Scott Morris is Skillcrush's staff writer and content producer. Like all the members of Skillcrush's team, he works remotely (in his case from Napa, CA). He believes that content that's worth reading (and that your audience can find!) creates brands that people follow. He's experienced writing on topics including jobs and technology, digital marketing, career pivots, gender equity, parenting, and popular culture. Before starting his career as a writer and content marketer, he spent 10 years as a full-time parent to his daughters Veronica and Athena.
You need to be patient with yourself; don’t expect to code the next Fortnite after just a few months of study or a few bootcamps. Coding an error-free wedding RSVP form on a website, or making a simple-yet-correct number prediction game, is already a significant achievement for a beginner. If you get stuck, don’t give up. You should absolutely look for help everywhere you can find it, but also know when to take a break to avoid burnout. And then try, try again.
Skillcrush’s Free Coding Camp is our totally beginner-friendly intro to tech, techies, and kick-ass careers that you can complete in less than five minutes a day. Delivered straight to your inbox, you will learn how to code in the simplest terms possible—and even get to try writing your own code!—so you can see if learning coding is the right move for you…
The less work your fingers do to press the keys the faster you will be able to move them. Most keyboards require only a light touch to register a key stroke, so there is no need to mash the keys down. You should type with the minimum force necessary. You will type faster and put less strain on your body. Typing involves muscles not only in your fingers, but in your hands, arms, back, shoulders, neck and head.
Instead, Keybr.com generates random, but readable and pronounceable words using the phonetic rules of your native language. These words look almost natural, and often they really are. Typing sensible text is much easier than repeating random letters, and it helps you to remember frequent key combinations. The latest point is very important. For example, it’s almost impossible for the letter ‘W’ to follow the ‘Z’ in English, and you will never type this combination in Keybr.com. Instead, you will type more common words, such as «the,» «that,» «with,» and so on. And soon you will learn how to type the «th» combo really fast.
As a self-taught programmer, you might also benefit from books that offer broader advice on the profession. You’ll improve your thinking and habits, traits you can apply to any language you decide to learn. Steve McConnell’s 900-page Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction (2nd Edition) is considered the definitive guide for best practices, with data-backed advice on everything from project design to debugging code.
Start small, but think big. Your project should involve skills you currently have in your toolbox, but you should also have a plan for future features and skills you’d need to turn that vision into reality. Without applying your coding skills in a few projects, you wouldn’t even be considered for professional coding gigs—so start planning and practicing. (Our advice? Use your coding chops to build an amazing setup for game night.)
Take a few minutes (or a day) to think about the reasons—the real reasons—why you want to learn a programming language. Be honest with yourself. Are you trying to learn the barest minimum to score a promotion? Are you looking to make a big career change? Do you want to create the next greatest app? Thrill your roommates by programming your various smart devices to do something awesome?