9 tips for learning to use a new software...

9 tips for learning to use a new software...

Learning to code can be quite difficult, but you can make it easier for yourself if you follow these simple guidelines.

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"Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence."

  • Abigail Adams

I must agree that getting started with a new skill or anything at all is usually a daunting task especially for beginners in the field. This is no surprise as there is no one who has mastered a skill without having to pass through some layers of difficulty one way or the other.

In this article, I'll share with you 9 ways I think you can make things relatively easier for yourself when next you have to learn a new programming language or framework. I'm saying this from what I've experienced personally especially when I began to learn coding back in 2020.

1. Use resources you know are best for you.

There's no more than 3 ways to go about learning. You either read, listen or watch, to learn. Most times, you are left to choose between watching and reading. This is why it's important to know what works best for you. Choosing the perfect option can help speed up the learning process greatly. Never underestimate it. You know yourself better than anyone, choose what you enjoy doing. That is, if you enjoy reading, go for tutorial books or websites. Else, opt in for videos.

2. Consider quality and quantity of available resources

You might be the type that likes to watch long videos, maybe. Some tutorials are long and some short. Medium sized tutorials are the most preferred but anyone is just fine. Make sure it's something you can cope with. Make sure you decide on which tutorials to use based on what is best for you not some other people. What has worked for them might not work for you. That's it.

3. Practice as you learn

The best way to learn anything is to practice it often. As they say, practice makes perfect. That's how you know what you really understand about what you're learning. Keep practicing as you learn, follow through with your instructor.

4. Learn the right thing at the right time

Imagine someone trying to learn algebra in mathematics without knowing simple Arithmetic. Or someone trying to learn JavaScript without the prior knowledge of HTML and CSS. Both are sure to fail. You know why already. Acquiring knowledge about anything has to occur one step at a time. Imagine yourself standing at the foot of a very tall building. There are 500 steps to take so you can get to the top, step 1 on the ground and 500 at the very top.

It's impossible to get to the 500th step without going through other steps 1-499 unless you won't be going by feet. Any attempt to get to the top will probably be fruitless. The same applies to learning, trying to learn the major things without understanding the minor things is probably going to be a fruitless attempt and you might even get yourself confused.

  • "Go from simple to complex and you'll probably find things easy"

5. Learn from your mistakes

A common thing among people is to have a feeling of failure when mistakes are made. This is a natural occurrence but you can always take control of yourself. Turn your mistakes to lessons and learn from them. Replace all occurrences of "failing" in your thoughts with "learning" and soon, you'll be back on track. Don't say "I keep failing", say "I keep learning". That's how not to get demoralized.

6. Stick to a resource if you're learning something new

It's very advisable to stick to one tutorial if you're learning a new skill. Switching between tutorials can often get you confused thus leading to time wastage. Use the same resource till the end, practice a lot, implement the things you learn. Avoid taking too many tutorials. It's called "Tutorial Hell". You get confused and end up knowing just little of what you're supposed to know.

7. Use other resources if you're not learning something new

You should check out other resources for learning if you are not learning something for the first time. Expand your knowledge by learning from others. Use the internet to your advantage. Read the next point for details.

8. Join others doing what you do

This is one of the best way to improve any skill. Taking online tutorials can be good. But you can surely tell the difference when there are people to share their experiences, their insights about specific topics you might be having issues with. For developers, there are a lots of platforms to find people of like minds. There's Stackoverflow, Github, etc. Even Twitter now has lots of developers sharing their experiences daily on the platform. It's probably the easiest to use.

You can easily make your Twitter account a place of learning. Simply follow some of the developers there. There are so many of them. It's all up to you.

9. Implement what you've learnt in a large project and scale from there

There's more to learn about any skill than just mastering the skill. In programming, you have to learn both the syntax and application of any language or framework you learn. Understanding the syntax comes from going through tutorials. Knowing how to go about solving issues with its application comes from experience which in turn is a result of frequent practice.

When working on a project, you learn things that are beyond the scope of any tutorial you might have taken. That's experience. It's the form of knowledge that's applicable to any part of your life, any time. Gather it by practicing.

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If you haven't followed me on Twitter, kindly do so @Abdulramonjemil I share content about my experience and anything software development, getting better at coding and improving as a self-taught software developer.

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