Learning programming is not something that can be done within a day, a week or a month. But you do not need to spend a lifetime to understand the basics. There are many ways to make learning easier and faster.
It often happens that beginners begin to learn, already knowing something about programming. At first, everything is going well, but as we study further, problems begin. Why? Beginners quickly run through the introductory part, thinking that they already know everything.
They know some of the material, but this is not enough to understand the basics well. You can move slowly or quickly, but do not miss a single topic. Mastering more materials, you create your own foundation for the future.
1. Study code examples
Speaking about reading, we usually mean reading words on a page, but programming is about reading the code. When you are learning how to program, you should study and try to understand each example. You can even first read and try to understand the code samples, and only then read the text. This does not always work, but it teaches you to watch the code carefully and delve into every detail.
2. Do not just read the code samples – run them!
When you a textbook, it’s easy to look at an example and say, “I understood, I understood. Yes, that makes sense. ”, but you do not know for sure whether you really understood it correctly. There is only one way to find out to try typing and running the code the code. Programming cannot be learned by reading but by practice just like Maths.
If you have not done so yet, set up a development environment ( IDE ) that supports your programming language.
Then transfer the example to the IDE. Make sure to type the syntax yourself instead of copying and pasting it. Entering the code will force you to pay attention to the details of the syntax of the language, for example, semicolons, with which each line should end.
Now compile and run the code. Make sure it does exactly what it has to.
Finally, change it. The program is the most easily changeable mechanism on Earth. You can experiment and watch what happens. Changes will occur instantly, without the risk of death or injury. The easiest way to learn a programming language is to take a working code and change it.
3. Start writing your code as early as possible.
As soon as you understand something about the language, start writing programs using what you have learned. Sometimes it’s hard to find ideas for programs. This is normal, at the very beginning you do not need to invent your own idea.
You can reproduce the exercises from a manual or a book that you read, without looking at the examples. It is not as easy as it sounds. This technique also works well if you slightly change the code from the examples.
If you do not want to think about small programs, but want to write something more at once, like games, you need to start with small pieces, which you can then use to create the game. Regardless of whether you use them or not, you will get the most valuable experience.
4. Learn to use the debugger.
The debugger will allow you to move through the code line by line. You can observe the values of the variables and see if the condition is met.
The debugger allows you to quickly answer questions about what the code does.
At first fixing errors with the debugger will take a lot of time. But as the number of errors in your code grows, the debugger will start saving a lot of your time. And the number of errors, believe me, will be measured in dozens.
Newbies often do not want to use a debugger. In fact, they complicate their lives spending years to correct very simple errors. The sooner you learn the debugger, the sooner you will be rewarded.
5. Search for more sources
If you do not understand something, first look at alternative explanations – the Internet is full of information about programming. We all perceive new information in different ways: maybe you need pictures to understand, and someone else needs detailed instructions or many books with detailed explanations.
While today you can learn anything using Google by yourself. The best way is to learn it from someone who is expert at it. An expert instructor will teach you techniques and good practices which you can’t find in textbooks. He will transfer his unique experiences to you.
There are a number of useful Java courses available online which can try out to master Java language or any computer programming language. All it needs is your time and dedication. Choose whichever course fits you and develop your programming skills.