Why Most People Fail To Be A Programmer?

 Why Most People Fail To Be A Programmer?

If you are trying to become a software developer and you find the process really hard, you are not alone. Learning to code is hard, and a lot of people fail at it, especially people learning online.

So what’s the difference between those who fail and those who succeed?

Some people think they are not made for it.

Others think it’s about having the best content, and that’s why they spend thousands of dollars goi

ng to college or to a bootcamp to find great teachers.

Many other people think they need to know technology X, Y, and Z, and a couple of weeks later they realize they were learning the wrong thing and switch to something new. They keep going on in this vicious cycle and they never get to learn anything well enough.

But let me tell you the truth…the quality of the content  makes a career out of it.

Schools, universities, and bootcamps normally have low dropout rates compared to online courses. Think about it for a moment. Why is that?

The main reason is that they give you the support, guidance, and accountability necessary for you to stick to doing the same thing for a long time:

  • Teachers that tell you what to learn.
  • A classroom where you have to show up every day.
  • Deadline and tests force you to deliver things on time.

Here are 6 tips to help you in that process.

Tip #1: Choose a technology stack and stick to it

Even though some languages are more popular than others, things change really fast. So don’t overthink this decision, just pick something you really like or whatever everyone else seems to be doing and stick to it.

Try to choose general languages (e.g. Python, Java, Ruby) and also learn the most popular framework for that language (e.g. Ruby on Rails).

If you want to do frontend development, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are the only things that really matter.

If you have time, learn one frontend JS framework (e.g. React, Angular, Vue.js).

However, between all those alternatives, there is no real difference if you can’t make it to the end.

Tip #2: Follow a daily schedule

Do you have the opportunity to learn full-time? Then do it. Otherwise, just make sure you are realistic when determining how many hours you can dedicate per day.

Define a recurring daily and weekly schedule that you can follow, and think about it as going to classes at a university..

Tip #3: Find a physical space conducive to focus

Learning from a noisy and crowded place with a million distractions around you is definitely not the right choice. Go to the near library, or to a coworking space. Use headphones with some instrumental music in the background, disable all notifications on your computer and phone, etc.

Tip #4: Define deadlines

Almost every course online provides some kind of information about the number of hours that it takes to complete each part. FreeCodeCamp does, The Odin Project does, Udemy courses do.

Use those times as a reference to make a plan. If a given section is supposed to take 20 hours, think if that includes practical work (i.e. coding ) or not. If it does, just add 15% of extra time. If it doesn’t, multiply that time by 2–3x, because you should spend much more time coding than watching videos or reading.

After that, divide the number of hours that it will take you to complete that section by the number of available hours you are dedicating to learn every day. Now you know when you are supposed to finish that section. Create a calendar event as a reminder. That’s your deadline.

Tip #5: Find a coding partner

This part is pretty hard, and it’s one of the things we do well at Microverse. You need someone that is as committed as you are, as defined by the number of hours that she is willing to dedicate to learning to code every day.

Find someone that has similar goals and availability, and create a plan together. If possible, have a common schedule so you can start your learning time with a short call where you hold each other accountable.

Even better, you should try pair programming. It’s an amazing way of learning while holding each other accountable. You will see how your productivity reaches a level that you were nev er able to reach before.

In can be someone in your same town, or far away. As long as the goals, schedules and experience levels are similar, it will work like magic.

If you happen to live in the same city, agree to meet in the same physical space every day. The transportation time is totally worth it. If you don’t, just do a video conference every day.

Tip #6: Find a mentor

Easier said than done. Finding a good mentor is hard. But as part of your learning experience, you should be networking, because eventually, you will need those connections to find a job. Among all the people that you meet, ask them if they could do a code review of your work every once in a while.

Follow a strict gitflow while working so you can share those Pull Requests where your mentor can leave comments line by line.

Motivation, commitment, accountability and a superhuman willpower are not things that will magically come to you. You need to make a plan for it.

Tip #7: You Think Short term instead of long term 

We humans are notoriously bad long-term planners. We bemoan the thought of having to learn something for six months, or heaven forbid a year, even though that time invested may yield dividends for the next 20 years.

Most bootcamps are not three months because that’s the amount of time it takes to learn to code, they are three months because they have to appeal to consumers’ foolish desire for instant gratification.

Most people don’t know what kind of thinking underpins their decision making, and when learning to code and becoming a software developer is unconsciously subject to short-term thinking, it will be swiftly cast aside once the going gets tough.


Just try to practice everyday. Consistency is the key 🔑 

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