As the world braces for the automation revolution and the proliferation of AI, the worry for governments around the world is how this will negatively affect the number of jobs available for humans. People in certain careers are however likely to see the rise of automation in positive light as it will only mean more jobs for them. We’re talking about programmers in particular.

Demand for programmers will continue to rise and as long as one is skilled in the more widely used languages, it won’t be that hard to find a job. Nevertheless, learning how to program is often a difficult painstaking process and many people who are initially interested in programming end up dropping off due to this.

Fortunately, you can use a number of techniques to speed up your learning and eventual mastery. We look at how.

Get Practical Early

Foundational programming courses often begin with plenty of theory that covers the building blocks of coding. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with it but there can be too much of it. And what this may do is bog down a learner with too much unnecessary information that could actually inhibit their ability to hit the ground running.

Coding is a bit like learning to ride a bike. You don’t know how to do it until you actually get to do it. Playing around with code is a much quicker and more effective way to learn. You’ll make plenty of mistakes and the programs you build will probably be very inefficient at the beginning. But you’ll not only get to create functional code much quicker than by just reading but you’ll also be less prone to repeating mistakes you unearth along the way.

Master the Core Principles

The principles of programming do not change irrespective of the coding language in use. Many of the difficulties some programmers face well into their career can be traced to their inability to grasp and apply the foundational principles of coding. These pillars of programming are in place for a reason.

They are meant to ensure that a program works as efficiently as possible. The rules also make it easier for someone else other than the original programmer to understand and troubleshoot the code. The pillars of programming are fairly simple but a failure to grasp them early only portends trouble and more expensive learning later on.

Read Extensively

Have you ever wondered why for any academic subject, there’s more than one book that covers it? Whether its math, history, geography or philosophy, you have multiple books purporting to explain the very same thing. The reason is that not only is there no one with a monopoly of all knowledge but also that there are often multiple perspectives for any one subject.

Bottom line is the more material you read on a subject, the more you know and understand it. This holds true for programming too. When you seek out diverse knowledge sources, you can pick up vital information that you may miss out on if you rely on just one source. You’ll also better understand a concept whose explanation you may have struggled one source couldn’t adequately explain.

Take Breaks

The role of work breaks in fostering productivity is one that’s been understood for a long time. It’s why the overwhelming majority of work environments have lunch breaks and water/coffee/smoking breaks. Coding and debugging can be a boring tedious task. It can get quite frustrating as the hours go by.

Taking a break clears your head, restores your focus and gives you that fresh perspective you need to get things going again. Error logs that were hard to figure out using analytical tools such as Papertrail will almost suddenly become clearer. (source:https://papertrailapp.com/log-analyzer)

These tips are useful but there’s no downplaying the power of patience. You may be in a rush to master coding but calmness and level-headedness will be needed if you are really going to.