It’s an exciting time to be new to coding. You’re learning a valuable new skill, becoming part of a dynamic and rewarding community and looking at the world of the web and tech in a new light. However, alongside all of the new and positive experiences that come with learning to code, there are also the challenges all beginners face.
Community and collaboration are powerful aspects of the tech industry, which is why we decided to ask our students – who were once beginners and are now professional developers – to share their most valuable advice for aspiring developers. Based on their feedback, we selected the following tips to share with you.
Apply your skills
When you’re new to coding, it feels intimidating to start applying your skills to your own projects, but it’s important you do! Don’t delay until you feel “comfortable” with code. The confidence will only come with time and practice. Start with a basic project or – as Alexander’s suggests below – take an idea or project you’ve had in your head and bring it to life. It will be challenging, but will also grow your skills, identify areas you need to work on and start to build your real-world portfolio of projects.
“Have an idea? Try and make it work. You might bang your head on the desk a few times, get stuck and scream your head off, but keep on going… You will get there but it requires persistence and a strong belief.”
– Alexander Karan, Freelance iOS Developer
Take your time
Learning to code is like learning a new language, which is no easy task! So don’t expect to become a coding ninja overnight. As Evan highlights below, it takes time, dedication and practice to become a developer. But, if you’re patient and diligent you’ll be amazed how much knowledge you retain and how far you progress. As you become more comfortable with programming languages, you’ll also find it easier to sharpen your coding abilities and add new ones to your skillset.
“Taking your time is vital when learning dev and tech in general. Rushing only wastes time, practice makes perfect but the learning never stops.”
– Evan Fraser, Web Designer
Don’t give up
When you feel frustrated or even defeated, take a break, but always come back! Stepping away from a learning challenge or bug in your code gives you the opportunity to clear your head and return with a fresh perspective (and sometimes that’s all it takes to solve a problem). Wherever you are in your coding journey, it’s also important to acknowledge the progress you’ve made so far. Be proud of what you’ve accomplished and know that you can handle any challenge and that with each one you overcome, you’ll become a better developer.
@treehouse As Journey will tell ya’, Don’t Stop Believin’
— Craig Dennis (@craigsdennis) December 8, 2016
— Jonathan Grieve (@jonniegrieve) December 8, 2016
Ask for help
Curiosity and collaboration thrive in the tech industry and the sense of community is industry-wide. Remember, every expert developer was once in your shoes when they started, so as David suggests below, ask questions and for help when you need it. You can also join fantastic online communities – like CodeNewbies – that focus on supporting and helping people learning to code.
— David Riesz (@dbriesz) December 8, 2016
Never stop learning
The tech industry is constantly evolving and changing fast. So as a developer, you need to be prepared for the learning to never stop. Whether your goal is to stay up-to-date with the industry, keep your skills sharp, or take on learning another in-demand programming language, there’s always something new to learn.
The tech world is changing and it’s changing fast, so learning without a college degree is an awesome way to positively stand out from the crowd.
– Jaime Rios, Web Developer
We hope these tips help guide you during this exciting period as an aspiring developer, but also remember, you’re not alone! There’s a whole Community of us behind you for support. You can find us anytime on Twitter.
What advice would you share with aspiring developers? Share your thoughts below.