Letter to a Code Newbie.

Letter to a Code Newbie.

Dear Code Newbie,

Cheers!!! I'm happy that you've seen the light. What light you might ask? Whatever made you make up your mind to become a developer is the light. It differs from one person to the other. Sometimes, it is the need to build something one needs. Other times, it is because everyone is talking about tech. Whatever the case may be, I am glad you are here. I also have great news for you. There's a lot that comes with the package. You get to solve interesting problems and make a lot of money doing that. You'll meet lots of smart people too on this long and interesting ride. You're psyched, aren't you? I was too when I realized those. Before you get started, I have a few things to tell you. These are things I wish I knew when I got started. Here we go.

You have a lot to learn. It is a lot but not as much as you think. Depending on what path of software development you choose, there are building blocks that you are required to know. An important one is learning a programming language. Maybe some data structures and algorithms here and there. A framework maybe. Don't fret! You've got this. If a million people can do it, you can. You've always been learning from your day one as a human. This isn't any different.

There are various methods of learning. Some people are fans of structured video courses while others prefer to attend boot camps. Some people are love short tutorials while others prefer to read books. It might take a while for you to know which of these groups you belong to. Whichever it might be, make good use of the resources out there on the internet. Don't get stuck in the tutorial video loop, a situation where you feel comfortable watching the videos but not implementing the concepts. Make projects of those concepts and show the world what you have done, however simple those might be. Concepts tend to stick better when you have used them on one or two occasions. Understand concepts, don't memorize code. It is not a bad thing to search how to do some things over and over again. The knowledge of what to do matters a lot. The knowledge of how to do those sticks with practice, something that you should do a lot of.

In addition, social media is there for you to exploit. The Twitter tech community is arguably one of the best you can be part of. Loads of opportunities and resources move around every day on Twitter. You should also try your hand at networking on social media. Ask questions and answer other people's questions if you are in the position to do so correctly. Don't be afraid to show off what you have learnt. You'll be surprised about how much people will gain from your comments. Social media contains good and bad people. Some people are gatekeepers when it comes to matters of newbies. They want you to know everything and make everything seem hard to learn. Steer clear of them.

Moreover, you should find and join communities. A good community is a safespace that helps to stimulate growth at a high rate. Having questions is okay but who is best to answer those questions other than people who have been in your shoes. Your technical skills will get a boost and other non-technical but indispensable skills such as communication, teamwork and collaboration are best learnt in communities. My favourite of the reasons to join a community is that you get to see these senior developers who build huge things in the industry in a human light. It builds a special kind of confidence. One that can spur growth and help maintain a better work-life balance.

Be kind to others. Try to help people out. Ask questions when you are stuck and you will get better as a developer and a person. I hope this helps sometime in the future. Cheers to growth.

Best Regards,