Hi and welcome back to Non-Developers today I wanted to answer one of the most asked questions I have in my inbox. And I understand since many people are looking in to become a programmer to increase their yearly income and better, they’re the overall living situation since you could pretty much work from home.
So, in a nutshell, the only skill that you must have to learn to code in the shortest time span and therefore excel in the programming world is to be able to sit down in front of a screen and focus for as much as you can.
And it might be the only way to go check out a previous post CAN YOU LEARN TO CODE ON YOUR OWN?
So, can you develop this skill? Its easier said than done. Usually, people have this skill or they don’t. there is no gray area on this topic.
Try to picture this, you sitting down Infront of a screen looking at code, but here is the kicker you can’t watch YouTube or dabble in social media Instagram is off you have no headphones to play music no coworkers to ask them questions or them to bother you on your task. How many hours could you stand in front of the computer by yourself?
If you are going to put it all in 3 hours?
Could you go all-in for at least 4 hours?
Starting to look less appealing now, doesn’t it?
If you have some knowledge of sports you probably have heard the phrase
“He is in the zone” which roughly translate into the state where every action you are taking is flawless in its execution but effortless in the mind of the person.
This what enables a lot of engineers to basically just sit in front of a computer for a long period of time and complete tasks as fast as they can and end up putting a computer program together.
Note: In a previous post I covered why older people learning to code might have this advantage over young coders. Its because they have developed the discipline to force themselves to stay on the task as long as they have to and finish the program if you are interested to go check “Am I Too Old To Learn Programming?” Probably Not.
Let me give you some examples of how you might be slowing down your learning curve, so please pay attention because you might fit in one of the examples “This does not mean that you are a bad coder or will be bad at it”
If you don’t own a desk or a workspace that you can focus on, why is this so important you might think well a lot of people can’t work from home because their subconscious will distract them constantly since they view their home a rest space making you go check the tv or lie on the bed and take a nap or walk the dog.
If you are watching TV as you are using your laptop and or checking your phone all the time.
If you decide to go and buy some groceries or visit a friend.
You get the idea; you are killing your learning curve and will eventually give up because you maybe have 10 to 20 minutes at the computer and it’s just not enough time to really sit down and focus.
Something that I want to point out is that if you are an introvert who lacks social skills and is normally bothered by other people you might have a bit of an advantage over your competitors.
Simply because you find this type of work more enjoyable and if you have that bit of persistence and puzzle-solving love for work you might be in the right place.
What Do You Need To Develop This Skill?
There are many perspectives on what you need, for you to acquire this skill.
But since I’m a believer that there is no one size fits all you might one to go a bit deeper on each of these bullets points and see which one works best for you.
Note: If you are interested in understanding and developing these trades in your own person and want to do it as fast as you can, AudioBooks is the fastest way I have found to consume and understand knowledge if you are interested in this method you can go get your 30-day free trial from Audible it has one of the largest collections.
But if you need to read to internalize the information you might be better for kindle if you want to check this link and get a 30-day free trial and download any title you’d like.
- Will Power
Here are some tips that might work for you in the long and short term.
Set up a time to stare at the computer before you take your first cup of coffee or tea, this will become effortless with time.
What’s even better if you can block off like an entire afternoon and just give a whole day to it this is starting to look promising.
Block All unnecessary programs in your computer, I know of one that helped me focus even if I did not want at the time. I’ll be sure to add some resources at the Recommended Tools
One of the good things about being a coder is that you are going to go through the same problem over and over again and with the time you will shorten your time of response making you a better coder and a more valuable one. Since you can do the same task in half the time you can get double the pay, companies value time more and more these days, so keep that in mind.
After you gain experience then you can have fun exploring new technology that can make your job easier and faster than before. This industry thrives in making things better, faster, prettier, and cooler so you won’t go out of a job any time soon.
So, let’s do a short recap, this is really about developing the ability to learn and learn time, and time again and which needs to be done over long periods of time sitting in front of the computer, this is how you learn to code fast and easy in the shortest time period possible.
Here is one thing that a lot of coders do to get things done.
Make an awesome playlist of music if you can have the timing of the whole playlist at about 4 hours this will be an awesome way to keep Trak of the time you spent in front of the computer so when it stops you know you’ve gone over the time. But don’t make it a rule if you’re in the flow state you can ignore the music turning off and should keep working.
Now please be careful because I’m not even sure if it’s really something healthy to be doing, so if you have a medical condition that does not let you stand still for a long time, you might want to check it with your doctor.
So, I know what I’m asking you to do is a bit harsh, if you are cool and have a lot of social activities, and you are being invited to parties because you like to drink and dance. You will find this very difficult to achieve but for you guys, I have a solution.
Use these activities as a reward system so for each 40-hour week of setting down and learning to code you can go out as much as you want. But stay true to this system since its value is lost if you do not keep your word. Like most things in life do.
I’m not encouraging you to become a loner that is anti-social and does not interact with anybody.
I’m trying to bring you sane and applicable advice to achieve your goal to learn to code as fast as you can in as little time possible.
Getting out of our comfort zone might not seem that great in the short term but if it is what you want, you’re going to have to make some sacrifices
People really have no clue what they were getting themselves
Into, computer science is a culture by itself you will have a lot of time on your own even in the community asking for help is not the best way that you will gain experience and other coders know this, and will not be so happy to lend you a hand.
In fact, if you want to have a knowledgeable conversation with another coder it will usually first posse a problem then they will explain how did they overcome the obstacle, it’s like bringing homework to the teacher and explaining the steps you took to figure it out on your own.
There is one more point I want to talk about if your young and thinking about taking computer science to learn coding languages or in fact expect to graduate being fluent in at least 2 to 3 of them you might be being misled.
PHP or Objective C
They don’t really teach you that in computer science If you would like to know what a computer science syllabus is like click this link to see the PDF on Cambridge’s computer science program.
I want you to understand this very clearly:
Everybody who learned how to code generally had to do it by themselves and they’re all self-taught in that sense.
If one of your goals is to learn to code, don’t wait for the perfect mentor or the perfect school nobody is going to spoon-feed you this information.
The best recommendation I can give you right now is Learn, Implement, fail, Try Again, Master it. There is no better way to learn than to do it yourself and if you want to achieve mastery level then teach what you learn this way the information will get engraved in your Mind.
I know this sounds overwhelming and you might be thinking of giving up before you start. But I advise you to step back and think why are you wanting to learn this and better yet how will you feel when you accomplish, you’re goals in coding.
I must say I’m not a fluent coder in any language, you might say then who are you to tell me this. My Job or what I have made my career of is managing projects. Digital projects, which many of them if not all involved in managing coders times and seeing that they deliver what they promised in the conditions they said they would.
I’m knowledgeable in many languages, I know what each of them can be used for, this way I can control the projects more closely and not be feed BS by coder wannabes that only want to see how much money they can extort from the client.
And I have a lot of experiences in profiling coders and how to stop the good ones and the not so good ones, at least for the projects that I have led until now.
Why do you think that when hiring a coder, the interview process is very long and hard? Companies don’t care where did you study computer science, they want to know what you can do and whether you can deliver what you said you could do is that simple.
Let me just clarify that there are some courses that can teach you these skills and be very specific about them, I have found a couple of good ones online and have passed them but the actual usable skills that you might need for the market place you will have to develop them yourself, since you will only get the fundamentals from the course.
If you ask me what course you should actually go for, I always recommend you should probably go for data structures and algorithms, simply because it gives the coder a better understanding of what he can actually accomplish in different areas. But if you have time and reading is the thing you might want to read 2 books of each subject and then you would have covert it all. I will reference some books for you to check out.
Please do not take from this that a college degree is not valuable, because it is! In the market place, it does not only reflect your compromise with your chosen career but that you have a deep understanding of the fundamentals.
There are many paths you can take to become a coder, as there are in becoming the CEO of a company. Some people start from the mailroom then head to sales, then to accounting and so on.
I can’t tell you how many people started from an internship in IT and have ended up as technology managers in their companies, evaluating the opportunities that present to you in life is as important as taking action towards learning your craft.
Let’s get back to the topic and ensure that you are taking the right steps to complete your goal. Here is a list of things you might want to recheck and answer yourself.
Why you’re learning to code?
You can have multiple answers for this, maybe you want to build a project for yourself or maybe you’re just curious.
But if your goal is to eventually get a job as a software engineer in some company.
Then I would say that your goal is going to be to get something on your resume and the best way to do that is probably just to make some personal projects.
This way you will have something to show to your potential employers, and they can see first hand what you are capable of. as you’re starting out it’s going to be difficult to get anyone to hire you so think about some cool projects that you can make, I hope to upload soon a list of projects you can do for beginners in each language.
Hopefully, I will have been done with this section of the blog and might want to go check out some ideas of projects you might want to make a reality.
[Cool Projects for Beginners]
If getting employed as an engineer is your final goal, simply make this your goal. Have a number of self-made projects for your portfolio to show potential companies.
Plan your project well and break it up into pieces, in fact, if you can journal your process this will impress more your potential clients or employers.
That would be pretty nice.
And if you could get a few users, that would be even better. This will show your potential employer that you have capabilities to create something that is consumer focus.
Where to start learning and developing your projects you might be asking yourself?
And remember the point is to do this as fast as possible, from my experiences and what I have seen many coders do, and I personally highly recommended is to go into web development as one way to quickly get going.
But if you’re interested in choosing a language for a specific task please go and read What Programming Language Should You Learn First. Why do I encourage you to see this article is simple, many of you might want to be coding for games or coding for databases these tasks have a lot of info in them so you might want to direct your attention to languages that are proficient in them.
I hope this information was of use to you.
this will increase your chances to complete your goal in less time possible.