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5 Helpful Tips for a Newbie Developer

First of all, I want to say a big congratulations to you, for deciding to come on this roller coaster called “programming” in this age and time. I am very sure that this would be a positive life-changing decision if you can push through to the end. Through my short journey in this – programming – world, I have coined some useful tips that would help a newbie. I decided to share them below:

     Pay Attention to the fundamentals

Yes, I know you can’t wait for the cash to start coming in, for you to be called for tech talks, to be a mentor to others…and so much more! The truth, however, is that you cannot sprint through this process. In fact, just as you have to grow from a baby to a toddler to a teenager and then to an adult, these principles apply here as well.

Spend as much time learning the basics as this increases your versatility. Once you’re familiar with the basics, switching to another programming language won’t be scary to you because the concepts are quite similar.

     Plan it in your schedule and Be determined

A typical day for you might probably entail going to work in your employer’s office or running your business from home or going for lectures or- you can fill in the gaps as it relates to you. The worst is if you are a Lagosian (live in Lagos city) like me where the traffic can be terrible and tiring too. There are so many reasons for your initial drive to die but you have to be determined to keep pushing.

©Emma Matthews on Unsplash

Having a personal time table helps you track the time spent and ascertain how productive you are per time. Asides from planning your hangouts, devotion time, study time etc., coding time needs to be planned into your schedule too. I suggest nothing less than an hour per day. As you make this a habit, in time you won’t find it hard to code for long but you should ensure you write code daily. If you cannot write raw code, try to read something about programming in general or the language you are currently learning.

     Have a Mentor or Accountability Partner

I remember when I started programming, I kept falling in and out of programming because there was no one to put me in check and I felt like I was not making any progress. After a while, I talked to a friend who had more experience in programming and he agreed to be an accountability partner – I jokingly call him my mentor. I realized the process became easier for me and whenever I had issues or needed clarifications, I could easily go to him for help. It’s not a must you have a mentor but advisable you have someone that ensures you make progress at the end of each day/ week and exchange ideas with.

You might be an introvert that doesn’t like talking to new people, but you must remember the phrase “no man is an island”. Strive to have someone you can talk about programming and share new technologies or solutions with. Rubbing minds together with a tech partner sharpens the two parties involved and also drives the pursuit of knowledge.

     You are not as Smart as you think

I am sorry if this offends you, but sadly, this is the actual truth – maybe that is why it is commonly said that ‘the truth is bitter’. Believe me, there’s a vast wealth of knowledge you don’t know about. Even a veteran developer still has a lot to learn and unlearn. There is room for unlimited growth in this field and even in life.

The way you write code today that may seem like a eureka moment can be a write-off -even to you- in some years’ time. There are some times when I go back to view codes I wrote as a beginner and I smile because it’s obvious that I have grown. Now, this is where the desire to be better comes in. Be curious about knowledge and don’t rest on your oars, keep making efforts to be a better you.

©Absolutvision on Unsplash

     Keep writing code!!!

Have you ever been so concerned about an issue, that you can even leave something you’re working on presently to go fix that issue when an idea comes to mind? Well, I have and it has happened severally to me in this programming field. It is always a triumphant moment when you can finally resolve a stubborn error and a star is added to your imaginary-coding-battle-game life for conquering another stage. No one gets to be good at a particular thing without constant practice, jumping over hurdles and trying new things consistently. To be the great programmer you would one day admire you have to keep practising; build projects, push your work to online platforms, seek for opportunities to grow, take on something you think is seemingly impossible and watch yourself conquer feats and be a boss.

I hope by reading this article, you have gotten some useful tips to carry along with you in this field. It just takes time, but you can be as good as your mentor. There is room for everyone to be successful. See you at the top!

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