3 Mistakes every non-programmer makes while learning to program

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Are you a non-programmer trying to learn to program? Great! you have taken a big leap towards the realm of programming. I hope your learning process is going on nicely. Even though it may be giving nicely, I would like to tell you the 3 common mistakes every non-programmer makes while learning to program. That way you can avoid these mistakes and make your learning experience better.

1. Learning syntax by heart

When a non-programmer starts with programming, they are overwhelmed with the syntax used in programming. And they spend most of the time learning how a particular syntax is written, what is the anatomy of the program. They fill their memory with the programming syntaxes.

If this is your first language that you are learning then you may not find it much taxing. But what if you decide to learn a few more languages. What will happen when all the syntaxes of various languages are crowding in your memory?

Although theoretically, we have a huge memory available in our brain only little is available for actual use. And it’s not a permanent memory either. It’s not a hard disk. Things evaporate from our memory. So why to crowd it with unnecessary things.

Check out this infographic. It gives some interesting facts about our brain.

Human memory

When you are learning to drive, initially you have trouble with brake and accelerator and gears and whatnot. But soon, driving becomes a mechanical thing. The same thing is applicable to programming. You don’t have to crowd your brain with the syntaxes.

Writing various programs will wire the syntaxes automatically into your brain. Instead, focus on the logic part of the programming. Because logic will make you a great programmer and not by remembering the syntaxes.

I have written extensively about logic in my other blog post. You can read it here.

2. Copy-pasting programs while learning

So you have started enthusiastically with programming. Your instructor is giving you sample codes and you are typing them and executing them. But soon this enthusiasm fades and you start copy-pasting codes because you get bored with the programming.

Unfortunately, this will not end well for your programming education. There is only one way you will get better at programming is by typing the code. And by typing, I do not mean just blindly typing everything that comes your way. Understand why a particular line is written, understand the underlying logic used.

Otherwise, you are doing a great disservice to yourself and the person who is teaching you. Most importantly your time will be wasted and there won’t be any result to see.

But you can copy-paste your own code. Because you have written it yourself. You already know the logic behind the program. So it will not matter if you copy-paste this code if required in your other program. In fact, you will be saving a lot of your time. I do it every time.

Remember one thing, you are learning to program in order to enhance your skillset. Copy-pasting totally defeats the purpose.

3. Getting bogged down by long programs

I am an Electronics engineer. During my first year of engineering, I was getting so overwhelmed with big circuit diagrams let alone understand them and actually making connections on the breadboard, that I felt how on the Earth, I am going to complete my graduation? The circuit diagrams were so big that it took more than a couple of hours just to draw them.

But later on as my studies went further, I understood one thing; one circuit is a combination of multiple small circuits. And in turn, the small circuit is made up of further smaller circuits.

And the puzzle of understanding the circuit was somehow solved. The same thing applies to programming. One large code block is made up of small code blocks which are again made up of tiny code blocks.

While it’s quite natural to get bogged down by the sheer enormity of the program, you have to understand there are multiple tiny chunks that make one big program. As you go on programming, you will understand these smaller code blocks yourself.

That’s why it is so important to write programs and not copy paste them. Because with copy-pasting you will never be able to break down the big program into smaller chunks.

If you will avoid these mistakes you will be able to learn to program without any issues. And your goal of skill enhancement will be achieved.

Keep learning avoid these mistakes!