The gender gap in tech is real. However, the only way to break up this so-called “boy’s club” for good is to empower more women to join the ranks of programmers. While women only earn 28% of computer science degrees, that doesn’t mean they aren’t perfectly suited to starting a degree in tech. The truth is you don’t need a fancy degree to learn how to code.
This guide will share the best tips used by top programmers to learn how to code faster. Remember, there’s nothing you can’t do if you just get started and put in the work. Let’s overcome the “brogrammer” culture together.
1. JUST GET STARTED.
The biggest obstacle is the fear we feel in our own failure. As women, we’re naturally prone to worrying about what others will think. There’s a lot to overcome in such a male-dominated industry, and it’s not uncommon to be told you aren’t cut out for it. Don’t listen to this noise. Women can and do make excellent programmers. It’s just up to you to get started and start learning.
2. PLAY WITH CODE.
There is undeniably a benefit to learning by the book. That’s how we grasp the fundamentals, right? However, don’t let book learning tie you down. The best way to learn is to just start playing with code. This is how you’ll grasp the concepts and understand how to put them to use. Like learning any new skill, you need hands-on practice.
3. BE SERIOUS ABOUT FUNDAMENTALS.
While the hands-on practice is key, there is value to those basics. These elementary steps form the foundation for all other learning. The reason more experienced programmers sometimes fail is because they’ve distanced themselves from those fundamentals. Take these initial lessons to heart, and don’t be afraid to revisit them later.
4. DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP.
There’s often a stigma behind asking for help. Women, in particular, are worried about coming off as incompetent. They don’t want to seem like they’re taking too long to grasp new concepts or overcome challenges. Yet, asking for help is how we learn. While it’s essential you take the time to tackle your own problems on your own, know when and how to ask for help. You’ll be glad you did.
5. EXPERIMENT WITH SAMPLE CODES.
Thanks to the internet, there’s a wealth of free sample codes out there. This can be a crutch, however, if you’re not careful. Instead of relying on these all of the time put them to use in a way that works. Play with them, and experiment with changes. See how even small line changes affect the entire code.
6. SELF-EDIT AND MONITOR.
Learning to code is only the first step. You’ll make yourself so much more affordable if you’re willing to push beyond and learn some extras. While most programmers know a thing or two about editing their own work, few new coders take the time to learn the ins and outs of monitoring and logging. Knowing how to do things like read your AWS CloudTrail logs helps put you in the big leagues, and we can use all the edge we can get.
7. KEEP PUSHING ON.
As women in tech, we don’t face an easy road. Things men take for granted become challenges for us, but that doesn’t mean we should give up. The odds might not be in your favor, but you can still make a name for yourself here. We need more women to stand up for their own coding skills if we want to change the industry.
If you want to learn how to code faster, you need to stay motivated and confident. Mistakes will happen, and that’s just part of the process. Learn from them, get up, and keep moving forward. Together, we’ll tear down this glass ceiling.