Mistakes when learning to code

Mistakes when learning to code

Mistakes and golden advice. 10x learning programming today.

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In this article, I want to go over mistakes you may make when learning to code. This can also be considered advice when learning to code honestly, however you want to take it. I had 4 points that came to my mind that I think can big time change your way from learning improperly to learning properly.

Tutorial Hell

The first one is the famous tutorial hell. Tutorial hell was something I myself was in, doing tutorials for over 2 years straight, and then thinking I'm a full-stack developer, little did I know, I had a hard time coding up stuff with just HTML and CSS.

It made me on one hand really demotivated to continue coding, I put in so much time just doing tutorials, I'm supposed to be able to code up anything now right?

That's when I realized, I never struggled. Struggling is where you actually learn. If you don't struggle, it likely means you're not on the right path when learning. It is a good point to assess if you're doing things correctly, by asking yourself: How comfortable am I right now?

My advice to summarize: Spend more time building stuff and struggling than doing tutorials, your future self will thank your current self.

Not focusing

When learning to code, oftentimes the primary goal is to find a job. Learn to code and then find a job. A lot of beginners, including myself at the time, want to learn everything and so many things.

What can happen is, instead of focusing on learning the stuff necessary for you to find a job, depending on the field you have chosen within software development, for web development that could be for example HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, you end up jumping around and learning a bit of numerous stuff, which won't actually help you and just waste your time.

Focus on learning what you need to get that job as a developer and once you have that job, feel free to jump around however you want like a bunny in your spare time.

Not journaling

I think journaling and assessing yourself is super important when you're trying to accomplish a great goal with a timeline in mind.

You want to improve every week, every month, in order to perform better as time pass.

Try to journal every evening, assessing yourself, how your day went, what you could have done better, and what you were proud of.

It is good, to be self-aware and have the mindset of knowing that there is always room for improvement.

Not researching

Well, this may not be a mistake, but rather an advice. Spend time researching and improving your research skills.

By researching, I don't mean just Googling. When you do Google, pull up multiple links, read them thoroughly, and make sure to take advantage of Google.

Fireship has an amazing video on how to improve your google searches: How to "Google It" like a Senior Software Engineer.

Golden advice

Golden advice I wish someone would have given me, and not me having to find it out myself: If the documentation isn't enough, and you feel like you need more practical examples and seeing how people have implemented a certain technique/approach/framework, whatever that may be, use Github's search.

Use Github's search where you can search for code among other stuff. Their phenomenal documentation: Searching code.

Once I learned this technique, honestly, I rarely feel like: How do I even implement this into my code?

Another thing that is really useful, is if you don't want to search for code, but see how others have used a certain technology that is open-sourced on Github.

There is a Used by page, where you can find other repositories using a certain package/technology.

Two images below demonstrate:

used by link

used by page