Learning to program. Common errors
They say learning from mistakes is the most effective way to gain knowledge. True, but on the other hand, it is better to learn from the mistakes of others than from your own. Unfortunately, it’s worse when we don’t learn from mistakes at all and we keep making the same mistakes. This sometimes happens with people who are trying to acquire the ability to program. It is known that learning takes time, but stupid mistakes can not only significantly prolong education, but also effectively interfere with it. For those beginners in the art of coding who would like to know what mistakes to avoid, we have a short list.
At this point, one would like to write that to learn everything is, in fact, not to learn anything. This is what happens to people who show too much zeal. Not only do such coding adepts want to acquire knowledge as soon as possible, they also want to learn everything they read about on internet forums dealing with programming topics.
Guys, this is the wrong way! It is worth listening to one wise man from Ancient Greece, Aristotle of Cyrene, who used to say that the wise are not those who read much, but those who read useful things. So what if we go through one tutorial after another, learn some solutions, if we never use them in practice? Not only that, so half-acquired skill will quickly disappear in the swamp of oblivion (what a phrase!).
It is best to set a specific goal and learn what we really need at a given timewhich is useful to us. In a moment, we will probably need new knowledge in another area of the art of coding, and then we will lean on it. This approach is more effective in teaching and can actually consolidate new skills.
Lack of patience and consistency
Patience is key in the learning process, no matter what skills we want to acquire. Unfortunately, many people who dream of learning to program have a lot of trouble with patience. How many times have you started learning one programming language only to abandon it for another, telling yourself that you can do it now? How many times have you given up learning one technology for another, thinking that after a change, learning will go to you in a flash?
Effective learning is also about finding the right motivation to acquire knowledge as well, and perhaps especially when the first enthusiasm passes. In the absence of this, we flounder from one language to another, from one framework to another, abandoning learning about them before we have really explored them. As a result, we learn nothing. But that’s not all. Systematic work is also needed to develop programming skills, rather than coding on a case-by-case basis, once a month or several months.
Limited to books
Often people who are just starting to learn coding, brag on internet forums that they bought one or another programming textbook. Of course, there is nothing reprehensible in the use of books, on the contrary. However, the problem arises when the science does not also use other sources, such as printed (possibly e-books). We must not forget that the IT industry and programming are extremely fast-growing areas, in which every now and then there are some innovations.
Meanwhile, writing a book, and then the entire publishing process often takes a long time. Therefore, in books we do not always find up-to-date information. In addition to printed help, you should also use the knowledge available on the internet (especially in English), such as the latest tutorials, documentation, information on online forums, etc. It is worth getting used to the fact that a good coder always keeps his hand on the pulse and learns new things at the beginning of the development path.
Waste of time
There’s an old saying that time is money. It’s not worth wasting. Meanwhile, there are people who, learning to program, make it a point of honor that they will not leave a given problem until they solve it. This approach is not at all effective. So what if we lose two hours staring at a monitor screen if we don’t achieve anything? Although programming is also problem solving, there is no question of wasting time.
Experienced coders rather rely on the so-called “fresh eye” effect. This means that if we can not find a solution, it is worth to step away from the code, relax, take your mind to something else. After some time, we return to the problem and probably “fresh” find a solution. The science of programming is also the science of rational time management. This approach will be very useful later, when we begin to work professionally on extensive projects.
Even experienced programmers do not have everything stored in memory. That’s not the point. The art of programming is also the ability to use documentation and search for knowledge on the web. Meanwhile, people who are beginning to learn programming often try to learn everything by heart, thinking that this is what is needed. Reality quickly verifies this approach. Here you can recall point 1 of our list.
Fear of mistakes
Finally, briefly about the issue that is also very important in the learning of programming-you must not be afraid of making mistakes, they can not paralyze the student. When this happens, the education process may prove ineffective. Therefore, it is worthwhile not only to analyze the errors of others on internet forums, but also to present your own code and ask for its evaluation. Constructive criticism can give a real kick for further effort and should also be considered as a form of motivation.
If you are not tired of reading about errors, we invite you to read our article “the novice programmer and his mistakes”.