Staying the Course: 5 Hacks to Keep Going When Learning to Code

The vast world of code can feel daunting at first glance. Then, as you dive into the learning process, things only seem to get worse from there. The problem is that there’s a huge learning curve to get over, threatening to end your coding dreams before you even truly get started. Fortunately, you can ensure you stay the course by using these five hacks to keep going when learning to code.

Clearly Define Your Learning Goals

When first starting to learn how to code, you need a plan. You cannot jump in and learn all the different programming languages at once nor do you need to know them all. Instead, you should reflect on your end goal, and then choose your focus language to start.

If you want to get into web development, for example, focus on Java. Want to make apps instead? Then, Python is the better way to go. Either one will help you develop your foundational skills, making it easier to learn new languages in the future.

Focus on One Tutorial at a Time

Coding tutorials abound online, giving you tons of opportunities to learn without shelling out the big bucks. While it’s nice to have options, the sheer overload of tutorials can prove detrimental to your journey. Decision paralysis often kicks in when presented with too many options, after all.

So, reflect on your goals, pick just one tutorial from the bunch, and focus on it – and it alone – until it’s done. Then, repeat that process until you’ve made your way through enough tutorials to start creating your own projects.

Think It Out with Your Rubber Ducky

Even with the most helpful tutorials on your side, you’re bound to get stuck on a seemingly unsolvable problem. When that happens, you need to bust out your rubber ducky for a nice, relaxing debugging session.

Rubber ducky debugging starts with you telling your newfound friend about your code and what it’s supposed to do. Then, go through your code line by line to explain the process in more detail. By the end, you’ll find where you went wrong, and your ducky can feel good about being such a big help.

Give Yourself Brain Breaks Often

Your brain can only maintain focus for so long before it starts to go on the fritz. To avoid that, you need to take regular brain breaks just like the old days in elementary school. Spending just five to ten minutes doing something else can refresh your mind and ready you for more coding madness.

So, break out the puzzle games, draw a picture, or even just gaze off into the distance. If you can work exercise into the mix, you’ll be even better off. A short walk around the block never fails to feel rejuvenating, especially if a friend can join you.  

Show Off Your Accomplishments

Learning how to code can feel like an endless journey toward more and more difficult problems. To break up the process, you need to show off your accomplishments and get accolades coming your way.

The recognition you receive for your efforts can prove highly motivating, restoring your love for your coding journey. So, sing your own praises far and wide, and then get back to it by selecting your next tutorial.

By fluidly moving through these steps, you can push yourself through the difficult moments as you learn how to code. It’s also helpful to remember that the learning process will get easier as you wrap your mind around each programming language.