Are you struggling learning how to program? Maybe finding things are too hard.
Perhaps you started with one of my courses, or another course or ebook on programming and everything started great but then you hit a brick wall.
Or you find yourself typing in code shown in the course/ebook but not understanding it at all.
Maybe you are feel overwhelmed and are thinking programming is just too hard and not for you?
Or perhaps you can type in the code and understand it mostly, but writing your own programs seems miles away.
If any/all of the above is you, then I am here to say don’t panic… Yet!
Firstly, while it is possible the training you have been following sucks, its most likely not going to be that (of course it is possible).
Make sure you look around at what is popular, check reviews from other purchases of the ebook / students in the course you are interested in, just to eliminate the possibility the training is bad.
If the book/video course has a good number of great reviews then you can assume the material is not at fault.
So whats next? Are you doomed to never understanding programming or feeling like a newbie for the rest of your days.
Firstly, stop being so hard on yourself. Be kind to yourself, for starters. If you are like a good portion of the tens of thousands of student programmers I have met/worked with over the years then your self-talk is terrible.
You would never talk to a friend the way you talk to yourself.
“I am hopeless”, “I will never figure this out”, “I am too dumb to be a programmer”, “I suck at math”, “My logic skills are non-existent”, etc.
Step 1. Be kind to yourself!
None of the above is probably true anyway.
Lets get real: Programming is a skill, it can be learned. No one is born with programming skills. They learn them. Its that simple!
Does that mean everyone learns at the same speed? No. Some pick will pick up concepts faster than others, but almost anyone can learn programming if they are prepared to stick to it.
Step 2. Make a commitment to become a programmer.
Its time to decide. Do you want to become a programmer? If the answer is yes, then its time to commit to doing it. Something along the lines of “I am going to become a programmer, no matter what”.
Its amazing how once you really decide to do this, that things slowly start falling into place. Your subconscious mind is ready to take up any challenge and succeed – Start telling it what you really want!
I am not going to start talking about the law to attraction and all that stuff (I will leave that to the experts). But what I will say is making a commitment to what you do want, and focusing on that, and reminding yourself of what you want goes a long way in itself to helping you succeed.
Because you tend to start doing the things you need to do to achieve those goals.
Step 3 – Push on when adversity strikes.
I can pretty much guarantee you that you will hit a wall a number of times. You will get to the point where you think this is all too hard, and you will really want to quit.
Maybe it be a particular program bug you cannot figure out. Or a particular piece of code you are trying to figure out just does not make sense. Or maybe things are just not falling into place as quickly as you like.
This is the time when a lot of people quit. They decide they are not going to achieve their goals and give up.
This is the WORST time to quit. I am practically guarantee you that if you continue instead of quitting, that things will get better.
Learning anything takes time. Its like learning a new spoken language like French, or German.
What happens? You start of with a vocabulary of zero words (other than words you might have picked up in movies, etc). Guess what? Everyone learning that language starts in the same place.
Then you get introduced to a few words, and you can say them and maybe understand a few words, but most of what you hear is gibberish and makes no sense. You struggle to string together a few words, but everything takes so long to say out loud, and you have to overthink the pronunciation of every word.
You feel out of your depth, but you keep at it, and learn some more and now you can put simple phrases together. But a lot of words still make no sense to you.
And on you go. It takes time to eventually become fluent enough to hold real conversations.
Well guess what? This analogy applies to learning a programming language. Some people expect to be a fluent programmer after watching a few videos or going through an ebook.
In other words they are the programmer equivalent of the person who is learning a new spoken language and has learned a few words, and expects to be able to speak the language fluently. Its not going to happen at that point, is it?
Same for programming. It will take time to master, its a real skill.
So you are not going to be able to understand all the program code for apps you are learning to create in that video course or ebook. Maybe a lot of it goes over your head.
Does that mean you will never learn it? No. It means right now you are learning, and its completely normal to not understand it all.
Don’t quit at this point!! Keep going, keep learning.
Focus on what you did learn in that lecture, or chapter of the ebook. At first glance you might think everything was over the top of your head, and none of it made sense.
But is that really true? Are there some parts of the video/ebook you do understand? If you start focusing on this, you will most likely realise. “oh yeah, I understand that part, but this part I don’t get”.
And thats normal. Now you can pay special attention to that part you dont understand. Go watch that video again, go re-do that challenge code, go re-read that ebook chapter.
And maybe a third time, or a fourth time. Keep at it.
Step 4 – Repetition helps a lot.
The act of re-doing videos / re-reading chapters of an ebook will help you out!
Its a fact if you go through a video / book more than once, you pick up things you missed the first time around! Yes, thats right you can improve your understanding just be re-watching a video / re-reading that chapter.
Don’t believe me? Try it out for yourself. You will be amazed if you really focus on the video / ebook, that the 2nd and subsequent times you go through it, how concepts become clearer.
Some of us need to go through material a number of times before it makes sense.
Step 5 – Determination.
Just deciding you are going to see this journey though to become a programmer can greatly increase your chances of success! Keep at it.
What I can say from experience is with almost any skill, is that you start out knowing next to nothing, but gradually you get better and better, and one day you are applying that skill, and realise its actually easy!
Just think back to your first day at your first job (if you have been employed before). You probably came in as a newbie thinking you knew everything and it would be a breeze.
But soon your boss tells you all this stuff and your mind is blown and you think how will I ever understand all this.
But slowly and in some ways almost invisibly you get better at what you are doing, and one day you realise you are now skilled and the job is easy.
You gradually learned the ropes and went from newbie and being stressed out to a job that was easy.
Its the same with programming. Each time you learn something new you are going to be hit with that learning curve. So dont expect to be an expert with the material instantly.
Rather, trust that the knowledge will come as it has come before and continue on with the confidence.
Keep on immersing yourself in the material and re-watch videos, re-type in the apps again, look for other material if you need.
For most people, programming takes time to learn. You are going to feel overwhelmed, things are going to appear to be too hard, you will want to quit, you will get frustrated.
But keep going! Things will get easier if you are prepared to stick to it.