Six months ago if you told me that I would gain some fluidity with Python, I would’ve said that you were joking and that there wouldn’t be any possibility of that happening. Yet here I am, writing a blog post on the same thing – How I learnt to code. Now I know that a lot of people would’ve written similar posts with their resources and stuff, I even referred a few for myself back in the day. But here’s my story as to how I got through programming from being an absolute newbie in my computer class at university, to a somewhat formidable standard.
I started to learn Python back in early August, when my life had turned around from going to taking a field in biology to becoming a computer science student with a specialization in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Since Python seemed easy to learn for beginners and also noting the fact that it may come up as the first language taught in my course (turns out it did, so that’s good), I took up the Python for everyone specialization course on Coursera by the University of Michigan, I even made a few posts about my progress, which I will link at the end of this post.
After that, I took some help from Hackerrank, which is a platform that gives you problems on coding based on the particular subtopic of choice. You get a variety of problems, ranging from easy to hard and you get an idea as to how to solve each one as you go with some practice.
For my University problems, I kind of looked up some sources on the internet for some deeper understanding on the concepts that were being taught. If you type out the particular concept you’re looking for, there would be a bunch of results that hands the syntax and a few problems to go with.
Here’s my advice with learning a programming language – do learn how the concept and the syntax is applied first before you jump into solving logical based questions. If you don’t know what your syntax does in the program you write, two things would happen – one: you would most likely make a mistake cause you didn’t write proper syntax or two: you don’t know where it’s applied. Being a newbie programmer, I had both cases on my hand and the best way that I solved that was a bit of practice.
Once you’ve got the syntax and concepts drilled down, the next thing to do is solve. Take up a compilation of problems and start applying your theory into it. And if you get stuck, you always know where to go.
I decided to spice it up a bit more by doing a few projects alongside for the experience, and it helped me to understand where I’m applying what (btw, I’ve started doing this very recently, so I’m not the pro yet 🙂 ) and it is a work in progress, but I do see a lot of overall improvement.
Don’t just sit and stare into space, just Google syntax and then start applying. You’ll get the hang of it as you keep practicing and soon enough, you’ll even become a better coder than I am!
Hope this helped out and happy coding!