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Why Practicing Helps You Get Better In Programming

mohammedasker profile image Mohammed Asker ・3 min read

Noticed how everyone on Twitter is telling you to write more codes, practice more, and build more projects? That's because they want you to get into "Active Learning" mode. Let me explain what that means.

Remember back in a class when you listen to teacher's lectures and forgot about it the next day? That's because your brain thinks it's not important.

That's called Passive Learning. You learn it only once and not utilizing this new knowledge outside of the classroom. As more time passes, the knowledge that you've gained will slowly fade over time and eventually forgot about it completely. It's as if you haven't learned in the first place!

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And why is this happening anyway? Why can't our brain just try to remember them?

Well, there's a good reason.

Your brain consumes a HUGE amount of information every second and it has to filter which information will be more important to remember. One way it can do this is how often you use that information.

So for example, you had a French lesson and there will be a test next week. And for whatever reason, you choose not to practice it. What will happen then? The 20 words you know today will go down to 17 words. The next day, you know 15 words. Another day, you know 12 words. This will go on and on until you forgot all of them.

The only words you still remember it? Omelette du fromage!

So what can you do to remember the information? The solution is you have to put the work into it.

Here's another example: You want to learn JavaScript. You watched a tutorial and thought "Oh, it's so easy! I can do that!". But when you tried to make a project, you realize you don't know anything. (That is a good thing, by the way. Knowing what you don't know and admitting ignorance is the very first step to learn something.)

You watched it again and this time you paid more attention to parts you don't understand. You read some books and articles, google stuff, ask questions on the forums or Twitter, fix bugs until you had a Eureka moment. And when you finally learn something, you repeat the cycle.

And that's what called an Active Learning. You are actively using your body, resources, and time to seek that knowledge. That's how we learn to speak languages, cook foods, and play sports and musical instruments.

I know that spending a great deal of time to learn is frustrating. But the good news is you'll remember this information for a long time and the reason is your brain CARES about it.

So the next time you see the tweets saying to practice and build more projects, remember that these people want you to succeed in the industry!

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If you're interested in how our brain works and know the effective way to learn anything, check out the free course "Learning How to Learn" by Barbara Oakley on Coursera. Or, if you like books, check out A Mind on Numbers and Learning How to Learn who also taught in the same course.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

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Mohammed Asker

@mohammedasker

Front-end developer documenting my journey in coding • Anime fan • Bookworm • #100DaysOfCode challenger

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Thank you, Lasse! I'm glad you liked my post. :)