What do some students take longer to learn programming than others? Well, there are several answers to this.
Yet, one simple reason why some students lack behind is obvious – they make some mistakes.
This isn’t a bad thing.
In programming, you only learn by making mistakes and fixing them. You practice a lot until you grasp what you’re doing.
You might be willing to learn and hoping to improve your coding skills, yet some things can hinder your progress.
There are several ways to get better at programming, but they only work as long as they’re executed along with other habits and mindset which nurture a programming mindset.
You need to revise and reflect your current practices to set yourself on a path where learning gets easier.
Here are the 8 most common mistakes which new programming students make
To be honest, these mistakes aren’t any revelations – just some simple truths from which you can learn more about the way you do your work.
Based on this post, you can decide if you need to change something about how you’re doing your work. All these mistakes directly affect your process of learning.
Once you get rid of your mistakes, you’re all set to enhance your skills in a better way than before.
1. Shunning it
Nothing can affect your learning process as much as having a negative mindset.
Each time you terrify yourself saying “I can’t program!” or “I hate programming!” you limit your chances of growth.
As you go on complaining and frustrating yourself, you realize that you’re making yourself hate programming even more. It keeps on getting complex.
Soon, you don’t even feel like programming – so you don’t do it. You begin to shun it. You skip your practice sessions. You stop giving a damn, and you quit.
As time passes, you’ll want to learn again. But because you’ve taught yourself that “it’s hard” and “you can’t do it,” you’ll face some barriers. Don’t let that happen to you.
Lower your expectations and start small.
Do your work.
Don’t decide whether programming is right for you or whether you’re right for programming.
Avoid evaluating yourself based on your initial progress, because like everyone else, you won’t be doing anything miraculous in the beginning.
Spend time programming, learn more, give your best, and if you still feel like you can’t do it – then hold on. Keep going on at your own pace.
But while you’re going through the whole process, don’t make yourself believe that you aren’t right for programming.
It certainly takes time, and if you’re taking a bit longer than other then find a way out and be easy on yourself.
2. Not understanding the code
If you’re a beginner, remember this simple rule — understanding your code is as much important as running it.
Sound simple, eh?
Most beginners skip this step.
They’ll read books, type whatever is given to them, copy-paste code but there are quite a few students will take the time out to pause and look at what they’re actually doing.
Students go on coding, learn new programs, and skip some parts until they realize that there’s something wrong – they can’t understand their code.
In fact, you might even come across some students who memorize programs; line-by-line. Though, they get into trouble with the increasing complexity.
What you need to know is that although there are lots of shortcuts to do what you want to do, your foremost priority should be building a firm base of fundamentals you can rely on.
Read your code.
What did a certain keyword do? In which line did a calculation occur? What made the loop stop?
You won’t know the answers to all these question unless you try to understand your code.
So instead of just making your code run and thinking that you’ve created a tiny success, emphasize more on understanding what you do.
If you skip this part, the lessons you miss out are going to come back to you in future and then you might need to start over. You can’t get rid of your problems by taking shortcuts for too long.
Here’s a 3-step trick to understanding your code:
1. Read your code and observe its details to find out what’s happening in it.
2. Learn from what you see and try to find out more information and teach yourself more.
3. Understand what you learn and implement it in your own ways to make the process easier.
3. Underestimating the logic
This is the only reason, the biggest one, which prevents most people from learning programming.
They don’t get the logic.
To be clear, learning the syntax of various languages, memorizing the keywords, understanding how a language works, etc. aren’t the hard things. They’re easy. Most people can get used to them.
In the end, it’s only the logic that bothers beginners. It’s the backbone of any program, regardless of which language or environment is used.
Logic is the foundation of any code – those who don’t realize this face problem while programming. They can’t figure out the exact reason that’s stopping their progress.
In most cases, the hindrance might be due to the lack of understanding of logic in programming.
Stress on learning the logic of code.
Develop your logical thinking, bit by bit. This would happen when you dive into your code and grasp the steps in it.
What should you do if you aren’t born with that logical thinking?
Not a problem.
Logical thinking is something you can develop over time. As you deal with it, it becomes easier for you to inculcate in your life, and coding practices.
We’ve collected some articles related to this topic from the internet. Read them if you wish to dive deeper into this topic.
- 10 tips for sharpening your logical thinking
- How to Improve Your Logical Reasoning Skills?
- How to Think Logically
- How do I improve my logical thinking and problem solving skills?
4. Unstructured learning
A random learning pattern creates a mess.
Improper learning not only makes you suffer by arousing disorganization but also wastes your efforts.
To be clear, you don’t want the hours you spend working hard and learning to go in vain. Unstructured learning nullifies your dedication.
So, what’s unstructured learning?
It means that you’re not following a pattern while performing your duties. Neither are you having specific aims you want to follow and nor do you pay attention to how you learn.
You try to learn several different languages at once, read a hundred different sites and keep changing books, until you realize that you’ve already wasted a lot of your time without achieving anything significant.
Simplify what you learn and begin with a motive.
For instance, learning several irrelevant skills altogether is a bad idea. That requires a huge investment of time, effort and money. So what’s the point in ruining your attempts?
Instead, choose a certain goal and plan out your priorities accordingly.
For instance, if you’re heading towards becoming a web developer then choose the right set of skills and start working on them. Simple?
Also, once you figure out what you wish to do, seek the appropriate learning resources out there and choose the ones which are best for you.
Don’t read five books at once. Choose one which you feel is right for you and learn from it. This would save you from a lot of confusion.
Don’t jumble the process of learning. Break down the study material into certain categories or steps and then proceed.
Don’t hurry or try to skip the basic and essential parts. This might create some trouble for you. Be patient and learn at the proper pace.
Implement such simple tricks to ease your learning process. If possible take some time to organize and jot down a rough plan. It’ll be worth it.
5. Not having the right tools
You have enough options at hand – use them.
When you don’t take the time out to find the right tools for you, you retard your own progress. In the long-term, you end up losing a lot of time, just because you didn’t think finding the right tools was important.
Also, complicating what can be made simple doesn’t make sense unless you’re learning.
Beyond some point, working the old way becomes an obstacle – you need to find better tools which can save your time, make you productive, and simplify your work.
You don’t always access your files through command prompt, do you? That’s hard and doesn’t serve a purpose. Tools work similarly.
Sure can do everything manually and show up your extreme intellectual capabilities by doing everything without even touching the tools, but that doesn’t make sense.
Use the tools – that’s all!
Find what’s out there that can make your work easier. Hunt for the best options you have. Use what brings out the best in you.
6. Not practicing enough
Have you given what it takes?
You can’t complain much about not knowing programming unless you’ve practiced enough.
The less you understand programming, the less you do it – this is quite common among all the beginners.
You can’t wait for something to happen. You have to sit in front of the screen, analyzing and typing programs unless you learn. And then learn more than what you’ve learned.
You keep practicing, no matter if it tires you or makes you want to quit. In the end, you’re the one who needs to deal with everything.
Even when you think you lack what it takes, practice.
Practice when you think you aren’t cut-out out for programming, because you can learn.
You don’t practice because you know enough – it’s the other way around. You keep practicing until you become good enough.
7. Being ignorant
Your teachers can teach you to code.
Your friends can motivate you and help you.
Yet, what matters in the end it how willing you are to learn. If you think of programming as boring and find it uninteresting, then you’re better-off finding something else.
But if you say that it’s what you wish to learn and want to have a career in, then don’t do it halfheartedly. That ruins the purpose of the whole thing.
The reason why some people are better, not only at programming but anything else, is that they love their thing and are always willing to learn more about it.
They appreciate what they do, they’re curious, they give more to it – that’s what makes them better.
If you say you want to be better, then you need to have these qualities.
You become a better programmer when you program not because you need to, but because you want to.
Be eager to learn and explore what you don’t know. Be fine with occasional despair and mistakes – everyone deals with them.
Ultimately, what matters is how fascinated and curious you are. If you’re prepared to put in the hard-work, other things don’t matter much.
8. Not having fun
Don’t do it for the sake of doing it.
Why are you programming?
Because your family wants to have a software engineer among them? You wish to earn a fat salary? You want to feel like Tony Stark of Iron-man?
Not matter what’s the reason why you’re programming, make sure you’re having fun. You can’t take it too far if it seems boring to you and you hate it.
When you begin to hate programming, each moment you spend doing it seems hard, and it keeps getting harder.
And there’s just one fix to this.
We know that ‘having fun’ isn’t something you can make happen artificially. It has to be natural.
Then how can you have fun?
There’s always a brighter side to something – programming isn’t different.
There may be some languages you like more than the rest, subjects that you prefer over others, skills that you’re better at than the ones which you lack – focus on them.
When you focus on your strengths, you become better and feel more inclined towards doing what you know. This makes you better.
While doing so, you unknowingly leverage your confidence and do what you perceive as hard. You get the motivation to keep trying. And as long as you’re having fun and trying hard, you’re chances of improvement are always fair.
However, remember that nothing can be always fun either. So if there are some boring and tiring tasks you need to deal with, deal with them.
These were some of the basic mistakes which most beginners make. We hope these tips were helpful to you.
Now that you know the mistakes programming students make, it’s time to do something about getting better. Here are some posts to help you:
- Still Having Problem Programming? Use These 7 Ways to Get Better
- 15 Smart Quotes to Improve Your Programming Skills
- 5 Common Programming Misconceptions Which Prevent Students from Learning It
What else do you think are the other things programming beginners do wrong? What advice would you give to them? What do you do when programming seems hard?
We’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment.