Many people who come to a tech college like NSIT want to start something new with no idea where to begin with. And just at the right moment they see some workshop about someone hacking into something and voila , the dude just hacked into the facebook account!
Thats when it strikes your mind , “Wow thats so cool and also earns me money! Why not learn that!?
And then you start your journey only to realize a few days later, “I cant do this! Its a headache! and way out of my league. I can never be as good as that hacker if I go on like this.” without realizing the fact that its not an overnight magic trick or a 1 week magic crash course that is going to give you super coding skills.
Initially everyone sucks at programming. So I decided to compile a list that identifies reasons and advice to improve your programming skills.
Is programming right for Everyone ?
Let’s get this straight. Programming is not for everyone. Programming is for those who have a passion for solving hard problems to make everyday life a lot better ( or well ,just a burning passion to solve hard problems )
So if you find yourself lacking some motivation, maybe that is why you aren’t that great. Go find it and last time I checked, money pushes so many people forward.
Programming is an art. And like any other form of art, you need to give it time and practice.
At the beginning YOU WILL GET FRUSTRATED. You will want to just smash your computer screen into bits and throw it down the peak of Everest. Many will be intimidated by the nerds, naturals, prodigy childs, or even how hard programming is. But if you stick to it, you’ll develop the skills necessary to become an excellent programmer. Everyone has to start at some point, so dont give up , you will reach there. ( You know, the place with the cool guys from the workshop?)
“My code is correct in every way! Its the compiler’s Fault!” or “Our professor just sucks at teaching thats why I suck at it too” or “Its the OS’s fault”.
With an attitude like that, you might as well just quit programming. As long as you keep complaining your programming is just going to get worse.
Planning is Important
Read a problem and just started coding as you go? NOT GOOD!
Always plan a way to tackle the problem. Devise a proper algorithm or you definitely would end up getting tangled in your own web.Once you develop an algorithm everything from coding to debugging becomes a lot simpler.
So next time, save yourself some time and jot your plan of attack on a piece of paper. Dont start programming until you know how to solve your problem.
Calm down.This is more common than you think.Every programmer has these. (Yes even those hackers in your workshop)
Most of the errors among them would be repetetive ones.
Every error is accompanied by a line Number and an error message.Just go to the line and try to find out what went wrong. At this stage algorithm helps you alot to find out where you might be going wrong.
One of the best way to get around errors or to simply fasten the debugging process is to write short code snippets and test them. Instead of writing one 10000 line program and compiling it all at once in the end.
Programming requires you to think outside the box. When you are a beginner, you’ll come across algorithms, data structures, conventions, and an entire myriad of other things that will mess with your mind.
Take it slow, and just start learning everything one step at at time. If you don’t understand Wikipedia it, Google It, or ask someone who knows . Try out examples until you fully understand it.
If you don’t understand the basics, how do you think you are going to understand the advanced topics?So make sure you complete your basics first.
Wait , we can Use GOOGLE ?
When you have trouble debugging your code or can’t figure out how to do something, Google is your best friend. I don’t encourage it for plagiarizing code, I’m encouraging it because thousands of other people have probably had your same exact question. And guess what? Others help them to figure out their problem and provide a solution.
So if you forget about to make a random number, don’t understand a bug, or simply can’t figure something out, Google it!
But the Problem is too HARD!
Almost every person I have met who started programming has said this to me. And they havnt even read the problem! While the rest are just shaken by the size of the problem statement, even if all the the program is asking for is as simple as finding whether the number is even or odd!! You might think I am just saying it, but this happens more often than you think!!!!
To tackle the problem all you need to do is Read the problem statement step by step and then jot down the following 3 points :
-What is already given?
-What it's asking in return?
-What are the constraints?
Once you have understood the problem, your next step is to find an algorithm to solve it.If you still can’t solve it, try taking a break. People usually figure out how to solve a problem when they are away from the computer. I’ve had many times where I even came up with a solution in my sleep.
Many times all a programmer needs is some fresh air or even a distraction. This will free up your mind and possibly let you see what you didn’t before.
“I’m waiting for my friend to solve this Problem”
This is probably the top reason out of all listed above why some people just plain suck at programming. If all you are doing is waiting for your buddy to help you out, then you aren’t learning anything at all. Sure, they might spend hours trying to figure it out, but in the end that experience is what counts.
So stop depending on other people and learn to become independent. If you aren’t, maybe that’s why you aren’t that great.