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3 Things You Should Know Before Learning to Code

Sigma School
1st April 2024

So, you've seen your friends become software developers, enjoying high pay and seemingly endless opportunities, and now you're eager to follow suit. It's a thrilling idea, but before you jump in, there are a few things to know to set yourself up for success. Many beginners get excited at first but eventually give up because they get overwhelmed. But don't worry—if you take the proper technique, you can avoid common pitfalls and confidently start your coding career. Before learning to code, you should be aware of the following three things:

1. Coding is very hard, like very hard

a woman stressing out while looking at the laptop


Let's be real from the start: learning to code isn't a walk in the park. It's not like picking up a new language and suddenly becoming fluent. Nope, it takes time, effort, and a good dose of patience. Along the way, you'll encounter bugs that make you scratch your head, concepts that feel like a wild roller coaster ride, and moments where you might want to toss your computer out the window in frustration.


But here's the deal: it's all part of the journey! Embracing the challenges, taking them one step at a time, and remembering that every stumble is a chance to learn and grow is key.


Knowing that coding can be tough helps you prepare for the adventure ahead. It stops you from expecting everything to be a breeze and gets you in the right mindset for learning.


So, when things get tricky, don't sweat it! Everyone faces setbacks and makes mistakes when they're learning to code. But instead of feeling discouraged, see these moments as opportunities to improve. Break down big problems into smaller, manageable chunks, and celebrate each small victory along the way.


Just remember, even the best coders started out as beginners like you. So, keep at it, stay persistent, and believe in yourself! You've got what it takes to succeed.


Here are some interesting videos to help you keep motivated:


2. Learn to type fast, without seeing the keyboard

a pair of hands typing on a laptop


Here's the deal: typing speed and accuracy are crucial skills for coders, but they often get overlooked. As a coder, you'll spend a ton of time typing out lines of code, so being able to do it quickly and accurately is super important.


Why? Well, the faster you can type, the quicker you can turn your thoughts into code. Plus, being able to type without staring at the keyboard keeps your focus on the screen, making you more productive.


So, how do you get better? Simple: practice, practice, practice! There are tons of online resources and typing programs out there to help you improve. Set aside some time each day to work on your typing skills, and before you know it, you'll be typing like a pro. It might be tough at first, but trust me, with consistent practice, you'll see some serious improvements. You've got this!


Here are some FREE resources for you to start practicing:

3. Get a 2nd monitor

two monitors showing a Spider-man scene


Okay, let's talk about something that might sound fancy but can really level up your coding game: a second monitor.


When you're coding, you often need to juggle lots of different things at once—like your code editor, a terminal window, a browser for research, and maybe some documentation. It can get pretty cluttered on just one screen, right?


That's where a second monitor comes in handy. It gives you more space to spread out all those windows, making it way easier to stay organized and focused. Plus, you can set it up however you like—maybe one screen for your code and the other for reference materials, or whatever works best for you.


Now, you don't need to break the bank on some fancy monitor. Even a basic, affordable one will do the trick. Just play around with different setups until you find what works for you. Trust me, once you go dual-screen, you'll never want to go back!


Here are some suggestions for getting your second monitor:

Conclusion

Learning to code can be a challenging yet immensely rewarding journey. By understanding the difficulty of coding, honing your typing skills, and optimizing your workspace with a second monitor, you can set yourself up for success from the start. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day, and becoming proficient in coding takes time, dedication, and perseverance. So roll up your sleeves, embrace the challenges, and get ready to unlock the endless possibilities that coding has to offer. Happy coding!


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