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Emma Bostian ✨
Emma Bostian ✨

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What is the hardest thing about learning to code?

The thing I struggle with most is staying up-to-date. It's hard to code from 9-5 and come home at night and continue to learn. It's important to maintain a healthy work-life balance, and I still struggle with this. What is the hardest thing you've experienced on your coding journey?

Top comments (72)

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henrique profile image
Henrique Macedo

Usually they (bosses) think not, but learning constantly is part of the job and should to be done in working hours, precisely to have this work-life balance.

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akashkava profile image
Akash Kava

My problem is opposite, my employees don’t spend time to learn anything and they always come with execuse as they had so much to code!! I constantly remind that 80% learning and 20% coding will yield better results then 1% learning and 99% coding.

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andywynyard profile image
Andrew Wynyard

Just changing jobs now and this is one of my parting words to my last boss. I recommended 80% is the max anyone should be specifically on work, then 20% learning, essentially every Friday should be devoted to upskilling and presenting what you learned. Code reviews (on pull requests) should be super standard and if your not doing this, seriously make a change.

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Sandor Dargo

Try organizing them knowledge sharing sessions. Do it in working hours, so you actually show it that's important for you that they learn.

You can also try organizing coding dojos.

Buy them books, or online library subscription.

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akashkava profile image
Akash Kava

You think I haven’t tried all this? It’s just their habit which is very difficult to change as they grow older.

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sandordargo profile image
Sandor Dargo

When you say "my team", do you mean you manage them or you are their teammate?

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akashkava profile image
Akash Kava

I said, 'my employees', so I am not directly managing teams, but yes, in a way, I do manage.

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henrique profile image
Henrique Macedo

This is super strange, unusual 🤔 They develop a good code? Not a deprecated code? You always can offer some conference/workshop tickets, it's a great way to do a pause on development and have a good time to learn.

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akashkava profile image
Akash Kava

Learning has to be everyday, I can't send them to conference/workshop everyday !! Also if they don't know how to learn by themselves, they will not do anything on conference/workshop.

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Clay Stewart

Try starting a Friday lunch and learn. Then it’s one dev presenting learning each week.

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clamstew profile image
Clay Stewart

Also code reviews are great opportunities for knowledge sharing.

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henrique profile image
Henrique Macedo

Akash, I think if they don't want to learn anything new, sooner or later you'll have to replace them with someone who is more competent and with more skills.

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akashkava profile image
Akash Kava

Only if reviewer is smart, otherwise all code is great!!

 
akashkava profile image
Akash Kava

Yes that’s correct.

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phallstrom profile image
Philip Hallstrom

A thousand times this!

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liana profile image
Liana Felt (she/her)

Knowing what you don't need to know.

You hear a word or concept, it's hard to know if it's okay that you don't know the thing.

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eduardllach profile image
Eduard Llach

Humility.
Once you arrived a certain grade of knowledge, is very easy to think that you know "a lot" and you can't be wrong.

I've worked with people that is never wrong, if there's an error is because somebody touched their code and that their algorithm is perfect and covers all the cases...

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Jesse Phillips

I think their is also humidity needed when you know you don't know everything and pros and cons exist for everything. Being surrounded by those requesting less then optimal use of time or seeking 'the' pattern still requires te right level of humble response.

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andywynyard profile image
Andrew Wynyard

I’ve met a whole bunch of people who are insanely arrogant about what they know, and if you don’t know as much (less experience) then they hold it over others. Insanely counterproductive, and never leads to helping people develop. I’ve found this in the likes of Java/.net, but much less in JS stacks or anything open source.

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern

The concept of scale is hard with programming. How big is big?

A database with 100 million records may be nothing in terms of scale, but a loop of 100 things could make a web request timeout if the loop is inefficient.

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Evaldas Buinauskas

Learning that "someone else's bad (or even terrible) code" isn't always so because someone was lazy or didn't care enough. There could many reasons why it's so, terrible and daily changing requirements, very tight deadlines, constant pressure, sheer amount of other work that has to be done.

Also, finishing side projects, heck. Even starting them.

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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington

For me, it's just hard to get started period. I've got a ras pi that's been collecting dust in my closet for ummm 2 years now... wow, embarrassing.

Anyway, it feels like there's so many different possible ways to go and mountains of beginner tutorials available. I just need to get disciplined and dive in.

I totally can relate to wanting to chill or even just wind down after a 9-5. Lots of other things come calling: gym, cooking, music, time with my significant other... and of course, the cats! I know if I just stop making excuses, set aside time each night, and get in a rhythm, it'll pay off.

Gotta overcome that procrastination! 😅

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emmabostian profile image
Emma Bostian ✨

I totally empathize with this. Finding the motivation to start is hard.

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jessekphillips profile image
Jesse Phillips

The number of in progress projects is impressive. But I don't think that is unique to programming hobbies.

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steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao

Your not alone cause I have the problem of doing my side projects while finding time in writing my blog. I think scheduling time can help slightly to get started.

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molly profile image
Molly Struve (she/her)

I could not agree more! I ride horses competitively and often when I am not working, I am riding so it's hard to squeeze in time for side projects, blogs, etc. I always feel behind when my other coworkers talk about the latest new language that I have never heard of. Recently though, I am starting to realize it is OK to not know about every new thing. There is no possible way anyone could!

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emmabostian profile image
Emma Bostian ✨

I totally feel you! I try to juggle learning German, reading, cooking, cleaning, and managing a thousand side projects :) I need to plan my life better!

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Sarah Dye

The hardest thing I've experienced on my coding journey is managing time spent coding, staying up to date with what is happening tech, and finding a tech job. I also have been struggling with impostor syndrome and people trying to pressure me to quit coding. I often had to rely on the tech communities I participate in even more this year due to all the negativity I have been receiving.

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emmabostian profile image
Emma Bostian ✨

Don't ever quit! I was horrible for the first few years in dev... I had no idea the community existed. Keep going!

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Sarah Dye

No worries! I'm not planning on quitting anytime soon. It has just been harder dealing with the negative people telling me to give up coding and how coding is not going to help me get a job this year. Thankfully the coding communities have been awesome and have been the best support system throughout my coding journey. I'll definitely keep using them as I keep coding.

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andy profile image
Andy Zhao (he/him)

Oof, definitely agree with that. I've been at my first programming job for a year and a half now, and while I have ideas for side projects that I'm genuinely interested in, I find it really hard to build up the energy/motivation to start them. I'm usually spent by the time I get home, and almost always want to do other things.

I think what you're saying is hardest thing for me, too, but a close second for me is figuring out when a solution is good enough. Often times I'll write a solution and then rewrite it over and over again, until it becomes overengineered. Then I'll rewrite it again, and push a final solution that's simpler and probably works well enough. Knowing that someone is going to review your code helps with this, but I constantly need to remind myself of "Perfect is the enemy of good."

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emmabostian profile image
Emma Bostian ✨

Totally agree! Usually I find that by watching other people code (i.e. tutorials) I gain motivation!

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Mehdi Vasigh

So far I think one of mine is knowing when to be okay with messy, "bad" code. Ideally the answer would be never, but I'm having to learn on the job that often resources are limited and you have to make compromises. The part I struggle with the most is knowing where to make those compromises to limit the severity with which you get stung later when you have to revisit the code.

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lauragift21 profile image
Gift Egwuenu

Yes. This is also a huge part of my struggle. Staying up to date with the latest tech while still working full time is a lot of work. And also accepting the fact that as developers we can't always know everything.

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Everton Agner

I always try to stick with jobs that force me to learn new things and keep improving, so I don't have to be so hard on myself in my spare time. It's when I feel stuck at work that I spend more spare time on sharpening up my skills or learning something new.

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Brad

I find the hardest part is finding time to learn. There is just not enough time to do enough learning, and even if there was more time in the day to learn, there's still always more and more to learn.

It all comes down to time.

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Craig Schumann

For me, the hardest thing to learn about coding is that coding is the easy part. Learning to not get myopic, working with others, understanding what to build in the first place, searching for value, practicing, and so much more. These are the real hard parts about coding. It's often very easy to lose sight about why we are coding and get too caught up in the how or what. I am always trying to remind myself not to confuse the means for the end.

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Justin

I also have a hard time trying to code or learn something coding related at home after a day of coding at work.

I also do better in a classroom or lab environment because of the guidance it provides when very green on something. At home on my own it's hard to replicate that type of learning environment.

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emmabostian profile image
Emma Bostian ✨

Yes! Accountability is a huge motivator!