Hi! I hope you are doing good today. Let us assume you are trying to learn something totally new. What would you do first? I suspect you will visit the internet, grab some highly recommended books from Amazon, register for a class somewhere and many others. But what if you had a chance to learn your craft fast? Really fast!
You have probably seen some of those online ads telling you that you could be speaking a new language in 10 days. The question is, why are people in such a hurry?
It is possible to learn a programming language in 24 hours but am very confident that you will not be a good programmer the following day. Now let us talk about learning as a process.
When the phrase “Learning is a life-long process” was coined, I believe whoever said it knew very well. It totally applies to many things in life. The first time I tried out a new language, I bought a cheap book that promised me to learn PHP in 24 hours. To be honest, I only read the first chapter and I was out. It is laying on my shelf at the moment.
The most interesting thing about such books is that they are relatively smaller compared to what you would see in traditional classes – in college. So, it is tempting to run for them thinking they will help you master a language. By the end of such a book, you will have known the syntax and most likely nothing else.
If you truly want to be good at something, even if you are a genius, you have to invest a reasonable amount of time doing it. Have you ever heard of the 10,000-hour principle? I believe it is true. It goes on to indicate that your first 10,000 photographs (if you are a photographer) are not good. If you are a musician, your first 10,000 hours might not necessarily put you where you would love to be. The first time you become a mother, you will make some mistakes. It is that simple.
But what should you do then?
The answer to this question will mainly depend on you. Personally, when I started out, I asked many people for some advice and the decision was always my own. Find a mentor – and I know this is sometimes not easy. Some will tell you not to read books at all, instead, use the internet because it has the latest information that books don’t.
Here is my 2 cents – and they are my own opinions: If you are starting out on a programming language, make sure that you know the syntax. You might be asking how and the answer is simple – find a really good book recommended by experienced developers. After familiarizing yourself with the basics, reduce the amount of time you spend reading books and focus on real projects that will help you become a better programmer.
I should also mention that you join the respective forums of whichever language you are trying to learn. Help others by answering questions and post your own questions as well. If you fail, keep trying. Do it over and over and over again. Don’t take the easy way out. Mozart was a genius but it took him a considerable amount of time to be the best composer.
To find good projects to start with, you can read my other post Top 10 Sites For Open-Source Projects.
Thank you again for stopping by. Good luck and I hope you found this post useful. Please share this post with your awesome friends using the buttons below.