With anything in life there is always room to grow and improve. Programming is no different! Below are some simple 5 ways improve yourself as a coder.
1.) Don’t Just Read – Do!
Reading through a section and thinking you understand the concepts is entirely different than implementing the code. When it comes to actually using what you’ve read you may say “Wait how did that work again?” or “What was the syntax for this?” If you work on playing with the code while you are learning something new, you will find yourself far more prepared for future problems.
2.) Pseudo Code
I know I get excited to solve a new problem, so often times I don’t pause to think through an entire solution before I hop in and start coding! To keep your thoughts organized and concise, try pseudo coding your logic before rushing into writing the actual syntax. Not only will this make room for cleaner and more concise code, it will also give you a more firm understanding of how you solved the problem.
3.) Relax and Breathe
There comes a point where you may feel completely overwhelmed by the problems at hand and you want to pull your hair out. Or maybe you’re like me; glaring at your code and attempting to will it to work with your mind. You might become more focused on how you feel rather than the solution. When this happens take a moment, breath, make yourself a snack, or look at cute cats on the internet. Don’t get mentally exhausted – you can do it, just give yourself time!
4.) Talk it Out
Something that never fails to amaze me is just how powerful it is to talk about how I want my code to work. I often get lost in the myriad of thoughts in my head when thinking of solutions. When explaining (to myself or someone else) the steps of my program, I am able to clearly see where the logic isn’t working or what I am missing! Just think about telling a teacher how you solved a math problem – what steps did you take and why?
5.) Don’t Give Up!
Coding is hard. It can be frustrating. It is extremely humbling. I’ll never forget the first time I looked at ActionScript. My heart dropped and I felt as though there was no way I would ever understand how any of it works. I stuck with it though, and I kept trying. I reached out to friends and built support for myself. Once it finally started sticking, I felt like I was on top of the world! Coding still tests my resolve, but I am stubborn. I don’t give up.
Keep reminding yourself that you can do this.