I have researched online, and also asked this question to many of my friends: What are your worst fears in learning a programming language? Answers are interesting.
Worst Fears in learning a Programming language:
- The program won’t compile
- It will crash at Line 1
- It will crash at the line I didn’t even write!
- Your hardware isn’t compatible with this software
But the most striking and insightful answer I get is this:
- I will put this off after my first hour / first day / first week
Fear of being unable to accomplish something is the biggest fear programming community at large is facing. This is not only true for complete newbies but also with people who have mastered one or two languages already.
And this fear is even more true with explosive growth of code, open source libraries, packages not only in web, mobile & desktop computing but also in new age technologies such as AI, Data Science and Blockchain.
So how to drive off fears in learning a Programming language?
Being Persistent. That is the answer most motivation-speak advisors will give you – be it in blogs, podcasts or mentorship programs.
And it’s true up to some extent. While learning a new language, you have to sail your boat against storms unforeseen. There are days lost in troubleshooting needle in the haystack.
- Crashed stacks
- Dangling variables
- Screwed up environment variables
- Outdated Hardware
- Outdated dependencies / IDEs / OS
But even after surpassing these most fearful moments, if you don’t see light at the end of the tunnel, you tend to give up.
In my early programming days, I read 600 page programming books from start to finish, and ended up nowhere. I was unable to type very simple API statement. Without the IDE autocomplete, I was completely unable to proceed.
That’s when I changed my strategy of learning a programming language.
Persistence pays, but it does not automatically take you to the next step. Resources do. Initiatives do.
The important thing is not to persist in your current book / tutorial / online course / youtube video. The important thing is to persist in your goal.
Fight your biggest fear. Stop something that steers you way from your motivation.
Read the next post on how to strategize and eliminate the fear of abandoning.