Image of chalkboard with counting strikes grouped by fives

Repetition Is the Key

More specifically, repetition trying things yourself. It’s easy to get caught up in doing endless tutorials if your a beginner, but I’ve found that unless you’ve put away the book or video and tried to recreate what the tutorial did without the instructors guidance, then you may not really understand the logic behind many of the things that were done. This is how many people can go through a ton of tutorials yet still feel like they can’t program anything.

It’s probably because you never faced that blank text editor and tried to build something yourself. Many people get stuck here and don’t apply to jobs because they feel like they can’t program. Well if you really don’t want to just go for it, then the only way to solve that is to apply what you’ve learned yourself and get some repetition under your belt. Do what you would do at a job, yourself. Build things. Soon enough like John Sonmez formerly of Simple Programmer said, things will start to “click”. If you keep doing it, eventually you’ll start to just “get it”.

This goes along with a concept I read in the book Mastery by Robert Greene. It’s a great book I’ll do a review on. But essentially one of the points he made in it was that our brains are very nimble. We as humans adapt, learn, and re-wire very quickly. When we try to take shortcuts this goes against our nature. Time is our friend when learning new skills. When we expose our brains repetitiously to concepts, this allows our brain to make the connections and adapt. When we try to skip the hard part of doing it, it ends up taking longer to learn because we are working against how our brains work.

In other words, do it. Yourself.

Soon creativity will start to flow and you’ll come up with your own ideas of apps to make. Then build those applications. Start with simple ones. You’ll be amazed how quickly you learn.

Love and Peace,

Danielle

DeeDee of Dexters Laboratory typing

Better Typing, Better Programming

One thing that I don’t see mentioned much if at all, is improving your typing ability to improve as a programmer. When I first started learning programming I typed while looking at the keyboard. And with others quite often I would see those who tend to be beginners to programming, staring at the keyboard, pressing one key at a time. Everyone does have to start somewhere. But this really slows things down and puts a lot of stress on your neck. I’ve learned that it really speeds things up, and it’s much healthier to learn to type without having to look.

I’ve worked on my typing accuracy and speed a little bit everyday and I wouldn’t even recognize myself typing the way I used anymore. It’s definitely been instrumental in letting creativity flow and focusing on the programming, instead of where the next key is on the keyboard. A great tool to use that’s inexpensive and simple is Type Fu. As of the time of this writing it’s 9.99 USD on the Mac App Store (OS X) and 4.99 USD on the Chrome Web Store (Windows, OS X, Linux, Chrome OS). I am not affiliated with them but it has helped me tremendously. And there are also lots of free resources online.

And if you’re struggling with some of the things I mentioned, I encourage you to spend a little time everyday on your typing. It doesn’t have to be a big thing. Just 10-15 minutes a day can be very effective. But it will make things so much easier for you.

Love & Peace,

Danielle