Learning to code means understanding technology in a new way. You’ll master new tools and languages, establish different ways of thinking, and become responsive and adaptive to problem-solving. The skills you learn will open up new career opportunities and shape your future. Take a moment to appreciate how empowering that is. Wherever you are in your learning experience, the outcome is going to be rewarding and worthwhile. But is it going to be easy?
Learning to code is challenging and at times incredibly frustrating. In fact, at times it’ll seem easier to just quit. Nobody understands that better than our students. That’s why we asked a selection of them who are now professional developers – and were once in your shoes – to share their advice for how to get past it.
“Internalizing and understanding code doesn’t happen overnight. I’ve found it really important to continually come back, refresh and reiterate the work you do.”
Lee Crockford, Freelancer & Non-profit Organizer
Programming is an in-demand and versatile skill, but it doesn’t come easily. As Lee points out, to retain your skills, you need to be applying and improving them. Practice makes perfect. You’ll make things and break things, but will learn valuable lessons from both.
Take a Break
Amanda Bates, Developer
Every expert was once a beginner and that especially applies to programming. No one is “born to code.” It’s a skill everyone can learn – that’s why at Treehouse, we believe anyone can be a developer. When you find yourself frustrated and overwhelmed while learning, remind yourself that everyone in the industry has been there, you’re not alone. Then one day, like Amanda, you’ll be the one sharing your words of wisdom with aspiring developers.
“Motivation is fleeting, discipline is more reliable. Some days you’re not really in the mood to get things done and that’s ok, but try to program at least an hour or two if you can.”
Scott Cook, Developer
Self-motivation has its limits, and as Scott explains, that’s okay. But remind yourself that every minute you spend learning will take you closer to your goal. Find a balance between contributing in small increments and longer periods throughout your week.
Don’t Give Up
“There will be at least one moment where you will feel completely frustrated, and want to quit. But remember, don’t give up! Use the problems you experience as stepping stones to becoming a better developer.”
Ashley Harpp, Developer
Ashley is right, you will feel frustrated at times and want to quit. But dig into your determination and don’t give up. It won’t come easy, but with each challenge you overcome, there will be the reward of a new accomplishment and a strengthen skills.
It takes patience, discipline, and determination to learn to code, but remember, you’re up to the challenge and it’ll be worth it. When you’re in need of support, turn to fellow aspiring coders and experts in the Treehouse Community, or follow us on Twitter for a daily dose of motivation.