Things to know before you start your programming journey

Embarking on your programming journey is both exciting and challenging. As a result, I thought a blog highlighting just a handful of lessons I have learnt so far would be appropriate.

Written by Nology Team - 02.05.19

Here are just a few lessons I have learnt from reflecting on the first two months of the _nology Bootcamp.

Get your motivation right from the outset

You should get your motivation right from the outset. Programming is an entirely new skill set and you are going to encounter problems along the way. Some problems you’ll find are small and annoying, such as forgetting to put a closing tag in your HTML document, whilst others are much more difficult. What they all require, however, is motivation and resilience.

Through observing and learning from the experienced trainers at the _nology bootcamp it is not a far notion to conclude that the best programmers are the ones who are genuinely excited about the work they do. You’ve got to love solving problems.

You can’t learn from books alone!

Having read law at University, I spent pretty much every day in the library. At one point, I felt like a piece of library furniture.

Throughout my course, we had to look at words, and how they interact – whether a piece of legislation uses an ‘and’ or an ‘or’ for example; this made a big difference when analysing problem question assignments. But with computers and code, it’s different to a degree. You have to give computers instructions and that requires practicing coding concepts. Ultimately, coding is much like driving a car, you can read all the books you want, but you don’t actually become a good driver without practicing.

Make flow diagrams

I’m a visual learner so naturally, I’ve found it is very helpful to use flow diagrams. They’re like a plan – and everyone needs a plan. The key benefit I have found with them is when you are working through steps to a solution.

You can envisage every stage of the process, in addition to analysing potential impacts from other factors. They’re also helpful when you’re in a team and other members of the team are picking up where you have left off.

‘Rubber Duck’ as much as possible

I’ve stolen this from our trainer and I thought it was worth sharing. Rubber ducking is a bit like venting. When you have a problem with your code, just talk through it with someone. Say the problem out loud. I find that as soon as I’ve heard my own voice, I’m likely to find the problem. This has worked for me roughly 80% of the time.

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