The ten stages you go through when you’re learning programming

Code like a pro

Learning programming languages is becoming as important as learning a new foreign languagesEverything around us is rapidly becoming online and digital, and as consumers we’re spending more time using mobile apps and browsing websites.

On average, people are spending 6 hours and 42 minutes online each day.

If you’re considering learning programming, you have to know that no one is born a natural programmer, you need to spend a lot of time and effort to learn and to become a master. If you’ve already started learning programming, you’ll find yourself going through different stages and phases. In this article we will explain the ten stages that programmers might find themselves in. We will also clarify how you can tackle each stage until you’re a pro.

10 stages of learning programming

  1. The beginner
  2. First steps
  3. Frustration
  4. I did it!
  5. Weak code (breakable)
  6. Imitation and citation
  7. Self confidence
  8. Learning new techniques
  9. Programming becomes a form of art
  10. Pro

1. The beginner

Beginner is the person who starts learning anything for the first time, you’ll probably feel like you have no idea about what you’re doing. You’ll be more like someone who doesn’t know how to swim, and finds himself in the middle of an ocean. Whenever you see a piece of code, it will look like a riddle or a mystery. When we start learning anything new – especially programming – it’s usually scary and intimidating.

What are you supposed to do?

First off, don’t worry because this phase will pass. You shouldn’t panic or try too hard to get into all the details. Take notes as much as you can and try to implement the easiest and simplest methods.

2. First steps

It is the stage where you start learning the basics of programming. You’ll be able to do some edits in the text editor and you’ll start seeing some changes in the browser. Just like a baby taking his first steps, you’ll feel amazing.

What are you supposed to do?

Stay motivated and keep the learning spark on. Always remember that this is just the beginning.

programming code laptop

3. Frustration

This is the most dangerous stage of learning programming, because you might find yourself giving up or surrendering to the desperation after all the effort you’ve put in the first two stages. You’ll find yourself either looking for escape routes or some hope. But, don’t worry almost everyone who started learning something new has passed through the “frustration” phase too.

What are you supposed to do?

  • The best thing to do is to reassure yourself and to always remind yourself that this phase will pass.
  • Be careful and don’t start learning something else, so if you’re learning JavaScript don’t switch to Python because you’re disappointed with your progress with a certain language.
  • It’s always best to have a mentor or someone whom you can go back or ask questions whenever you face a problem. You can also look for educational centers that teach programming and coding, like El zero web school.

You can rest assured that this stage will pass, and in time you’ll start learning the analytical and problem-solving skills that you need.

 4. I did it!

It’s that enlightening moment when you realize that you actually managed to learn the basics of programming. This moment will hit you unexpectedly and you’ll feel that what you’ve been learning is coming together and that you’re ready to publish your first project.

What are you supposed to do?

You’ll start putting what you’ve learnt to use, your coding skills will improve. Just remember that you may face some failures during your next few steps.

5. Weak code (breakable)

In this stage you’ll be able to code an app that’s functional, but you may face some obstacles and unexpected bugs. You may not grasp the idea of testing and assuming different scenarios that you weren’t expecting. This might lead to the appearance of bugs in your code that you weren’t prepared for.

What are you supposed to do?

The best thing to do is to experiment and experience the app like a regular user and test it. For example, if the it’s designed for laptop screens the user might access it from his mobile phone, so you need to figure out how to solve such issues.

6. Imitation and citation

Imitation is a crucial phase for all programmers. The name makes it sound scary but it’s great if you’re learning new technological techniques or better ways to code. In addition to that, when you check others’ code you can improve your own. Luckily there are a lot of open source libraries like GitHub where you can view and review many open source projects.

 What are you supposed to do?

You may feel like you’re not creative enough or that your code isn’t original, but don’t worry, keep improving your skills and you’ll soon find yourself writing your own code and you’ll be killing it.

7. Self-confidence

Did you start feeling like a master? Self-confidence has a good and a bad side. That enthusiastic and lively spirit is essential, but too much of it may lead to arrogance. Your ego might stop you from learning, researching and developing. You may also start accepting big projects that you are not capable of doing, which may risk your career.

8. Learning new techniques

You’ll find yourself learning new automation techniques and the most recent and advanced methods. Your focus on the tools will be as important as the technique you use. You can start practicing, creating your own projects and releasing them and contributing on GitHub.

What are you supposed to do?

You’re on the right track, you should be constantly learning and developing.

9. Programming becomes a form of art

In this stage, programming will be more of an art to you and not just a code that you write; you’ll be writing the code for humans not machines. You’ll find yourself easily moving between architecting, coding, and debugging.

What are you supposed to do?

For more inspiration you can check a professional software development company’s success story.

10. Pro

Congratulations, you’re a professional programmer. All these hours of learning and practicing have payed off, you’re the acknowledged expert among your peers and you can start taking some freelance jobs.

What are you supposed to do?

You can build an online portfolio or a personal website to show off the projects that you’ve worked on and to present yourself and work professionally.

You don’t necessarily have to pass through all the stages, but you’ll probably pass through most of them. We know that learning anything new is challenging and demanding, but the key to learning programming is patience, perseverance and dedication. So, keep at it!

Image by: Danial RiCaRoS via Unsplash.

Ahmed Elnemr
Ahmed has more than 5 years of experience as a software business solutions multi-disciplinary Instructor, back-end developer, front-end developer, desktop developer, database designer, database developer and system analyst. He is known for delivering efficient, creative and engaging solutions. He is a professional IT trainer with extensive experience in web development. He has proven success in utilizing cutting-edge technology to devise training exercises for all types of learners and helped 200+ people to work as web developers.