General Discussion

Jonathan Grieve
MOD
Jonathan Grieve
Treehouse Moderator 63,738 Points

Some encouragement for you all

Hi all,

If you follow the community a lot you may have noticed from time to time I come and write a post oozing in self-doubt and I've also posted about why. But instead doing that I wanted to post some tips and encouragement for students who might be in a similar position to me.; who might have a specific learning difficulty that means the way they learn is different to others.

The main thing is, don't let anything, even your self-doubt hold you back from achieving your dreams.

A while ago, I wrote a 5 point list of things for myself to remember while studying to make myself great at coding. I'll try to explain what I mean by each of them.

  1. Make every effort to learn the code from memory... with practice. Apply to a project.

Now I'm not always good at this, learning code and taking the time to practice. With my brain it is not always organised enough to stick to plan. Instead, I kind of flit from one topic to the other, reasoning that I can go back to the other topic or project later... and then I end up just moving on again.

Just try. Try to commit code to memory as best you can. And if you can't, at least you can tell yourself you tried.

  1. Keep code snippets. What are they for? Where can they be found. Where can they be used.

I have spent my entire 3 years, (I'm coming up to 3 years a Treehouse Student) following the courses and taking notes of what I think are the most relevant and important points. And that includes following on and writing code so you can fall back on it.

Hopefully with time and practice you won't have to write code without looking them up all the time, but if you take the time to write the code., why you need it, and where you can find them, and where to put them in your projects, you'll at least be up and running in no time.

Think of it as an extension of the concept of Bootstrap. The Bootstrap documentation is packed full of useful code snippets for you to pull into your projects and expand on to make your projects your own thing... or to customise them to the needs of your clients. We're in the creative industry and there are so many different ways for us to solve problems. Do what works for you.

  1. Even if you don't remember the code... remember concepts.

I find I remember concepts more than I remember specific code. I've been learning code long enough to know that most if not all languages have variables, arrays, functions, Object Oriented approaches.

If I don't remember the specifics of how to write code, I make sure I know how to find the answers.

If you get downhearted as I know I frequently do, it's good to remember that it is as much about knowing how to Google for problems, look up documentation or even ask other developers to help you find the answer. It is absolutely not cheating and a skill in its own right in the coding world.

  1. Remember in the tech industry it is okay to ask for help when you needed & not and admission of failure! It's how we learn in this field :)

It's okay to ask for help. If you can find yourself a coding mentor, even better. But asking for help is just another great way to learn. In the same respect don't even worry when you make mistakes. This will only magnify your learning potential.

  1. Above all.. take time to practice.

Practice, practice practice and you will learn the skills you need to make your dreams a reality. I may not be at the level I want to be yet but I've already learned new skills I never thought possible in my time with Treehouse. I don't think I'd have come as far as I have with WordPress without it, and I've been able to find good work in WordPress thanks to the skills and time I put into building on them.

  • I hope these points have helped and encouraged you.

I know I get down at times, when I'm trying to learn code and sometimes even wonder why I'm putting myself through it. and I'll probably go through it all again... :) But if I can learn, I'm pretty sure you all can too.

Andrew Minert
Andrew Minert
3,984 Points

Thank you! This was really encouraging :)

6 Answers

Rogier Nitschelm
Rogier Nitschelm
iOS Development Techdegree Student 5,357 Points

I agree that you shouldn't let anything discourage you. I have been demotivated quite often as well, because alot of things can be totally weird from a rookie coder's perspective. However, coming from someone who only started coding 1 year ago:

It will definately get better. However hard it may look at fisrt, just do not give up on it. Do not try to find just the 'easy' way out,. Try to make it work, feel free to use documentation, Google (like so many experienced developers do) or ask other people. And one of the biggest factors in success and getting a job is starting to build a project for yourself that you can be proud of. Every little part you build will be something you made and you can reflect on when being interviewed by an employer.

There is however one thing I kinda want to steer other beginners (like myself) from. That is trying to memorize everything. Please do not. Feel free to use Google, because you cannot memorize everything as you will always forget something now and then. And thats okay. The feeling of having to memorize everything can be a huge demotivation of learning to code, because code itself from a beginner's perspective already looks intimidating. The false assumption that you have to memorize everything will only discourage people more from starting.

If you really find it frustrating memorizing, it may be rewarding to make yourself a repo with summaries of the things you learn. Or better yet, of projects you made. You can keep them as reference material, and you will be back on track real fast in the case you forget something.

Jonathan Grieve
Jonathan Grieve
Treehouse Moderator 63,738 Points

That's a great idea about adding bits of code to a Repo. I'll have to see what I can do with that :-)

Rogier Nitschelm
Rogier Nitschelm
iOS Development Techdegree Student 5,357 Points

Thanks :) https://github.com/rogiernitschelm/ios_summaries/blob/master/arrays.md

Here is one of mine for inspiration. I am writing everything down everything I deem useful. In the case I think of something I want to learn, I just make a placeholder file (so I don't forget about it).

Guil Hernandez
STAFF
Guil Hernandez
Treehouse Teacher

Even if you don't remember the code... remember concepts.

Great advice, Jonathan Grieve! :)

Alphonso Sensley II
Alphonso Sensley II
7,271 Points

Very encouraging post! I am 2 months into my coding journey to become an iOS developer. I must say that the amount of information can be overwhelming at times; but even in my short time I have also found that memorizing concepts really works!! It amazing how a concept will make no sense for a couple of days or maybe a week, and then suddenly it will click!! Thanks for the encouragement Jonathan Greive!