Have you heard about Jack Dorsey or Mark Zuckerberg? They have a common trait. Have you ever thought about the reason that makes them one of the best programmers in the world? Apart from being visionary leaders and tech enthusiasts, they are also self-taught programmers. They didn’t get their analytical and decision-making skills by studying from business schools. They have developed their skills on their own. And, being a self-taught programmer is one of the major reasons for their success. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of being a self-taught programmer and how you can become a successful self-taught programmer.
Benefits and Drawbacks Of Being a Self-Taught Programmer
When you learn to code on your own, you get to explore different aspects of learning. If you are being trained by someone, you will have a clear understanding of what needs to be done. However, To learn things on your own, you will have to find what to learn, from where to learn, and how to learn. You will start with something, encounter problems and then you will start again with a different approach. This will help you gain a different perspective towards programming as compared to someone who is learning from a trainer.
- Being a self-taught programmer helps you learn good problem-solving skills. As you face different setbacks in your journey, you will become more proficient in problem-solving.
- As you have to figure out solutions to different problems on your own, you will understand how things work in a better manner.
- Making projects on your own will help you learn every step of software development efficiently. When you learn by doing, you will rarely forget anything.
While you enjoy an edge over regular other people in terms of learning, becoming a self-taught programmer also has a good share of drawbacks.
- The first problem while learning to code on your own is the lack of consistency. You can never become a successful programmer if you are not consistent. People taking training from boot camps or regular courses have to adhere to the course curriculum. So they are consistent. But, this is not the case when you are learning on your own. Being inconsistent can affect your learning negatively.
- If you are enrolled in a regular programming course, the course instructor or teaching assistants are always there to help you out if you face problems. However, if you are learning on your own, you might have problems clearing your doubts. But, Don’t worry. You can find solutions to your problems at websites like Stack-overflow and other forums for programming.
- You will also need to choose the technologies for learning on your own. This will need a great deal of research. So, you will need to spend a lot of time just figuring out what to learn. On the contrary, people who learn from the regular courses don’t need to spend time on these things.
How to Become A Self-Taught Programmer
By now, you must have understood the major benefits and drawbacks of being a self-taught programmer. Let us now discuss some of the steps that can help you become better at programming.
- Before learning on your own, I would suggest that you take a course on introduction to computer science and programming. You can access different courses from platforms like MIT OCW and Harward’s CS50. This will help you understand the working of computer programs very easily as you will be taught by one of the best professors.
- After knowing the basics of computer science and programming, you will be able to explore different technologies and evaluate them according to your needs. If you are comfortable with implementing different data structures on your own, you can choose to learn a programming language like C. On the contrary, you just want to work on the logic and not very much on implementation, you can learn Python, C++, or Java that provide different inbuilt data structures.
- After selecting a language to learn, you can choose resources for the specific programming language. Nowadays, many YouTube channels and websites provide you free access to unlimited resources for learning programming. You should select a video-based resource from YouTube or platforms like Udemy and Coursera and a text-based resource from websites like Codecademy.
- After grasping the basics of a programming language, you should start creating small projects to implement what you have learned. This will help you gain more insights into the working of various data structures and algorithms. You can choose a guided project from YouTube videos at the start. However, you should try to implement things on your own as you gain experience.
- After learning the basics of a language, you should start learning different frameworks and choose a vertical like web development, android app development, etc. You can also learn other programming languages. Having knowledge of different languages will help you choose the best programming language for any task. For instance, if you need your program to be memory efficient, you can choose C++ instead of python as Python programs require a lot of memory. But, this is only possible if you know both languages.
- Try to follow coding standards, naming conventions, and indentation rules. These things will help you reduce errors in your code and your code will also become easily readable and maintainable.
- After learning the basics and doing projects, you can start contributing to open-source projects. Looking at the work done by other people will help you a lot. You can also apply to internships and learn the skills in a work environment.
Learning from anywhere is good as long as you are learning efficiently. Every medium of learning has its pros and cons. If you are driven by your determination, you can be a good programmer by learning on your own. On the other hand, If you need proper instructions and guidelines for doing your work, you can join a boot camp or a regular course to learn to code. The focus should be on learning and not on the medium.
I hope you had fun reading this article. Stay tuned for more informative articles.
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