Few Things to Know Before Enrolling in Coding School
Coding is really popular nowadays — if you know how to code, you can be picky about choosing your job. If you aren’t very good at coding and you want to learn, there are different ways to start. But how to choose the right one?
There are lots of coding schools and online courses claiming that you can learn to code in 7 days or create your first mobile app within a few hours. Well, I hate to break to you, but that just isn’t true. You can’t learn to do anything correctly in few hours — you even didn’t know how to walk for a few months!
You will have to be persistent and confident in order to overcome setbacks that will come. And, oh boy, will they come. You will spend hours looking at code and asking yourself ”Am I stupid or what?”
Still in for the journey? Great! Coding is beautiful because you can get to create something amazing from nothing!
Since I’ve been both student and teacher, I will try to suggest a few steps which should help you take the maximum value out of a coding school.
I started my coding career as self-taught web developer and when first $$$ arrived, I decided to improve my knowledge and fill in the gaps. I invested some money in learning and enrolled in a coding school that lasted ~3 months.
Since I already knew some basics, I was probably one of more advanced students in the class. But that didn’t stop me from asking questions and giving my teacher a hard time with lots of ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions.
Don’t start a journey you don’t want to finish!
In my teaching career I saw different types of students and now I can clearly see when someone is attending classes just because he/she has to be there (e.g. company paid the course so they can maintain their website or parents invested in their child’s education). Seriously, why waste the time? You’re sitting there 2/3 hours a day just because someone told you to do so? You are (either directly on indirectly) paying money for it (time is money). Why not learn as much as you can if you are already sitting there.
Learn the basics on your own
There are different course types with different durations — some that last a few days to some that last 12 months. If you really want to do your best, you will have to spend a lot of time practicing and learning on your own. This is why I suggest all of my students learn the basics before enrolling in the course.
Do you want to learn how to code a website for example? Cool, learn first about tech stack used (HTML, CSS, JS) basics of Internet, HTTP protocol, and other keywords. It’s out there, on the web. Google it. This will help you to follow along with the material.
If you start your course as a tabula rasa, you will struggle with understanding terms and concepts. There are other people in the class, nobody is going to wait for you because the class would get nothing done. You could end up falling behind or even quitting the course and being mad about it.
Learning is full-time job
Forget about learning how to code in 15 mins a day. It doesn’t work that way. Clean up your schedule while attending the course and be dedicated to learning. Of course, to do that, find something that you have an interest in. You will not be able to follow a course about a subject that you don’t care about. Make sure you understand everything you type, everything your teacher says. If you don’t — ask! This is probably the only time you will have the opportunity to ask a professional for advice without paying money for it.
Give yourself time to grow
Don’t be hard on yourself just because you don’t know something. All professionals had been there. `Hello world` is the most used line for beginners, don’t expect to build space shuttle after two weeks of coding. Embrace the fact that the end product may not be the most polished product in the world. And please, don’t call yourself developer/programmer/engineer after completing the course. You’re at the beginning of a long trip, enjoy the ride and stop rushing to be a senior ninja full-stack consultant or any other fancy title. Being a newbie is awesome — you get to learn at a rate you will never again achieve.