In our last post, we concluded about our biggest fear in learning the new programming language.
Of course there are number of external fears that prevent you from giving your best output – it could be one of the zillion types of workplace stresses which askamanager.org nicely advises about. But Tipsnguts is more about conquering your inner fears, and grow guts. So, we shall ponder on how to overcome the biggest of all programming fears: Fear of abandoning learning.
The strategy in a nutshell is here. It’s been tried and tested by myself. I don’t know about others, but I would be eager to know your results.
How to overcome your worst programming fears:
- Never start with a book or a course.
- Start with some code that’s working. Get it running. Nowadays, every online course has got free code samples. Use them.
- Make changes to the UI, get creative, try to imitate your favorite website or app’s layout.
- Perform some idle work. Yes, idle work is under-rated. It keeps you glued to the mission, and reinstates your lost motivation.
- If you love graphics, you can make layout changes to make it eye candy. Or include stunning images from some royalty free websites.
- If you are a wordy person, get creative in writing textual commands for users – remember to put just enough and keep it enjoyable.
- Make a bee-killing game. (it’s not a cakewalk, but hey, who wants to sell it anyway?)
- Once your interest is reinstated, start to scale. Handle more data. If you are making a website that sells toy guns, what’s stopping you from putting up soft toys, categorizing them and make the whole thing searchable? Fail, correct, iterate.
- In case of web application: Do similar thing with more than one web pages. Understand session variables. Face problems and google their answers on forums. There is real fun in getting your hands dirty. Fail, correct, iterate.
- When you are tired of the above cycles, get back to the theory. Yes, programming books and tutorials are exactly for these moments. You need them, because they enable you to think of design, solve real world problems, and more importantly correlate them to programming paradigms. But before you are there, you need hands-on.
Hands-on isn’t achieved by reading the best books, attending the best colleges or enrolling in the industry-leader’s programming courses.
Hands-on is achieved by getting your hands dirty.