Learning to program can be a daunting task. Many people dive into coding with the hope of building a career in tech but fail to achieve their goals. Why does this happen? In this article, we explore the four traps that most learners fall into and how to avoid them. Let’s dive in!
Trap #1: Fixed Mindset
You may have heard that the human brain is like a computer, and the hardware is the most critical aspect of its functioning. However, the hardware is not enough; it’s your mindset that determines your success. Owen Cook, a self-help guru, talks about the difference between growth and fixed mindset. A growth mindset focuses on getting better every day, while a fixed mindset focuses on how good you already are. When learning to program, the focus should be on growth. Instead of obsessing over how good you are at the start of your journey, focus on how much better you’re getting each day.
Trap #2: Tutorial Treadmill
It’s a common trap to fall into the tutorial treadmill, where you keep watching tutorials, thinking you’re learning but not actually writing any code yourself. You must understand that until you write your first line of code without help, you’re not progressing. Try solving problems on websites like CodeWars to practice what you’ve learned. Even if you can’t solve the easiest problem, keep at it. It’s not a reflection of your intelligence but a sign that you’re still new to programming.
Trap #3: Lack of Niche
Many programmers make the mistake of trying to learn everything about programming, thinking that it will give them an edge in the job market. However, it’s better to specialize in a particular niche or technology stack. Companies hire programmers to solve specific business needs. Suppose you have a niche that fits the business requirements, like knowing how to build React web apps with Next.js. In that case, you’ll have a much better chance of getting hired than a generalist programmer.
Trap #4: Inconsistent Practice
The final trap is inconsistency in practice. Many learners start with enthusiasm but then let distractions or boredom get in the way of their progress. This trap is a challenge to overcome, but it’s essential to be consistent in your practice. Make a schedule and stick to it, even if it’s just a few minutes of practice every day. Remember, progress takes time, and it’s better to make small but consistent progress than none at all.
Learning to program can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. By avoiding these four traps, you’ll be well on your way to building a successful career in programming. Embrace a growth mindset, practice writing code, specialize in a particular niche, and be consistent in your practice. With dedication and hard work, you can become a successful programmer.