Learning to code can seem very difficult when you are just starting out. I know because I have been in that situation. However, I also know that it is possible to learn to code by yourself without spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on expensive courses.

With the right dedication I finally landed my first Software Engineering position at a large tech company. Learning to code is not an easy journey, but you can learn to code by yourself with the right sources. I have done it, thousands of people our there have done it and so can you.

I have received questions from fiends asking about how I did it and how they can do it as well. This has made me reflect over the process and to think about the mistakes I did and how I would do it if I got the chance to start from the beginning.

I have summarized my top 5 tips to learn how to code and I wanted to share them with you so you can make the same journey that I have. Hopefully you can use my advice in order to help you land your first job as a Software Engineer, create a cool website or whatever your goals are.

Tip 1: Be committed

Learning to code is hard and you should not expect to learn it over night. In order to succeed and become a self-learned coder, you must be committed to the process. This was a mistake that I made several times before actually learning how to code. I thought the process was going to be simple (or at least easier) and ended up taking some distance from it.

However, I eventually realized that learning how to code is challenging but is possible since so many other people have done it, so why can’t I? This mindset set me in the right direction and I decided to be and stay committed to process.

coding

Tip 2: Learn the basics

One of the bigger mistakes I made when learning how to code, was always looking for shortcuts. In the beginning, I didn’t actually try to learn how to code. Instead, I tried to find tutorials and code snippets which I could copy use to build a website or application. I could build a few projects following this approach and made some learnings, but learning how to code was not one of them.

treehouse

One of the best decisions that I’ve when learning how to code, was signing up for Team Treehouse. Team Treehouse is an online learning platform with high quality course content that I can not recommend enough. They offer video courses together with exercises through quizzes and a web-based code editor that creates an interactive learning experience.

Team Treehouse offer over 300 courses within 23 different areas and coding languages. With Team Treehouse I started from scratch and I was finally able to learn the basics of coding which was a huge boost in my coding development. Whenever someone asks me how I learned how to code, I always suggest starting by signing up for the 7 day free trial which Team Treehouse offer.

treehouse-tracks

I can highly recommend following their Full Stack JavaScript track, which consists of 34 hours of premium content. The track teaches you the essentials needed for front and backend web development and you will build projects using the popular framework Node.js.

Make sure to head over to Team Treehouse and sign up for the free 7-day trial which they offer. I can promise that you will be stuck and ready to sign up for a subscription which starts from $25 a month.

Tip 3: Be patient

I can not stress this enough, learning to code is not easy. You must be prepared to be patience and not be too hard on yourself. I remember when I was learning to code and sometimes I just couldn’t understand something, not matter how much I tried. From my first advice, you must be committed and eager to understand what you’re doing and not just give up once you encounter an obstacle.

Being challenged is part of the process, but for me I sometimes could not understand a problem, code or whatever it was. What I learned throughout my process was that you will not learn how to code by giving up, but the same goes for getting stuck with something. Sometimes the right solution is just to move forward and accept that you don’t understand that aspect at the moment. You will most likely encounter it again and by the second or third time it hopefully starts becoming more clear.

time

The most important advice I can give related to this is to find a balance that works for you. You must challenge yourself and do what you can to understand something if it’s not clear. If you give it some time and it still doesn’t make sense, be patient, move on and come back to it the next day and see if you understand it then.

Tip 4: Build projects

If you want to learn something, you have to do actually do it. Learning by doing is also applied to learning how to code. Remember to not be too stressed as I talked about before and rush into this. However, hen you have signed up for Team Treehouse and learnt the basics, it’s time for you to practice your new skills.

I found that the best way to challenge myself and use my new skills, was to work on some personal projects. This allowed me to repeat what I had previously learnt, but I always continuously confronted with new challenges. With the basics I had learnt from Team Treehouse I was ready to take on these challenges.

Keep it simple and don’t think too big in the beginning. Start with small and simple projects and then add more advanced features as you learn.

Tip 5: Google is your friend

When I was helping a friend to learn how to code, I realized that I had unknowingly acquired a skill which I was using all the time. Whenever I encountered a problem which I couldn’t solve myself, I would jump right over and Google it. There are some many people out there who are learning how to code and all of use have had issues.

I have learnt that the chances that someone else has experienced the same problems as you, is quite high. You can therefore almost always find guidance by googling your problem. I just want to raise an important point here, you should google for advice and not google for code that you can copy.

Googling is a skill that you should master in order to learn how to code. Learning how to code google a problem will help you learn how to code.

Conclusion

I hope you have found these advices valuable and that they help you to learn how to code. Remember that you are not alone, thousand of people are self-learned developers, so there’s no reason why you can’t become one.