Whether you are a student of coding boot camp or a veteran who uses the GI Bill to select their next mission, a student pursuing a degree, or a graduate in computer science, mastering the art of programming is a constant struggle. Here are seven tips to help you code faster, courtesy of the Coding Dojo instructors.
Maybe you’ll be ready by the end to apply for one our coding bootcamps.
1. Do it yourself to learn how to code faster
The sooner you get started with coding, the quicker you will learn new concepts. Even if you read a chapter and find a topic like for loops easy – so a monkey can do it – you will still be confused when you are asked to put the code into practice for the first time. You’ll wonder, “wait, what’s that one piece of syntax?” This old proverb applies to learning code, despite technological advancements.
Tip: As you read through the material, create a project. A personal project is often the best place to start.
2. To gain core programming knowledge, learn the programming basics
Programming fundamentals are as basic as they seem at first. The more you understand them the easier it will be to learn advanced concepts. Coding Dojo has found that students who rush through the beginning of our courses, where we focus on web development fundamentals, are often the first ones to get stuck when we move into more advanced material such as back-end programming. Don’t skip the first class in computer science 101 or the first chapter of an online tutorial. You are missing the most important step of your learning.
Hint: Check out this article about the 5 Basic Concepts of Any Programming Language
3. Code by hand. It improves your proficiency and you will need it to get a job.
Although computer monitors are becoming smaller and lighter, hard drives are lighter and programming languages more powerful. Coding-by-hand is still one of the best ways to learn how to code. Coding-by-hand, whether on a whiteboard, notebook, or a computer monitor, requires more care, precision, and intent behind each line of code. Handwritten code cannot be run on a computer. This restriction is more time-consuming but will make you a better developer in both the classroom and on the job market.
You will need to code-by hand for college exams and technical interviews. This is a crucial component of the job application process. Start early and learn old-fashioned code-by-hand.
4. Ask for help coding. It’s your best bet.
It would be amazing to become the next Steve Job on your own. However, mentors and peer feedback are a much better way to learn. Even though it may seem like an immovable topic or bug, it can be quickly fixed by someone new to the subject or fresh eyes. Don’t listen to the trolls, and don’t be afraid of asking for help. Every programmer has been there. Apart from that, developers love to code and sharing their knowledge with others is something that passionate people enjoy.
Warning: Coding Dojo recommends the 20-minute rule. Before asking for help, take at least 20 minutes to solve a problem on your own. There is a good chance the answer is already there. And, besides, you will be a better programmer if you struggle.
Hint: Learn programming and Stackoverlfow are great resources for online programming assistance.
5. Look online for more information. There is a wealth of content available online.
You can find alternate online resources for the same content if a concept isn’t clear, whether it’s in a textbook or in class lectures. Everybody learns differently. Just because one source doesn’t make sense doesn’t mean that you aren’t learning from the right place. This means you are not able to follow the instructions. There are many online resources that can help you learn computer programming. There are tutorials and blogs that will help you understand the material.
Search is powerful, but don’t underestimate it.
6. Don’t just look at the code. You can play with it!
It is not enough to read sample code to understand how it works. You need to actually run the code and play with it in order to get a real understanding. Although the sample code is provided with instructions and comments, it’s not easy to reproduce from scratch. Reading is not the same thing as understanding the code and writing it yourself.