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Lucy Oleschuk
Level 31

How to Effectively Track Your Progress While Learning to Code

Published in the Random group
Learning to code can often seem like you're running as fast as possible but still getting nowhere. The learning journey in the software development world can be chaotic at times. And measuring programming progress is tough to do. One day you may feel like you have something figured out and advanced; the other day, you face too many issues you must solve before writing a code. You may often feel like nothing is happening (you're not progressing) and eventually lose motivation. To prevent that, we've come up with an article that will help you measure your progress and let you understand whether you're advancing or not. How to Effectively Track Your Progress While Learning to Code - 1

A Plan is the Key to Progress

The main things that can lead you to success in your study process are a good plan and a comfortable daily schedule. If you stick to the plan and study regularly, you can track what topics you've already mastered and how long you've come. What should be included in the plan? First, a plan needs to consist of basic topics like Java Core, OOP, Java Collections, Java Exceptions, Input/Output streams, Algorithms and Puzzles, Multithreading, Patterns, Unit testing, and, preferably, Lambdas. Then, depending on your goals and what you'd like to become, you can add some "extra" skills to your plan like Git, JavaScript, SQL, Spring, and more. To build a comprehensive plan, we advise you to follow our step-by-step recommendations in the article How to Create an Effective Study Plan. 8 Steps for Java Learners. Also, you may benefit from CodeGym's checklist. The course offers an interactive quest map with a table of contents where every topic is wisely structured. So, the best practice is to follow the offered plan and learn your preferable add-on skills along with the proposed topics. What is excellent, CodeGym's quest map can also act like a progress tracker — once you complete specific topics, they become "unlocked." And when you look at the main board view, you'll see how many sections you've finished. So, you can use this quest map as your primary learning dashboard and feel good as soon as you move down the map! Another way to make your progress visible is to create to-do lists. You can use Trello, the perfect tool for tracking your coding progress. You can always see what you are doing and at what stage you're once you open it. For instance, you can create a board and call it something like 'Programming progress.' Then create three lists "Plan to Learn," "Learning now," and "Already learned," and gradually transfer the topics from one list to another. Notion is a similar application that is a bit simpler than Trello. Many users choose it because it provides you with calendars, reminders, kanban boards, wikis, and databases along with notes. And if you like note-taking techniques and believe they can speed up your progress, you're welcome to read Notes? Not a Joke. Java Learning Boosters Detected!

Habit Tracking Techniques and Apps

To progress, you certainly need to be consistent. Sadly enough, a big chunk of students choose speed over consistency and eventually become burnt out. Hence, they give up and quit before learning becomes a habit. That's why we don't recommend trying to get all the topics simultaneously. Concentrating on one particular skill and devoting about 20 hours per week is better. If you have problems with self-organization, you can try some of the methods mentioned in the article Pomodoro And Eat The Frog: The Big Guide Of Time-Management Techniques To Boost Productivity. In addition to that, you may take advantage of CodeGym's Kickmanager. As the name suggests, it's a useful proprietary app that can help you kickstart your learning every day. Just set your preferred schedule, and Kickmanager will notify you when it's time to get down to coding. What also can enhance the results are habit-tracking tools. When implementing habit trackers, you should be mindful of tracking things under your control. For example, it may be something like "how much effort I have invested into learning or a particular project." You can try the following time-tracking technique:
  • For one, define how much time you'll invest in the learning. For example, you can decide, "I'll invest 3 hours a day, 5 days a week on studying Java". This is the minimum, and I'll try to invest at least this amount of time in learning.
  • For two, define the length of the course.
  • For three, start tracking time on a time-tracking app like Clockify, Paymo, or My Hours.
  • Finally, try to analyze your progress from time to time.
After a while, you'll get detailed info in the app regarding how much time you invested into learning Java over the days/months. It'll be an actual, visual measurement that you'll be able to use to get a better feeling of the progress you'll be making. N.B. If you take a break and experience difficulties returning to studying, don't give up and get down to reading our article about How to Get Back to Learning after a Hiatus?

Bonus Resources for Enhanced Motivation and Knowledge

To help you stay up on your learning path without deviation, we'd like to finish with some more helpful articles that will keep you more motivated and educated:How to Effectively Track Your Progress While Learning to Code - 2

Summing Up

Ultimately, learning to code is hard, but keeping your motivation up by tracking your progress will undoubtedly help you along the way. Furthermore, tracking your progress will help you get that satisfying feeling of how much you have accomplished your goal. This feeling can also help you overcome difficulties and stick to tricky habits like studying Java daily without taking breaks. Hence, better results and faster promotion. We encourage you to try some of the abovementioned techniques and see if they're helpful for you. We'd also be grateful if you share your methods of tracking your progress. Feel free to write down your thoughts in the comments below!
Comments (2)
Ravi sahu Level 30, CodeGym University in India, India
22 February 2023
Wow, it's really helpful just want to try all the techniques
NsoundarMCA Level 18, Coimbatore, India Expert
21 February 2023