10 Rules For Learning Programming Language
Learning a programming language can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience, but it also requires dedication, practice, and patience. There are many factors that can affect how well and how fast you can learn a programming language, such as your motivation, your goals, your learning style, your resources, and your environment.
However, there are also some general rules or tips that can help you learn any programming language more effectively and efficiently. Here are 10 rules for learning programming languages that I recommend:
1. Start with why
Before you choose a programming language to learn, you should have a clear reason or purpose for learning it. This will help you stay motivated, focused, and interested in your learning journey.
For example, you may want to learn a programming language to create a website, a game, a mobile app, a data analysis project, or a personal hobby. Having a specific goal or project in mind will also help you measure your progress and apply your skills in a practical way.
2. Set SMART learning goals:
SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. These are the criteria that you should use to set your learning goals.
For example, instead of saying “I want to learn Python”, you can say “I want to learn the basics of Python syntax, data types, control structures, and functions by the end of this month”. This way, you can have a clear direction, a realistic expectation, and a deadline for your learning.
3. Create strong daily habits
Learning a programming language is not a one-time event, but a continuous process that requires regular practice and repetition. To learn a programming language effectively, you should create a habit of coding every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
This will help you reinforce your knowledge, improve your skills, and overcome the forgetting curve. You can use tools like calendars, reminders, timers, or apps to help you stick to your daily routine and track your progress.
4. Build your learning input machine
Input is the information that you consume and process to learn a programming language. Input can come from various sources, such as books, courses, videos, podcasts, articles, blogs, forums, documentation, or code examples.
To learn a programming language efficiently, you should build your own learning input machine, which is a system that helps you find, organize, and access the best and most relevant input for your learning needs. You can use tools like bookmarks, folders, notes, or apps to help you create and manage your learning input machine.
5. Let your principles guide your learning
Principles are the fundamental concepts, rules, or best practices that guide your learning and coding. Principles can help you understand the logic, structure, and design of a programming language, as well as avoid common mistakes, errors, or bad habits.
Some examples of principles are: Keep It Simple, Stupid (KISS), Write DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself) Code, Open/Closed Principle, Composition Over Inheritance, Single Responsibility Principle, Separation of Concerns, and You Aren’t Going to Need It (YAGNI)³.
6. Make input your top priority
Input is the foundation of your learning, as it provides you with the knowledge, information, and examples that you need to learn a programming language.
Therefore, you should make input your top priority, and spend more time and energy on input than on output. Output is the information that you produce and express to demonstrate your learning, such as writing code, solving problems, or creating projects.
Output is important, but it should be based on and supported by input. A good ratio of input to output is 80:20, meaning that you should spend 80% of your time on input and 20% on output.
7. Learn by doing
Learning by doing is one of the most effective and enjoyable ways to learn a programming language. Learning by doing means that you apply your knowledge and skills in a practical and meaningful way, such as by writing code, solving problems, or creating projects.
Learning by doing can help you reinforce your learning, test your understanding, discover your strengths and weaknesses, and improve your confidence and creativity. You can use tools like online editors, compilers, or platforms to help you learn by doing.
8. Learn from others
Learning from others is another great way to learn a programming language. Learning from others means that you observe, analyze, and imitate the code, methods, or styles of other programmers, especially those who are more experienced or skilled than you.
Learning from others can help you expand your knowledge, improve your skills, learn new techniques, or avoid mistakes. You can use tools like online communities, forums, blogs, or platforms to help you learn from others.
9. Seek feedback and help
Seeking feedback and help is a crucial part of learning a programming language. Seeking feedback and help means that you ask for opinions, suggestions, or solutions from other programmers, especially those who are more experienced or skilled than you.
Seeking feedback and help can help you identify your errors, gaps, or areas of improvement, as well as learn new perspectives, insights, or approaches. You can use tools like online communities, forums, blogs, or platforms to help you seek feedback and help.
10. Enjoy the process:
Enjoying the process is the most important rule for learning a programming language. Enjoying the process means that you have fun, curiosity, and passion for learning and coding.
Enjoying the process can help you overcome challenges, frustrations, or boredom, as well as increase your motivation, interest, and satisfaction. You can use tools like games, puzzles, or challenges to help you enjoy the process.
These are the 10 rules for learning programming languages that I suggest. I hope they can help you learn any programming language more effectively and efficiently. Happy coding! 😊.