avatarJosef Cruz



My Personal Tips for Not Getting Bored in Learning Programming

Even after doing it for a decade.

Photo by Sander Sammy on Unsplash

I started my journey in the IT world with no IT educational background. At that time, I was in a phase of depression about life. I felt like I was never truly successful in any of my endeavors.

During college, I worked odd jobs. From morning until noon, I studied. From the afternoon until evening, I had to work as a waitress in a cafe until midnight or even early morning if there were many customers, earning a salary of $10/day.

In my free time, I help with photo shoots for the school yearbook. So, it went on until I finally graduated as a mediocre graduate. Then, I decided to open my own business with limited capital.

Every night, I sell toast on the side of the road. For two years, I spent my evenings in my toast cart. Something was wrong with my life. I felt like I didn’t have any special skills that I could really use. I can do anything, but I’m not an expert. At that time, I decided to overhaul my life. That’s where I found the opportunity to change my life.

When I first started learning programming, I participated in a bootcamp. At that time, I was very confused. I don’t know what my mentors and friends are saying. What is debugging? What is an API? and so it continued until the bootcamp was over and I graduated. I didn’t really understand and didn’t master what I learned during that time. Is it a waste? Oh, of course not; I’m optimistic that one day I will be able to do it.

Because I have a goal to change my life.

In my second year, I was accepted for a six-month unpaid internship at a startup. At that time, I felt like I was just a burden to my teammates. In a day, I can ask my teammates more than ten times.

Honestly, I’m embarrassed. I often treat my friends to crackers at lunch. Oh yes, while doing my internship, I had to work for Petrol Capital and daily operations. At that moment, I realized there is a price to be paid for everything in this world. If you can’t pay with money, pay with time or even honor.

Six months after I completed the internship, I was accepted for work through the network I had built during the internship. Will my journey be easy after that? Of course not.

Almost every night for 3 months, I cried in my dorm room because I couldn’t fix the bugs at my job. Sometimes, I hit my head because I feel like I’m so stupid.

I remember very well that the responsibility when you are paid for the skills you have is very big. Don’t just bear the shame. But also scared and angry with myself. It took me 2 weeks to complete 1 task.

My first salary as a programmer at that time was $200. Until the following months, I began to adapt, and slowly, my confidence grew. At night, I no longer cry. But replaced with coding practice. I clone people’s repos, then I rewrite them. When my program doesn’t run, I check again the repo that I cloned. I also always google myself for every obstacle I face. I started to recognize the right way of learning for me. I am someone who has to repeat/repeat the same thing until I really master it.

I have been working as a programmer for several years. Currently, my salary has reached four digits. I have made at least 15 applications, either independently or in a team. I believe my story is not the only story of the best struggle in learning programming. But I can assure you, I don’t regret going through it and then writing it for you.

Summarizing what I said above, what are the tips for not getting bored and sleepy when learning programming autodidactically? My answer has 3 main points:

1. Have a goal. It’s the same as climbing a mountain, exploring the moon, and creating a lamp. I don’t need to tell you, surely we all agree that everything is not easy or even impossible. What makes humans able to survive and not give up. For me, goals are the seeds of hope. Empty hopes will not grow well but will only become a mirage. If you are learning programming and find it difficult, try to step back for a moment and think again about what goals you really want to achieve that you have to bother learning to program.

2. Go with awareness. Everything done with awareness is never in vain. By realizing that what you are fighting for now is not in vain, you will not feel regret. Awareness is also the best mirror. When you learn autodidactically, you have to realize that your path is not as easy as other people who study in the IT field. Of course, the effort you have to make must be greater than those who have struggled for several years in IT school/college.

3. Find the right way to study. Know that every human being is different, likewise in the process of absorbing knowledge or learning. Try finding out all the learning models that exist in the world via the internet. There are lots of them, such as pomodoro, creating a tree of knowledge a la Elon Musk, or others. Try practicing one by one that you find interesting.

Then do an evaluation after you have done it for a few days. And then choose the one that you feel suits you. You know, there is no one who doesn’t like learning in this world. But they choose their own way to learn. Even a lottery gambler has his own calculations to find numbers to bet on.

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