Learning to learn code

Video transcript

So learning to programme, learning to code, can be a real challenge. Whether it’s Ruby, Python, JavaScript, Objective-c, PHP, these kinds of languages can be real tough to learn and there’s a lot of terminology to take in.

I want to share with you some of the things that I’ve found along my path of becoming a better developer that I hope you’ll find useful.

We’ve all felt that way, we’ve all felt like giving up, we’ve all felt like, “I’m not smart enough. I’m not intelligent enough. If only I had been coding since I was 12, then I’d have this thing locked!” You have to push beyond the point that you feel like giving up! When you combine that attitude with daily practice, it will begin to come together. Your main focus in the beginning is to grasp the general concepts of the language. Don’t worry too much about understanding every little nuance of the language.

Even David Malan the Harvard computer science lecturer, he said to himself, he put off learning computer science because he said to himself, “Oh that’s for guys that have been coding since they we’re 13!” Now look at him, he’s a Harvard computer science lecturer! So we’ve all thought that. Don’t play victim by getting the violin out and feeling sorry for yourself, be positive, strengthen your resolve, be determined and that attitude will serve you well throughout your career.

I had a conversation with a developer just the other week and he – has been coding since he was 12 and even he said look Mike even I come up against challenges, even I have to refer to the documentation every now and then. But you see this is the fascinating thing about this industry. It will always challenge you. You can always go deeper down this rabbit hole.

The other thing I want to share with you is, don’t over look the good old fashioned book, I had, and the great thing I like about books is that they encourage you to go at your own pace. It’s as though they give permission to go at your own pace. You can read a paragraph, you can look away and contemplate what you just read, reread it… so don’t be afraid of going at your own pace. Learning when it’s done well should be enjoyable, it should be rewarding, so don’t feel like you need to rush, don’t be in such a hurry.

And lastly but equally important is to get sleep, you got to do it, you got to get sleep and eat well. Give your brain the nutrients the minerals, the amino acids that it needs so that it can function and fire on all cylinders. It’s no good eating too much sugar and crashing and not being able to think straight. Again, this will serve you well throughout your career and when you meet with the client you’ll be alive, you’ll be awake, alert, they’ll see that twinkle in your eye and they’ll think wow this is a person who’s looking after themselves and subconsciously they’ll feel like they can trust you with the project.

So keep going, be determined, be persistent, practice daily, it will begin to come together, hope you got something from this, take it easy, peace.

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