Recursive Recipe for Learning to Program


MK_Recursive Recipe for Learning to Program

I found this excellent guide on how to easily and simply learn to code.  I share the main steps for my dedicated readers, but I highly suggest you read the original post in its entirety.  If you are indeed embarking on a journey into the wonderful and rewarding life of programming, please read on and immerse yourself in this well spring of knowledge.

  1. Follow a tutorial step-by-step even if you don’t always understand what you’re doing. I like to think of Hunter S. Thompson copying the books of the Great Masters on his typewriter. You’re getting a feel for how things are done in your new language/framework. This part should be easy, if boring, because you’re just doing what you’re told. [Incline of Optimism]
  2. Rebuild the thing you just made or a slight variation of it. Try not to use the tutorial too much. Realize just how little you understood of what you were doing. [Fear tugs, slowing your ascent]
  3. Try to build something simple that you actually want to make. Discover that you have absolutely no idea what you’re doing. [Sea of Despair]
  4. Find a new tutorial related to your new project. (Hopefully your tutorials are providing you with increasing background on the language.) Follow the steps. [Slight sense of understanding, rise in self-worth]
  5. Rebuild the thing yourself. [Fear]
  6. Start a new project. [Despair]
  7. Repeat steps 1 through 6.

See how easy that is?  It is like Driver’s Ed or Home Ec!

Okay, maybe it feels like complete drudgery and anxiety inducing.  But that is the case for learning anything new for the first time, especially when it comes to software.  And then if you want to build something practical and useful, well that is just a whole other level…

This article was originally published on Strong Opinions, a blog by Birch Ventures for the NYC tech startup community.

Image Credit: CC by Michael Himbeaul

About the author: Mark Birch

Mark is an early stage technology investor and entrepreneur based in NYC. Through Birch Ventures, he works with a portfolio of early stage B2B SaaS technology startups providing both capital and guidance in the areas of marketing, sales, strategic planning and funding.

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