How to Learn Programming?

Do you want to study programming in 2020??… Do you wish to construct a website like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or something like WhatsApp?

You are incredibly thrilled about these websites or applications and decide to learn to code. You want to construct future Facebook, Instagram, or any other preferred application. So what strategy you will take to develop these sorts of websites?

The most frequent strategy which most people adopt is…

You purchase some programming-related books which some blog post or website has suggested or you go to some courses or tutorials on youtube (or any other resources) to start learning to code. You also appreciate and love it initially watching that lesson and you feel like you are learning a lot of great ideas and new stuff about programming. Well, That may be very useful for a short length of time but what occurs with most of the novice programmers is…they become overwhelmed with so many ideas and get lost from one lesson to another tutorial. It gets more troublesome and frustrating for them when they are required to start a real-world project on their own without any guidance. They don’t grasp the logic, they don’t comprehend where to start, how to solve a certain issue, or how to construct any specific module on their own.

Yes, that’s correct… so how to learn to code, what’s the best technique to learn to program…?

Well, most of the novices have this difficulty while coding. Tutorials are excellent and it teaches a lot of ideas or various ways in coding to construct anything but when you start working on some real-world project you feel unhappy since you are unable to utilize all those principles in your project. So the greatest recommendation to learn programming in 2020 is to follow the project-based learning strategy.

Build as many projects as you can to develop your problem-solving abilities in programming. Remember that programming is not about knowing a language (Python, C++, Java, etc.), it is the capacity to solve the issues. Also in a job, an employer requires a problem solver hence, during interviews, your problem-solving expertise comes first before anything else.

So how do develop problem-solving talent while learning to code? tell me the procedures I should take to learn to program…

Let’s explore the stages to learn programming and some strategies to improve problem-solving skills…

1. Choose a Language and Understand the Basic Fundamentals Concepts

A lot of newbies ignore the basics and move immediately to glitzy tools and technologies. That’s not going to work in interviews or developing any type of project. You will get more confused and distracted if your principles are not clear. So initially select the programming language you are most familiar with (Python or C++ is fine yet it depends on your final objective) and comprehend the syntax and fundamental principles (variables, conditionals, operators, loops, etc) (variables, conditionals, operators, loops, etc).

Make programs and construct the fundamental framework using your chosen language. If you are in college then universities are helpful in teaching the fundamental ideas otherwise you may seek the aid of the internet. GeeksforGeeks, Codecademy, HackerRank, etc. are useful to establish the basic concepts. Below are some essential recommendations to follow as you start with foundations. This will also enhance your problem-solving abilities.

  • Most of the courses start with teaching the programming language, that’s good but understanding how to use the programming language to solve the problems. For example how to solve the problem of the addition of two numbers.
  • Stick with one language. Don’t try to learn everything initially. Most beginners keep jumping from one language to another language which is just a waste of time. Initially, it’s good to stick with one language. If you want to become a Java developer then learn java. Learning the first language is difficult for most newbie programmers but your brain will eventually get syntax once you start practicing every day.
  • Try to make programs every single day without leaving any gap even if it’s just one or two. Try to make small programs first and then move to the complex one but maintain consistency.
  • Adapt a good learning strategy. For example: instead of consuming all the theories first and then jumping to making the programs follow a 2:1 ratio between conceptual learning and active learning. It means after every two hours of conceptual learning spend an hour in practical exposure or active learning.
  • Make a small application or project based on fundamentals you have learned. For example, make a calculator or something that is interesting for you. Learn how to google when you get stuck somewhere.

2. Learn Data Structure and Algorithms

Data Structure and Algorithms are the core of programming. Once you are familiar with any of the languages and developing some simple programs, the next thing you should do is study data structures and algorithms. You will grow better at improving your problem-solving abilities if you learn the principles of data structure and Algorithms. Understand that not all the data structures can be used everywhere therefore for any sort of issue firstly you need to develop an algorithm which is a step-by-step method to solve a particular problem and then you need to find the proper data structure to solve the problem. A suitable mix of data structure and algorithm is particularly significant in addressing the challenges.

Learn to build the data structures and algorithms, practice them in your programming language every day. GeeksforGeeks is ideal for novices to start with practicing the problem on data structure and algorithms. Below are some essential recommendations to follow when studying these two principles.

  • Again don’t try to consume all the theories or concepts of data structures and algorithms in one go. Learn a single topic, practice on the sites we have mentioned above, and then move to the next topic. You can adapt a specific learning strategy that is fit for you. One we have already mentioned in the previous step (2:1 ratio).
  • When you move to the complex problem, break the large problems into smaller chunks and then solve these chunks to get the final output or solution.
  • Practice, practice, and practice enough. Get your hands dirty in programming and if it’s possible participate in competitive programming on different websites. You will gain confidence and you will become much better at problem-solving.
  • Learn how to use these data structures and algorithms in real-world projects. For example: In web applications, you will find a lot of use of Array and Strings.
  • You know the basic concept, you know the fundamentals of data structure and algorithms, now build an application based on whatever you have learned. You can also try to use these concepts to implement a feature in your previous application or project, that will help you to expand your project and will give you exposure to solving the problems.

3. Build Projects

As we have previously discussed that when it comes to establishing a project on your own most of the rookie programmers get stuck. You feel that all the lessons or exercises are simply a waste of time since that’s not useful in your own project. You recall a lot from tutorials but it’s simply going straight over the head and now you are unable to apply all the principles and logic in your project… Relax!

Initially attempt to construct a tiny project or static website initially, it may be your own portfolio, a web application, android application or any type of game. It’s advisable to start with some easier tasks and then go on to the larger ones. You may attempt to develop or start something like I am TK site. A majority of newbies don’t comprehend what they should include in their projects. So here is the example.

If you want to construct an eCommerce site start with creating simple functionality. You may start with the registration or login form, then you can advance to the next feature such as the navigation bar. So instead of tackling everything at once evaluate the overall project and divide that into smaller issues or portions. It depends on your project complexity, which features you need to implement initially. Initially, you will be making a lot of errors and you will confront a lot of challenges but that’s how you will learn to develop and manage big projects. Below are some essential suggestions you should follow when developing a project.

  • Learn to use some good tools, editors, or debuggers to use in your project. Learn how to use developer tools (for web applications, the most essential thing to learn), templates, packages,s or libraries wherever needed.
  • When you get stuck somewhere or find an error read the error message carefully. Most of the newbie programmers avoid the error message but it’s really helpful in solving the issues. Also, google the problems or errors you encounter while building your project. In most cases, you will find answers on Stackoverflow which is a very good community for developers.
  • Avoid too much perfection in your project. You will end up with procrastination and slow progress in your project.
  • Remember that there’s no perfect code — so avoid over-engineering things and move forward. First, make it work, then make it right, and finally make it fast.

4. Explore

Your adventure doesn’t stop when you are completed with your assignment. Explore more, explore as much as you can in the computer science discipline. Computer Science is a big and diverse area therefore assess what intrigues you the most. You may study numerous disciplines such as Machine Learning, Cloud Computing, Systems Programming, Mobile App Development, Blockchain, Virtual Reality, Web Development, etc. There are a lot of projects on Github and a lot of information accessible on the internet. As per your interest, you may discover several tutorials or projects on the internet. Learn from there and attempt to develop some stuff on it.

Check the varied techniques and methods of other developers. Make a practice to read code on GitHub or StackOverflow. You will discover various solutions to address a single issue. Adapt the best techniques to tackle the issue in programming. Join an online tech community, contribute to open source projects, or participate in some contests. If you are a student engage in ACM – ICPC or GSoC. The more you research and practice the better coder you will become.

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