The technology industry keeps evolving, resistant to the damaging blows of the COVID-19 pandemic. People have been relying on technology to continue working and connect with their loved ones especially during this time of distance and uncertainty. At some point, it has become the sole link to the outside world as governments mitigate the impact of the persisting health crisis.
As the demand for technology increases, the need for more talent grows as well. It is no surprise that people are opting to learn software development given that there are more job opportunities in the tech industry nowadays. Professionals and students alike are leaning towards this track and enrolling themselves in basic programming courses in search of greener pastures.
The computer science field can become confusing and boring in the long run. Though, this is not because it’s part of its nature but due to the lack of guidance students receive. They inevitably make preventable mistakes. Thus, to help you hone your skills and avoid such mistakes, below are some tips that you might benefit from.
Master the basics. You cannot effectively start without knowing the fundamentals. Since technology continues to change, there’s a high possibility to be lost along the way when you don’t have a good grasp of the roots of different cases. Basically, it’s like math. Take time to fully understand the basic CS skills and disciplines, such as algorithms, data structures, and more. Doing so will give you a push to advance faster because such core concepts will help you stay relevant and have no fear of missing out. A solid foundation will allow you to be more adaptable in the future.
Practice over theorize. While it’s crucial to understand the different programming theories and concepts, you will only be wasting your time when you don’t apply them. Religiously watching tutorials will certainly help when you’re just starting but the best way to know how to code is to practice as much as possible. This is THE way. Practicing consistently will train your brain to solve problems and improve your response time. So, stop any tutorial video and get your hands dirty by doing actual work.
Be a professional Googler. Don’t panic over the littlest things. One of the most important skills a programmer should develop is being able to find solutions on their own. Being prepared and adept in addressing coding challenges is almost half the victory in the computer science field. Therefore, when an error message pops out, don’t tap your mentors immediately without even trying to deal with it on your own. Read it carefully and ask Google for help first.
Celebrate small wins. It’s impossible to know everything there is in the programming world. As you may already know, it will be hard even after you’ve become a professional developer. Change is constant and it can tire you out if you won’t appreciate how far you’ve become. Don’t feel guilty to relax. Celebrate your wins no matter how small they may seem to you. Treat yourself when you learn something new or have built something. Embrace the fact that you’re just a beginner and you will probably do the worst job ever but that’s okay. You’ve started–this is what matters the most.
Plan in advance. Do you know where you’re headed or the level of progress you have so far? You should. Start doing things systematically and thinking strategically. Apart from looking for new solutions to solve the problems that may appear in front of you, it’s important to have a tested solution ready just in case. Also, you should be able to organize and plan everything out before any programming engagement starts. More than anyone, you should know when you can deliver. This will also be a test of your efficiency. The same goes for your career. Try identifying where you’re supposed to be at a certain point already so you can also manage your expectations.
Needless to say, programming takes a lot of practice and patience. You should trust the process. Before entering the world of programming, you should know that there will be countless struggles ahead and promise yourself that you won’t give up. All that it takes to survive is to be consistent in training your brain to solve problems starting from the most basic ones to the most complex of levels. There is no shortcut. It’s imperative to take every single step to not only ensure that you’ve covered all the basics but also to be able to face whatever new challenges or trends that will come about. After all, programming is a test of both skills and character. Don’t lose.