Be an Amazing Programmer With These 5 Easy Tips
This one's for the newbies: welcome to software development! As part of your welcome packet, check out these tip to help you excel.
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Computer programming is the process of writing and designing instructions to build an executable computer program for accomplishing a specific computing task. It involves tasks such as analysis, flow-charting, generating algorithms, and resource consumption. It is then implemented by choosing a programming language which the computer understands, which in technical terms is called “source code”. The process of programming requires expertise on various fronts that include; knowledge of the application domain, specialized algorithms, and formal logic. The tasks related to programming include:
Source code maintenance
Implementation of build systems
Management of derived artifacts such as machine code of computer programs
Whether you are currently pursuing a degree in computer science, or an aspiring self-taught developer, mastering the art of programming could be a struggle. Basically, someone interested in coding needs to have fair mathematical skills; a passion for problem-solving; good communication skills; good writing skills; confidence handling a computer; and resourcefulness. Let’s discuss below the simplest of simple and the easiest of tips that can enable you to be an amazing programmer!
Learning by Doing and Playing with Code
You needn’t feel bad that you are not yet an expert programmer; dedicate some time each day or week depending on how fast you want to accomplish their goal. And having decided to become a great programmer, you have already achieved the hardest part — that of your intent! One needs to then devote sincere time and their skills are likely to blossom.
When writing a code or documenting it, one needs to do so in such a way that it drives the message clearly. Your ability to explain complicated things in an understandable manner will definitely help going forward. One needs to be confident at handling a computer — if you're too timid or afraid that you might spoil or break something, it can hold you back from executing your best. Like with any new subject, the sooner you start playing with the code, the faster you will learn the concepts.
Even if one blazes through an entire chapter, say on a topic like “loops”, which may seem straightforward, a new programmer may still be scratching their head when implementing the code for the first time. Despite the evolution of technology, the proverb “use it or lose it” holds very true when learning to code. So the best way to learn to code is while doing it — play and experiment along.
Grasping Fundamentals for Future Benefits
Programming is like cooking! One will not know what they cooked is good until they actually taste it. So, it’s always advisable that one should build their own things which will enable them to understand and learn faster.
GitHub is a development platform. One can host and review code, manage projects, and build software alongside millions of other developers — from open source to business. Github has made learning much easier. Also, Dropbox is another good tool that one could use. Dropbox brings one’s files together in a central place. It makes it easier to find and safely sync across all devices – so, one can access them anytime, anywhere!
Coding is more like writing English than like solving mathematical problems! Great code is easy to read. A great code is one which one can understand as one keeps reading it – it takes care of functions, files, classes, and variables which are named meaningfully; and the comments are inserted where needed.
When programming fundamentals are understood better, it becomes easier to learn more advanced concepts. As per a research study, students who rushed through or took lightly the beginning of a course often got stuck as they transitioned into more advanced topics like back-end programming. So it’s essential to grasp the fundamentals that lay the foundation for the future course of programming or coding.
Sharpening Proficiency by Coding by Hand
In Linux, the command line is not user-friendly, and you will need at least a basic grasp of the command line to become a great programmer. If you're are using Windows, you may want to get Cygwin! It is a Unix-like environment and command-line interface for Microsoft Windows. With Cygwin, it becomes much easier and faster than running virtualized Linux instances.
Whether it is on a whiteboard or a notebook, coding requires precision and intent behind every line. Computer monitors have become thinner, hard drives lighter, and programming languages more powerful. Taking the example of college exams or technical interviews, it is often helpful to code using pen and paper only.
This practice, apart from being good for learning, is also universally acknowledged as the ultimate test for a programmer’s proficiency. But, whatever technological advancements may happen, coding by using one’s hand is still the most effective method to becoming a good programmer. This may appear to be cumbersome and time-consuming, but this habit can mold anyone into becoming a fundamentally sound developer. Getting used to this practice is the best way to becoming a fantastic programmer.
Not Shying from Asking Help, and Seek Online Resources
If one is unable to communicate well, problems will arise. This could well cause tensions around. If you're not good at face to face conversation, you can, in turn, look to becoming good at written communication to make up for it. An inquisitive mind can always help one go far as a programmer. People usually learn faster with mentors and peer feedback. A topic that could seem like un-learnable or difficult could be quickly understood by a fresh re-look. Whether one is online or in-person, they shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help.
But, a note of caution: you should at least take twenty minutes to figure something out on your own before asking for help. Struggling to get a solution will only make one a better programmer overall. Remember, every programmer has been through a journey right from the bottom. And, not forgetting, most developers who love to code, are always passionate and like to share their knowledge with others.
One must always look out for other online resources to learn a particular concept in a textbook, or during a classroom session that doesn’t make sense to them. One should maintain confidence as everyone learns differently. Examples of a few online resources to learn computer programming could be a Reddit post, Youtube tutorial, or blog explanation. This material-at-hand could make a complicated subject crystal clear! It’s also an art to search for something over the internet – and that’s also a vital skill for any programmer.
Tinkering with Sample Code and Taking Breaks while Debugging
Reading is not the same as understanding. Running and tinkering with a code, and not just reading a sample one; is the best way to understand how it works. Trying to self-write the code, and running it, will only facilitate the learning process. When debugging, there’s no guarantee that one will fix the problem.
To avoid this, it’s best to take a break from the bug and return after a while with a fresh perspective. This a sure-shot way to solve a problem. Taking a break will help to save a few hours of a headache, and the bug won’t be going anywhere! Freshening oneself by taking a break could well help restore some needed tricks thereby improving productivity.
Computers are fundamentally about 1s and 0s. There are some topics and terms in computer science that one may initially not understand. But stick with it. Eventually, everything will get clearer. Don't get stressed worrying about what you don’t know — it will come. Becoming an expert at anything requires hard work and devoting real time. As seen, you can safely conclude that the most essential ingredient to learn programming faster is to remain confident, and there’s no short-cut to that! Work ethic and confidence to persevere are the keys to becoming an amazing programmer.
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