Software development is about building solutions to problems, not memorizing language syntax

All too often I see questions online from new developers about how they can progress from ‘tutorial hell’ or feeling that they’re not making any progress beyond a certain point. Programming languages are just tools. A programming language to a developer is the same as a hammer to a carpenter. You don’t learn how to use a hammer, you learn how to frame a house.

Beyond the few hours of learning basic concepts and syntax you should move straight to actually writing something, start with ‘Hello World’ and go from there. As you continue from that initial starting point, every new thing you read/watch/listen to should be followed by additional hours of putting it into practice. The real learning is when you write some code and run into problems and have to work out what the issue is and how to get beyond that point.

Here’s a useful insight that eventually you will discover: as you progress through your career and develop more experience, you’ll soon find out that the process of developing software is about trying something out, finding it doesn’t work, then working out how to make it work. There seems to be a misconception that becoming a better developer means you will be able magically flow code from your finger tips, but that’s not how it works. It’s an incremental process, you write some code, it doesn’t work, you work out how to fix it and you continue. The sooner you realize this and accept it I thinks to avoid some of the frustration from believing that being ‘better’ means something different.

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