Are you a tech enthusiast interested in computer programming? Or a computer science student who needs some quick tips on how to get your coding done right? We want to assume computers excite you just like they do us. But just so we are on the same page, computer programming involves the creation of software applications or websites that run on computers. Well, it’s great that you’re here because we have a few lessons every coder will appreciate knowing.
1. You can do almost anything with coding
One great thing about computer programming is the amazing leverage it gives you in creation and innovation. With the knowledge you get from learning how to code, you’re equipped with the ability to communicate with a computer in a way that has it doing what you command it to do.
That means you can programme a computer to sing, count money, read to you etc, and it should be able to do so if your coding is done right. How cool is that?! With this advantage in coding, you should know that the only thing standing between you and innovation is yourself.
This will particularly be a great ability for entrepreneurs. Imagine owning a business and the ability to have computers do exactly what you need them to; for example, assembling all orders, sending out routine messages to consumers etc. There is no limit to the amount of creativity this ability affords you.
2. You can work from anywhere
With Covid-19 still in the system, now is the time to have a job that allows for remote access. More and more people are familiarising themselves with the idea of working from home or a convenient setting away from the office.
Unfortunately, some jobs do not afford that luxury. A surgeon, janitor, or delivery person cannot work from home, but guess what? You can! You can access your work from anywhere you choose.
Working remotely gives you the liberty to choose when and where you work!
3. A huge sense of accomplishment
Mastering an art comes with its own bragging rights. Imagine having perfected something, many people wish they could have a basic understanding. Yep! That is the level of contentment you feel when you can master a program.
This is when you get to that place where you no longer make mistakes, you’re not surprised by unexpected responses from the computer, you’re able to make swift and meaningful coding decisions, or you’re able to communicate to your computer in a new yet workable way.
Being able to manipulate a computer to your advantage comes with a level of self-reliance and an empowering feeling of accomplishment, especially when you’re able to devise new and interesting ways of navigating computer language.
4. You never stop learning
Generally, no one ever stops learning in life. Even for those who are not seated in the classroom or engaged in any form of formal education, learning something new comes in various forms including hard life lessons from good and bad experiences.
But in the computer programming space, learning involves pretty much anything that can make the coding experience less ambiguous. For starters, you must at least know one of the following if you want to thrive in this space.
Knowledge of data structures and algorithms, how to navigate an integrated development environment (IDE), how to use text editors, source control, Linux, Microsoft Excel, a basic understanding of programming and scripting languages as well as basics in networking.
Even in a case where you have mastered all the areas mentioned above, the truth is technology is always advancing, new things come upon all the time and there is the need to stay updated and informed.
So much so that even well-established programmers never stop adding to their knowledge and skill set. You can get a lot of materials online from credible platforms including Free Code Camp, BitDegree, Code Academy, edX, Codewars, etc.
5. You can be your own boss
With the chance to work remotely comes the need to work without supervision. This can only be an option when you master your art and have had some level of experience in working both in a supervisory role or alone. You can afford to make mistakes and so there is the need to be closer to perfect.
If you feel very confident in your skill, you can branch-off from working under an entity and be your boss working on a freelance basis. You will be most successful in this when you have built a strong reputation in the industry and your expertise is well acknowledged by industry players.
Being able to choose what job you want is a good feeling, working on your own terms and at your own pace. And so, aspire to be the best and you'll have tech companies run to seek your service.
Or let’s say you’re a secretary who needs help in filing and scheduling. Some knowledge in coding can help you create an application that would make organization much easier.
6. You need critical thinking and resolve
Coding is not for the faint-hearted. That is a basic truth. Why? Many a time, developers or programmers try to interpret a command to the computer and depending on the complexity of the task, the process can be a long and tiring one. It requires maximum concentration for long periods.
Along the line, the computer delivers responses that can either make or break the process. Frustrating right? Exactly. There are times when you could be stuck on one problem and you will need to come up with different approaches until you get the one that works. And so, you can imagine the satisfaction when you are finally able to break through after hours on a particular problem.
There is room for surprises on occasion. If you’re unable to handle these well, that is a big loss.
In situations like this, a coder that has grit and the ability to think on their feet is more likely to be successful in handling the issue, than one who easily panics at the slightest mishap.
You need to resolve it because, without it, you have to give up at the sight of a challenge. You may be so engrossed in the work, you will not have time to do the little things such as eat etc.
7. Taking care of yourself is very important
Because of the long hours, you are likely to spend on your computer at a time, it is advised that all coders make conscious efforts in taking care of themselves.
To be the best at this, you need to stay alive and healthy. Taking care of yourself is not only necessary for your physical health but mental health as well. And for coding, you best believe you need to be in the right state of mind and health all the time.
Get up and walk around a little, relieve your eyes from the screen a little, spend some time to reflect on what you have done so far and what you have been missing (as you were so consumed in your coding).
Work-related stress is present in almost every industry but is quite rife in the technology space.
The hours spent working the brain alone and hunched behind a computer can take a toll on one's health.
So, please be intentional about taking screen breaks, drinking a lot of water and be as active as you possibly can. You will be assured of more productivity when you’re in good shape healthwise.
8. You need to abreast yourself with programming jargons
Learn all you can about jargons in programming. As the bulk of operations in coding circles are in computer language, it is essential to understand thoroughly the language in which you communicate, jargon and all.
New words come up almost daily as technology advances and people find new ways to the game.
9. Ask for help when you need it
No one is ever perfect. Meaning it is okay to ask for help when the need arises. Thankfully, the tech space is full of individuals who are eager to assist because the desire to see technology grow outweighs the desire to be the best.
In tech, information sharing is an important rule that has helped grow the industry. No matter how good you are, there is always going to be something you will need help with. When that time comes, just know you have a sea of willing programmers in the industry to help answer all your questions.
You can join a network of coders on social media, a forum where coding issues are discussed or most importantly consult an expert in the field.
That is one key way to grow your craft and enrich your output. If not for anything, asking for help gives you a perspective on the issue from different points of view.
10. Note-taking is everything
Right from the classroom, students are advised to take notes of a lesson because it helps in keeping a record of the said class and making references in the future where applicable.
So does note-taking in computer programming goes a long way. One thing is for sure, you won’t regret taking those notes plus there is nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Take the notes in a way that best works for you, especially in the beginning. The complexities of the coding languages alone can get very confusing and there is the need to have a little reference point needed for times when you may have forgotten something.
Not only does it help you in your work but it is also a good hand-me-down for someone who may want to learn coding from you in the future.
You can never be too careful in your dealings with computer programming. The more deliberate you’re about your efforts the richer your results. Frankly, these tips may not guarantee your ultimate success in the game; but be rest assured that if you go by them religiously, you will be adequately prepared at all times.
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