Do you want to learn a new programming language? There are several ways to learn a programming language. But, most of us are busy in our lives, and we don’t have much time to dedicate to learning a new programming language.
In the software industry, competition is really big; your time is the most valuable asset you have, so don’t waste it.
Often, you might want to learn a new programming language on the side while you’re doing your work in another language. So, it is important to learn the language quickly without wasting much time.
In this article, I want to give some cool tips to help you learn a new programming language as fast as possible. Let’s begin.
Start at the Beginning
While it can be tempting to jump in and try to pick up a complex task, it is crucial to set realistic expectations, so you don’t burn yourself out. Just like a kid shouldn’t ride a dirt bike before taking the training wheels off a bicycle, learning to code should start with the basic concepts. Starting with basic concepts such as a variable assignment, or even a building block language such as HTML will help you prepare for more complex material down the road. Find a book or online tutorial for your level of experience and go from there.
As with any other skill, practice will help you progress to any level of proficiency you desire. Unlike other disciplines, programming is unique in that everybody will write code a little bit differently. That being said, just because something works doesn’t mean that it has been written in the best possible way. Picking a project will help you define your style and understand what works best for you. It will also challenge you to think like a programmer, which is one of the biggest hurdles of beginning to write code.
Find Awesome Resources
When learning anything find communities of learning to help you. In programming there are so many communities that you will find that will help speed up you learning. A few of my favorites is Dev.to, Wes Bos, and No Starch Press books
Take Advantage Of Online Resources
The internet gives you an endless wealth of information at your fingertips, and you should take full advantage of it. Learning a new program won’t happen overnight, but you can speed along the process with the right tools.
Based on a study conducted by Stanford University, experienced programmers rely primarily on four things when searching for information to learn a new coding language:
- Google searches
- Example code
- Q&A sites
Don’t Cram Information
According to a research study performed by UCLA, cramming information is associated with more learning problems and less sleep. Your ability to retain information while cramming decreases, and your brain only remembers the beginning and end of your study sessions.
To overcome the urge to cram while learning a new programming language, set up a study schedule, and stick to it. It’s more beneficial to study in 20- or 30-minute blocks rather than hours at a time so you don’t experience fatigue, lethargy and boredom. It’s easier to stay motivated when you grant yourself breaks in between study periods for better focus and frame of mind.
If you’re trying to eventually learn several coding languages, which is very possible with enough time and effort, take one language at a time.
Implement An Existing Project In The New Language
You can do this whether you have a programming background or not.
The idea of porting a small project you’ve already done in another language can help you a lot in learning the new syntax.
It will also help you to familiarize yourself with the resources the language has, as libraries and APIs (Application Programming Interface). You’ll be able to compare the features and functionalities of different languages.
On the other hand, if you’re a newbie, you can go and find a resource and pick up a small project.
Study the code, read the author’s comments, and try to understand how it works.
You can make a small general layout of the steps the code follows to give the results it’s supposed to give. If you already know what a flow diagram or an algorithm is, good. If not, no worries. Just write down all the steps that the code follows in a way you can understand. Make it simple.
Now, rewrite the entire program on your own. Try to do it step by step, in an organized manner.
Once you’ve rewritten enough, test the program. Rinse and repeat.
Find An Accountability Partner And Learn Together
Whenever you’re learning a new programming language or anything else, it’s always a good idea to have a mentor. It must be someone that already knows what you want to learn.
I’m not speaking about a traditional teacher – they tend to be less flexible.
An accountability partner is someone that agrees with you in being your guidance in any process you may need help. This could be business, a weight loss program, or in any learning process.
Simply put, “two heads think more than one.”
The ideal is that your partner has more advanced knowledge about the programming language you’re interested in. This partner might be someone at a more advanced level of your course.
But you know what?
You could also find an accountability partner online. You could use social networks, and there are also specialized websites/apps, where you can find accountability partners for your purposes.
This way, you can find more personalized help in learning what’s harder for you. You will also get more sincere and focused feedback on an agreed timely basis.
You may not know it but one of the hardest things to overcome in programming is imposter syndrome. What is imposter syndrome? Here’s a definition.
The persistent inability to believe that one’s success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of one’s own efforts or skills.
This feeling is common and many developers have had to go through the process of defeating imposter syndrome when they started their carriers. Here are three tips on punching imposter syndrome in the face.
- Start believing you are a developer before you start coding
I know this sounds like believe it and it will come stuff, because it actually is. I have seen many students use this tip and with it alone conquer imposter syndrome.
- Keep visual log of what you are building
This tip will help you remember how far you have come. When you look at this visual log you can say “Wow! look what I have accomplished!” My recommendation is to use instagram for a public log or notion for a private log.
- Surround yourself with other who are learning
This is also super important. Community is very important when starting to learn. You will find that you are not alone and together you will punch imposter syndrome in the face.