Why Learning To Code Is So Hard (And What You Can Do About It)

Why Learning To Code Is So Hard (And What You Can Do About It)
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Somewhere in between getting started with programming and being job-ready competent, you might experience the “desert of despair”. Viking Code School explains why this struggle happens and what you can do to survive it.

At the beginning, you’ll find lots of resources you can use to teach yourself to code. But past the beginner stage, Erik Trautman writes, there are fewer of those resources. Instead of the many tutorials and courses, you have to rely on textbooks and documents.

The second factor is the amount of knowledge required for you to progress until you can get a career as a software developer balloons — and you might end up going down a series of rabbit holes just to find out what you don’t know.

Although difficult, there are three things you can do to get past this phase: collaborate with others, set clear goals for what you want to accomplish, and focus only on those resources that will lead you to that goal.

Check out the blog post below for more on this curvy path.

Why Learning to Code is So Damn Hard [Viking Code School Blog]


  • The real trick is learning the principals behind coding, ie. the software engineering techniques rather than trying to learn a specific language. After that, it’s easy. A decent programmer will be able to be fully competent in a brand new language after about two weeks all because they know the principals rather than the specifics.

  • Coding is the easy part, understanding the logical building blocks available and basic functionality of various languages is very easy to pick up and get good details about. The difficult part isn’t around coding at all, it’s about stuffing about figuring out all these other things you need to have set up so you can actually get around to coding.

    It’s not as simply as clicking “new” in your favorite IDE. You need to know the frameworks you’re using, what they do, how to set them up so the interoperate properly, what server you’ll be using, what MVC framework you’ll have, what JS libraries you should use, the difference between the technologies that were available 2 years ago and those that are available today, configuring your environment so your workspace and project solutions are saved properly, the wonderful world of source control.

    Once you have all that crap sorted, then you can start coding. Coding is the easy part, getting everything set up and running is the hard part.

    • You have to learn how to think differently. And how to zoom in and out from the fine detail to the big picture.

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