Is your New Year's Resolution to become a Software Engineer in 2018? Read up on these tips from Flatiron School Co-Founder and Dean Avi Flombaum, and then sign up for their Back to Code Challenge to stay motivated!
This is a big one. When a lot of people set out to learn computer programming, many of them aren’t even aware at first what git and GitHub are and why they’re important. If you build a foundation on these things from the start, you’re much more likely to succeed further on down the road. Open up terminal, learn commands, and build a strong foundation from there — platforms like Learn.co are good at integrating that from that start.
The best developers are the people who really love their work. Just take a look at people like Tim Holman, who works at CodePen. He’s been programming for about five years, but he always finds new projects to create and love at his job. That’s what turns coding into something truly magical that you’ll want to invest your time in — both at work and outside of it. tl;dr: Find what to love. It will be a gift that keeps on giving, and keeps helping you raise the bar.
Make sure that you code every day. Even if it’s just for an hour — something is better than nothing. It will help keep you sharp. If you're a beginner, this is especially crucial. You’ll be taking a lot of new information in at once, and practicing regularly will keep you from losing the skills you just built. Maybe that means setting time aside on your calendar everyday to work on a certain project outside of work, or maybe that means setting up a hackathon with a friend to code together. However you decide to do it, just don’t let the habit slip by the wayside. It’s your single most important tool in becoming a successful developer.
This can’t be emphasized enough. Keep practicing, and push yourself through — especially when it gets hard and you just want to quit.
This could mean different things depending where you are in your learning process. If you’re a professional developer, hopefully you already have a community of people with whom you work. If you’re new to learning, this may be more of a struggle. Regardless, there are a few things you can do to improve upon that by reaching out to a community. Attend Meetups in your area for developers and go to regular presentations, find a Slack community where you can get support and help, or make sure that the next program you choose has that built in so you’re not just going it alone.
As I tell all my students at Flatiron School, learning to program is a never-ending journey – and something you’ll only get better at. Good luck!
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