Pachi C. 👩‍💻

Front-End Developer
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3 Self-learner tips

2019-08-01

First, you have to know that I am not a seasoned programmer giving you advice. I started learning to code less than a year ago, and am pretty much still a newbie. But, no one better than a newbie to understand another one right? I am proud of all I have learned so far, and every day I am closer to my goal: Being a badass developer!

So here are the 3 things that have been making my journey a bit easier:

1- Having a mentor...

My older brother is a Senior Developer in Brazil and he knows his code. Once he decided to help me learn to code, he was all in. He tells me what I should be learning, gives me exercises to practice, and as a Mentor and older brother he is great at scolding me lol What while annoying is extremely helpful when I procrastinate a bit. So my first piece of advice is to find yourself a mentor. Somebody that knows the #programmerLife and is excited about sharing what they know. It may be even more helpful if this person is friendly but intimidates you a bit. My wish to make my older brother proud of me helps me a lot!

2- Find the right courses...

There are A LOT of courses out there, in every topic. I personally recommend finding a video course, but CodeAcademy and FreeCodeCamp are also awesome resources and can be used WITH the video courses. Now, when choosing your courses, don't go and buy something just because of the reviews or recommendations. See if you can watch some material by that professor before. I mentioned in my last post that my first JavaScript course was terrible for me. While the content was great The teacher's methodology just didn't reach my brain and I almost gave up on learning JS! But after that I found another one, for free, on Youtube, that had me falling in love with JavaScript and programming. It makes me actually excited to watch the classes and I look forward to the exercises.

3- Take the time to learn, but don't burn yourself out...

Once I started learning, my brother would actually tell me to not study more than one hour a day, which was very difficult for my curious self, but most of the days I did that. Nowadays I study 1 or 2 h\ours a day, some days a little more than work permits, but I always take a break when my brain gets foggy. On the other side, I have my study time consistent. I work better in the morning, so I wake up at 6 am, go for a little walk, get ready for the day and then I code and study until it is time to leave for work. Almost every day for the last 10 months I have been doing this. I probably could know more if I did more time, but that is what works for me at the moment. Find what works for you, but start slow, respect your time.

Starting to code can be intimidating, crazy but also fun! Creating something from zero with only clear code is one of the best feelings, especially in the very beginning. If you choose the self-learning route I high five you! You can do it, friend! We totally can :)

first posted on Dev.to