The most important secret and advice when learning programming is to practice as much as possible. My advice on how to build a programming education in 7 simple steps.
Key Points for Becoming a Good Programmer
- Find and study some good video course or book about your programming language on the internet. How do you know it’s good? You can always ask more experienced experts, or just read reviews in the comments. This usually helps a lot.
- Download the development environment and do all the examples from tutorials yourself. It’s very important to try everything with your own hands. This is the only way to really understand and figure out what works and how it works.
- Think up your own examples, similar to the material you learned and implement them yourself. Combine that with the material you learned earlier and improve the code you wrote earlier.
- After you have learned the basics of language syntax, think up or find an assignment on the Internet to develop some information system. It could be anything, a directory of books, patient records in a hospital, a school diary – any information system, which will allow you to put into practice the knowledge you have acquired. At the same time, strive to make a really high-quality product that you yourself would like to use and maintain. This way you will get a good project on your resume, and you will assert yourself as a programmer. And motivation is very important during your studies.
- Get experienced people who have been working with the language for a long time to check and evaluate your code and interface (code and UI review). Never take criticism as something negative. Be sure to remember and fix all mistakes. Accept the fact that it is very likely that you and your code will be trolled. It’s okay. Programmers are good trolls, one day you will be too.
- Keep learning the deeper features of the language, as well as related and interrelated technologies, and never stop in the process. IT is evolving at an incredible rate, so if you’re not evolving, you’re degrading. Attend conferences, learn new courses, take part in projects and talk to other programmers. This way you will gain enough experience and knowledge. And feel free to ask questions of a programmer who has already gotten a job.
- Don’t go crazy. Your brain needs rest, too, so it’s important to give yourself a little break to regain your energy and motivation. Find an actual hobby or activity that is interesting to you, where you can distract yourself, switch gears. It really does help a lot sometimes.
Statistically, it takes 10,000 hours of training and work to become one of the best professionals in any field. Accordingly, in about 3 years spending 10 hours every day can become a really good professional. But that doesn’t mean that if you write elementary Hello World applications all that time, you will become a guru. You need to evolve, learn from your mistakes, and set ambitious goals. Then, you will definitely succeed.
Does a Programmer Need an Education?
As they say will not be superfluous. Again, there are several factors. During training, you spin in one area of interest and absorb some of the information. In addition, sometimes you meet really great teachers who can teach you something useful. You learn how to learn, how to work in an emergency and how to negotiate. All in all, it’s a rewarding experience. Also, some companies can’t legally hire an employee without having the right degree.
Contrary to this, the level of educational materials in classical educational institutions is quite low and outdated, so you still have to learn everything yourself. During the time you study, you can open your own startup and turn it into a real business. And for any company that refused because of the lack of a diploma there are two even better, ready to accept a person for knowledge.
So I advise to get a diploma, but not so much for the knowledge, but because of the legal status and social component.
Regarding paid courses, it all depends on the school. Many will just pull money out of you, but some can really give useful material. So choose carefully, read reviews and comments on the Internet.
Do Programmers Get Paid Well?
The simple answer is yes, even in the United States. Please understand that when you hear a programmer complaining about their salary, it’s not because they’re comparing themselves to the general population. It’s since they’re comparing themselves to other programmers.
The bottom line is that in the United States, an improperly paid programmer remains in the leading 10% of salaried earnings, and lots of are in the top 5%. (More details here: Wage Statistics for 2019). Don’t let the year fool you. They’re the latest wage stats. Information for 2016 will not be available up until October of this year. However, in order to have changed much, whole markets would have had to go out of business.
The median family income in the United States is around $50k. This number is including people who are close to retirement.
The typical wage for an entry-level software engineer, on the other hand, is $63k. And, this number is local. The number is far higher than that in central Texas, for example.
So, yes. Programmers still have high wages. Our occupation requires understanding of an arcane set of skills that are just out of the reach of most people. It requires strong vital thinking and logic skills, which, regrettably, are also unusual nowadays. We have to be equal parts engineer and detective, and we’re paid appropriately.