We all have our funny, ridiculous, silly, or inspiring story on how we started out. I would be sharing my story on how I started out to code.
Back then in secondary school, I was fascinated mostly in the sciences. As you might have guessed a lot of teaching and the pedagogy involved was mostly based on this:
This seemed to go on for years, most times, to compensate for my urge for practicality, I would go to the net and watch videos relating to the concept that has been thought. The process seemed to be going well and I was actually satisfied when I do this. This process really helped me in areas like physics. Visual learning is quite cool.
In my penultimate year in secondary school. We were introduced to programming. Everything seemed abstract, with lots of theory theory theory. I was desperate to know especially seeing the benefits of programming and the dawn of an automated era being rampant on the internet, I became eager to know.
We wrote a couple of codes in our books. For instance, we wrote code for simple things like calculating the area of a square and other simple mathematical-related codes. We converted some concepts including arrays. but they were all abstract to me.
I know these are quite simple but the art of programming was introduced late to us. And neither did I see any of my peers that had an interest in or knowledge about it. My teacher didn’t even have a practical understanding of it, just the theoretical knowledge about the basics of BASIC.
THE SEARCH BEGINS
Going home I wanted to know more about BASIC. So I looked it up on the net. Luckily for me, I found Microsoft SmallBasic, an abridged variant of the BASIC programming language intended as an easy programming language for beginners.
I tried downloading the IDE(Integrated Development Environment). Let me use this illustration to explain an IDE. I assume that most of you reading this know or might be aware that Microsoft Word is used for typing, editing and formatting documents. Good!. To make it simple, an IDE is a software for editing and typing codes.
Once I was done with downloading the IDE, I went through some of the tutorials in the manual about syntax usage and some examples listed in it. The first code I wrote using Microsoft Small Basic was a code that Greets you based on the time of the day. I know that seems very simple but I was so happy lol! I mean, I felt like a superman!
After that, I went further to write a program that converts temperature between the Celsius and Fahrenheit scale. I went on to try out a couple of other projects using Microsoft Small Basic. I didn’t really go that far but I decided to find out if I could load the same code directly on my mobile phone or laptop as an independent app.
Back then I didn’t see any resource or online tutorial that could lead me to this goal. Don’t know if that is possible now. And to mention, I was an amateur and that was one of the mistakes that I made. I didn’t lay a good foundation and I was busy looking for how to diversify.
Reading tons of tech information with interest in virtually all my searches made me confused, not just because they were many but due to the fact that I didn’t know how and where to start.
LOOKING FOR THE STEP TO CLIMB
I dropped coding with Microsoft Small Basic for a while and something else piqued my attention. The Arduino micro development board. I am a big fan of the Instructables site. Seeing thousands of fascinating projects uploaded by hobbyists gave me the thrills. In fact, Instructables became my Facebook.
I was always out to look up new stuff and DIYs ( Do It Yourself). I wanted to know how to make wireless tinkerings and contraptions but was limited by ground-up tutorials and access to tools. With time something became popular on that platform and it was ARDUINO. A lot of contraptions were built using this tool.
I became fascinated by it and decided to know more about it so I looked it up and found out that it didn’t only require some electrical knowledge to operate but it also needed to be programmed to function in a specific way. So I made up my mind to learn to programme for good and in the long haul.
TAKING THE STEP
From the story of the brothers, I read that they made use of Codecademy. At last! I’ve seen an online tutorial platform to learn how to code. I embarked on the journey of acquiring some certificates on that platform.
But didn’t feel satisfied. As it was only a do-as-instructed type of learning, except now that they have integrated the pro feature that has cool features and projects and requires a minimum fee to access. After a while, I had issues with my laptop, so I needed something mobile and discovered Sololearn.
Sololearn to me was and still is a great platform. You can compare it to the Facebook of coding. Their bottom-top process of teaching was quite cool. They had a text editor for running your codes and people were given permission to share their codes. They had rankings to help motivate people and you could easily ask members questions on issues you didn’t understand. You could also contribute to some of the lessons.
There was also a challenge section to test your knowledge in it. It was beautiful. But I made a terrible mistake then. I learnt lots of stuff with little or no practice. Each time I tried to work on a project after learning every concept from a particular section, it seemed foreign to me.
I decided to find a platform that was more project-oriented and luckily enough, I discovered Freecodecamp. Working on various projects on freecodecamp made me feel more confident and knowledgeable in areas I learned through their platform. Right now my progress has increased exponentially and I am really happy about that.
TIPS TO AID IN CODING
- Learning without practising: Imagine learning to cook ten meals without practising how to prepare a dish after each successive learning. Coding can be compared to that. So endeavour to try out projects no matter how small on the concept that has been learnt. Do not wait until you are done with all the lessons. This would help you get the hang of it.
- Consistency: This is very important and required to become good at coding. Not only is this act explicit to coding but to other facets of life. Try to code each day, no matter how small.
- Sticking to a path: Try not to be put astray by other existing technologies that you would be aiming to learn various languages at the same time. This would reduce your learning curve and also increase the time spent on learning. The best thing is to stick to a particular language and once you become adept and confident at it, you can delve into another language. Believe me, delving into another language after learning one is quite easy. Since it still revolves around the same basic model.
- The right learning tool: There is no right learning tool. Just make use of the learning preference that suits you. It might be through videos, books or both. It doesn’t matter which path you follow, you would still get there.
Thanks, guys please if you have more tips you can put it down in the comment section below.