5 Things I wish I' knew before I started programming

The first steps of any career can be intimidating, coding is no exception. When starting out, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information and advice out there. Knowing what the first steps should be are key, as is knowing a few other ground rules. From one experienced programmer to all the rookies out there, here are the things I wish I knew before I started programming.

 

1. Choose a main focus language

There are hundreds of programming languages out there and each one has its pros and cons. Furthermore, each one has certain applications and uses that it is better suited to. Not all languages are created equally and when you are starting out, you need to make a smart decision on which one you will go for. Read, research, ask for other people’s opinions. Just be sure you have considered all the benefits and pitfalls of the language you have chosen, as well as how it will apply to your career goals.

 

2. Each language has official documentation

Each programming language has a set of official documents that come with it. Languages, libraries, and frameworks are all available online and cover complicated applications and the most basic concepts. Programming languages are not just created and sent out into the ether, they are backed up with reams of documentation and information to help you to get to grips with them.

 

3. Google is your friend

Google is not a copout for coders who want a quick answer to something. Every single software engineer uses Google when they don’t know something - even the most advanced among us. Chances are, you aren’t the first person to get that error message or bug- someone else will have been there before and will have found the solution. There is no shame in searching for the answer. Why spend hours or days finding a solution when you can find one in a fraction of a second via Google?

 

4. It’s all about problem-solving

Many people consider coding to be just something technical. But actually, it is based on a soft skill foundation; problem-solving. Coding isn’t a kind of magic, it’s just thousands of lines of perfect code that executes functions and operates flawlessly (most of the time) to create a solution. The very basis of coding is that you have a problem or something you need to achieve and you write code to get there. Gradually, you will learn how to solve problems with code and to communicate literally anything you want.

 

5. You will never know everything

Programmers are often perfectionists and this can present itself with a desire to know everything. Spoiler: you are never, ever, ever going to know everything there is to know about software development. This is because, quite simply, there is too much to know. It’s also because the world of coding is always changing and developing. New languages and updates to existing ones are continually released. New libraries and frameworks are developed all the time, and new ‘best practices’ replace the old. For this reason, you can never really know everything. The best you can do is keep up to date with your niche and what interests you.

 

Authored by the Finerton.com News Team (Malta)
Images Sourced from Unsplash.com & Pixabay.com