New to programming? 5 things you should pay more attention to

Reading Time: 5 minutes

You decided to start learning programming. You have started to learn programming concepts, you have decided which language you want to learn, and everything looks great.

Except it isn’t.

It’s frustrating; it’s boring; it’s painful. I am not here to make your life easy, but I hope that I will make it a little easier. Here are the 5 things that I believe will help you to become a better programmer.

Find the right source to learn from

I had a professor who said:

“It’s better to spend more time researching where to learn from, than actually learning from one source.”

And this is gold.

Let’s say that you have found a great book or a great video course that everyone is loving. You think that you will love it too, every word that you read/hear in the book/course you will understand, and after you finish it, you will become a master of the things you will learn (at least, I thought like that).

And maybe you will, but probably you won’t. Most (or let’s say, some) of the things you won’t understand, and it’s natural. You will try to read/watch again and again, but it’s not getting any clearer.

My advice is, try to find a great book/course, and start learning from, but use it more as a reference than learning source.

I am not suggesting to only go through the content. Try to understand the concept, but also research it (on Google). Look for more resources, more explanation, more examples. When you will understand the concept, save the source that helped you the most (bookmark the page), and search for examples that you can solve.

This way, it is easier to learn, because you are combining the explanations of different sources, and you are sticking with the most simple explanation that is working for you. Also, research is more interesting than reading\listening the same thing all over again.

Understand the base (minimum) necessary logic rather than implementation

This is important for a few reasons:

  • First, if you understand the logic, it will be easier to learn the implementation
  • Second, the implementation may change, but the base necessary logic won’t

At the very beginning, it will be difficult to differentiate between logic and implementation, and maybe you should try to learn and remember everything, but later try to understand and study just the minimum necessary required things.

I still google some basic things. But because I know what I have to do, I exactly know what to search for (only the implementation/syntax).

With this approach, you will spend your time wisely, and you will be able to learn more important things.

To learn your first programming language is very hard, but that’s because you have to learn programming concepts (the logic). After you learn that, you can learn any language (the implementation) you want, in a matter of weeks.

Code, code, code…

Learning programming is like learning how to drive, except it’s safer (at least, physically). You can read, you can learn, but when you sit down and start to drive, you’ll realize that you haven’t learned anything.

That’s why you should focus on coding. When you study something, try to learn the minimum, so you can start to code, and then code as you learn. There is a great answer on Quora, that mentions 3 rules that you should follow when coding.

  • Write at least one line of code per day
  • First, write code, then refactor
  • No distractions when coding

Here, you can check the answer, that has reasoning for these rules. Maybe you can forget the second rule, but the other 2 are very important.

Attitude

I had to mention attitude. It is a hard path, especially at the beginning, so the right attitude is required. Hard work, believing in yourself, learning to say YES to everything is needed. More precisely, you say NO only when you are 100% sure that it isn’t possible to do. In any other case, you say YES, and you investigate, you try different approaches, you ask for help if it is necessary, you do everything you can. A time will come when you will need to learn to say NO, but first, you have to learn to say YES.

Rest

Of course, don’t forget to rest. You have to rest from the hard work you have done. Most of the stupid things I have done were when I was too tired. When you are tired, you don’t think rationally. You just want to finish your task, no matter. That’s when the biggest mistakes come. You won’t learn anything, you won’t do anything well, you are just wasting your time and nerves.

FrontCon 2019 in Riga, Latvia

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Only a few weeks left until I go to my first tech conference this year. Travelling means for me learning something new. And I like learning. Especially the immersion in a foreign culture and the contact to people of other countries makes me happy.

It’s always time to grow beyond yourself. 🤓

BUT why visit Riga just for a conference? Riga is a beautiful city on the Baltic Sea and the capital of Latvia. Latvia is a small country with the neighbours: Russia, Lithuania, Estonia and the sea. AND it’s a childhood dream of me to get to know this city. 😍

The dream was created by an old computer game named “The Patrician”. It’s a historical trading simulation computer game and my brothers and I loved it. We lost a lot of hours to play it instead of finding a way to hack it. 😅
For this dream, I will take some extra private days to visit Riga and the Country as well. 😇

Preparation

The most important preparation such as flight, hotel, workshop and conference are completed.

Furthermore, I also plan to visit some of the famous Latvian palaces and the Medieval Castle of Riga. I also need some tips for the evenings: restaurants and sightseeings from you. Feel free to share them in the comments. 😊

Some facts about the conference

There are four workshops available on the first day:

  • Serverless apps development for frontend developers
  • Vue state management with vuex
  • From Zero to App: A React Workshop
  • Advanced React Workshop

I chose the workshop with VueJS of course 😏 and I’m really happy to see that I can visit most of the talks in the following days. There are some interesting speeches like “Building resilient frontend architecture”, “AAA 3D graphics” and secure talks and server-less frontend development. Click here for the full list of tracks.

My expectations

Above all, I’m open to events to learn new things. Therefore, I have no great expectations in advance. So I’m looking forward to the

  • VueJS & Reacts parts
  • Visit the speakers from Wix, N26 and SumUp

I’m particularly curious about the open spaces between the speeches. I will be glad to have some great talks with the guys. 🤩

For my private trips:

That’s all for now

to be continued…

Do we love coding?

Reading Time: 6 minutes

a non-scientific try to investigate the passion between man and coding

Since you have managed to get to this blog, the mystical behavior of the internet is not completely foreign to you.
Things in your life such as your mobile phone, your washing machine, your TV, your car, your game console and much more are animated by magic of the same secret interaction and offer you comfort, information, benefit and joy.

🤖  Coding?  In order to make it all work, it requires instances that control the entire process of your inputs and their outputs to the (mostly) expected result. We exclude all imaginable forms of existence of the implementation of these seemingly complex processes and refer to the ordinary person known to us. To be precise, I would like to limit it to an ambitious and highly motivated employee, a software engineer, in our company.

  Love?  I’ll make it short … what we do is what we obviously can or should be good at. To put it even deliberately: That’s our job!
Isn’t it true that we only really succeed if we identify with it or feel emotionally connected? Yes, maybe I am exaggerating with this daring statement. So as not to go too deep into moral and ethical realms, we find that here we speak of an obviously great passion and affection.

so …

For outsiders, it really seems to have the appearance that we are here after cookie-cutter approach incorporate cryptic things in our machines, which then as a matter of course, e.g. can display a webpage on your device.
It seems unimaginable that the effort of making even a big, beautiful picture appear on the screen is really an enormously complicated matter. Also the click on a button and the following action is no big deal. And you are right! And not.

It is comparable to a cozy sports evening in front of the TV. We see all these athletes who make a lot of money with it, for example to chase a ball accurate, in a breakneck speed, on the tennis court and amuse us about balls that land in the net. Everything looks so easy and simple. In reality, if you try it yourself, you will first realize what a tremendous achievement is behind it and that it is not as all easy as it seemed to be. It is very very very much a lot of training, diligence, overcoming, will and experience behind it. Just like it is to generate code.

But there is also another aspect to consider. The artistic. Of course!

To generate code is actually somehow text-book or guidelines and standards to be followed (better yet). Nor should the geometric triangle be reinvented.
But as with an orchestral conductor, the art is now to bring together individual components that are obviously needed to get the desired result. Here, the nuances, interpretations, deviations and also new ideas set the tone.

The creative, innovative and courageous part makes it all. Even for problems that have not yet been solved satisfactorily or for this one special case, there is no solution … suddenly the creativity is in focus.
Of course, it requires the understanding and mastery of the tools necessary for this. The analytical and logical thinking. The art of composition leads to a comparable Mr.Spock & Cpt. Kirk relationship!

Now, looking at this, there seems to be more compelling reasons to ask “Do we love to generate code?” to agree in the affirmative. Or does it rather seem to be a community of convenience and thus a love-hate shape? It’s not just about typing, commonly as actual “coding”. People begin to rationally separate means and purpose.

You may know that too?
On the weekend you eat a really nice, maybe opulent, meal at a well-laid table; preferably with family and friends. (dishwashing not considered)

On the one hand, there is cooking and on the other, eating as an event. Both have emotionality.
The cooking is possibly comparable to coding. You prepare something. Different ingredients are put together or separately in the right condition and at the very end … it comes to the table, where even the consumers are waiting eagerly for it. The actual eating process is then, as well as I would almost say, meditative state to describe.

Anyway, …. finally, it is that this whole event has been divided into different phases aka love affairs. The chef and guest comparable to software engineer and internet user or service provider and customer.

We like to 
be your chef!

We gain more from our actions than just intrinsic satisfaction. Everything, except to bring you into rapture, is alien to us! We want that … we need that! That is our mission and passion.

Coding as a term of necessity.
The mechanical move of the fingers over the keyboard. The process routines such as e.g. to saving and committing the code. Do we love that (okay, some may have an obsession to it) or is it much more than only this?

If we imagine that we do that without achieving a result, then … yes, what then? I think that would be very unsatisfactory! But we don’t want to get into this condition!
We are more than that! We see ourselves as enablers. As a big hitter. As those who make your life a little bit easier, better, more enjoyable and more beneficial..

… we love it!