How to Learn a New Programming Language
March 24, 2017
Let me start with the conclusion:
When learning a programming language, you are going to make many mistakes – it’s normal that your code won’t work the first few times. That said, the key to learning code, is to write code as soon as possible, and as often as possible.
… Even if the code you are writing, does not make sense to you at the time.
The anxiety when learning something new
I was recently reminded of the anxiety most people experience when learning something new. Case in point, though I’ve been creating videos for many years, I always just used the camera’s automatic settings. I didn’t really know much about my equipment.
A little while ago, I decided that I wanted to do more, and so I ventured into more advanced functions like:
- shutter priority
- manual mode
… I wanted more control over the video I was shooting.
At first, understanding these basic concepts was confusing, and I was wondering when it would all sink in … therein lies the anxiety. The not knowing if you will ever get it.
In the end, as it is with learning to write code, I just had to use the camera … you have to jump into it and start practicing.
What is the best way to learn to code?
Over the years (since 1994,) I’ve learned 9 programming languages. That may sound impressive, but it isn’t really. Like learning to drive a car, once you understand one programming language, you pretty much understand the basics of all programming languages!
So having done this many times, I can tell you that if you want to learn to code, you have to dive in and write code.
It comes down to these steps:
- Do a little theory.
- Write code that was taught in the theory.
… It’s about bite-size morsels of delicious little code bits! You have to write lots of code, make mistakes and write more code. Repetition goes a long way.