Patience: A Coder’s Best Friend

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There was a time when if you wanted to watch a movie, you had to go to the video store and rent it; if they were all out of tapes, you didn’t get to watch it. You’d have to wait, days, sometimes weeks just to see that movie – which begs the question…

Could you survive?

Luckily, we live in an age where if we want to see a movie, we just download it or stream it off any number of streaming services. The move toward convenience and speed has reached all areas and industries, and the same progress has been demonstrated in the world of coding. Simple processes used to take copious amounts of code to carry out, but now many things are carried out through automation and can be accessed with a variety of resources online.  

Despite advancements that have simplified coding, there is one thing that hasn’t changed, you still need lots of patience.

Patience is needed when you start learning to code, and when the only languages you’ve learned up to that point are human languages, the lines of seemingly unrelated characters can take time to understand. This is no different than any other hobby or skill, like playing the guitar, you have to learn the chords before you can play a song. With coding, you must understand the importance of each character in order to build upon them to create something big like a website or a video game.

Once you start learning more advanced techniques, you’ll be required to start solving problems or going deeper into the lines of code you write. Not only will you need to pay attention to detail, but you may find yourself going over the same line multiple times before you find what you need.

Patience can help you later in life, not just while you’re learning to code. The sooner you learn patience, the better off you’ll be in the future whenever you encounter a problem or situation that takes time to resolve. When you finally get a job applying your coding knowledge, whether that be in a DevOps, Video Game Design, or Systems role, you’ll find that patience is going to be required every day on the job. That’s because you’ll also need to have patience with other members of your team, and since many coding jobs involve working in a team, those with a short fuse are not going to have an easy time.

The good news is patience is contagious, and that cool, calm demeanor you demonstrate will soon rub off on other members of your team. Who knows, that attitude may even get you a promotion, in which you’ll need even more patience for dealing with employees that you manage.

As you can see, patience will always be your best friend if you befriend it early. The start of your coding journey will be challenging at first, but you can develop habits now that will help you the rest of your life, both personally and professionally.

5 Reasons to Choose a Career That Allows You to Work Remotely

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Learning to code has an array of incredible benefits – from teaching soft skills for everyday use to cultivating a hobby that keeps you challenged and entertained. Coding trains the brain, inspires patience and opens extensive career opportunities. Regarding the latter point, understanding how to code can also clear the path toward coveted remote job possibilities as well. Why choose a career that allows you to work remotely? Read on to find out.

 

1.       Your career doesn’t have to define your life. As much as you may love coding, a job still just becomes a job over time. Thankfully, by working from home, you can spend plenty of time pursuing hobbies and spending time with family.

 

2.       Explore side opportunities. Not sure about sticking to one job alone? Want to start your own business? Coding is a highly qualifying skill. There are abundant fields that benefit from hiring someone who understands coding. Not only can the knowledge itself lead to jobs – such as in web development – but the skills that come along with coding can also boost your resume for other opportunities in design, marketing, business operations and more.

 

3.       Save money on gas, food and other reoccurring expenses. Commuting takes a toll on your day, car and wallet. You aren’t paid for the time spent getting ready, driving and pumping gas. Working remotely allows you to make the most of each paycheck.

 

4.       Create a flexible schedule – and a flexible workplace environment. When you work remotely, you are in charge of your schedule. Yes, this means you need to have great time management skills – but, as a coder, you are probably already proficient at setting aside time to work and study. Additionally, working from home means getting to wear whatever you want – which is pretty cool, right?

 

Have you ever considered the possibility of having a full-time career while living the way you want to live – with more time, money and a flexible schedule? That’s one of the many benefits of learning how to code: You immediately qualify yourself for great work-from-home opportunities that pay well and offer you the ability to create your own lifestyle while working a job you love.

5 Time Management Tips to Help You Study Efficiently

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As you get older, you start to realize that everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, and for many students that weakness is studying. Not every student is born with studying super powers, but every student can learn how to study efficiently. With a little practice and use of these time management tips, you can start having more efficient study sessions.

Set a Goal Beforehand

What are your strengths? Which class just doesn’t make sense? Take some time to figure out what you should be studying, or which topics you need more help with than others. Now’s the time to break out that study guide your teacher handed out, assuming it’s not crumbled in a ball at the bottom of your backpack.

Hide Your Phone

You’re not allowed to have your phone out in class, what makes you think you should have it out when you’re studying? If you must use your phone for research, close out every other app except your browser, then immediately lock it when you’re done. This requires self-control, but you can take comfort in knowing that you’ll have lots of free time once you get a proper studying technique

Study Smaller Portions

It can be difficult trying to study multiple chapters all at once, you’re better off dividing the material into sections. If you have a study guide, divide up the unit into smaller sections, giving yourself 10-20 minutes for each section. This especially helps if you are unfamiliar with the material and need a general summary of the topics for a test the next day.

Take Effective Breaks

Staring at the paragraphs of small text in your history book can take a toll on your eyes, and sometimes your sanity. After you finish one of your sections (20-30 minutes), take a 5-10 minute break during which you should get moving, drink water, and take a step outside to get some fresh air. You’d be surprised how much a small effective break can keep your mind focused on the task at hand.

Schedule Everything

Get a calendar, and no, the one in your phone doesn’t count (plus, it’s hiding). Marking the days you’ll dedicate to studying a week ahead of time not only reminds you when the time comes, but also helps you make sure everything else is taken care of before you dedicate all your attention to hitting the books.  You should also schedule a “reward” after a studying session, whether that be a new toy, a trip for ice cream, or even a couple hours dedicated solely to video games. Seeing your reward on the calendar will help motivate you to get your studying done.

As we stated earlier, studying is a skill that can be learned, and it can be done with just small changes to your routine. You’ll soon find that having a good studying routine can lead to better grades and even more importantly more free time to pursue new found coding hobby!

Coding: An Art or a Science?

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Traditionally, people have been defined as leaning toward one of two mindsets, either logical or creative. In a world where every aspect of life is changing with technology, it’s no wonder that the lines between science and art are blurred – especially when it comes to coding.  

On the surface, coding looks like a science. Complex arrangements of seemingly unrelated characters form lines of code that carry out a specific process. These processes help machines function, make websites operational, help design video games, and even assist in the study of the human body.

The skills required to create the code for these systems and machines are also the same that make a good scientist, including the ability to carry out research, conduct trial-and-error experiments, and interpret data. A good deal of coding also involves math, and students who are good at math can usually begin coding with relative ease.

The intersection of art and science is marked by the relevant skills needed for both fields, this is where the two share similar characteristics. 

Artists research techniques, conduct trial-and-error experiments with their work, and even use a bit of math when mixing mediums, designing strategically or calculating the amount of supplies needed.

Attention to detail is a skill that’s required in coding and art. Searching for problem areas in a painting is like scanning lines of code for a misplaced character.

This example in particular tell us a lot about the similarity between art and science. All the little parts that make up the scientific or artistic process come together to form something bigger in the end. Little pieces of tile form a mosaic, several drops of chemicals cause a reaction, and lines of code form what we see on the screen.

Imagine that you’ve been painting your whole life with access to only two types of brushes. Then, one day, a package arrives at your home filled with brushes, sponges, solvents, and other supplies. Now you can apply your talent to even more projects than before. Coding languages are like that new set of supplies, giving you the ability to manufacture, design, and present almost anything you want.  Basically, coding can unlock your creative potential in ways you never thought possible.

So, in a way, coding is the art of science.

That’s what makes learning to code such a valuable experience, since it gives you a new outlet to utilize your strengths. Whether you love science, or are passionate about art, coding is a skill that can take your life to new heights.

4 Soft Skills That Are Honed By Coding

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Coding is more than an incredible hobby – it’s a skill that you can feel proud to learn. When mastered, coding can lead to career development opportunities in an array of fields. However, in addition to improving future job qualifications, coding also improves your personal development by helping you acquire necessary soft skills. Read on to learn 4 soft skills that are honed by coding.

 

Teamwork

 

You start developing many skills the moment you begin learning to code in a classroom environment. Working with instructors, asking questions, and taking feedback with a good attitude all require teamwork. Once you go into the workplace, you will no doubt be assigned projects that call for collaboration between other coders, outside departments, and even hired contractors.

 

One aspect of learning to code that’s attractive for many people is the potential to work from home, but even then, you will have to maintain contact with co-workers to ensure you’re all on the same page.

 

Creativity

 

The perception of programmers portrayed by the media is often a distorted one, usually a math wiz in a basement placed in front several monitors typing away robotically. Don’t get us wrong, there’s lots of math involved and double monitors rule but the creativity it takes to code really does go unnoticed. The reason your creativity expands when you learn to code is because you begin to possess the tools to build almost anything you want, whether you learn to build video games, virtual reality programs, robots or websites, the possibilities are endless.

 

Critical Thinking

 

Coding can involve an onslaught of information at once, especially if you’re just beginning your education. Over time, your ability to not only understand the information on the screen, but also develop solutions based off that data will improve. There are tons of resources out there for solving coding problems, but in the professional world, problems may arise that have no existing solutions. Analyzing lines of code to locate the exact location of an error, or piece that can be modified for a specific action takes critical thinking skills that can be honed over time.

 

You will get to a point where you can solve problems quickly, but this will take time and something else…

 

Patience

Learning to code is like learning to play an instrument, except where you’d drive yourself crazy trying to extend your pinky to the 7th fret, you’ll instead be tempted to smash your keyboard while attempting to change a color or font size on the screen. Coding can be frustrating at first and takes practice to understand fully – and with technology and programming languages constantly evolving, you’ll truly never fully perfect it. But, you can have the patience to learn new things, no matter how challenging they are.

 

The road to coding mastery is one filled with ups and downs, but the rewards that come with it will soon show on your screen and within yourself.

6 Tips to Help You Focus While Studying

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It’s 11:57 at night, you have a huge test tomorrow morning, and you’ve only made it to number 6 on your 50 question exam study guide… sounds familiar right? You’re not alone, and many people struggle with studying. Either they are lucky enough to retain all the material the first time and don’t need to, or the idea of sitting quietly in front of a textbook for up to an hour seems like the most boring thing ever! School is not always fun, but simply setting aside time to study effectively can mean the difference between failing and getting phenomenal grades.  In the world of coding, that – in turn – means getting your dream programming or design job. Here are 6 tips to help you become better at studying and get the grades you want.

 

Set a Mini Goal

Sometimes the hardest part about studying is figuring out exactly what we need to study. Without a study plan, you run the risk of jumping from topic to topic, not really understanding any of it afterwards. If you’re fortunate enough to have been given a study guide, divide up the sections into smaller sections, allowing yourself 10-20 minutes for each. In the event that you’re crunched for time, it’s better that you fully understand some topics more than others – rather than having little to no knowledge of the overall subject.

 

Practice Mindfulness

Think of your mind as another person inside of you; like anyone, it needs to eat to stay alive. When you are studying a topic, you’re hand feeding your mind, and it eats every new thought you have. Every time you have a distracting thought, visualize yourself putting it in a refrigerator and feed it to your mind later.

 

Keep it Lit

Literally, turn those lights on! Straining your eyes, along with having a damaging effect on your sight over time, gives you a headache. Once you have a headache, that’s all that’s on your mind – the ache. Studying in a well-lit room, more specifically with “white light” as opposed to “warm light,” is better for your eyes and creates a more productive and focused environment.

 

Listen to the Right Music

It has been shown that music increases people’s focus when performing menial, repetitive tasks, but what about studying? Scientists have found that listening to classical music helps people study longer. Beethoven not your thing? EDM is also said to help students with studying, as well as certain forms of hip hop. Music between 60 and 70 beats per minute is ideal, but any music that is not overly lyrical will work, especially when you’re studying a topic like coding.  

 

Resist Your Phone’s Power

Put it away, simple as that. You’re going to use it, every single thought that passes through your mind can turn you into Gollum, driving you to unlock the precious and get sucked down the YouTube wormhole for hours.

 

Breaks

Sometimes you just need to step away, pushing your mind during crunch study sessions will only be effective for so long before you get burnt out. Try to keep your studying increments between 10-20 minutes and take a 5-10 minute break in-between. Stay hydrated, and if you have the time, take a nap, you earned it. 

 

Studying is essential to earn a good grade, and to understand the topic. However, you must study effectively by setting the scene, putting away your phone and taking regular breaks.