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How Not To Learn Programming - Programming - Nairaland

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How Not To Learn Programming by larisoft: 7:59pm On Apr 10, 2016
Am just a guy who feels really lucky to be in this amazing industry and am still learning like most of us. But having passed the fledgling stages where some of our upcoming badoos currently are, I thought it wise to share common pitfalls they will …or are already facing which can stop them from learning to become programmers.


1. Wait till you find the perfect language
: if I was given a dollar for every time I heard someone say, larisoft, I want to learn programming, which language should I start with? I’d never have to work again. The problem is; the language you start with really doesn’t matter most of the time. Every language you start with has something essential to teach you. While starting with a generally difficult language like C++ can be daunting and protracted for most people, it makes up for the delay by teaching you programming principles you will learn ‘years to come’ if you start with a higher-level language. On the other hand, starting higher up with a language like PHP hurries you to those ‘years to come’.
Pick a language…any language and start! There is no way you wont learn something that will guide you for the rest of your journey. If I may recommend I’d say, choose any amongst PHP, python, or javascript. But end that language search right now!!!

2. Start Coding without a project in mind: Programming is not like academics where you are handed down theory and expected to regurgitate months later. It’s a practical field. You need to have something towards which you are coding. It could be a simple personal website, or an organizer, or a calculator, or an idea of an app you have which you’d be proud to share with friends.
Till date, I don’t know any badoo who learnt to code only by reading tutorials and repeating the examples in them. Maybe I will after this article. Roll up your sleeves and build something! I’d be happy to review any any app you share with me anyday.

3. Don’t ever try to solve a problem yourself:
this is one of the reasons why there are so very few female programmers. There are usually so many guys flocking around…trying to help!
Programming is not just about writing code that works. Its also about writing code that doesn’t work, understanding why it doesn’t work, and making it work. If you spend 4 hours figuring out why a script doesn’t work…yeah! That’s the spirit.
If even after staring at code for a long time, you don’t understand it; use google first before contacting someone you know. Not only will internet resources show you the ‘standard’ and ‘non standard’ way of doing things, they will also subconsciously teach you how to learn programming (i.e. how to follow tutorials)…and boy! Is there a lot of learning to do?

4. Start Making huge sums of money as soon as you can:
This is where a lot of people get it wrong. Mark Zuckerberg is a billionaire today, but before he became that; he coded for at least 7 years. (Built stuff for his dentist father at age 14). Bill Gates had being coding for a long time before he started Microsoft. Without a donkey-years experienced programmer like Wozniac, apple would have kicked its pants no matter how much of a sales Genius Steve Jobs was.
If your major aim in learning to code is to make money FAST, consider saving yourself the trouble by getting a friend that will do the coding while you do the business. Better still, you could spend your time acquiring bogus certificates. Serious tech firms will reject you, but a lot of prejudiced firms will welcome you and pay you well. If however, you insist on making money from programming, you should know that nothing in programming happens FAST.

Let your efforts for the first 2 years be focused on gathering as much knowledge as you can. Am not saying you shouldn’t make money every now and then, but put your learning first and where both conflict, choose learning over money.

It is worthy of note to mention that about 4 years ago, you could come into the Nigerian tech landscape and become really super rich from building wordpress sites and crappy unscalable applications. Very few people knew tech then. Today, things are fast changing. Wordpress sites are getting done for 15k and Nigerians expect your app to be fast, bug-free and elegant, just like all the international apps they are used to. The best gift you can give yourself right now is proficiency-not money. Money will come in tons later if you know your stuff.

5. Do not allocate too much time to coding everyday: You should have a life-code balance.: [/b]the truth is, once you start learning to code, your life should experience a paradigm shift. You should begin to have fewer friends…begin to appear in public less frequently. If you are doing it right, you should be spending so much time with your computer that sometimes, you realize the day has come and gone without you stepping out of your house. If you eventually drop out from school, or do something really socially awkward BECAUSE YOU JUST CANT STOP CODING …Halleleluyahh…the spirit is firmly planted in you and its only a matter of time.
If you are just starting to code and you are not spending up to 3hours a day coding…I am not an authority; but I have my doubts ooo.


[b]
6. Once you have accumulated a couple of projects and are now accepted as a programmer in many circles; relax: you have arrived:

It’s unfortunate that many many coders in Nigeria never go beyond the stage of writing crappy software, collecting money and leaving clients’ business to flounder in a matter of months. Programming is not easy. If you think it is; it’s a sure fire sign you have no idea what it is yet.

At the stage where you can now make usable software, you should immediately identify programmers that are better than you and understand why they are better than you. Engage in competitions at sites like codeforce, codechef, topcoder, coderbytes e.t.c. Always have a new technology/language you are learning. I would add and “Be humble”, but there is no way you would be doing this and not feel very humble knowing how much you still have to learn.

There it is! I would really appreciate it if senior developers in the house can chip in their own advice for future badoos on Nairaland.

7 Likes 3 Shares

Re: How Not To Learn Programming by Nobody: 8:16pm On Apr 10, 2016
NICE WRITE DOWN. REALY EDUCATIVE. TNX
Re: How Not To Learn Programming by larisoft: 8:46pm On Apr 10, 2016
crotonite:
NICE WRITE DOWN. REALY EDUCATIVE. TNX

thanks for reading, bro.

1 Like

Re: How Not To Learn Programming by seunny4lif(m): 9:51pm On Apr 10, 2016
Wow smiley
I just a beginner and I find Java cool but the language no be here
I try spending at least 3 hours everyday
Re: How Not To Learn Programming by Craigston: 9:56pm On Apr 10, 2016
I have read thy words, your codeness, and they are true! wink
May I add this for those of us in our undergraduate years now. I contributed this, a few minutes ago, to stream of advice to someone finding
his way into the programming world and it can be helpful here.

Good advice has been given and I've taken them for myself too.
You should take care to not get distracted by 'just becoming a good programmer'. Many of my course mates have that mindset and I can see the danger in it already. I've not seen a good number of them who are interested in other disciplines like Physics, Mathematics, Statistics, Psychology, Arts (any form of art can add value to you), Geography (at least the basics), Philosophy and others. All of those are not too necessary or even compulsory but you get more value anyway.
Most innovations come about through the interaction of necessities in various fields. Technology alone is useless if it doesn't solve problems and having a wider breadth of knowledge opens you to many problems you can solve in many ways.
If you don't get good at your theories, your Math and other related disciplines, it may become a speed breaker to your progress. When you get higher, you'll have to take courses that require you to know more than programming in any particular language.
Also care about your social skills, build healthy relationships with peers and with your teachers; you'll find their recommendation useful sometime later, if not soon.
Happy learning.




When you're about going low-level in development, take some time to learn about using virtual environments and containers. It can save you much pain when a bug would have messed up your system. With Virtual Environments, you can take screen shots of your system state and ease backup processes. And you can easily recover from disasters.
Re: How Not To Learn Programming by Nobody: 11:07pm On Apr 10, 2016
Nice one Larry. I have a question. How does one get ideas on what to code daily? I mean I have 2 apps ive been working on since learning C#. Sometimes, I abandon working on them with the hope I that I will one day read somewhere how to solve the deadlock and continue with the app.
Re: How Not To Learn Programming by larisoft: 2:28am On Apr 11, 2016
mbatuku2:
Nice one Larry. I have a question. How does one get ideas on what to code daily? I mean I have 2 apps ive been working on since learning C#. Sometimes, I abandon working on them with the hope I that I will one day read somewhere how to solve the deadlock and continue with the app.

For me, its always been; what software do I need that I dont have cause its not available? If you are not the type of guy who reasons that way, you can pick up a project that's already done and make your own version of it. I know a girl that made a personalized version of windows calendar and her version accepts diaries and a lot of cool stuff the original one doesn't offer.

Keep coding.

2 Likes

Re: How Not To Learn Programming by larisoft: 2:33am On Apr 11, 2016
Craigston:
I have read thy words, your codeness, and they are true! wink
May I add this for those of us in our undergraduate years now. I contributed this, a few minutes ago, to stream of advice to someone finding
his way into the programming world and it can be helpful here.

Thanks, Craig.
Re: How Not To Learn Programming by Nobody: 10:03am On Apr 11, 2016
Nice write up larisoft , it help will beginner/newbie developers like us .
Re: How Not To Learn Programming by ANTONINEUTRON(m): 10:28am On Apr 11, 2016
so u mean dat u can't create a project by urself without external help!!
Re: How Not To Learn Programming by eNelo(f): 11:07am On Apr 11, 2016
Great post @ OP. Three additional unsolicited pieces of advice:
Do not be afraid of bugs
I personally fell for this big time for a while before calming down. I now see bugs as a step forward, because every bug I meet and conquer is one more lesson learned, one more subconscious way of realising how the underlying system works, etc.

Try to crack your bugs for a while before asking for help
I have been a firm believer in this from day one. Theres nothing quite like the journey towards cracking a logical bug. I believe that if you do not enjoy this or at least stick to trying as hard as you can and researching the net and books and thoroughly debugging your code before asking for help, then maybe programming is not for you.

Be ready to pay your dues
One, two or even ten projects does not a great programmer make. If you ever want to surpass mediocrity as a coder,you must be in for the long run; ready to stay up late, read like a maniac, code even more and have the computer tell you over and over again, just how limited your capacity as a human is.
Re: How Not To Learn Programming by larisoft: 11:14am On Apr 11, 2016
eNelo:
Great post @ OP. Three additional unsolicited pieces of advice:
Do not be afraid of bugs
I personally fell for this big time for a while before calming down. I now see bugs as a step forward, because every bug I meet and conquer is one more lesson learned, one more subconscious way of realising how the underlying system works, etc.

Try to crack your bugs for a while before asking for help
I have been a firm believer in this from day one. Theres nothing quite like the journey towards cracking a logical bug. I believe that if you do not enjoy this or at least stick to trying as hard as you can and researching the net and books and thoroughly debugging your code before asking for help, then maybe programming is not for you.

Be ready to pay your dues
One, two or even ten projects does not a great programmer make. If you ever want to surpass mediocrity as a coder,you must be in for the long run; ready to stay up late, read like a maniac, code even more and have the computer tell you over and over again, just how limited your capacity as a human is.

mmm... am always happy to criss-cross productive opinions like we are doing now.
Re: How Not To Learn Programming by liliian(f): 11:54am On Apr 11, 2016
larisoft:


mmm... am always happy to criss-cross productive opinions like we are doing now.

Please can you help with this?

https://www.nairaland.com/3041813/needed-java
Re: How Not To Learn Programming by ALLU: 4:40pm On Apr 12, 2016
hehe ..... for me, most important rule is: keep coding. dont matter what it is, just dole out project after project. nice post men.
Re: How Not To Learn Programming by Ayat1209(m): 5:17pm On Jan 19, 2018
Please, I wish to learn... Can I learn on my own? I I sent you a pm.
larisoft:
Am just a guy who feels really lucky to be in this amazing industry and am still learning like most of us. But having passed the fledgling stages where some of our upcoming badoos currently are, I thought it wise to share common pitfalls they will …or are already facing which can stop them from learning to become programmers.


1. Wait till you find the perfect language
: if I was given a dollar for every time I heard someone say, larisoft, I want to learn programming, which language should I start with? I’d never have to work again. The problem is; the language you start with really doesn’t matter most of the time. Every language you start with has something essential to teach you. While starting with a generally difficult language like C++ can be daunting and protracted for most people, it makes up for the delay by teaching you programming principles you will learn ‘years to come’ if you start with a higher-level language. On the other hand, starting higher up with a language like PHP hurries you to those ‘years to come’.
Pick a language…any language and start! There is no way you wont learn something that will guide you for the rest of your journey. If I may recommend I’d say, choose any amongst PHP, python, or javascript. But end that language search right now!!!

2. Start Coding without a project in mind: Programming is not like academics where you are handed down theory and expected to regurgitate months later. It’s a practical field. You need to have something towards which you are coding. It could be a simple personal website, or an organizer, or a calculator, or an idea of an app you have which you’d be proud to share with friends.
Till date, I don’t know any badoo who learnt to code only by reading tutorials and repeating the examples in them. Maybe I will after this article. Roll up your sleeves and build something! I’d be happy to review any any app you share with me anyday.

3. Don’t ever try to solve a problem yourself:
this is one of the reasons why there are so very few female programmers. There are usually so many guys flocking around…trying to help!
Programming is not just about writing code that works. Its also about writing code that doesn’t work, understanding why it doesn’t work, and making it work. If you spend 4 hours figuring out why a script doesn’t work…yeah! That’s the spirit.
If even after staring at code for a long time, you don’t understand it; use google first before contacting someone you know. Not only will internet resources show you the ‘standard’ and ‘non standard’ way of doing things, they will also subconsciously teach you how to learn programming (i.e. how to follow tutorials)…and boy! Is there a lot of learning to do?

4. Start Making huge sums of money as soon as you can:
This is where a lot of people get it wrong. Mark Zuckerberg is a billionaire today, but before he became that; he coded for at least 7 years. (Built stuff for his dentist father at age 14). Bill Gates had being coding for a long time before he started Microsoft. Without a donkey-years experienced programmer like Wozniac, apple would have kicked its pants no matter how much of a sales Genius Steve Jobs was.
If your major aim in learning to code is to make money FAST, consider saving yourself the trouble by getting a friend that will do the coding while you do the business. Better still, you could spend your time acquiring bogus certificates. Serious tech firms will reject you, but a lot of prejudiced firms will welcome you and pay you well. If however, you insist on making money from programming, you should know that nothing in programming happens FAST.

Let your efforts for the first 2 years be focused on gathering as much knowledge as you can. Am not saying you shouldn’t make money every now and then, but put your learning first and where both conflict, choose learning over money.

It is worthy of note to mention that about 4 years ago, you could come into the Nigerian tech landscape and become really super rich from building wordpress sites and crappy unscalable applications. Very few people knew tech then. Today, things are fast changing. Wordpress sites are getting done for 15k and Nigerians expect your app to be fast, bug-free and elegant, just like all the international apps they are used to. The best gift you can give yourself right now is proficiency-not money. Money will come in tons later if you know your stuff.

5. Do not allocate too much time to coding everyday: You should have a life-code balance.: [/b]the truth is, once you start learning to code, your life should experience a paradigm shift. You should begin to have fewer friends…begin to appear in public less frequently. If you are doing it right, you should be spending so much time with your computer that sometimes, you realize the day has come and gone without you stepping out of your house. If you eventually drop out from school, or do something really socially awkward BECAUSE YOU JUST CANT STOP CODING …Halleleluyahh…the spirit is firmly planted in you and its only a matter of time.
If you are just starting to code and you are not spending up to 3hours a day coding…I am not an authority; but I have my doubts ooo.


[b]
6. Once you have accumulated a couple of projects and are now accepted as a programmer in many circles; relax: you have arrived:

It’s unfortunate that many many coders in Nigeria never go beyond the stage of writing crappy software, collecting money and leaving clients’ business to flounder in a matter of months. Programming is not easy. If you think it is; it’s a sure fire sign you have no idea what it is yet.

At the stage where you can now make usable software, you should immediately identify programmers that are better than you and understand why they are better than you. Engage in competitions at sites like codeforce, codechef, topcoder, coderbytes e.t.c. Always have a new technology/language you are learning. I would add and “Be humble”, but there is no way you would be doing this and not feel very humble knowing how much you still have to learn.

There it is! I would really appreciate it if senior developers in the house can chip in their own advice for future badoos on Nairaland.

1 Like

Re: How Not To Learn Programming by bet9ja(m): 6:14pm On Jan 20, 2018
larisoft:
Am just a guy who feels really lucky to be in this amazing industry and am still learning like most of us. But having passed the fledgling stages where some of our upcoming badoos currently are, I thought it wise to share common pitfalls they will …or are already facing which can stop them from learning to become programmers.


1. Wait till you find the perfect language
: if I was given a dollar for every time I heard someone say, larisoft, I want to learn programming, which language should I start with? I’d never have to work again. The problem is; the language you start with really doesn’t matter most of the time. Every language you start with has something essential to teach you. While starting with a generally difficult language like C++ can be daunting and protracted for most people, it makes up for the delay by teaching you programming principles you will learn ‘years to come’ if you start with a higher-level language. On the other hand, starting higher up with a language like PHP hurries you to those ‘years to come’.
Pick a language…any language and start! There is no way you wont learn something that will guide you for the rest of your journey. If I may recommend I’d say, choose any amongst PHP, python, or javascript. But end that language search right now!!!

2. Start Coding without a project in mind: Programming is not like academics where you are handed down theory and expected to regurgitate months later. It’s a practical field. You need to have something towards which you are coding. It could be a simple personal website, or an organizer, or a calculator, or an idea of an app you have which you’d be proud to share with friends.
Till date, I don’t know any badoo who learnt to code only by reading tutorials and repeating the examples in them. Maybe I will after this article. Roll up your sleeves and build something! I’d be happy to review any any app you share with me anyday.

3. Don’t ever try to solve a problem yourself:
this is one of the reasons why there are so very few female programmers. There are usually so many guys flocking around…trying to help!
Programming is not just about writing code that works. Its also about writing code that doesn’t work, understanding why it doesn’t work, and making it work. If you spend 4 hours figuring out why a script doesn’t work…yeah! That’s the spirit.
If even after staring at code for a long time, you don’t understand it; use google first before contacting someone you know. Not only will internet resources show you the ‘standard’ and ‘non standard’ way of doing things, they will also subconsciously teach you how to learn programming (i.e. how to follow tutorials)…and boy! Is there a lot of learning to do?

4. Start Making huge sums of money as soon as you can:
This is where a lot of people get it wrong. Mark Zuckerberg is a billionaire today, but before he became that; he coded for at least 7 years. (Built stuff for his dentist father at age 14). Bill Gates had being coding for a long time before he started Microsoft. Without a donkey-years experienced programmer like Wozniac, apple would have kicked its pants no matter how much of a sales Genius Steve Jobs was.
If your major aim in learning to code is to make money FAST, consider saving yourself the trouble by getting a friend that will do the coding while you do the business. Better still, you could spend your time acquiring bogus certificates. Serious tech firms will reject you, but a lot of prejudiced firms will welcome you and pay you well. If however, you insist on making money from programming, you should know that nothing in programming happens FAST.

Let your efforts for the first 2 years be focused on gathering as much knowledge as you can. Am not saying you shouldn’t make money every now and then, but put your learning first and where both conflict, choose learning over money.

It is worthy of note to mention that about 4 years ago, you could come into the Nigerian tech landscape and become really super rich from building wordpress sites and crappy unscalable applications. Very few people knew tech then. Today, things are fast changing. Wordpress sites are getting done for 15k and Nigerians expect your app to be fast, bug-free and elegant, just like all the international apps they are used to. The best gift you can give yourself right now is proficiency-not money. Money will come in tons later if you know your stuff.

5. Do not allocate too much time to coding everyday: You should have a life-code balance.: [/b]the truth is, once you start learning to code, your life should experience a paradigm shift. You should begin to have fewer friends…begin to appear in public less frequently. If you are doing it right, you should be spending so much time with your computer that sometimes, you realize the day has come and gone without you stepping out of your house. If you eventually drop out from school, or do something really socially awkward BECAUSE YOU JUST CANT STOP CODING …Halleleluyahh…the spirit is firmly planted in you and its only a matter of time.
If you are just starting to code and you are not spending up to 3hours a day coding…I am not an authority; but I have my doubts ooo.


[b]
6. Once you have accumulated a couple of projects and are now accepted as a programmer in many circles; relax: you have arrived:

It’s unfortunate that many many coders in Nigeria never go beyond the stage of writing crappy software, collecting money and leaving clients’ business to flounder in a matter of months. Programming is not easy. If you think it is; it’s a sure fire sign you have no idea what it is yet.

At the stage where you can now make usable software, you should immediately identify programmers that are better than you and understand why they are better than you. Engage in competitions at sites like codeforce, codechef, topcoder, coderbytes e.t.c. Always have a new technology/language you are learning. I would add and “Be humble”, but there is no way you would be doing this and not feel very humble knowing how much you still have to learn.

There it is! I would really appreciate it if senior developers in the house can chip in their own advice for future badoos on Nairaland.


Educative and informative post.

2 Likes 1 Share

Re: How Not To Learn Programming by Chydobe: 9:47am On Jul 10
As a beginner, it isn’t advisable to learn how to code by paying exorbitant fees learning how to code. There are lots of free online coding websites, materials and books. Obviously, scouting for these free online coding website and books could really be tasking. NOT TO WORRY. WE’VE GOT YOU COVERED.

In this article, (as a beginner) we will show you where to learn how to code (basics of coding), and where to get free online coding materials, coding for beginners’ book and free coding guides for free. Click on link below

https://www.techlearnhow.com/2019/07/10/learn-how-to-code-for-beginners-10-free-coding-websites-for-beginners/
Re: How Not To Learn Programming by stephenmorris(m): 11:28am On Jul 10
Seun, lalasticlala Biko push this to fp

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