Is it difficult to learn to program?
For most people starting a new development career, the most intimidating thing is learning to code. It can easily seem that learning how to write code is very difficult, and if you do not have an innate talent or at least experience in computer science, there is very little hope for success.
We want to say that this is a myth. To be clear, learning to code will take time, patience, and discipline, but there is nothing inherently difficult about learning to code. No one is born with an understanding of code, and people from all walks of life have learned to code, from young librarians to seasoned professors and middle-level professionals with no relevant experience.
3 Reasons Why Programming Isn’t Hard to Learn
If you want to learn how to code, here are three strategies you can use to make the process easier and less intimidating.
1. No need to learn everything at once
A programming language can include hundreds or thousands of commands, but chances are that you only need a few to perform basic day-to-day tasks. In other words, you don’t have to worry about learning the entire list of programming commands and features to get started on tasks and projects to build your portfolio. As you begin to specialize, you can begin to learn the specific commands needed to complete more complex tasks.
In this regard, it is worth remembering that some popular programming languages use the same language for many basic commands. For example, the IF function will work the same in many programming languages, even if the syntax is slightly different. This means that understanding the basic commands in one programming language will give you an edge when learning other languages.
2. Programming is forgiving
Programmers make mistakes every day. Even professionals sometimes make mistakes in the name of a variable or forget to add a parenthesis. The best thing about programming is that there are many ways to detect and catch bugs the moment they occur. So, instead of looking for a typo all over your code, you can focus on a specific section or even a line.
If you’re writing code in a markup language like HTML, you’ll immediately notice what text doesn’t look right and you can go back to that part of the code to fix it. If you are using a programming language such as Python, we recommend using an integrated development environment (IDE). This is because the IDE includes a syntax highlighting editor.
In other words, the IDE makes it easier to distinguish commands, variables, and text strings by highlighting these elements in your code with different colors. In addition, the IDE can usually determine where there is a syntax error – such as a missing parenthesis or an open quote – and highlight the exact line that needs to be corrected.
3. Help is just one button or click away
With so many programming languages, it’s rare for anyone to remember how to use all of the available features, syntax, and commands. Instead, people focus on the languages and features they need. However, people forget and sometimes need to learn about new language features.
This is why programming languages have tons of documentation. You can find documentation on the web, or even sometimes with a dedicated help command in the code itself.
Programming language documentation is the best way to learn about the various commands and functions – what they are for, how they work, and what their limitations are. You can even find code examples in the documentation to visualize how to use them in your own projects.
How to make learning programming easier
With all that said, there are several ways to make the learning process even easier as you get deeper into programming. Here are three ways to make learning to code as easy and stress-free as possible.
Use comments in code
All major programming languages provide the ability to add comments to the code. These are lines of arbitrary, readable text that are not executed along with the rest of the code. Comments allow you to quickly enter the purpose and suggestions of sections of your code, making it easier to code later when you need to change something.
Comments also help other people follow and review your code when you’re working on a big project. Familiarize yourself with the comment syntax of your coding language and make it a habit to leave comments. Your future will thank you.
Join the programming community
If you’re stuck on a coding problem, the good news is that there are plenty of people like you who are (or have been) going through the same thing. You can find answers to a huge number of questions on StackOverflow , Quora, Reddit and other resources and save a lot of time and frustration.
On the other hand, remember that most of these communities are open and dependent on people like you to help their comrades. So if you meet someone with a problem that you know how to solve, feel free to offer your knowledge and experience. By teaching, you will improve your own skills and do a good deed!
Take a programming course
Using online communities and forums is great when you have specific programming questions. But when it comes to learning the basics, the biggest favor you can do yourself is to take a course in programming.
A good course includes practice exercises and projects to help you master the concepts you are learning. Having tutors who are willing to answer questions if you are having difficulty with concepts is a big plus.
Programming is not hard to learn
Learning to code takes time, patience, and discipline – but it’s not difficult, and there are plenty of ways to set yourself up for success as you learn to code and advance your career as a developer.
To get started, we recommend choosing one of the popular programming languages, and then finding free lessons on the Internet and gaining basic knowledge, or if you are determined to study as a programmer, you can immediately try to enroll in a paid course.