4 Tips for those Struggling to Learn Programming

Published Aug 20, 2017Last updated Feb 15, 2018
4 Tips for those Struggling to Learn Programming

For anybody struggling to learn to program, my advice is to stick with it a little longer.

I've seen many people give up on programming when it gets difficult. Some struggle to learn the concepts as quickly as they expect to while others get discouraged when they don't know what the next steps are or how to get more practice in.

Focus on the small wins. Notice things you can do now that you couldn't do when you first started or even something you couldn't do last week. Think about the effort you've put in to make the progress you've made.

Use a variety of resources. Some websites walk you through what to type and only give small bits of information so you get more time writing than reading. Other websites give you video explanations and then have you try on your own. Classroom settings are great because you can ask questions if you need to. Not all teachers are alike, so do some research ahead of time or before you drop out for good. Books are also a good option and cover many languages and tools that other resources don't cover. Sometimes all you need is the same thing explained in a different way.

Create personal projects to get extra practice. There are many places to find ideas for personal projects (books, classes, coding websites) so expand on these ideas and change things up to make them your own. If you've written something as a desktop application, rewrite it as a mobile or web app. Recreate an app or site you like just for the challenge. The more you code, the better you get.

If you are getting bored it could be the type of programming you are doing. Have you tried both frontend and backend? Have you tried data science and games? What about different languages, APIs, or Frameworks?

I've met many people who have tried programming at some point and it didn't interest them or they lost interest over time but when I find somebody who has given up for a reason that may have been easily fixable it makes me sad. I hope this helps at least one person to stick with it, even if they realize later that this is their least favourite job and they never want to do it again. Thank you for reading.

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