How Hard is It to Learn Coding?
From learning the fundamentals to starting a practice project, here are six answers to the question, “How hard is it to learn coding?”
- Requires Dedication and Attention to Detail
- Start Small and Keep It Simple
- Practice Consistently and Patiently
- Depends on Aptitude
- ChatGPT Allows for Easier Coding
- Dive in, It’s the Best Way to Learn
Requires Dedication and Attention to Detail
Learning to code can be a challenging and rewarding experience. It requires dedication, attention to detail, and the ability to think analytically. You’ll need to learn the fundamentals of coding, such as syntax and program design, in order to become a proficient coder.
The good news is that there are plenty of resources available online and offline that can help you get started and make the learning process easier.
Many people have learned to code either through self-study or by taking classes at a coding academy.
Start Small and Keep It Simple
When I started coding, I had this misinformed stereotype about the overwhelming complexity of coding. There was this “mental inertia”, resistance, or fear anytime I wanted to code for the day.
If I planned to code for three hours a day, I would unconsciously exaggerate the exertion of those three hours that would wreak on me. Therefore, I involuntarily procrastinated and never coded for the day.
I overcame this by mentally tricking myself. Instead of focusing on the three hours I would code (triggering panic), I told myself I wanted to code for 30 minutes. “Oh, it would be quick,” my brain would excitedly heave, significantly lowering the barrier to activity (or starting).
But when I started coding those 30 minutes, I would find it so exciting and engrossing, coding for over three hours straight. The hack is to stop focusing on how long you would code for a day and start first. You would get more immersed by the minute.
Practice Consistently and Patiently
The fundamentals of programming may not be challenging to grasp, but becoming proficient requires consistent practice. To maximize your learning experience, it’s crucial to find resources that cater to your preferred style of learning.
Regardless of the approach you choose, it’s important to stay motivated and persistent until you fully understand the concept. With patience and dedication, coding can become an enjoyable and fulfilling experience.
Depends on Aptitude
Learning how to code may be difficult for some and simple for others. I have had a tough time with coding languages outside of HTML and basic CSS. That said, even with my level of aptitude, I could follow instructions from online resources such as W3Schools and have formatted dozens of websites in HTML on my own.
ChatGPT Allows for Easier Coding
Working in organizational research, I have long been a slave to SPSS and other commercial statistical software packages. They are (relatively speaking) easy to learn, use, and install, but come with a hefty price tag. Increasingly, I have dedicated myself to learning R and Python as an alternative to commercial statistical software.
ChatGPT has been an absolute godsend. You can simply ask “Write some code in R to conduct a factor analysis on data.csv”, and it immediately drafts beautifully written code to achieve your chosen goal. ChatGPT also clearly outlines each step in plain text, helping you identify the relevant functions and steps.
In a few short weeks, I have learned more about programming than I had in the previous year, boosting my confidence and eagerness to delve deeper. Although I will never be a computer scientist, I now feel confident enough to drop SPSS for good, saving the organization a tidy sum.
Dive In, It’s the Best Way to Learn
I started coding over 20 years ago, but I still learn every day.
If you’re a complete novice, investing in a few beginner books and Udemy courses is a great way to get started with programming concepts you might not understand. But to really learn something, you need to get involved.
These days, the quickest way I find to learn something new is to solve a problem or start a project using whatever it is I’m trying to learn. I dive in and learn to swim “on the job” using manuals, reference materials, or Google searches.
So find yourself something you want to do, and set about doing it. Maybe write a little game using Lua? Automate your spreadsheet job using Apps Script (Java).
You’ll learn more about making something happen than you will from any guided course or book.
Submit Your Answer
Would you like to submit an alternate answer to the question, “How hard is it to learn coding? Please share how you learned, or are learning, how to code.”
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