We all start as Newbies, hungry for knowledge, passionate for discoveries, and ready to tackle challenges with all we have got. Whether it is while making a big career change to starting a new career. However, being a newbie means there is the likelihood you get frustrated some days and feel like giving up. Being a newbie comes with a lot of challenges. Overcoming these challenges usually requires a form of dodgeness and a do-or-die atitude.
I remember that period, as clear as the sun when I wrote my first Mobile Application using IONIC. I was still a student and back then, I felt I needed a major skill to stay afloat when I graduate from college. Well, I was right, it was the best decision I ever took.
Following my decision, there were days I did enjoy programming, and some other days, I wanted to do something else. But, each time I try devoting time to some other skill, I would discover that I was drawn to the idea of writing codes, debugging, and seeing an interface come alive.
It has been two beautiful years, but it has been as challenging as it has been fulfilling.
As a beginner, I am sure like I was (and still is), you were excited about the prospects of creating something new with the future intent of making money from it. But at what cost you should ask me.
Now, I am not trying to discourage you from following the path you so desire, I am only trying to prepare your mind for the many wonderful times, challenges to come, and the experiences you should expect.
And now to the big QUESTION, what should expect as a new Programmer/Newbie?
You will definitely have to sleep less.
Programming or starting a new career as a software developer is time-consuming and so you should expect that you would spend a lot of your days and nights trying to solve real-life problems by developing a piece of software, trying your hands at coding challenges to stay fresh, learning new technologies to stay relevant, and doing a lot of debugging(and testing too).
Hopefully, with time, you will be able to adjust your personal time to help you manage your time whilst improving productivity. In a day, you might manage to get 4 hours of unhindered sleep, that is, if you are really tired.
No Code/Programming language is “easy”. Forget what you were told.
As you write the codes, the first few exercises or applications you build (as the starting point) will probably feel like a “cool” walk in the park but trust me when I say that will change pretty soon. Gradually, you would start to probably ask why you choose software development as a career path or hobby. You might find it difficult to understand tutorials as they will seem rather difficult and not explanatory enough. But, hey, you chose this path, you have to remind yourself to stick it out. When the time comes, remember to take little breaks and get back on it.
And yea, you will make a lot of mistakes.
Tutorials and self-help articles will do their best to outline and provide the codes and teach you how best to write them. But guess what? You might still make mistakes. It might be the syntax used, spacing, or naming convention that will suddenly look like “greek” rather than Phyton to you. You will have to watch a 2-hour video for two days and learn as you do. When the time comes, remember, that the best way to learn is by doing. Keep at it.
Stack Overflow is your best friend.
Talking about searching for solutions to the weirdest errors, I give it up for Stack Overflow. I mean, no matter how difficult the error seemed to be in the first instance, you will always get a solution from the platform. You might want to consider making Stack Overflow your best friend as long as you want to be a Software Developer (Winks).
You can hate reading, but you must love documentations.
That new technology doesn’t care who you think you are. You just have to read its documentation to have a grasp at the supposed “Greek” pieces of code you hear the Indian guy say via the youTube Channel. You want to understand that piece of code and how to use it, dedicate a day or two to its documentation (Oh, you are welcome). Reading the documentation of a programming language as a newbie will give you insight into the syntax and structure of the programming language while helping you make fewer mistakes.
Get ready to “feel like giving up.”
To me, this is rather a familiar feeling. It comes and goes. I may not have had a lot of experience in coding but I can certainly say I feel like this some days; the days of errors in my codes, days when I couldn’t seem to find answers on StackOverflow. But guess what, for each error I have found the solution to, I have learned something new.
Leverage on Relationships. Connect with the right persons.
A call here, a chat there, and the problem go away. No more, no less. Make some techie friends. Get into dev communities online. Have a Git account. Contribute to other people’s code. Read other people’s codes, and….above all, HAVE FUN.
I hope with these few points of mine, I have convinced and not confused you to be a Software Developer (lol).
Note: I am still a Newbie too. I just felt this article might help you figure out some things as I am still trying to figure things out too. Remember, KEEP GROWING.