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The Right Questions To Ask When Learning To Code

CodeCast
A New Form of Developer Media
Updated on ・7 min read

We at CodeCast get asked a lot of questions from those learning to code. We, in return, ask questions from our community members and audience to better understand why they want to learn code, how they learn best, and what topics interest them most. So, we have compiled a list of the most common and frequently asked questions and put it into a blog post.

Making the decision to advance your career by obtaining a whole new skill set or mastering an already existing skill is an exciting time, but there’s a lot to consider. It can be time-consuming and require a lot of dedication and effort, especially when you're in school or working a full-time job, but it can also open doors you’ve never imagined and lead you to find new passions and exciting opportunities and build cool collaborations within your career.

When we look back at how we once learned some of the more difficult skills we now possess, you will likely find that it is challenging to recall exactly how we grasped this talent and the specific steps we took to mastering this ability. This is because how we learn and process information changes over time and different tasks require unique approaches, so learning a new skill, such as coding, may require a completely new train of thinking compared to what and how you have previously been exposed to.

By continuing to ask our users and viewers questions to gain an understanding of what's driving them and what they are excited to learn about, this helps prepare and propel our community's educational experience when learning code or when learning new skills in general.

Why Do You Want to Learn This Skill?

If you aren’t sure why you’re learning this new skill, you may end up lacking motivation when things get hard or more complex the further along you get. We sometimes need to know where we’re going so we don’t take unnecessary detours or get lost in our pursuit of this skill, as the saying goes ‘Start with the end in mind’. Through exploring and then acknowledging the reasons why you are determined to learn, it helps to solidify your commitment and acts as a reminder of why you’re learning it in the first place.

If you are simply wanting to know if you enjoy learning something before completely committing and devoting yourself, becoming more familiar with the material and topic and even trying it out is a great place to start. As you progress, however, it’s important to be clear on the reasons why you’re continuing so you can stay accountable to your success.

In Which Setting Do You Learn Best

Understanding the specific setting in which you learn best could be the exact thing that tells you how much you will like learning a specific skill. For example, if you prefer working alone and don’t necessarily require nor want to be working directly with people, then learning something like sales skills might not be the best move, as this industry involves a great deal of direct communication and human interaction. If you are great at self-motivating and don’t need to be held accountable to complete tasks or projects, then a remote setting may be the best fit, but if you feed off energy and enjoy the help of others, a classroom or group setting will likely suit you better. Where some people learn best alone, such as watching videos and tutorials or reading, others prefer more tangible and action-oriented forms of learning, and knowing which one best suits your needs will help you become more successful. Luckily, a lot of skills, especially in the field of computer science, have the best of both worlds. You can reap the benefits of remote work while meeting like-minded peers in online learning groups and communities and courses.

It’s well worth taking the time to assess what setting you thrive in academically so you can make sound decisions throughout your learning process.

How Comfortable Are You with Feedback

Receiving feedback can be a challenging job in and of itself, but it unquestionably enhances the work. If you are open and willing to receive feedback whilst learning a new skill, then you probably recognize the importance of it. Without feedback, it can be easy to make a mistake and continue to make that same mistake, yet some people prefer to learn without observations from others. If you are someone who does not enjoy nor feels like they benefit from feedback, you want to make sure you have a system in place that ensures you are following the correct steps and aren’t learning the wrong way. In the case of learning code, you can watch industry professionals on platforms where they are casting in real-time, without having to directly participate. If you enjoy receiving feedback, then platforms like CodeCast once again, are great as they also directly cater to those who want to receive feedback and participate in the learning process.

Are You Willing to Invest in The Right Equipment

Congratulations! You’ve mastered a new skill! But now you have to continue to purchase continuously updated products that help you do your job or take your skills to the next level. This shouldn’t come as a surprise as we already do this in our everyday lives. We update our furniture, our vehicles, our appliances, and most certainly our electronics. If you’ve recently become skilled at photography, you might be shocked at the price tag of camera equipment, but in most cases, these tools will last you a long time. As for programmers and developers, it’s important to invest in a proper desk set up / work station and an up-to-date and preferably newer computer, and thankfully these tools have an increasingly long lifespan.

How Much Time Are You Able to Invest

There are different levels of commitment for each skill you learn. Some skills are flexible and will allow you to move at your own pace, others require a lot of time and attention so it stays fresh in your memory, such as learning to code or speaking a new language. If you’re unsure about how much time you can allocate to learning a new skill, look at whether you can prioritize it over other commitments and dedicate chunks of time each couple of days or throughout your week to making yourself available. If your schedule does not permit any extra time, you may be better off learning on a slower self-taught basis until you can commit more time. If finding time is your struggle, then create ways to maximize your learning experience in a shorter time frame, such as interacting with seasoned experts live streaming on CodeCast. The more impactful your learning experience is, the more likely you are to not only retain the information but also design your life to create more time and space for this new skill.

Questions From Our Community

What Technical Skills Do I Need Before I Learn to Code?
If you are completely new to coding it can feel overwhelming. Many people struggle with where to focus their attention first, whether it be front end, back end, or various programming languages. If you have no idea where to start, that’s ok! CodeCast teaches people how to code, at any level. Before diving into the technical skills, however, we suggest focusing on mastering areas such as being impatient, quick frustration and being easily distracted. If you can do this, then learning the more technical based skills will be a lot less stressful and difficult.

Before jumping into a live cast or taking courses, it’s not a bad idea to get acquainted with some common coding concepts and familiarize yourself with popular languages and terminology as this will help get you a basic understanding of the material.

How Do I Stay Motivated When Learning To Code?

Like anything else, the moment you start understanding the material and getting the hang of this new skill, you become extra motivated and are excited to continue practicing and learning. But more often than not when you’re learning to code by yourself, you have to generate your own motivation. If you are learning by yourself, start by having the end goal in mind, be realistic about your goals, make sure you aren’t burning yourself out, don’t focus on speed just focus on consistency, and go back and revisit your learned material until you understand it.

When you are learning alongside a group of people or with the help of an instructor, it’s much easier to increase your motivation and not lose sight of what you are trying to accomplish. The instructors at CodeCast have witnessed high levels of successful outcomes from group learning and live-streams from those who previously struggled when attempting to learn code on their own.

How Many or Which Coding Languages Should I Learn?

The number of coding languages you should learn will be completely dependent on what you want to do with your coding career. There are, however, some languages that you might want to consider learning first as that will help you grasp other languages more easily such as HTML/CSS and JavaScript. with over 600 possible languages to choose from, it can be overwhelming to sort through them and find the one that suits your needs. The good news is, no matter what language you choose you will be gaining useful and valuable skills, and there’s no such thing as picking the wrong language.

While you might first choose a language that is based on the goal you want to achieve, you might want to look at which languages are most in-demand within the industry as that might be more relevant.

How Often Do You Need to Refresh Your Skills?

One could argue that tech moves at lightspeed and it can be tricky to keep up with how quickly things are changing. Keeping your skills up to date as a programmer or developer happens pretty naturally if you’re working within the industry, but if you’ve been out of the game for some time then you may need to properly assess where your skills lay. By involving yourself in platforms like CodeCast where the instructors are industry professionals and are always up to date with the latest technologies, softwares, and programs, you can be reassured that you learn the most up to date information. Other platforms like Reddit, Youtube or Quora are also always keeping their viewers updated on various resources like videos, books, blogs, and articles that inform people of what’s happening in the tech industry and in the world of coding. If you have recently graduated from CodeCast or another educational facility and feel comfortable looking for professional coding opportunities, It’s not a bad idea to schedule certain times throughout the year where you will take a few courses, join some casts or involve yourself in a community to further enhance your existing skills.

Originally published at codecast.io by Elsa Krangle

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