Coding Tips: How to Keep Learning and Stay Motivated

Coding Tips: How to Keep Learning and Stay Motivated

  • Dec, 2 2023

Embrace the Mindset: Coding is a Continuous Learning Journey

My journey in the world of coding started not too long ago. In those early days, a constant companion was frustration. I’m sure every coder can relate to this. Sitting in front of a computer for hours, only to be met with a stubborn error message or a code that refused to behave. However, after these steep learning curves came peaks of exhilaration and joy as the execution yielded the desired results. These were the 'Eureka' moments that propelled me forward in this journey.

Believe me when I say, coding is as much about the mindset as it is about the technical knowledge. Rather than seeing coding as an insurmountable challenge, it should be looked upon as an endless journey of discovery and learning. Every line of code, every bug, and every error message is a stepping stone to becoming a better coder. If coding were a journey, then knowledge, patience, curiosity, and perseverance could be seen as its constant companions.

Pick a Language and Immerse Yourself

Selecting a language to start with could be a daunting task. But don't worry. Just pick a language and dive in. It sounds simple, doesn't it? In my case, I started with Python and found it to be forgiving for a newbie. That's not to say that the initial journey was smooth sailing. There were plenty of choppy seas and storms to navigate. However, the fact that Python is an interpreted language helped a lot. It meant that I could run my code as I wrote it, making my mistakes immediately apparent and learnable.

My husband, Nicholas, on the other hand, plunged into JavaScript. We played around with code together, he helped me understand complex coding jargon while I brought him biscuits and questioned his logic. Regardless of the language, immersing yourself in coding practice is a fundamental practice to grow your skills and build motivation.

Find a Coding Buddy or Mentor

In my experience, learning in solitude could be monotonous and disheartening. It often led to stagnation. I found my 'coding buddy' in Nicholas early in my coding journey, and I couldn't be more grateful. Having a coding buddy or mentor could be beneficial in more ways than one. You could share your victories and frustrations, learn from each other's methods, and motivate each other during the grueling bug fixes. Remember, two heads are often better than one!

Learn by Doing and Experimenting

A fun fact about coding: it’s much like cooking! Just like how you cannot learn to cook solely by reading recipes, you cannot learn to code solely by going over examples and theories. You need to get in the kitchen, or in this case, sit at your desk, and start experimenting. Make mistakes and learn from them. Break things and then fix them. In this world, errors are not embarrassments; they're opportunities for learning and growth. So, code, code, and code some more.

Embrace Online Resources and Coding Challenges

The learning resources available for coding today are mind-boggling! Thanks to the Internet, learning possibilities are just a click away. Online platforms like Codecademy, freeCodeCamp, Udemy, and Coursera offer a plethora of free and paid courses that cater to different skill levels and learning styles. Participate in coding challenges online. Stack Overflow, LeetCode, Hackerrank - the list of useful websites is endless. Utilize them to your benefit.

Take Breaks, Practice Mindfulness and Stay Organized

Tackling complex coding problems for prolonged periods can be mentally draining. Give your brain the break it deserves. Short breaks during a coding session can actually boost productivity and creativity. Practicing mindfulness can also help increase focus and reduce frustration. Lastly, keeping a neat workspace and organizing your code is underrated! A tidy environment can do wonders for your mind and motivation.

Don’t Compare Your Progress with Others

Last but definitely not the least, remember that everyone's journey is unique. The speed at which you are learning might be different than others and that's perfectly okay. Comparing yourself to others will only serve to dampen your spirits. Instead, use their success as motivation to learn more and improve your skills. Remember, the only person you should strive to be better than is the one you were yesterday.

In conclusion, keep this maxim in mind - as a coder, we need to keep evolving, adapting, and learning. Embrace the magic of algorithms and intricate data structures instead of fearing them. Trust me, coding is not just a career, it’s a craft, an art, and most importantly, it's a journey where the learning never stops. So, buckle up, have fun, and keep coding!