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How To Improve Your Personal Programming Skills | Touchstone Words

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How to Improve your Personal Programming Skills

By Shane Staret on 2018-03-14

So you want to be a programmer. Whether you want to just program for fun, or if you want to make it into a career, there are certain things that you can do to improve your skills quicker than just getting a college degree. While getting a degree or certain certifications can be helpful when looking for a programming job, they can only get your foot in the door.

When it really comes down to it, you have to prove your superiors that you actually know what you’re doing and that you can contribute. On top of that, if you aren’t a good programmer, then the amount of applications/projects that you can reasonably accomplish plummet. So, you are missing out on working on some pretty cool stuff by not developing your programming skills.

So first things first: learn on your own. I would say those who program on their own and get a head start before college are already a few levels ahead. No matter what language you program in, as a programmer you have to learn a new way of thinking. Learning how to code is like learning how to speak a different language. It’s not easy, so taking the initiative and looking up YouTube tutorials, or buying Udemy courses, or talking with a more experienced friend are all steps in the right direction.

Secondly, you should practice. If you find programming to be stressful or boring at times, you are definitely not alone. However, if you don’t even feel motivated to code or create your own projects, then you might want to start looking into a different field of programming. In order to understand a language and all of its quirks, it's a necessity that you actually USE it, not just learn it. Learning how to program is like learning how to bike in many ways, once you learn how to do it and it clicks, you can never unlearn it. However, in order to keep your skills refined and to continuously learn more complex ideas, you need keep your coding skills sharp.

The third and possibly most important thing to do is to stop comparing yourself to others. It can be humbling going to codefests and seeing that 16 year old kid who can already create a working iPhone application with a full-fledged backend and frontend, along with a beautiful graphical user interface. But, if a 16 year old can do it, that means that it probably can’t take that long to learn how to. Like every other career field, the field of computer science can be very competitive which leads everyone involved to compare themselves to others. Instead of becoming down and depressed because you see others around you succeeding while you don’t, become inspired to be like them one day.

Programming is no joke and it is not for everybody. However, if you feel stuck or feel like you are no longer improving (or you are improving slowly), look into doing the suggested things above. This field can be very fun and rewarding, but without putting in the proper effort, it can be easy to fall behind and feel like you are inferior to other developers around you.


Programming Languages and Resources for Web Developers
Tthe easiest way to learn coding is via web design programming. You should lean coding languages that are in use by millions of sites. HTML, CSS (or HTML5 & CSS3) PHP, MySQL, JavaScript (or JS frameworks like jQuery, Angular, React, Node, or Express) or MongoDB, Apache, Ruby on Rails, and Linux are all related to web design coding. For beginners interested in learning more about web design and development, here are a list of step-by-step training guide articles: i- Become CMS specialist, ii- Become front-end specialist, iii- Become expert SQL developer, iv- Become expert PHP developer

Discussed coding languages are well suited for those interested in pursuing a career in web design and development; however, other options are mobile App design and development, system admin and software engineering. It is advisable to consult with an IT counselor to understand what options best fits your skills. For instance, if you want to be a software engineer, learning HTML and CSS might not fit the bill. Here is an excellent article for learning more on coding and technology career roadmap. Once you know what career path you wish to pursue, you can make a plan on what, when, and how to learn. There are lots of online resources for learning coding and technology in general. For teenagers and high school students, High School Technology Services offers variety of hands-on training. For adults and professionals, Coding Bootcamps and DC Web Makers Companies offer basic to advance project-based programming and technology classes.

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