Austin Coding Academy
February 21, 2019
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Mastering a new skill can take years of focus and practice. But what if you want to speed things up a little? When it comes to getting a job as a developer, you may not want to wait years to get started. Good news: there are some things you can do in your spare time every day that will help you get better in less time. Here are five things to try to learn programming faster.

1. Practice every day on real projects

As with any other job, having hands-on experience is a must. Whether it’s for your own personal website, or a project for a close friend or family member, try to find actual assignments to give yourself for practice. When you get to flex your coding muscles on things that will actually live on the internet, you put yourself into an immersive environment, giving you a better chance to become fluent quickly.

2. Use free coding websites for tutorials and projects

Fortunately for aspiring developers, there is no shortage of resources online these days. Using platforms like CodeAcademy, edX, aGupieWare, and Code Avengers, you can access free tutorials and cool project prompts. On any of these sites, you’ll work on interactive platform, learning languages such as JavaScript, PHP, and Python to create web apps, games, and more.

3. Make and use flashcards

If you can handle the flashbacks to high school, go old-school and use flashcards! In the same way they helped you master vocabulary words for the SAT, flashcards can help you learn common terms for whatever coding language you’re trying to master. They’re also portable, meaning you can break them out at breakfast, on the bus to work, or when you need a five-minute break from work.

If you don’t have index cards handy, hate your handwriting, or are just too embarrassed to be seen holding flash cards in public, you can also use an app like Flashcards+ or StudyBlue to get the same experience.

4. Blog about it

One of the best ways to put new knowledge to the test is to try to explain it to someone else. Consider creating a personal blog to help you document your journey to becoming a masterful developer. In addition to serving as a great reminder of how far you’ve come, blogging about what you’re learning helps cement new concepts so they can connect to the bigger picture.

As a bonus, it can also be a great way to network. By connecting with other developers, whether they’re more or less experienced than you, you have the opportunity to share what you’ve learned and take advantage of the knowledge of others.

Not a great writer? You may want to consider recording yourself and creating a vlog to share your learnings in video form instead.

5. Take a class or coding bootcamp

Bootcamps and classes are another excellent way to learn programming faster. Classes are instructor-led, allowing students to get hands-on experience and work directly with professors. Taking a front end or back end track class through a program like Austin Coding Academy takes students through the beginning, intermediate, and advanced lessons necessary to prepare for full time developer roles.

Growing with your organization, changing careers, or getting serious about a hobby all starts with mastering the subject matter. If you’re a programmer or a future programmer in the Austin area, we’d love to talk to you about how our 10-week courses can help you transition into a career as a developer or sharpen your existing skills. Learn more here.