I Became a Self-Taught Developer in 6 Months and So Can You.

Practical tips that can work for everyone

Vinita
Vinita
Sep 5, 2020 · 4 min read

Let me begin by introducing myself. If you’re here for the tips alone, you can skip this part.

I have been working as a Software Developer for the past one and a half year. I do not have Engineering or Maths background. In fact I have done my graduation in Sociology. One fine day I happened to watch a video that said why everyone should learn coding. And that’s all. That’s how I started. I had no intentions of switching careers. I just kept learning for the fun of it! 😊

While learning to code, I documented my journey. I have posted extensively on Instagram. I wrote blogs. I created elaborate posts. Still I used to get lots of messages asking for some guidance. And then, when I was away from Instagram for couple of months, on returning I founds lots of messages asking the same thing.

So here I am once again, sharing some practical tips instead of resources on how to do it and do it properly ;) Honestly, the same tips can be applied while learning anything in any field. Because there is no one size fits all for something as unique as each human being. :)

No secret :)

Step 1: Learn the basics of programming

There is no getting around this one. If you’ve never written a computer program, if you don’t know what a for loop is, you need to first learn the basic concepts of programming. Almost all languages have these common. Data types, variables, loop, conditionals and functions.

Tip: Do not worry about language at this point. It doesn’t matter and it wont ever matter. Just start somewhere. Find a course that you like and get going. There are many free courses on YouTube. EdX, Coursera offer a lot of these.

Optional step: If you want to become a web developer, learn HTML and CSS. Again a lot of free resources. FreeCodeCamp.org, thenetninja on YouTube or if you don’t mind investing money, courses by Jonas Schmedtmann are 🔥

Step 2: Build projects

I know it sounds intimidating but this is not optional. Find project walk throughs. Copy the instructor as you go along. Try to understand why he’s doing what he’s doing. If and when you don’t understand ask questions…

Step 3: Ask questions

A lot of them. Why developers do things that seems unnecessary to you. Why switch statement is being used instead of if else. Learn to Google questions. Frame them properly. Don’t just ask ‘my program doesn’t work’. No matter how experienced the developer is, he can’t help you with ‘not working program’

on that note..

Tip: Get yourself a mentor. There are many developers who are willing to help/ mentor newbies. But the same rule applies, ask proper detailed questions, prove that you’re here for the knowledge and not to get the easy solution

You’re welcome :)

Step 4: Build projects

This time, find something to build. Anything. It could be the millionth Todo list. But once you start a project on your own, you will face issues you never knew about. This is where the actual learning starts! Do not get caught in tutorial purgatory. Learn the basics, just enough to write a function with expected output. For example, if you’re learning web development, learning how to grab a DOM element (also knowing what DOM is) and manipulating it is enough. From then on wards, it is all about Googling what you need done and exactly how to do it.

Tip: Document your journey. Write blog posts, Instagram it or whatever the latest thing. Connect with fellow learners. You’ll realise that you’re not alone. And that always helps 🤗

Step 5: Learn advance programming concepts

This is where you may concern yourself with a language. Learn about programming paradigms, compilation vs interpretation, what is run time, (in JavaScript..) what is hoisting, currying, closure and lot of other fancy words for the concepts you’ve implemented.

And you’re done! It’s that simple!

Photo by Ali Yahya on Unsplash

But before that it is also equally important to not do a few things..

  1. Compare your journey to someone else’s. I know self taught developers who took 3 months and then there are those who took 2 years. You’re on your own unique path. Just keep swimmin’ 🐠
  2. Do not spend hours and hours or days on finding the perfect course or perfect teacher. Everyone has a different learning/ teaching style. Find someone good enough for now and just start.
  3. Do not think yourself as less than anyone else when you find yourself searching certain things over and over again, forgetting the syntax of something, or when for the first time you’ll spend one hour/ entire day solving an issue that was just a missing semicolon. We all have been there and still sometime face the same issues.

Just remember, programming is not about the language you choose, what OS you use or what fancy projects you’ve made. If you can solve a given problem, you’re a programmer.

These are all the resources I have used and will recommend 100% 🌻

Click here if you’re interested in reading about my journey :)

Good luck ❤ 🍀

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Vinita

Written by

Vinita

Writing about anything & everything that inspires me 🌻

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +793K followers.

Vinita

Written by

Vinita

Writing about anything & everything that inspires me 🌻

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +793K followers.

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