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Discussion on: 3 Things That'll Help You Learn Any New (Programming) Language

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practicingdev profile image
Practicing Developer • Edited on

Really good advice here!

I have been coding for quite a while now (about 20 years), but have always worked with beginners throughout my career. The suggestion you made to "Practice out loud" is an excellent one, especially when working with others because it helps both the learner and teacher discover what is understood clearly and what gaps in understanding still need to be filled.

The only small note of caution I would offer is that daily practice is generally a good idea and something to aspire to, but it doesn't necessarily mean "practice every single day for a large amount of time or you will not succeed."

Instead, the benefits of daily practice are mostly these three things:

  • It establishing learning as a habit, which has a powerful compound effect over time.

  • It prevents the decay of knowledge, which otherwise would happen pretty quickly if you went weeks or months without putting in some practice time.

  • It (perhaps most importantly) changes your identity. You can more easily convince yourself "I'm a software developer" if writing software is part of your daily life than if it was something you did only occasionally.

With those three goals in mind, it might work just fine to set aside some time every day to write some code, and many have had good results with that via things like #100DaysOfCode.

But if for whatever reason coding every day feels too daunting, you will do just fine if you're practicing 3-4 days per week, as long as you are consistent. And the duration can be short, too.

30 mins per day, three times per week, combined with a longer session of two hours once per week might work great! It just might take a couple years rather than a few months to make much progress.

Anyway, thanks for writing this article!

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madza profile image
Madza

Hahah, one could think you changed your nickname after reading this 😄 😄

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cat profile image
Cat Author

The benefits you listed are exactly why I practice every day. My brain likes to throw info away the next day or even hour. lol.

But if for whatever reason coding every day feels too daunting, you will do just fine if you're practicing 3-4 days per week, as long as you are consistent. And the duration can be short, too.

It's kinda like when you start lifting: do it 3-4 days/week; if you do it every day, you get increasingly more fatigued, thus more susceptible to injury.

Thanks for responding!