Things I Wish I knew When I Started Coding

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Hi, I'm Nextwebb πŸ‘‹... I wrote my first line of code 4years ago and since then it's totally changed my life.

For me, coding brings some sense of satisfaction. The skill of being able to program computers to do what you want, learning how applications work under the hood and I loved video games... yea for some techies, that was the spark.. it was exciting! I had a useful skill! 🀩. And The curiosity has kept me relentlessly getting better πŸ˜ƒ.

Asides from freelancing and teaching coding, I had my first coding job at a hospitality firm in 2019 and since then I've had the resolve, " Coding every day can be fun until it isn't πŸ˜‚! ".

During these years I have faced the good, the bad, and the ugly side of a programming job πŸ˜….

I'll talk about tips I wish I knew when I started out learning tech πŸ–ŠοΈ.

Programming is not about coding, programming is about solving problems with coding.

1*6CpHbDzAAxtuw5dNcDeM9A.png In my opinion, this mindset can change a lot about your perspective and accelerate your growth.

Being able to see programming not as a hobbyist but as a professional who solves problems with technology. if we adopt this mentality the developer community will be less toxic...leave out emotions and identify opportunities as a software developer.

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The truth is, software development has a lot of potentials, not only as a career but as a tool for entrepreneurship. As a developer, you have the ability to create anything that comes to mind with only the help of a computer. The skill to code anything by learning programming languages. The possibility to turn ideas into reality.

Communication Skills Are Just As Important As Coding Skills.

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When we start out learning to code we invest a lot in our growth. for me, I used up all my free time coding and coding and more coding πŸ˜†!

Well while coding is a great skill to have... it's not enough πŸ€”!

Being able to sell yourself as a good developer is as important as being a good developer. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind and don’t wait for someone to offer you a senior / tech-lead position. Be this person, first πŸ˜‰!

In the tech space it's important you sell yourself as a professional and not a hobbyist building and maintaining an online presence. Twitter, networking events, writing/reading articles and blogs, and communicating effectively are places to start.

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Tech is communal. that's why we have teams, pairing, open-source, stack overflow, conferences, books, hackathons, and blogs. Take advantage of this! πŸš€

Be Open to change and willing to learn.

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Software engineering has changed a lot πŸ€”. No one reinvents the wheel (waste of time). Time is a scarce commodity to software engineers 😏 Professionals have been reduced to gluing technologies together, from third-party libraries, APIs, frameworks, and many times Open-source software, with the aim of producing and innovating a product(SAAS).

Staying relevant is a constant need for all professionals, but perhaps even more so for Developers. With technology changing at such a fast clip, it will be survival of the fastest in many parts of the industry.

  • Stay current with industry news/ tech stack and OTHER news

  • I know we love to build. We love to code πŸ˜…...Just Use modern libraries. They'll generally make your life easier. And At least companies use them πŸ€·β€β™‚

  • Don't make the big mistake to stop your education. You’ve worked hard to get where you are, and much of that doubtlessly included education (whether formal or informal).

  • The best way to learn is to connect with your peers; online communities are a great place to do this. Twitter has a great dev community. Take advantage of it and learn.

  • Attend meetups and tech conferences

  • Simply reading new job descriptions and staying connected to the market will tell you a world of information about what practical skills are generating the most interest and how to level up.

    Well, take advantage of the changing modern sphere of software.

You will have imposter syndrome.

tim-gouw-1K9T5YiZ2WU-unsplash.jpg Moments you feel like a fraud running out of luck and soon to be figured out 😩. It's normal and it happens to everyone and at whatever level you are. When we feel this way it's important we try not to make it deter us or we dwell so much on how much we suck at programming 😏.

How to counter our internal critics

  • Accept and move forward: You won't know everything. it's okay to know a few things.
  • Share your knowledge
  • Try to itemize your accomplishments
  • Give kudos to awesome people and help people
  • Teach what you know
  • What gives you credibility?
    • knowledge
    • Experience
    • Contributions
  • Write a bio, what to include:

    • Roles: e.g team lead, project manager, volunteer, backend developer, frontend developer, community lead, mentor.
    • Skills: e.g show empathy, resolve conflicts, team player, communicate effectively.
    • Strengths: I'm relentless, I strive to be better.
    • Experiences: I've contributed value to employers, I have skills I'm proud of.
    • Values: positive attitude, communication, open-mindedness

    The tips outlined above are worth trying out, For a couple of reasons see it as a good thing, you have nothing to lose πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈ. it could help you keep learning and growing. it could serve as a moral compass helping you keep the right balance between humility and confidence πŸ˜€.

Take care of your physical and mental health.

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There's a thing as being addicted to programming. Everything has a cost. Let's always keep the cost In check.

find a balance between work and life. in the long run, we're not robots. we can get overwhelmed by work, get tired, lose motivation, relationships can suffer and we can burn out.

In the long run, It's not a healthy habit that we work so much that we skip meals, rest, and some leisure time we don't stress overwork. Programming can be both mentally and physically exhausting. it's important we strive to rest well, we'll be surprised by how much proper night rest, can lead to a productivity boost at work πŸ˜ƒ.

You won't know everything.

image.png If it's one thing I've learned as a programmer: it's to approach programming languages as just tools to get things done. The things that matter most are on a level above language syntax or libraries.

Don't get caught up in needless debates on which is best. As a matter of fact, the best skill a developer can have is being a problem solver.

You're always going to be at a point where you're going to need to know more and that's always going to be the case, especially in this industry. so you're never going to have all your docs in a row, you're gonna need to study more. so just start building something. anyone who's willing to hire you just wants to see someone that's willing to learn wants to pick up new things and gets the job done.

Take your time and learn the fundamentals well.

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It's okay to have big goals and plans. But it could sometimes be a snare to rush and skip the essential process of learning. Knowing and tracking what you know is important.

My advice to a budding developer would be to pick one language and learn it well. don't be swayed by the hype in the community, many times it's influenced by people's sentiments and not the market need. for example, JavaScript is not perfect but it works. so learn it well.

When it comes to software development, think long-term. Software Development is a marathon, not a sprint.

You can't learn 10 technologies in a week and build a full-scale app the second week πŸ’”.

Take your time, and enjoy the journey. There is no rush. 😊

I am not where I want to be yet, and every day is a learning experience for me! πŸ’ͺ

Here we go! that concludes my top 7 tips article on this subject. I hope this helps a newbie do better and make better decisions.

Thanks for the audience and I hope you found this article helpful πŸ€—. Feel free to reach out to me on Github, Twitter and LinkedIn. Do drop a like, comment, and share 😌.

Comments (2)

Funyinoluwa Kashimawo's photo

Well done Peterson Oaikhenah this is a very nice big picture view of a career as a software developer. I loved the part where you said

Don’t be afraid to speak your mind and don’t wait for someone to offer you a senior / tech-lead position.

Developers need to understand that they can always present themselves for promotions when they feel they are competent enough because people rarely offer promotions

Peterson Oaikhenah's photo

Awesome Funyinoluwa Kashimawo . thanks :)