How to Practice Coding: 7 Unique Ways to Amp Up Your Programming Skills

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Programmers make an average salary of $87,530. The high earning potential of this field makes it a popular career choice. In fact, people even change careers to become programmers. 

The number of programming boot camps out there is good evidence of how many people want to become programmers. There are so many that there is an industry profiting from educating these hopefuls. 

Of course, you don’t need a boot camp to know how to practice coding. Some of the best programmers of all time are self-taught. 

To find out more about how you can practice coding on your own, check out the list below.  

1. Complete Coding Challenges

If you’ve got some coding under your belt, you’ll benefit from coding challenges. These simulate real-world problems you may encounter in the programming field.

The most important skill to have as a programmer is perseverance. Although programming is a desirable career, it isn’t an easy one. Programmers often spend dozens of hours solving one elusive problem in their code. 

In fact, there are even coding challenge websites where you can compete against other coders to solve programming problems. These are a little more prestigious and difficult to get into, but they will really hone your skills.

Coding challenges will help teach you to persevere until you solve the problem. In the future, your job could depend on it.    

2. Read About Programming

This may not sound like the most hands-on way to learn how to code, but it is the most underrated one. Books written about coding offer some important insight you can’t get elsewhere. 

Books like HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites and Eloquent Javascript: A Modern Introduction to Programming can explain the logic behind coding mechanisms. It’s necessary to conceptually understand how to code to be a great programmer. 

It may be a good idea to build a foundation in a language before cracking open one of these dense books. Most of these educational books offer code challenges that can be difficult, but if you can get through the whole book, you will have a solid grasp of the subject.

3. Start Building Projects

Even if you don’t know one shred of code, you can start a coding project right now. It may sound crazy, but that’s exactly how others have gotten started in their careers. 

You can start with something simple. As you go, you can learn about the code you need to complete each new step. In the end, you’ll have a portfolio and a lot more to show in a job interview. 

There is an entire educational philosophy behind “learning by doing.” It’s a hands-on approach that may better prepare you for what the job market requires. 

You can use websites like GitHub to get started. Rather than spending time worrying about not having the skills to complete anything, take a leap of faith and use other work as inspiration to get started. 

4. Use Open Source Resources

It’s not unusual for successful programmers to lack higher degrees. It’s common for programmers to be self-taught. That’s why there are so many helpful open source resources out there for learning how to code.

There are many online courses available that won’t cost you a penny. These courses are actual university courses where the materials are made available for anyone to use. You can find lectures, readings, quizzes, assignments, and even interactive content. 

There are also other resources, like the C# PDF library, that full-time developers use. These are good for finding the tools to solve problems and complete projects for your portfolio.

5. Take Some Online Lessons

If you want to learn coding, but you’re not sure where to start, check out the variety of coding courses offered online. They are created by various companies like Code School, Treehouse, Udacity, and more. 

There are free options for some more simple courses, but the good stuff costs a little bit extra. They will provide quizzes and coding challenges that are checked for accuracy. 

Once you figure out what coding languages you want to learn, you can search for low-cost courses on the subject. It’s a good way to build a foundation in that framework before doing more extensive studying.

6. Sign Up for Boot Camp

If you need more structure in your life, a coding boot camp might be perfect for you. These training programs offer intensive courses in a variety of programming topics. 

Boot camps are more expensive than individual online courses, but they also run longer and offer more support. Most boot camps last for three to six months and teach multiple languages and frameworks. 

Unfortunately, boot camps range in price from $9,000 to $21,000. It’s an investment in your future, and not a cheap one. Before you open your wallet, make sure to check the reviews. 

One of the best advantages boot camps offer is job placement. Many companies promise that tuition won’t be charged until a student secures a job in the field.

7. Find a Local Meetup

Practicing your code doesn’t have to be completely online. A great way to hone your skills is to find a local coding meetup. 

There are apps dedicated to meetups of various purposes. For example, the app Meetup has groups dedicated to everything from tech to theater. All you have to do is search for coding meetups in your area. 

You can also do a simple Google search for “coding meetups.” There are different programming groups that host events around the world. 

At a coding meetup, you can network with other engineers to figure out the best ways to practice code. You can also ask others for advice on any coding projects you’re currently working on. 

More on How to Practice Coding

Learning how to practice coding will determine whether you’ll develop the skills to become a great programmer. Remember – the greater the programmer, the greater the salary.

Learning how to code requires learning many new computer languages. Like any language, it takes a lot of time and dedication to become fluent. If you want to be a successful engineer, start practicing today. 

Don’t forget to come back later and browse our blog for even more great tips! 

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