Edited and approved by: Stefan Bradstreet
Love and passion will always determine the success levels in anything we do. When it comes to coding, this is a skill that can be learned by anyone, since it teaches individuals to think, this makes coding an essential skill. A majority of prospect programmers always ask themselves this question “is programming my thing?”. Before we discuss whether programming is your thing or not, and how to fall in love with coding, let’s go through different aspects of coding.
Differences between programmers and engineers
One common question most young adults who are thinking of either getting into programming or quitting face is whether to learn programming or engineering. I won’t blame them either, because most organizations also use these job titles interchangeably, bringing about more confusion to those who wish to pursue careers in these fields. While defining these designations, the role variations aren’t properly covered in the job descriptions. So what’s the main difference between programmers and Engineers? Although these two seem similar, below are some differences you need to understand.
Engineers: Sometimes, they’re referred to as Developers. Engineers are mostly involved in creative design work. This entails analyzing, designing, and developing ideas for new apps and systems. They decide on what a specific client or business needs and design/craft the application to match the client’s expectations. A software engineer further decides about the type of software application that suits a particular scenario and how it should look too. Engineering courses focus more on mathematics and theories and is typically what faang companies hire. Most engineers also typically have computer science engineering degrees or other degrees in engineering which challenges and evolves one’s person to think critically about solving in depth problems such as creating a web application that can serve millions of people daily with seamless load times such as Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and Google.
Programmers: Computer programmers, on the other hand, convert the basic software designs into reality using codes. Coding is used to breathe life into any applications or operating system, enabling it to function as desired. A programmer knows several web development languages, including Rubi on Rails, Go, C++, Java, PHP, Python, etc. Programmers take more coding classes and learn to create different types of applications. A programmer is more likely to work in web development firms or be basic application coders that work for engineers who only design the systems. Whether you are a software engineer or web developer check out this article for more on why coding is a great career.
Definition of Coding — Let’s start with trying to understand the what’s code in very simple words — codes represent a set of lines that are written in some language that is interpreted and understood by electronic systems. If compared to a real-world scenario, coding can be compared to making an individual literate by teaching them to understand different literature and languages. Hence, in layman’s language, coding is a way of teaching machines to understand and interpret different coding languages, which eventually makes them smart, literate, and intelligent.
Get passionate about coding
Is programming my thing? This is the first question coding beginners ask themselves. To be a successful software developer, you don’t need to get a web design guru to mentor you, or to quit your job and devote 18 hours a day to coding, or even to go back to school for a degree in computer science. You only need to change the way you think about code. By changing the way you think about coding, you can find coding as a way to have fun by making personal projects or completing data structure based coding challenges on platforms like leetcode.com, self-satisfaction, and even use it to get some extra income. Below are some tips that will change your perception about coding and transform how coding will fit into your daily schedule.
Making up our mind
Having a proper mindset is the first step to becoming a successful programmer. To develop a proper mindset, start thinking of the fact that human beings are the ones responsible for building new tools and modifying existing tools. Start with writing simple computer programs, e.g., a program that can add two numbers instead of using the calculator to do so. This will make you part of the individuals who actually build tools instead of those who use readymade tools.
Realizing that programming needs lots of patience to win the race
Don’t allow your patience to get paper-thin, even after gaining a certain level of programming skills. When you don’t get particular results right away, don’t give up and stick to the little things you already know how to do. Simply slow down instead of giving up. Slowing down may seem so obvious, yet it helps in avoiding frustrations caused by building something that doesn’t work. Learning to code is similar to solving puzzles. It needs lots of patience, especially when things aren’t going as one expects them to.
Time to create time for programming
Coding is among the most flexible fields when it comes to self-development, why not take advantage of this option and Try to fit it in project/study time? You should also learn to be honest about what works, instead of dwelling on what should be done for something to work. You can create time for listening/watching tutorials while knitting, eating dinner, folding laundry, ironing, etc. Working with code hands-on is among the best ways to truly understand how something really works, and this will make you knowledgeable about various programming aspects. Create a playlist of several programming videos in advance, so you won’t have to plan what to watch when you need to.
Understand the basic syntax of the language you want to start coding
Most individuals start their coding journey by learning Python or C. Start by purchasing books online which will help in learning the basics. You can also get suggestions from google resources, a veteran, and blogs. YouTube videos are also good for beginners, as they can get you going with the basics as well. Personally, I suggest that you start with learning C, and learning most of the basics from a book is among the best ways to kick start your programming journey. After learning the basics, you can start looking online for tons of other amazing free resources for beginners.
Stop looking for the “Perfect Coding Tutorial”
Always work with something doable and energizing! Procrastinating is very dulling and demotivating. Don’t be unsure of your direction, a trait that leads to inaction. Being afraid to invest your time in the wrong thing will make you invest your time in anything. Unless a certain resource is costly or needs a lot of time, don’t hesitate to start doing something that interests you. You shouldn’t be concerned about learning multiple things at a go, instead focus on getting one thing done first.
You should also be afraid of switching gears if you realize that your first choice isn’t working for you, either. For instance, if you stick to watching a tutorial that’s too convoluted or too boring, you’ll end up losing morale in learning the language. Instead, consider moving onto something different if that isn’t serving you.
Seeking and providing help in open learning settings
When working on coding projects in a professional setting, there’s no space or time to ask and answer questions about what’s working and what’s not. Actively participating in coding learning communities is an awesome step to get answers to your burning coding issues and gain experience in explaining/debugging for others. This will not only grow your programming skills but also make you fall in love with coding.
Filling the gap for your Team
If you notice that your organization doesn’t have an app or a website that you have the perfect set of skills to code, don’t hesitate to give it a try. Apart from growing your love for coding, this will help you to gain confidence, stretch your coding skills, and position you as an expert programmer.
Be passionate about anything you develop
Avoid developing something that you’re not passionate about because you’ll always get it wrong, which will end up demoralizing you. The type of project to be developed is a very vital part of programming. Building something you’re passionate about helps you to easily achieve your goals, despite the number of challenges you may encounter. A good project will keep you determined to complete it, which will boost your passion for coding.
Start coding with a friend or two
Coding with a friend or in groups will accelerate your progress and keep you motivated to achieve more compared to working on your own! When coding in a group, you won’t be afraid of the huge amount of coding information and the steep learning curve. Instead, you’ll get a pleasant sensation, Aptitude, Power, and Strength. Friends will help you think of different ways to automate and solve daily problems, which will keep you occupied while leaning new coding tricks.
Identifying role models in person or online.
Role models help in overcoming coding career ruts, which keeps new and experienced programmers motivated. You can get lots of coding inspiration from the work shared online. Start identifying role models based on their style of coding and how they communicate. Sometimes, your perfect coding role model isn’t online—perhaps its someone you met a few days ago— and you feel that you need to find that inspiration trough one-to-one relationships. Weigh your options and let your role models keep you motivated as you pursue your coding excellence journey!
By putting all these tips into practice, I believe that you can grow consistently as a programmer. What you should be working towards is not technical mastery. Instead, focus on sustaining motivation, re-aligning your values, expectations, and giving yourself the freedom to work at your own pace. At first, it may seem like a steady climb, but with time you’ll start falling in love with coding. Once you become passionate about programming, you can begin purchasing coding courses and books related to your niche. Also, don’t hesitate to follow this blog for more programming tips and tricks.
About Stefan Bradstreet
Stefan is a software development engineer II at Amazon with 5+ years of experience in tech. He is passionate about helping people become better coders and climbing the ranks in their careers as well as his own through continued learning of leadership techniques and software best practices.
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