Why Most Beginners Quit Programming, Million Dollar Dreams They Leave
Taking a decision to learn how to code is a huge leap for anybody. It entails understanding technology in a new way, mastering new language and tools, learning how to think logically, and becoming more adaptive and responsive to problem-solving. You will learn valuable skills, improve your career options, and even develop your personal life.
As much as the benefits of learning to code are indisputable, the truth is that the progress itself (and no doubt, it’s a long process) is challenging and could be sometimes frustrating. As a beginner to programming, at first, you are earnest and enthusiastic, paying attention to your first tutorials and seeking out ‘beginner’s recipes’ from websites. As you pass the initial stages and begin dealing with variables, loops, and functions, the abstract nature of what you’re doing i.e not being readily able to see how your work is being executed in the front end, can be frustrating, particularly if you’re a highly visual person. You may at this point become a little anxious about whether you really can do it and may take a few days off to ‘clear your head’. For some, a few days translate to a few weeks and a few months. When and if you eventually get back, you may feel too detached from the context of programming for it to hold any strong attraction for you anymore and you might quit altogether.
Most beginners often undergo similar experiences as illustrated above. However, once you learn how to overcome certain challenges which are highlighted below, you will enjoy the learning experience much more, make progress faster, become more enduring when faced with future difficulties and become more independent when writing your own code. These challenges are:
Your motivation, and its sustainability, is a very important factor in all learning processes. Most beginners learn programming just for the sake of it or because they heard a career in it pays well. Even for those who simply just like the idea, when things get tough and the learning experience becomes hard and painful, they often are sorely tempted to give up. Instead, learn programming because you want to solve a problem or improve your life. Aspire to build/improve apps that will help people and increase efficiency.
Not Planning Your Learning Process
After knowing why you want to learn to code and whether that motivation is sustainable, choose the correct tools and resources to help you achieve your aim. Lots of beginners say, ‘I don’t know which programming language I should learn first’. Well that’s because they do not really know why they want to learn to code. Nowadays, JavaSxript is used to build any type of project, from simple web and mobile apps to advanced hardware projects. If you’re still unsure of which language to learn, ask an experienced programmer for advice. Also bear in mind that most of the knowledge learned from one programming language is transferable so at this stage, you run little risk of wasting your time.
Not Knowing How To Approach A Task
Sometimes you may not know where to start and may be unable to solve a task properly. This may be because you don’t really have a firm understanding of the theory of a language, how an API or library works, how the system works or even the programming paradigms. It is best to read the theory again and find someone to explain it well to you. The task might be too big and needs to be broken down into smaller tasks, but you didn’t understand this because you overlooked certain concepts.
Impatience With Debugging
The most common problem for programmers of all experience levels is when they solve a task and it doesn’t work because there’s a bug in the code. Debugging is one of the most important skills a programmer must learn. However, lots of beginners get overwhelmed and lose motivation here. They feel that too much time is spent debuggng code. Nonetheless, they must see it as am opportunity to improve their programming abilities and fix their misconceptions. It helps to ask ‘Why Did I make this mistake and how can I prevent myself from making the same mistake in the future?’
Not Understanding Preferred Solutions
In your learning process, you’ll consult a lot of resource materials: books, courses, tutorials, developer communities, etc. It is easy to take a solution to a problem proffered on any of these platforms. It’s trustworthy, it works, but do you understand the thought process behind it and how the concept fits into the bigger picture? You should learn from it and apply it yourself the next time you face a similar problem. Good programming practices include forming good habits to help you get unstuck from any kind of coding problem.
How Do You Deal With These Challenges?
Be patient. Programming is an in-demand skill but you won’t master it in a few months, never mind that some training courses promise you will. It takes time (years) to internalize and understand code. You must continuously apply and improve your skills to become any good.
Take a break when you need it. All experts were once beginners. No one was born a coder. When it gets frustrating and overwhelming, Amanda Bates, a senior developer says ‘Don’t lose hope. Walk away a bit, relax, and come back with a fresher perspective’.
Be disciplined. Motivation is fleeting but discipline is more reliable. Some days, you may not be in the mood to get things done and that’s perfectly normal. But try to get in an hour or two of work. It will help you get more closer to your goal.
Don’t Give Up. This is the whole essence of this article. You’ll want to quit more than once, but dig in and don’t give up. Use the problems you experience as ladder rungs to ascend to greater skills as a developer. Get support from other coders and experts in online communities.