How Do I Learn to Program

learn programming

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Typically, you buy programming books or go to tutorials or courses on youtube to get started. It’s easy to enjoy the tutorials and learn new concepts. While that can be great for a brief time, most new programmers find themselves overwhelmed by so many ideas and getting stuck in tutorial after tutorial. They find it more difficult and frustrating to attempt a real-world project by themselves without any guidance. They need to grasp the logic. They need to figure out where to start, how to solve a problem, or how to create a module.

This is the problem that most beginners have with coding. Although tutorials can be very helpful and teach many concepts and different coding methods to create something, once you get started on a real-world project, you will find that you need help to use all the ideas in your project, and you will feel frustrated. To learn programming in 2020, use the project-based learning method. This will help you to improve your problem-solving skills in program development. Programming is more than learning Python, C++, Java or other programming languages. It is about solving problems. Employers also require problem solvers for their jobs. Therefore, in interviews, you should be able to demonstrate your problem-solving skills first.

Let’s talk about the steps involved in learning programming, and some tips for problem-solving.

Learn the Basic Concepts of Languages and Choose a Language

Many beginners skip the basics and rush to the technology and tools. This is not how you should approach interviews or when building any project. You will be more confused and distracted if your foundations need to be clarified. So first, choose the programming language you feel most comfortable with (Python and C++ are both excellent options, but it all depends on what your ultimate goal is). Then, learn the syntax and the basic concepts (variables and conditionals, operators and loops, etc). 

Use your preferred language to create programs and establish the foundation. Colleges are great for teaching basic concepts. If not, you can use the internet to learn more. These are great for building the fundamentals. Here are some tips to help you get started with the fundamentals. This will help you improve your problem-solving abilities.

  • The majority of courses begin with the teaching of programming language. However, it is important to understand how to use that language to solve problems. 

How to solve the problem of adding two numbers.

  • Keep to one language. Try to learn only some languages at a time. Many beginners jump from one language to the next, which is a waste of time. It’s best to stay with one language at first. Java is the best language to learn if you want to be a Java developer. Although learning the first language can be difficult for many new programmers, your brain will soon master syntax if you practice every day.
  • Even if you only have one or two programs to create, try to complete them every day. Start with small programs and move on to more complex ones. However, you should be consistent.
  • Use a well-designed learning strategy. Instead of reading all the theories and then jumping to the programming, follow a 2:1 ratio for active and conceptual learning. This means that after two hours of conceptual knowledge, spend one hour in active learning or practical exposure.
  • Create a project or application that is based on the fundamentals you have learned. Make a calculator or other interesting application. If you are stuck, learn how to Google.

Learn Data Structure & Algorithms

Programming is based on data structure and algorithms. After making some basic programs in any language, you can learn data structures and algorithms. Understanding data structure and algorithms will help you improve your problem-solving skills. You must realize that only some data structures are suitable for some problems. To translate any situation, you first need to create an algorithm. This is a step-by-step process to solve a particular problem. Then you will need to select the correct data structure. The best data structure, algorithm and method combination is crucial in solving problems. 

You can learn to implement data structures and algorithms using your programming language daily. Beginners can use GeeksforGeeks to practice the problems on data structure or algorithms. These are some helpful tips that you can use to learn these fundamentals.

  • Only attempt to learn some data structures and algorithms concepts in one sitting. You can start by learning a topic and then practicing the topics on the sites mentioned. Then, move on to the next issue. A specific learning strategy can be adapted to suit your needs. We have already discussed this in step 2:1.
  • You can break down complex problems into smaller pieces and then solve them to find the solution.
  • Learn and get your hands dirty on programming. You’ll gain confidence and be able to solve problems better.
  • These data structures and algorithms can be used in real-world projects. You will see a lot of Strings and Array in web applications.
  • Now that you are familiar with the basics of the concept and the algorithms behind data structure, it is time to build your application. These concepts can add a feature to an existing project or application. This will allow you to grow your project and solve the problem.

Build Projects

As we mentioned, most newbie programmers need help to build a project. Unfortunately, all the exercises and tutorials seem like a waste of time. They don’t help you with your project. Although you retain some of the information from the tutorials, it is just too much, and you feel like you need the ability to apply the concepts in your project. 

Start with a simple project or website. This can be your portfolio, an android app, or any other type of game. It is better to start small and move on to more complex projects. Many beginners need help deciding what to include in their projects. Here’s an example.

Start small to create an eCommerce website. Start with the signup or login page, then move on to the next feature, the navigation bar. Instead of trying to do everything at once, analyze the entire project and break it down into smaller pieces or problems. Of course, it all depends on the complexity of your project and which features you need. You will first make many mistakes and have to deal with many issues. But that is how you learn to manage complex projects. Here are some helpful tips to help you when creating a project.

  • You will learn how to use editors and debuggers to make your project more efficient. Learn to use developer tools, which are essential for web applications. Also, learn how to use templates, packages, and libraries whenever you need them.
  • If you find yourself stuck or encountering an error, read the message. Although most programmers don’t like error messages, they can be very helpful in resolving the problem. Google any mistakes or issues you have while developing your project. Most cases will be answered on Stackoverflow, a great developer community.
  • Refrain from striving for perfection in your project. Procrastination will lead to slow progress and procrastination in your project.
  • There is no perfect code. So don’t over-engineer things. Keep moving forward. First, make the code work. Then, make it better.

Strive for more

You don’t have to finish your project. Explore more and learn as much as possible in computer science. Computer Science is a rich and diverse field. Find what interests you most. You can explore many areas, including Machine Learning and Cloud Computing, Systems Programming, Mobile App Development, Blockchain, Virtual Reality and Web Development. There are many projects on Github. There are also many resources on the internet. You can find tutorials and projects online depending on your interests. 

Compare the methods and approaches of other developers. It would be best if you made it a habit of reading code on GitHub and StackOverflow. There are many ways to solve the same problem. Use the best programming practices to solve your problem. Participate in contests, join an online tech community and contribute to open-source projects. You will improve your programming skills the more you practice and explore.

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