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How would I learn to code, if it's for now — Part 1

Photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash

What comes to your mind when you hear the word Programming?

Please, don't ever say it's HTML (or) CSS neither both isn't a programming language. But still, we would have at least came across things like,

  • Java
  • Python
  • Javascript and the list go on…

Before jumping into the blog, I am gonna cut out technical jargon as usual. This is not a blog from a technical perspective rather, one that would help you fix the learning better.

If you started to learn a Programming language, or even after learning you somewhere felt lost then this could be the blog might fix you.

Why I am writing this?

You could ask me what made me write this? Well, simple, I am a self-taught Machine Learning Practitioner, I learned to code like everyone from the internet.

But I went in through difficulties and some roadblocks through the way, which even at times made me quit the idea of coding itself or somewhere it felt this isn’t for me. I have been there and I assume even people might felt that at some point isn't it?

Disclaimer: Everything you read here is absolutely out from my experience and my learnings. Some may disagree with it at times and take things as a grain of salt.

Why you should read this?

Well, because I don't want you to waste your time looking for the right course or scratching your head at times waiting for the right thing. And even as a friend (if you consider).

I had a hard time choosing the courses or materials that could teach me the whole thing. But looking back, I was depending on courses and putting my faith in them. Courses are good, but at times we hit the tutorial hell.

Read my blog here to know more about whats Tutorial hell.

For now, it's like a loop where we will be just finishing the course. Trust me, just because you did some course on Python, doesn't mean you know it well.

Somehow people think the only way to learn to code is just by the means of taking different courses. Even I was there jumping from one course to another but it never improved my progress.

Note: I will be leaving up some links which helped me in my learning and eventually will do a favor for you too.

Don't fall into the prey of Frameworks

When I was learning python for the first time, the motto was to get into Machine Learning for sure that’s obvious why most people choose python.

There were these frameworks popping out and it was the center of attraction, as tech enthusiasts I always wanted to equip myself with the best tools and especially the new ones.

This is where my shiny syndrome for frameworks started, I forget about learning python the way it should be (including OOP’s), most courses where I learned, the OOP’s concept was ignored.

But when I took the path of Experimenting Learning dumping down the tutorials, I was keen on working on my foundations. Learn things from documentation and more of research kinda way. I found it quite progressing when I tried on Pytorch, but this is where I felt like a complete noob.

While I was surfing through documentation and stuffs certain Python code doesn’t make sense to me, meaning hard to decode what’s written on there.

It was a complete noob-like feeling, I thought I knew python but things were not what I thought.

A fix in need is a fix indeed

I said above already, many people opt for the idea of learning from courses. There is no issue in doing that so, but it is when you fall into the loop.

How could we fix this?

Recently, I framed a thing called Experimental Learning, I watched video’s of other people on Youtube and observed how they did it.

Learning can be of two ways, one is we learn by Consuming something (courses, books, etc…) and another way is by Creating (trying to solve a problem, etc...).

When we mix these two wonderful components our learnings get better 10X times, but the problem is, we always spend more time on Consuming things. We should keep the balance 50–50 rather than weighing one side more.

Consuming

This is where you will be in the act of taking courses and reading books related to what programming langue you want to learn. But I see only fewer people opt for books, but I think books are really a good substitute for courses.

Stick with one course rather than too many, your goal should not be finishing the course and acquiring the certificate. Your purpose should be clear, you want to acquire this skill, not the certificate.

Creating

This is the fun part, where you will practice whatever you learned. Whatever I learn from the course at times couldn't help me to solve real-world projects.

I end up hitting google and StackOverflow reading tons and tons of blogs and tutorials, read other's code to find how others did it, and try reverse engineer them. You see there’s a lot of learning that goes in here.

In this way, we learn what we actually need to solve the problem rather than watching hours of tutorials with no clue whats the purpose.

The eye shrinks for you, which means you know what you want and your intent will be on finding just your need.

So now you might have an idea of whats Creating and Consuming really means, as I said by mixing them we could do wonders in our learning.

In the next part of this blog, will look into how we could mix these two pieces of stuff for enhancing our learning and useful courses and tidbits that could uplift your learning journey.

Here is Part 2 of this blog, have a great read! Things included,

  • Mixing Creation vs Consumption
  • Fixing the forgetting curve
  • Using spaced repetition for efficient learning.
  • Resources and course links!!

Check out now!

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Ashik Shaffi

Ashik Shaffi

Machine Learning Practitioner

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