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How to Improve Your Coding Skills & Confidence: 5 Simple Tips

improve your coding

Starting out in the professional development arena is pretty daunting. I am self-taught and I don’t have a degree. Broaching my first full-time position was pretty scary. What would the interviewer think?

I thought I knew how to improve my coding skills on my own, but did I really? I wish I could have applied the knowledge I have today, back when I was interviewing for those early career positions.

If you’re ready to learn how to improve your coding skills and boost your confidence, keep reading to discover my five tried and true tips.

How to Improve Your Coding Skills & Boost Your Confidence

1. Practice, Practice, Practice

First, you need to build your own confidence in your own abilities. You can only go so far following along with tutorials online. You need to build something of your own to improve your coding skills.

In many professional settings, you don’t want to reinvent the wheel, but it can be helpful for a learning exercise. Build your own blog in PHP or build a JavaScript plugin. Get a feel for how these things work, so you’ll have the confidence to use pre-packaged applications and plugins in your job. Fail fast and often.

Don’t feel obligated to finish your practice projects if you feel you’ve learned what you wanted to—things can get boring if your goal of learning a particular thing has already been accomplished.

2. Create a Project & Release It

Now you’ve practiced, it’s time to actually use your knowledge to create a project and share it with the world.

Is it a website? Is it a mobile app? Is it a RubyGem? Seeing people use your code in the real world gives you more confidence.

For my first project, I built a RubyGem, not because I had any real use for it but because I saw it didn’t exist yet. I released it and didn’t expect anything of it. When I got a tweet thanking me for it and saw it was being used in a production site, it gave me a great confidence boost.

Related Reading: 5 Ways to Self-Motivate While Learning to Code

3. Contribute on GitHub

Contributing to other Open Source projects on GitHub can be a great way to get additional experience and confidence. You can learn from others’ code and feedback on your commits.

Your contributions don’t even have to be in code. You can modify a wiki or update documentation. This shows you understand coding skills and can articulate how to use them!

4. Give a Talk at a Meetup

I’ve given talks at meetups, I’ve trained in corporate settings, and I’ve released courses on Treehouse. And you know what? Every time I’ve felt a little scared and inadequate for the task. But almost every time I’ve done it and put myself out there, I’ve found that my feelings of inadequacy were unjustified.

After giving a talk, even on something like “What I learned from trying out <Insert Framework/Language Here>,” I’ve found that a lot of people are less experienced. Why are they there in the first place listening to you? You’ve done something they haven’t, and you’ve just become an instant expert and valuable resource to them.

Related Reading: How to Start Coding

5. Talk to Everyone

Finally, when you talk to people about their experiences coding you’ll soon find out they have the same feelings of doubt and inadequacy. Just knowing you’re not alone can give you the confidence to move forward in your development career.

Improve Your Coding Skills With Treehouse

Treehouse offers in-depth Techdegree programs and courses you can take to improve your coding skills. Our courses provide instruction in everything from JavaScript to Python. If you’re ready to learn coding, sign-up for a free trial of Treehouse today!

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