To become a coder, learning the language is step one. But, learning to think like a coder is equally as important.
Don’t worry though, we’ve put together the following 5-step guide to get you started:
1. Break down the problem into several smaller problems
Don’t get bogged down with the scale of a project, it can be daunting and put you off. Instead, deconstruct the project into smaller manageable tasks. Solve the small ones first, then move on to the bigger ones and before you know it you’ll have completed the project.
2. Focus on why, not how
Focusing on the small details is important. But if you get stuck, think about why you are doing something, not how. The trick comes when you creatively think about how to use the toolkit your coding language provides – and find a way to utilise its capabilities to create the desired effect. Often, remembering why you are coding can help you figure out a problem, instead of focusing too much on how.
3. Patience is a virtue
Coding is an exercise in patience. Sometimes it will be one missing semicolon that breaks the whole thing, which can be infuriating – but you’ll just have to keep going until it works again.
4. Double-check everything
Double-checking your work – or in programming terms, debugging – is probably one of the most important skills to have as a programmer. Instead of waiting until the end of your project to debug, you’ve got to debug as you go along. It’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack – the smaller the haystack, the better your chances.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Help doesn’t have to come from the people around you, remember Google is your friend. Plus, depending on the language, there are many online communities for programmers to seek help from their peers. If you get stuck, then ask around, chances are someone will have had the same problem and will have a solution for you!