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What advice would you give to someone new to coding?

In the spirit of our new ask features...

  • What advice would you give to a newbie?
  • And what advice do you wish someone had given you?
  • What advice would you give me, personally?
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6

What advice would you give to a newbie?

Alternate learning by doing (working on a small project) and learning by reading (like reading a book on a programming language). Both have value, especially if you are deliberate about which one you are doing.

And what advice do you wish someone had given you?

Sometimes documentation is lacking. If you are using a library or framework and you are having trouble understanding how to use it, don't hesitate to read the actual code.

What advice would you give me, personally?

Think of a small thing you could make that brings you joy. For example, I made a program that would scrape a webpage daily to check if a specific shirt in my size was back in stock (and then text me using the twillio API when it was). I forgot about it and was so excited when I finally got that text!

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@moudy That project sounds so cool T_T

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@moudy BTW, this is all great advice - thank you, Moudy!

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@vvc Lol, thank you for sharing!

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I wish someone told me to manage my time better when I started out. It can get addicting at times and cause some inefficient coding habits if your'e not careful. For advice, I'd recommend not being afraid to try something new, even if it's completely unfamiliar.

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@eankeen That's interesting! What do you mean by time management?

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@eankeen Did inefficient habits hold you back?

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@katyadee Yeah, last summer I developed a habit of staying up later and later to complete features. At first I slept in, but when I started setting alarms for early in the morning, I got really sleep deprived. I was literally living the meme of code, eat, and sleep for a week or so before I snapped out of it. So yah that's when I realized setting deadlines is important, like deadlines of when to actually stop coding, or deadlines to complete certain features. And learning when to just stop coding and take a break.

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@eankeen lol i just try to wake up earlier to finish features while I can think. (though I normally just stay up later instead of waking up earlier.)

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What advice would you give to a newbie?

I'd say not to stress too much about choosing a first language. The skill set required to do coding is pretty easily transferable between modern languages. It's really just best to find a teaching resource that works for you and roll with it :)

And what advice do you wish someone had given you?

I really wish that someone had told me what @eankeen just told you -- Not to be afraid of trying new things. A few months ago I was really avoiding using the <vector> library (C++) after finding the documentation on it quite confusing at first glance. I was hell-bent on using plain arrays until i finally realized that if I wanted a dynamic array I needed a vector. Upon actually really using vectors, I discovered that it's a lot simpler once you get into it, as most coding-related things tend to be.

What advice would you give me, personally?

I don't know that I have advice for you specifically. I do, however, wish you the best of luck in your endeavors as the repl.it community person and as a programmer in general. :)

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My advice

  • Start with an easy to learn language with simple syntax, such as Python or Ruby. Then you can apply the basic concepts you learned from those to a more complex language such as Rust, JS, etc.
  • Read documentation. For example it could help you understand how a function/method works, and why you would use it.
  • Code every day. This sounds like a lot, but it really isn't. Take 15 minutes to make a simple program, or maybe use that time to work on a larger more complex project. Try new things, see what works best, looks the nicest, is the most efficient, etc.
  • If you need help with coding, don't be afraid to ask. But do not just copy code, make sure you understand how it works first.
  • Learn "relevant" languages. Try to learn languages that are becoming more and more popular and avoid ones that are becoming deprecated.

Advice I wished I had gotten

  • Commentate your code.
  • Understand fully how a snippet of code works.
  • More stuff I can't think of right now.

Advice for you

  • Everything above, there's not much more advice I have. :/
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What advice would you give to a newbie?

Learn the history of programming languages and computing, you'll have many "aha moments" and feel at home with coding.

And what advice do you wish someone had given you?

Learning to code is a lifelong journey.

What advice would you give me, personally?

Learn the most influential family of programming languages, Lisp.

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@PaoloAmoroso Interesting... Any resources on the history of programming you would like to share? (I personally like https://james-iry.blogspot.com/2009/05/brief-incomplete-and-mostly-wrong.html)

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@a5rocks I'm afraid I don't have a single or a specific resource to recommend as I relied on the history of each language by its own community. But the History section of a language's Wikipedia entry is a good, concise start.

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To a newbie, I'd say: choose something that looks cool to you, not just what everyone else is doing. If you choose to do what everyone else does, you most likely won't find it very fun. I'd also say: don't start with some big huge project. Start small, and work your way up. Starting big will only frustrate you.
For me, I wish that someone had told to look past the code snippets. When I first began coding in JS, Java, Ruby, and Python; I'd always just copy+paste code that I found elsewhere, and slightly modify it for my needs. It wasn't until I revisited Ruby that I finally "got" programming.
To you, I'd say: learning one language pretty well is good, but once you're done, try something else. I think that learning a variety of different languages helps you understand ones you already know, better.

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(dot) I'd give them the knowledge of 'stackoverflow'

(dot) I'd wish someone presented 'stackoverflow' to me

(dot) Wait to you? Let me know how to make the dots..

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What advice would you give to a newbie?
First of all, I’d say take some courses on repl.it of python which could be your first language and then JavaScript which could be your second language.
Second, just take some time to understand how the language works and what everything means.
Third, start coding in that language.
@katyadee
Oh, and also comment in your code.

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I generally say to anyone new to coding that there isn’t much you can’t do, and it’s just a matter of how dedicated you are. I really wish that someone had told me when I first started coding about all of the amazing sources in the internet for learning languages. Almost all of my knowledge is self taught, and I’m missing a lot of bits and pieces of different languages. Online learning sites really do help.

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What advice would you give a newbie somebody who doesn't code?

It's not that hard!

And what advice do you wish someone had given you?

Band together. Find somebody on the internet who wants to learn, too.

What advice would you give me, personally?

Oh, gee. Um, don't have a suggestion.

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I would say that you should definitely go research the different languages and see which one you would like to learn. Then watch some YouTube videos on the basics of the language you wanna learn. After that hop onto repl.it and experiment. Start coding, do random things, you'll get the hang of it eventually. The best way to learn is to do it by yourself.

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What advice would you give to a newbie?
Ask questions!
Work on small projects that sound fun to you.
Learn little by little, how the programs work from the processor's perspective (a lot of material to cover but the basics will help)
And what advice do you wish someone had given you?
Use repl.it
Learn JavaScript and open source technologies
Learn SQL or another database programming language
What advice would you give me, personally?
I don't know D:

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@mwilki7

Use repl.it

Nice advice lol. XD

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@Zavexeon Classic advice, really.