If you’re just starting out, if you’re teaching yourself or you’re a first-semester student taking a computer science course in college, when it comes to learning a new language, whether it’s Java, Python, C++, or anything else, there’s just one simple but painful truth that we cannot avoid: Practice.
Why am I blogging about practice? Because it seems like for more than a couple of years, I have been searching for a short cut towards learning to program. From taking free classes online, to download programming textbooks, to Lynda.com courses, I was always looking for an easy way in.
The thing is, all those routes are actually great roads towards learning the language. But, you cannot complete them passively. You have to dedicate a couple of hours each day to read the lessons, watch the videos, do the work, and then you need another block of time to practice what you had just learned. Why? Because without the practice you are not going to retain the information that may one day mean the difference between a successful block of code or a falling flat on your face.
Seriously, turn your phone off, go to your dedicated coding space, close the door, get comfortable, put on some music, then get to work. The process is repetitive, that’s actually a good thing.
For example, do you think Steph Curry became the great shooter he is today just from watching his dad shoot threes? Do you think he became great from just reading a couple of books on the methodology of shooting a basketball from long distance? Do you think he became great without going to the gym, without working on the craft, without making mistakes, without learning from those same mistakes, without getting hit, without getting injured, without getting disrespected, without doubting his own abilities to be great?
Of course not. The same goes for you. Your journey is not going to be any different.
Yup, we’re talking about practice. Now, go! Practice man!