Best Way to Learn Coding

Coding is a multifaceted skill that requires study, practice, and determination. The right learning approach can help maintain your motivation, retain information, and make learning fun!

Whether you’re looking for the best way to learn coding online (or offline), you should know how to learn smarter and not harder. Here are just a few approaches to learning coding: 

Understand Your Coding Goals

Take a moment to reflect and understand your coding aspirations. By articulating your goals and keeping them in mind, you can stay motivated throughout your education.

So how long does it take to learn to code? That depends on you, your learning goals, and the coding program you choose.

If you’re struggling to come up with a goal, don’t worry—after all, there’s a lot you can do with a coding education! Start by visualizing how you want to apply your coding skills to better understand your goals.

Here are just a few examples:

  • Explore web design – Computer programming can help you build or customize a website.

  • Play with game development – With skills in coding, you could learn how to create your own computer games.

  • Create digital media art – Coding can help you channel your inner artist to create gorgeous digital art pieces.

  • Master The Fundamentals: In Theory and In Practice

    Imagine being a chef and not knowing how to boil water. Or an orchestra conductor who can’t read music. 

    That’s how important the coding fundamentals are to a programmer.

    The fundamental lessons you learn as a novice coder will apply to almost every project you encounter. Invest time and effort into understanding the foundations of computer programming. That way, you can problem-solve efficiently and better comprehend future complex coding lessons. 

    Focus on the Core Languages

    Open up a typical toolbox and you’ll find an assortment of different devices—each with its own unique applications. Understanding the difference between a hammer and a screwdriver can help you nail certain tasks. The same applies to coding languages.

    Your coding toolbox isn’t complete without a general understanding of coding languages. Each language has its own distinct characteristics that apply to particular coding projects. 

    Here’s a great lesson in working smarter rather than harder:

    There are hundreds of coding languages, (yup, hundreds). But you don’t have to memorize them all to be a skilled coder—just like you don’t have to own every possible drill head size for a fully-fortified toolbox. Familiarize yourself with the most common and most useful languages, and you’ll be ready to tackle a variety of projects.

    Below are the most utilized coding languages and their features:

  • HTML – HTML stands for “Hyper Text Markup Language” and is the standard coding language for designing web pages.

  • CSS – CSS—or “Cascading Style Sheets”—is used in conjunction with HTML. CSS tells programs how to display HTML elements and can control multiple web pages at once.

  • JavaScript – JavaScript creates interactive and responsive elements on webpages to help enhance user experience.

  • Processing – Processing is the language of digital arts. It’s an extremely versatile language that creates stunning visual art. 

  • Hands-On Learning

    Why should I learn to code by interactive practice instead of watching tutorials? Coding is a creation skill—it requires putting theory into practice over and over again. While you can learn the theory of coding by watching a lesson, the only way you’ll gain the intuitive grasp needed is by building projects yourself. Think of it this way—would you feel comfortable flying an airplane after only a few hours of classroom training? Your passengers certainly wouldn’t! 

    Learning by doing is the best way to sharpen your coding skills. 

    Practice Writing Your Code... By Hand

    While it might seem tedious, learn to write your codes out by hand. If you want to make coding part of your career, this is a required skill. In fact, potential employers require computer science job candidates to write out a code as part of the interview process.

    Bonus? Handwriting notes (or code) can help you retain information. Just ask researcher, Jared Hovarth, from University of Melbourne's Science of Learning Research Center: 

    The very nature of handwriting means you have to write and organise as you are thinking, and that kind of organisation affects how you are interpreting the information. It's the way the handwriting forces you to organise your thoughts that leads to deeper processing.

    Keep a pencil and paper by your computer so you can maximize your retention of key coding tutorials.

    Make Mistakes

    The best way to learn coding for free? Make a ton of mistakes. And learn from them. Errors are cheap, but the lessons you learn from each one is priceless. 

    Making mistakes can take a toll on your motivation and self-esteem during the learning process. Try these mistake-hacks to help you turn your errors into aha! moments: 

  • The 20 minute rule – When you feel stuck on a coding problem, set a timer for twenty minutes, then take a deep breath, and dive back in. Give those 20 minutes more focus and attention than ever. Chances are, those twenty minutes of focus will yield more results than hitting your head against the keyboard for an hour. And if the twenty minutes are up and you have no answers? Ask for help! At the very least, you’ll have learned more about what not to do in those twenty minutes than you had before. 

  • Walk away from the problem – It seems counterintuitive, but it really works. Stepping back and creating distance from the problem can help refresh your mind and help you look at the issue with clarity. 

  • Write down your process – Try writing down your processes to understand where things may have gone wonky. And we do mean write. Using a pen and paper to sketch out your thought process can help you gain perspective.

  • Take Breaks

    One of the best things you can do to learn coding is to... stop coding. And by that, we mean take frequent breaks. Research shows that regular breaks can increase your productivity, help reduce stress, and give you a boost of creativity. Don’t wait until you’re exhausted and frustrated to the point of screaming. Schedule breaks during your learning time to maintain your excitement for coding.

    Check out these ideas for your coding break:

  • Go for a walk outside – Spending time outside and especially in nature can reduce stress levels and help restore your focus. When you come back indoors to tackle your next coding lesson, you’ll feel replenished and ready for anything. 

  • Talk to a friend – Hanging out for a few minutes with a friend can benefit your mind. Socializing can help take the edge off of any frustration you might be feeling. You’ll relax and feel more positive about your coding project. 

  • Make a snack – Never underestimate the power of a good snack. A Tork study showed that employees who took a lunch break reported feeling more effective and efficient at their work. 

  • Support and Guidance

    Every Luke needs an Obiwan, every Arthur their Merlin. Finding the right guidance for your code-learning journey can make the difference between a stale and stuffy coding program and a coding adventure.

    Here are just a few things to look for in a coding program or resource:  

  • Course materials – Your independent coding practice relies on guidance from reference materials. But jargon-heavy or even over-simplified directions can put you at risk for learning pitfalls. Make sure the guidance is clear and detailed. If the course materials are easy to read and understand, they’ll be easy to learn from.

  • Projects – Take a look at your coding course’s curriculum. Pay special attention to the projects you’ll complete. Projects are an opportunity to put your skills to the test in fun and challenging ways. But if you’re not excited by the projects or tasks, you may lose steam in your coursework.

  • Help and resources – Coding is a complex skill set to master. And as you’re learning, you’ll probably need extra help once in a while. Beyond guided directions, what other support does your course offer? 

  • Stay Motivated

    Last but not least, motivation can deeply impact your coding education. On average, coding courses have a 10% completion rate—that means 90% of students left or never finished the class. 

    The best way to learn coding and stay motivated to learn coding? 

    Learning through a comprehensive program that is both educational and fun. 

    Enjoy Coding Education with Disney Codeillusion

    Disney Codeillusion’s approach to coding education combines effective teaching strategies, a self-propelled curriculum, accessible materials, and an engaging learning environment.

  • Official collaboration with Disney – The only coding course officially collaborating with the fantastic world of Disney.

  • Education and entertainment – Disney Codeillusion combines over 10 years of coding education expertise with the excitement of Disney. Through a role-playing game-style format, you can learn coding alongside some of your favorite Disney characters. This immersive learning experience engages, motivates, and inspires you to achieve goals and meet coding milestones.

  • Comprehensive coding education – You will practice the most common programming languages including CSS, HTML, JavaScript, and Processing. Through engaging games and challenges, you’ll practice skills in:
        • Web design
        • Game development
        • Digital media art
  • A “stuck-free” coding experience – With detailed, step-by-step guides, Disney Codeillusion offers comprehensive coding help with every lesson. And if you make a mistake or “get stuck” on a problem, you’re not alone—a virtual mentor is always on standby to give hints and help you learn. 

  • The best way to learn coding is only a moment away. Start your coding adventure with Disney Codeillusion today! 

     

     

    Sources: 

    Medium. A Complete List of Computer Programming Languages. https://medium.com/web-development-zone/a-complete-list-of-computer-programming-languages-1d8bc5a891f

    NWEA. Research Proof Points – Better Student Engagement Improves Student Learning. https://www.nwea.org/blog/2015/research-proof-points-better-student-engagement-improves-student-learning/

    Geeks For Geeks. 7 Tips and Tricks to Learn Programming Faster. https://www.geeksforgeeks.org/7-tips-and-tricks-to-learn-programming-faster/

    HuffPost. Writing By Hand Improves Your Memory, Experts Say. https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2016/04/21/writing-by-hand-benefits_n_9735384.html

    Tork. Tork Survey Reveals Loss of Lunch Break Weighs Heavily on Millenials. https://www.torkusa.com/about/pressroom/take_back_lunch.aspx

    Forbes. New Study Shows Correlation Between Employee Engagement and The Long-Lost Lunch Break. https://www.forbes.com/sites/alankohll/2018/05/29/new-study-shows-correlation-between-employee-engagement-and-the-long-lost-lunch-break/#5d3016cc4efc

    US National Library of Medicine. Levels of Nature and Stress Response. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5981243/#:~:text=Findings%20suggest%20that%20visiting%20natural,setting%20or%20indoor%20exercise%20facility.