Published in


Learning About Programming: The Complete Guide For Beginners

Plus free giveaway included.

Learning programming: beginner’s guide
Photo by Startup Stock Photos from Pexels

“Would you care for some tea? Yes thanks! The Master poured his visitor’s cup full and kept on pouring.”

Now, why would somebody in their right senses keep on spilling hot tea from a filled cup (intentionally), and risk burning themselves? Not to mention the mess they have to clean up.

But, it will shock you to know that he was making sense after all.

Get your popcorn ready because I'm about to shock you with this story.

The story of Bruce Lee and his student

Now I know what you're thinking,

“How does this relate to learning programming?”

Oh, it does and you're about to find out.

There was a man who loved Martial Arts. He became fully engrossed as he witnessed the elegance and effortlessness Bruce Lee put into the art. This was at the International Karate Torna.

Fast forward a few weeks, Bruce Lee was to mentor him. But, he had to pass Bruce's interview.


Bruce was highly selective about the students he chose to teach.

“Why do you want to study with me?” Bruce asked. “Because I was impressed with your demonstration and because I heard you're the best.”

“You've studied other martial arts?”

“For a long time... but I stopped sometime ago and now I want to start all over again.” said Bruce's potential student.

Bruce asked him to demonstrate moves he could remember.

And he did the basic kicks, blocks, punches. All he could remember.

Then Bruce said “Do you realize you have to unlearn what you have learnt and start all over again”

He said “No!”

“Let me tell you a story my Sifu told me” Bruce said.

P.S : Sifu means Master

“There was a Japanese Zen master who received a professor who came to inquire about Zen.

The professor blabbered on and on, trying to impress the Zen master with his own knowledge and opinions.

The master listened carefully and decided to offer his visitor tea.

“Would you care for some tea?” “Yes thanks!” the professor replied.

The Master poured his visitor's cup full and kept on pouring.

The professor watched the cup overflow until he couldn't refrain himself anymore.

“The cup is overfull! No more will go in.” He said

The master replied “Like this cup, you're full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup ”

Do you get the point?”

Do you understand what the master is trying to get across?

What the master wants from you is to empty your mind of past knowledge, old habits, and self doubting thoughts so that you'll be open to new learning.

And with that you're ready to begin your first lesson.

I know Bruce's interviewee got the point. Why else would Bruce select him as his new student?

How does this relate to learning Programming?

Learning Programming: Learning Web Development
Photo by Valery from Pexels

To learn programming, you've got to empty your cup.

Bruce's student had 3 things checked out.

1. He knew why he wanted to learn Martial Arts.

Why do you want to learn programming?

Do you want to quit your 9 to 5 job and start a freelance career?

Do you want to get a better job?

Do you want to switch careers?

Do you want to become a 6 figure developer who creates value packed content?

Now, you're thinking, “Why do I have to figure this out?”

This is your drive. This is your motivation to keep going. You also have to have fun programming.

If you think no one has transitioned from one career to becoming a successful programmer, check out this guy's portfolio (His bio)

2. At that point, he knew exactly what he wanted to specialize in.

What do you dream of making?

What are you fascinated by?

It's web apps, mobile apps, games, data science.

Figure that out. Pick a language, a tech stack, a framework related to that niche. Learn it. Double down on it, and improve as much as you can.

Empty your cup.

3. He partially knew how wanted to get the results.

He knew he wanted to learn from Bruce Lee. But he didn't know exactly how to learn. I am here for that.

I will tell you exactly how you will do that.

You've got to learn the basics first. You've got to learn slowly but effectively. You've got to practice. You've got to teach others.

Spend 33% of your time with people below you so you can teach them new things you've learnt.

Spend another 33% of your time with people at your level. Share your insights, perspectives and learn together.

Spend the last 33% of your time with people 10 times above your level. Get them to mentor you. You may not have a physical mentor. But you’ve books. You’ve videos. You’ve Podcasts.

You've got this!

Aside knowing your "why", your "what" and your "how", you've to know one more thing.

Learn to block out Negative Energy

Learning Web Development: Learning Programming
Photo by Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels

You're going to doubt yourself and your ability to code. That nagging voice. It's always going to be there.

As you keep learning, building, creating solution, problem solving, that voice will die down little by little until you can't hear it as much.

And you'll be like:

“Hey Self doubt! What are you saying? I can’t hear you. Seems like you lost your voice”

And Yes! They'll be discouraging friends, parents, relations. Don't let them affect you.

Don't comparing yourself with senior developers. You're not them. They're not you.

I've been guilt of this multiple times. And any time I do that. I think. They've a lot of experience, working years and mistakes behind them. There's a reason that, in that light, we're not the same.

And I should learn from them. Not compare.

Closing Thought

I got my opening story from the book Zen In The Martial Arts.

Now, I've shared my every tactic of learning programming as a beginner. But I've one more thing for you. Learning Web Development.




Everything connected with Tech & Code. Follow to join our 900K+ monthly readers

Recommended from Medium

Are You a Victim of Office Politics?

Why you should respect your youngers

Sometimes nothing, is everything…

6 tips from Sergio Caliani, Chief People Officer at Invillia, on connected-work for HR Magazine

Crave the Unscalable

How To Maintain Better Eye Contact In Virtual Presentations

How’s Your Work-Life Relationship Workin’ for You?

Study Finds Millions of Unemployed Americans Simply Need to “Stop Being Losers”

Group of unemployed losers standing around doing nothing.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store


Content creator. I write articles to guide beginner programmers. Grab my beginner's web dev checklist for free

More from Medium

For loop variations with multiple utility functions

Setter-Getter : a necessity or just another historical statues?

Comprehensions in Python: What are they? Why Should you use them?

Uploading python packages to be used by anyone with python