15 Helpful Tips – Learn How to Program Code

  1. Limit your toolkit. There are many people who want to use the latest and greatest tools, believing they will be better coders because of it. The truth is that you either have an innate ability to do it or you don’t.
  1. Limit your ambitions. This means that at the beginning you want to keep things as simple as possible. Trying to do too much too soon will only frustrate you and extend your learning curve.
  1. Pay attention to the details. One of the most important factors in learning how to program is by paying close attention to the details. A missed semicolon can produce very strange results.
  1. Think modularity. This means that most program code is written as a set of interconnected modules. It is a piece of a larger puzzle, so make sure that you understand how your piece fits into the big picture.
  1. Learn patience. Patience is a key requirement to be a coder, as there is testing and 100 details to every program that need to be considered. Trying to rush through and believing everything can be resolved in a single sitting is folly.
  1. Learn from working examples. Copying code is not always an intellectual property issue. Some web sites and books freely distribute code for learning purposes. Use it wisely and read the comments by the coder.
  1. Be result oriented. This means that you should always be looking to see the result of your code bit by bit. If the first small but works and the second one does as well, then you are on your way. It avoids unnecessary complexity.
  1. Learn collaboratively. Two people who are new to coding can help one another through the process while also challenging one another. Partnering up with an experienced coder is even better.
  1. Trust your manuals. This refers to coding manuals, because the syntax and format cannot be broken. If something you wrote is not working, it is far more likely to be an error on your part.
  1. Learn to flowchart. To new coders, flowcharts seem unnecessary and even are a nuisance. But flowcharts give you the bigger picture and help you understand the connection between all those modules you wrote.
  1. Research and experiment to find the best tools possible. There are a wealth of tools available, and every coder will have their own reference and opinion as to which is best. You will only find out by trying them out for yourself.
  1. Develop your own naming conventions. If you are learning and working alone, develop variable names that make sense to you and are easy to understand later down the road. You will likely have to adopt other coder naming conventions if you are working at a company, so use your freedom now.
  1. Use positive logic whenever possible. Evaluating statements to meet a true condition will make your code easier to read because in most cases a true statement is simpler to evaluate.
  1. If you are not already, start a regimen to be healthy. The reason is that when you get into the more complex aspects of coding, you will need your health to stay in front of the computer with your brain in high gear trying to solve complex problems. Poor health will likely generate poor reults.
  1. Get organized. This may actually sum up the previous 14 tips. Coders need to be organized in their thinking, preparation, and approach to solving problems.

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