How to quickly learn and master a programming language?
I hope you all are doing well.
Today, we are going to talk about the several great methods using which we can quickly learn a programming language.
While this blog is applicable for all programming languages, we have to go to, specifically, talk about the two programming languages that I have recently learned — Kotlin and C.
Alright, now this is a common problem for the majority of people in the programming world.
Most people find it really hard to quickly pick up a new programming language due to the fact that they are already accustomed to writing code in a certain programming language with certain rules and structure.
After all, most programming languages have varying structures and commands.
Learning a programming language itself isn’t that hard of a task.
However, the problem arises once we try to shift, or transition from one programming language to another.
For example, if you transition from Python to Java or C, it would be a very hard and excruciating process because Python is a rather loosely designed language whereas Java is known for its, “protecting one from oneself” policy.
Meaning that those who use Python are accustomed to less complicated coding whereas the same can’t be said about those who use Java as their preferred language.
With that being said, I would also like to mention that there are few individuals who pick up new programming languages like they are picking up cabbages.
For example, I have never faced any problem in switching from one programming language to another.
I was first introduced to programming in class 6th when my elder brother taught me some basic HTML.
I didn’t know what it was back then but for me…it was love at first sight.
I diligently learned whatever he taught me back then and was pulled into the computer classes at school.
My teacher then taught more about programming, under her I learned Python and became familiar with numpy, matplotlib.pyplot, and some PIL (Pillow).
Fast forward one year, now I comfortably code in multiple programming languages without any problem.
The reason why I am telling you this is to make you understand that in order to excel at something, you need not only hard work but also interest. People who love programming usually don’t face any problem working with new programming language or technology.
Therefore, better cultivate your interest in the field by really exploring the various things you can do using programming as a base.
I guarantee you, you will love at least one of the things, from what you find.
Anyways, let us move on to the main methods using which we can quickly get familiar with a new programming language.
- Step-1: Find a good reading resource
Many individuals prefer learning from YouTube videos and from the notes provided by the respected content creators, and while this is absolutely fine, we should also keep in mind to download books on that specific programming language and read them too.
Most programming languages have rather well-maintained, well-detailed documentation from which you can learn things that even a content creator might miss, or isn’t able to explain it to you.
And sometimes, reading from a book is even better than watching a video.
For example, I learned C within a week (while making hand-written notes) from an online pdf.
Then I bought a beginner’s book named “Let Us C” by Yashavant Kanetkar and solved all its questions in 4–5 days.
It is really easy for you to do the same if you are willing to invest a good amount of time into reading the book.
Similarly, I learned Kotlin from a 4hr long YouTube Video by FreeCodeCamp.
This time, I learned while programming in an IDE and was able to explore different commands available to the user, by the language.
Therefore, since I have tried both learning from a YouTube Video and a book, I must confess that learning from a book was better since the things I learned after reading the book tended to remain in my memory for a much longer period of time whereas I forgot things while learning from a video.
Now keep in mind, teachers at FreeCodeCamp are absolute beasts when it comes to teaching and I, personally, own a lot of my skills to their platform, but even so I would suggest that it is better to read from a book and then watch some videos.
- Step-2: Start Small
Remember, even the greats like Tim Bray, Mark Zuckerberg, Dave Cutler, Bill Gates, and many more; had to start from the basics before they were able to reach the heights they did.
So don’t try to jump into trying to make your own iPhone or Android apps, or large multi-player web applications.
Start by learning how to write simple scripts first.
This is the correct way to learn how to program because you are very much helpless without learning basic programming concepts.
For example, if we try to create scripts for backups, we would need to know how to use our operating system command-line tools in order to copy files around.
And if we don’t they we will be unable to accomplish our task.
- Step-3: Look for code examples
If you are unable to solve a programming question, search for its solution on Google and try to under how others solved the question.
You need to remember that as a programmer you are not required to know everything, and it is completely okay to look at the solution online, but you must learn from the solution and try to solve the question yourself.
Don’t become too reliant on Google, otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to improve your skills.
You can even ask your teachers or anyone who knows how to code, for help.
The very concept of a community for every programming language was established with the vision that programming would help each other and grow together.
So don’t be ashamed to ask for help.
Step-4: Practice what you learn
Another reason why I prefer learning from books is that they have lots and lots of questions for the reader to solve and test his theoretical knowledge by having him/her apply it to make practical code.
In programming, only through practice can you truly grasp the concept behind any topic.
So don’t shy away from hard work.
Software Development is a high-paying field for those with tons of experience, but you must also become worthy of what you wish to earn, first.
And experience comes only through practice.
Alright, guys, this will be it for now.
If you fill all mentioned methods are difficult to implement then you can check out our Free Zero to Hero Essentials program on LetsUpgrade.
Until next time!
Stay safe and take care.
~Itish Srivastava (LetsUpgrade)