10 Things to Know Before You Code

Coding is a fun, stimulating and exciting activity that can leave you feeling accomplished and satisfied, or frustrated and confused, and sometimes all of them at the same time. There are some basic principles and tips we’ve found useful to keep us on track and to motivate us through the hard times. These tips are great for beginners to start off on the right foot. They are also good reminders for those of us who are feeling a little more frustrated with our coding instead of accomplished and excited!

Here are the 10 Things To Know Before You Code

  1. BE PATIENT- Coding can be difficult. The logic that goes along with coding comes naturally to some and not to others. Don’t worry if it’s hard! It’s hard for everyone at some point! Be patient with yourself and know that developing your coding skills takes time and practice.

  2. LEARN THE BASICS - Master the basics first! It might not feel exciting learning and practicing the basics of your coding skills, instead of making a cool game or animation, but mastering the basics will take you farther in your coding. If you understand how and why things work, instead of just copying someone else’s code, in the long run you’ll be able to create and problem solve so much more!

  3. CHALLENGE YOURSELF- Once you feel like you’ve got the hang of something, don’t be afraid to challenge yourself to do something more! Your skills will build off of each other if you’re willing to push yourself and try something new!

  4. BE CREATIVE- One of the best parts of coding (to me, at least) is how creative you can be! It doesn’t have to be boring! If you can think of an idea for a game, animation, character, etc., make it happen! It will take a lot of work and patience, but seeing your idea come to life is a great motivator to keep going!

  5. SHARE YOUR CREATIONS - Sharing what you’ve coded is a great way to see your progress, feel pride in your accomplishments and help others understand what you’ve been working on. Your friends and family will be excited to see what you’ve been able to do. They may even start asking you for help with their coding!

  6. GET SOCIAL - Lots of coding platforms (like Scratch) allow users to interact in friendly and positive ways. It’s a good way to make friends with people who share your interest in coding, get ideas for new projects and have some fun!

  7. IT’S OK TO ASK QUESTIONS AND FOR HELP - Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you’re stuck! Teachers, friends and sometimes the internet may have an insight that can help you solve a problem. Be sure that you understand the why of what they help you with so that you can do it on your own in the future! Asking questions is an excellent way to be sure you understand the why of how something works.

  8. TAKE BREAKS- It’s OK to take a break from your coding! Sometimes we get so focused on one problem, that we can’t seem to fix it or move on. Often, taking a short break can allow our brains to start fresh and ease some of the frustration we’ve been feeling.

  9. IT’S OK TO MESS UP- You’re going to mess up a lot while you’re learning to code. It’s OK! That’s how we learn! When you understand your mistakes, you’ll be a better coder because you can learn from them.

  10. HAVE FUN! - Coding should be fun! You get to create games, animations, characters, worlds, etc. straight from your imagination. You’re in charge! Don’t let the frustrating parts of coding get in the way of having fun!

We hope this list helps you in your coding journey! What tips do you have for beginners?