Whether you’re a high school student, parent, or IT professional, it’s never too late to learn a little bit more about coding. Languages such as HTML, Python, and Java have become intrinsic parts of the digital world we live in. It’s very difficult to use smartphone devices, desktop computers, and the web without coming across one or more of these languages in practical application.
You can build a career in programming, web design, or software development by simply starting the learning process sooner rather than later. All it really takes is some patience, commitment, and curiosity on your part to get you started on the path of coding. With that said, let’s take a look at why you should make coding a habit and some tips on how to do so today.
The Upside of Learning how to Code
Why should you want to learn how to code? Making coding your daily habit will introduce you to a different perspective on the technology which surrounds us. While you may know how to use the front-end UI of your favorite apps and websites, knowing how they “tick” will inspire you to action.
You will gain insight into how to make your own mockup projects, pitch ideas to potential clients, and innovate in the field of software development. Learning how to code can be encouraging, empowering, and, most importantly – applicable for your career development. Some of the important upsides to making coding your habit are:
- Ability to think about and use devices and apps differently
- Stand out in job interviews and project teams
- Gain a valuable habit which will make you more productive
- Meet new people by joining coding-related conversations
- Learn how to bring your tech-related ideas into reality
Tips to Get Started on Coding as a Habit
1. Get Yourself a Coding Learning App
As we’ve mentioned, we live in a tight-knit digital world where dedicated apps and platforms are just a click away. Whether you’re on an Android or iOS device, you can find plenty of great learning apps and resources to get you started. A great example of a learning app is Duolingo, an app which allows users to learn new languages through gamification.
While it’s not a coding app itself, it will help you understand how UI and UX design work in tandem. You can then apply that knowledge to your own mock projects to learn how to code independently. Finding an app which fits your learning style is half of what will make you get into the habit of learning how to code constantly.
2. Challenge Yourself with Daily Reminders
Setting up daily alarms and notifications on your smartphone device will ensure that coding is always at the back of your mind. You can set up reminders for morning and evening exercises and take 10-15 minutes to complete a small lesson while resting. This is also where smartphones have an advantage over laptops or desktop computers, since you can quickly open and close an app to learn on-the-fly.
You can keep a notepad close-by and write down your comments on the lessons you went through and new coding ideas you came up with. If you use a notepad for writing down your progress, you can visit this page with free essay samples for writing ideas and editing assistance. Keep your notes organized and formatted and go back to them whenever you hit a learning snag but make sure to keep at it daily.
What matters is that you spend at least a few minutes every day learning about coding, whether it is 5 or 30 minutes. You can also attach small reward incentives to your learning activities to sweeten the pot and motivate yourself more. This is a great way to make coding a habit, especially in the early days of learning.
3. Find your Learning Corner
Given that coding requires some thought and attention on your part, you shouldn’t tackle coding exercises in public or in a crowd. Instead, try to find a safe and quiet spot where you can go through some lessons without distractions getting in the way. This can either be your favorite coffee shop or even your living room or home office.
It’s important however that you are somewhat uninterrupted wherever you decide to learn about coding. It is an intricate field and you should pay close attention to your learning materials from the get go. Get into a habit of using the same spot for learning about coding to set up a personal routine early on. This will help you associate particular environments with coding and help you get into a habit of doing coding exercises instinctively during the day.
4. Reward Yourself for Learning
Making coding a habit is no small feat – you should reward yourself for it as much as possible. Set up small milestones and goals for your learning process and see if you can find ways to reward yourself. These rewards can be anything from a bar of chocolate to watching a movie or even ordering pizza for dinner.
Going back to the example of Duolingo and its gamification – visual and auditory signals of “Job well done” work well to incentivize further learning. If you are learning through an app on your phone, that app will also reward you with praise and digital currency or video game-like achievements.
Your personal reward system can be sporadic or systematic, depending on the type of person you are. Think about what would motivate you to learn more after you’ve just completed your study session for the day as each of us is different. You can reward yourself abruptly and randomly, or once you reach certain points in your learning process. Rewarding yourself for learning how to code will boost your motivation to learn even more and find new ways to increase your progress.
5. Apply What You’ve Learned
Finally, the best way to learn how to code properly is to apply the knowledge you’ve gained up to that point. You don’t need to create complex applications or web pages to prove a point. Instead, get a hold of a simple text editor and start coding by using the commands and tips you’ve learned previously.
This will help you spot inconsistencies and errors in your knowledge, prompting you to review past lessons and learn more about them. You can also look for internships or social media groups dedicated to learning about coding to share your mockups with other learners. Remember – no one knows everything about coding, and everyone needs to learn how to do it step by step. The more persistent you are, the more you will turn learning into a healthy habit which you will look forward to every day. Don’t be hard on yourself and make it a habit to learn as much or as little as your daily obligations allow you to.
Adopting Healthy Coding Habits (Conclusion)
Coding is a vast field in which you can build a career or simply dip your feet into as a curious hobbyist. Learning even a little about languages such as Java, Python, or HTML will drastically improve your perspective on digital technologies. Not only will your personal understanding of software development expand, you will also open new potential career opportunities to pursue with coding in mind.
Even if you don’t become a full-fledged developer, the insight you gain about the back-end of software applications is invaluable.Make sure to go about learning how to code at your own pace in order to make it into an enjoyable habit. As a result, you will reach for the coding learning app on your phone by habit before you know it.