Tips to Learn Programming – Is it true that learning programming is difficult? Indeed, to master it will not be as easy as turning the palm. However, as long as you follow the right guidelines and practice diligently, being proficient in programming is not impossible.
Don’t believe it? Just look at names like Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, or Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple. They are people who are successful in the world of programming even though they are self-taught.
Not to mention, a survey shows that no less than 69% of the 50 thousand programmers study independently, you know.
Well, if you want to learn Programming well, start from the basics. In this article, we will share the most complete basic programming learning tips. No need to bother Googling here and there first.
Can’t wait to find out? Let’s get started!
- What is Programming?
- Types of Programmers
- 11+ Tips to Learn Programming to Become a Good Programmer
- 1. Learn Programming Languages That Are Mandatory and Needed Only
- 2. Balance Passive and Active Learning
- 3. Don’t Forget To Create Programs
- 4. Read Programming Books
- 5. Take Online Classes
- 6. Try Fun Interactive Tutorials
- 7. Don’t be shy about asking for help
- 8. Manage Your Time Effectively
- 9. Redefine What Has Been Learned
- 10. Should Avoid These Three Things
- 11. Practice, Learn, Practice and… Learn More
- 12. Don’t forget to rest or lay down
What is Programming?
Programming is the activity of making computer programs with sequences of code. So, don’t be surprised if this activity is often referred to as coding.
The resulting line of code can provide specific instructions to the computer. Starting from simple things like adding two numbers, to complex things like predicting tomorrow’s weather.
Oh yes, the code has its own rules which are called programming languages. There are many types and they are always being developed. We will discuss this programming language further below, yes.
Well, people who can speak programming languages and give instructions to computers are called programmers.
Types of Programmers
There are several types of programmers according to the program created. Therefore, before you learn Programming further, you should first learn the differences between programmers.
Here are some of the most popular types of programmers for you to choose from:
1. Web Developer
The web developer is in charge of designing and creating websites. It is they who are responsible for ensuring that the website looks attractive and all its features function smoothly.
This means that the responsibility of the web developer is not finished once the website is accessible to visitors. They should also monitor the website for any problems and fix them.
Because the needs of websites are increasingly complex, several types of web developers appear according to their expertise. Anything?
- Front End Web Developer — takes care of the appearance of the website that visitors see and click on. Both in terms of design and functionality.
- Back End Web Developer — ensures that the server and the entire website system are functioning normally.
- Full Stack Web Developer — superhuman who understands both front end and back end at the same time. Very rare population and hunted by many parties.
- WordPress Developer — only focuses on developing WordPress-based websites.
2. Software Developer
Software developers are people who design and create software for computer systems. Can be for Windows, macOS, or Linux operating systems.
Now, because Windows users currently account for 76% of all computer users, it’s no wonder that the need for Windows programmers is higher. Even so, many software is multi-platform or can be used on various operating systems.
Because each version requires different skills and programming languages, the coding can be done by one or more programmers, depending on the skills possessed.
3. Mobile App Developer
Mobile App Developer is responsible for designing and creating applications for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.
The world of mobile app developers is also growing very fast. Either from more and more programming languages or increasingly complex consumer needs.
In effect, mobile app developers must adapt quickly so they don’t miss the train.
4. Game Programmer
Game programmers are people who do the coding to produce a video game that is comfortable to play.
In practice, game programmers rarely work alone. He will work closely with animators, storytellers, music makers, and others. Like a genie in a bottle, a game programmer will realize the concept of a game that will be made into a good product.
In its development, game programmers are divided into several types according to their expertise:
- User Interface Programmer — designing the game interface (UI).
- Graphics Programmer — creates 2-D or 3-D graphics.
- AI Programmer — ensures that game elements react to player input.
- Physics Programmer — ensures the laws of physics in the game match the real world.
- Audio Programmer — designs and implements various sounds in games.
- Engine Programmer — creates game engines as the basis for game development.
5. Computer System Engineer
This type of programmer ensures that the computer system in a company or organization runs smoothly.
This means that all matters relating to the computer system —the use of technology, security, networks, software, hardware, and so on — are his responsibility.
In addition, computer system engineers must also be able to carry out maintenance and integrate the latest technology, to repair damaged parts. Either use their software or use additional hardware.
11+ Tips to Learn Programming to Become a Good Programmer
Do you already know what Programmer you want to be? If you have, here are complete tips on learning programming that can smooth your steps to becoming a reliable programmer.
1. Learn Programming Languages That Are Mandatory and Needed Only
One of the fatal mistakes that beginners often make is wanting to learn all programming languages. Your focus will be fragmented and unproductive, so it only wastes time.
In the end, not a few beginners feel burnout and give up in the middle of the road. Because they have too many things to learn at the same time. You don’t want to fall into the same hole, do you?
Therefore, you should learn several programming languages that are mandatory and needed by this type of programmer.
You can start learning a language outside of your genre if you are already proficient and want to improve your skills even further.
However, if you are new to programming, you should only learn the mandatory and required languages. One by one and no need to rush.
2. Balance Passive and Active Learning
In the process of learning programming, there are two methods that you can try: active learning and passive learning.
Passive learning is learning programming in theory by reading or watching tutorials. Meanwhile, active learning is learning programming by practicing it directly.
Well, the key to learning programming quickly and effectively is to balance the two methods, instead of focusing on just one method. Why is that?
If you just keep learning programming theory, you’ll have a hard time putting it into practice. On the other hand, if you practice without theory at all, you will find it difficult and slow down the learning process.
Generally, the effective ratio for beginners is 2:1. So, you study theory for two hours, after that, you immediately put it into practice for a full hour. But, that’s not a strict standard. Find your balance of ratios. For example 2:2, 1:2, 2:3, or something else.
In essence, you must immediately find a balanced ratio so that learning can be faster and more effective.
3. Don’t Forget To Create Programs
Sometimes, many novice programmers are so focused on learning that they forget their original goal of learning programming, which is creating programs.
If you think of a chef, they are too busy learning cooking techniques and memorizing recipes, instead of trying to cook a meal or create their signature recipe.
So, create a program even if it is still a small project.
For example, you can create a website that only contains an image. There is no navigation and other features. Later, you can upgrade it to a much more complete website.
This way you can better familiarize yourself with real troubleshooting. As a result, you will have a clearer picture of how the program works and be able to study effectively.
4. Read Programming Books
In this age of YouTube and online classes, learning programming from books is still one of the best ways. Because the discussion is much more complete.
Not infrequently in one book, you will get a discussion of technical matters such as coding, debugging, design, and testing at once. Not to mention that there are bonuses for various programming tricks, practice questions, case studies, and career tips as a programmer.
Amazingly, many programming books are written by programmers themselves. This means that it will be easier for you to get information in the context of their experience.
5. Take Online Classes
With the proliferation of online learning sites, anyone can learn any topic, from anywhere, and at any time with only an internet connection. Luckily, you can also use this site to take online classes on programming, you know.
That way, you will not learn alone. However, there are experienced mentors ready to help you. The role of the mentor in learning is important. Including when learning Programming.
6. Try Fun Interactive Tutorials
Learning from books continuously is certainly boring, right? Moreover, you cannot practice passive and active learning in a balanced way.
Don’t worry, there’s an effective solution you can try: interactive tutorials.
With interactive tutorials, your learning activities can be more fun and can help you to understand.
For example, learn from the FreeCodeCamp tutorial. Here, programming concepts will be broken down into “small pieces” with practice questions that you can work on in real-time.
Still, sounding unpleasant? Ok, fine. How about playing games while learning Programming? It’s guaranteed to be fun to use this one.
Here are some websites that provide interactive tutorials in the form of games. Everything is free and you can play right away.
- CodinGame — Provides more than 25 programming languages that you can learn. Even better, you can also play with friends and join international tournaments.
- CSS Diner — A fun, simple way to learn CSS. There are 32 levels here that you have to pass with varying degrees of difficulty.
- SQL Murdery Mystery — Solve murder cases using SQL. Suitable for both beginners and SQL experts.
7. Don’t be shy about asking for help
Programming is a social activity. Even though you spend most of your time working alone, communicating with other programmers will help you improve your skills quickly.
For that, you don’t need to be ashamed to ask questions and ask for help if you face difficulties. Why?
Difficulties that you think do not make sense, sometimes can be solved easily by others. Plus, you will also know step by step so that you can solve the same problem in the future.
However, try not to always ask every time there is a problem, okay? Because it will be difficult to develop as a programmer. The solution can try the 20-minutes rule which is commonly practiced in the programming world.
So, if you still can’t solve the problem for 20 minutes, you just ask someone else. Because sometimes the solution is already in front of your eyes and you just need to tweak it a bit.
Well, there’s one source of help that programmers around the world have relied on for years: Stackoverflow. You can ask questions and find answers to almost any programming problem. Miraculous indeed.
8. Manage Your Time Effectively
When learning Programming, managing your time well is important. Choose the most convenient time for you to study with high concentration. And decide how long you want to do it.
Without setting the time correctly, your time might run out without any progress. Either because of many distractions or difficulty concentrating.
Therefore, four-time management strategies have proven effective, namely:
- Time Blocking Method — define what you will do by creating a schedule.
- Most Important Task Method — focus on the most important activities.
- Pomodoro Technique — breaks down the time into 25 minutes.
- 90-Minute Focus Session — 90 minutes of non-stop focus.
Which one do you choose?
9. Redefine What Has Been Learned
According to research, explaining what has been learned includes how to learn effectively. Because it can be said that you use two different perspectives in one study. As a result, you will understand the topic more broadly and deeply.
Therefore, re-explain what programming material you have learned to others. Whether it’s to fellow beginner programmers, parents, brothers, sisters, or anyone else.
You don’t have to explain it verbally like a teacher in front of the class. You can also write about it in journals, blogs, Quora, Medium, Kaskus, or social media.
You also don’t need to explain everything from start to finish, you know. Instead, you should explain per topic of discussion, per step, or problem so that you don’t forget too much and quickly forget.
10. Should Avoid These Three Things
Perfection, comparing, and going straight for it are three things you should avoid. Why?
It’s normal to make mistakes as a programmer. It is from mistakes that you can learn. So, don’t let your pursuit of perfection while learning programming, okay?
In addition, everyone has different abilities and learning speeds. So, there is no point in comparing yourself with other novice programmers. Just focus on yourself.
Then, try not to do everything at the same time. Instead, you break the problem into smaller pieces so it can be more easily solved.
For example, say you want to create a simple social media app for Android.
First, you have to create a registration or login layout for the user. Next, you create a layout for the user profile. Then, enter the feature to upload photos. Then the status updates feature.
In other words, you proceed to the next step when the previous step is complete.
11. Practice, Learn, Practice and… Learn More
Remember, the programming world is changing fast so you have to be constantly learning and practicing. Don’t forget to always update information about the world of coding.
Don’t want to miss out on info and still use old code and programming languages that are no longer efficient?
So, try to keep up to date with news about the programming world, be active in the community to broaden your horizons, and read the latest programming books.
So, to practice coding, websites like Exercism can be a good place to learn. Not only because it can be accessed for free, but the website also provides more than 3400 exercises for 52 programming languages.
12. Don’t forget to rest or lay down
“Well, these are the tips, why are you even telling me to lie down! Make it unproductive!”
Eits… Don’t get emotional first, okay!
Absorbing a lot of information at once without taking a break is not necessarily productive. Because you can even forget what you just learned. Especially if what you forget is the main and most important topic.
Taking a short break is effective enough to increase the effectiveness of learning. Whether it’s with short sleep, eating, listening to music, walking around the house, and others.
Not infrequently, complicated coding topics that are difficult to understand at night can be easily solved the next morning.