of the job interview process – you will have to code-by-hand, because not only is this good for learning but it’s universally known to be the ultimate test for a programmer’s proficiency. So start early and get used to this old-school practice.
3. Ask For Help when you are Stuck.
As awesome as it would be to become the next Steve Jobs on your own, the reality is that people learn faster with mentors and peer feedback. What may seem like an immovable bug or topic could be quickly alleviated by a fresh pair of eyes or a new interpretation of the subject. Whether it’s online or in-person, ignore the trolls and don’t be afraid to ask for help, because every programmer has been in your shoes before. Besides, most developers love to code, and if there’s one thing that passionate individuals enjoy, it’s sharing their knowledge with others.
Word of Warning: At Coding Dojo we suggest using the 20-minute rule. Take at least 20 minutes to figure something out on your own before asking for help. There’s a good chance that the answer is already in front of you, and besides, struggling makes you a better programmer overall.
4. Seek out more online resources.
If a particular concept doesn’t make sense, be it in a textbook, or during a class lecture, maintain your confidence and look for alternate online resources to learn the same content. Everyone learns differently, and just because one source doesn’t make sense, doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. It means that you’re not clicking with the delivery of the material. The online resources to learn computer programming are endless, and there are always tutorials or blog explanations that will make the material-at-hand crystal clear.
5. Don’t just read the sample code.
Reading sample code is not enough to understand how it works. To develop a true understanding, you need to actually run the code and tinker with it. With the additions of comments and instructions, sample code is packaged to be by the reader; but in reality, it’s pretty difficult to replicate from scratch. Reading is not the same as understanding, and actually trying to write the code yourself, or at least running it, will facilitate the learning process much more.
6. Take breaks when debugging
When debugging, it’s easy to go down the rabbit hole for hours, and there’s no guarantee that you will fix the problem. To avoid this, it’s best to step away from the for a few hours and return with a fresh perspective. Not only is this a guaranteed way to help solve the problem, but you’ll also save yourself hours of headache. So if help isn’t available – to touch on our previous tip about seeking advice – consider taking a break to clear your mind and return later. In the meantime, the bug won’t be going anywhere, and you’ll at least restore some needed sanity to improve productivity.
With these 6 tips, the most important ingredient to learning to program faster is to remain confident. To do so, you should expect to fail repeatedly and be patient with your progress; because becoming an expert at anything requires hard work and time. And if a single doubt ever clouds your mind, remember that every programmer on this path before – none of them more destined to become a developer than you. Whichever path you are currently on, be it college or coding boot camp, the only barrier to success is your work ethic and confidence to persevere.