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Issa Jean Marie

@issadevs founder

16th April, 2023

How to teach yourself how to code or anything?

How to teach yourself how to code or anything?

Some people put learning and their intellect above even money, while others hate it may be because of the method they used or other factors. I hate to study, but not to learn. I know, poteto potato. But to me, studying sounds much more like going to school, having a day to day teachers, etc. But learning, to me, resembles eternal growth, the way to understand reality much better and be able to see things more clearly.

There is no such thing as a self-taught, technically. You learned it from a YouTuber, a blogger, or an author. But the methodology of learning things without needing live assistance is known as being self-taught.

I have seen many people who prefer teaching themselves to having a daily instructor who tells them what to do. I am one of them too, I taught myself how to code, (I had a little prior experience with computers), and it opened my senses. I now enjoy learning things when I have to go through a couple of videos, chapters, and articles to find them.

What is it like to teach yourself something?

Self-learning can be both rewarding and challenging. On one hand, it offers the freedom to choose what and when to learn, the opportunity to develop one’s discipline and the breakthrough in knowing how to connect the dots all by yourself.

However, it can be a hustle, and it can test your patience, many people don’t know that, and I believe that’s why they fail to persist. They think it’s all about being free and when the reality hits them, it hits them hard.

Especially when you are teaching yourself how to code, there will be moments when you will think about quitting every single time you press that keyboard button.

The complexity, logic required, time span, and execution failure of your first program may all make you think that you are not strong enough to do it yourself. Many quit because of this, I have evidence.

But there are things that can help you stabilize your perseverance and make you stronger enough to teach yourself anything:

  • Set a goal

    If you truly want to teach yourself something, it’s better to know what your goal is. Understand why you want to learn something and make the benefits much more clear. It’s better to set the timeline, but sometimes we have to let things flow naturally.

  • Think about the resources you have

    When considering self-learning, it's important to assess the resources you have available to you. While some individuals may choose self-learning simply because they enjoy it, others may do so because they lack access to traditional educational resources such as colleges or boot camps. If you're unsure whether self-learning is the right choice for you, weighing the pros and cons of teaching yourself versus working with a mentor (if you can afford one) can be helpful.

    However, if you are someone who is driven to self-learn, it's important to consider what resources you have at your disposal. For example, if you want to teach yourself robotics, it may be challenging to access the physical materials needed for experimentation. In such cases, it may be worth considering joining a boot camp that provides access to these materials. It's important to remain open-minded and flexible in your approach, and not be too attached to any one particular method or belief.

  • Your stamina

    Just the same way we have different perspectives because of our history, the environment we grew up in, or our genetic inheritance, it also applies to other areas of our life. Some are self-disciplined others do things only when they are addressed and specifically assigned to them, I can’t judge either, we are different.

    It’s better to always know what your strengths and weaknesses are. Before you jump onto this journey of teaching yourself, evaluate your capabilities to achieve this beforehand. If you see your strengths weighing down the challenges, go ahead and give it your best shot.

Let’s get to our point, how to teach yourself how to code?

One thing to know is that there is no one way for everyone. One approach may work for many people and definitely not for you, it’s better to keep looking for what works the most for you. For instance, before I could watch 7 hrs tutorial and still be fuzzy on the same topic.

But when I figured out that I learn quickly when I am working on projects, it changed my learning pace dramatically. Probably 85% of the skills I use at work, I learned from there by building the projects.

Although some people need personalized methods, there are always things that work for most people, and that’s what I am sharing here.

These are the tips to help you teach yourself how to code:

  • Know thy why

    ”Begin with the end in mind” - Stephen Covy in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The goal is what drives you. It’s easy to fall into a procrastination trap when you don’t have a goal. But knowing exactly what you want to achieve pushes you forward and takes mental fatigue away.

    Always make it clear to yourself what it is that you want to achieve with your programming skills. This will both guide you in choosing the sector to specialize in and help you focus on what’s more important.

  • Research the market

    Now the market is open, you can definitely expect a remote job. But sometimes we find ourselves centering DIVs (technical joke) in our villages. It’s better to keep in mind that the first opportunity might be from your country, be it a job or an internship. So, research your market, know what programming languages are being used the most, and try to understand the salary similarities if you can.

    If the most popular language in your country is PHP, go with it, if it’s C++, why not? Just know what the market needs and tackle that first.

  • Correct resources

    We usually push ourselves to do things and this pressure we put on our brain makes it easy for it to give up any time it finds a distraction. You pushed yourself to work on your journaling habit, and if you can’t find a pen near you, you will likely slip into something else like checking your social media or checking Netflix.

    To minimize distraction on your journey of teaching yourself how to code, try to correct all possible resources. If it’s a course that you will need, pay for it in advance, if it’s a YouTuber that you will watch daily, subscribe to them to minimize the effort you will spend searching for them. It sounds small but can save you from procrastinating.

  • Dedicate yourself

    You can use motivational speakers’ approaches like looking yourself in the mirror and telling yourself that you can. Whatever you do, just make sure that you are dedicated to acquiring the skill that you are looking for.

    I know this is the hardest part, to commit yourself, but try to understand you are doing this and the benefits you will get after. Keep pushing and forgive yourself when you can’t do what you assigned yourself. Take baby steps and appreciate the process but don’t stop.

  • Learn daily

    We don’t grow overnight, it takes years. Try to understand that discipline is much more important than motivation when it comes to consistency. You can be motivated today and try to learn everything, but if you are not motivated tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, what’s gonna happen? Discipline is the key here, you can set a goal of what to learn daily, and make it small, and realistic. Make it something that you can do without feeling the pressure, do it small but do it daily.

  • Build projects

    You won’t know what you don’t know until you are tested. Test yourself through the projects. Building projects will help you connect the skills you’ve been learning for a while, it will help you to discover where your gaps are and teach you real-life experience that you couldn’t get by listening to the online instructor. So, pick a project and get your hands dirty.

  • Join communities

    Discord, Slack channels, Facebook groups (there were my favorites)…. There are so many opportunities nowadays, it doesn’t matter if you are an introvert or extrovert, you can join people without having to make yourself uncomfortable.

    But why communities? When you are getting started, you feel like you are dumb, things don’t seem to work out the way they were expected to, and you start to blame yourself and feel worthless. But if you join communities full of beginners just like you, you will see that there are even people you are smarter than, you will see that you are not alone and start sharing and receiving things from others.

    You connect with people that you end up being friends with and that can link you up with opportunities. I myself connected with someone from Pakistan who guided me when I started taking my career seriously, and even if he thinks that it was something small, it changed my life and I think I owe him to do the same for others. (I’m trying my best)

  • Start applying for jobs

    You may feel not confident about your skills and keep learning until forever. It’s a trap we put ourselves in. Make sure that you have basic skills and that you can build an average project from scratch and have the courage to start applying for jobs. Don’t wait until you are perfect, you will never be, we keep growing and that’s much more perfect.

There are so much more things that I can share with you when it comes to teaching yourself how to code. But the most important thing is to understand what you want and be willing to do whatever it takes to have it, everything else will be easier with this mindset.

If you are starting the journey to teach yourself how to code or anything, I wish you all the best and I hope you will thrive and thank yourself for doing it.

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