You've decided to learn Java, signed up for a CodeGym course, and finally began... Being optimistic and excited to code, you sit down and learn daily. In the following weeks, you will likely fall into a pattern of studying till late at night. But eventually, you're starting to get stuck on some tasks and feel frustrated. You've sacrificed your free time with your friends and family.
After a couple of months, you probably experience a lack of sleep and start feeling burned out. Then, you realize that you need a long break… maybe you even think about quitting. Sounds familiar? Before you give up your learning journey, please, read this article. It shares some hints and strategies that can help you stay motivated even when you feel completely lost. Yes, it's hard, but impossible is nothing.
Remember Why You Have Started
Of course, learning to code can be tricky sometimes. You may encounter problems on your way and end up feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. It's common to think, "This is not worth it
," and get tempted to give up. You are not alone.
The good news is that most students get out of this mindset and keep going toward their dream careers. What are the secrets? The most meaningful of them is the goal
. Take a deep breath and remember WHY you have started. What was your primary motivation? Was it a well-paid job, exciting project, switch of career, or freelance job allowing you to live just anywhere? Go back to the day you decided to learn Java and restore that memory and feeling. Then, think about how far you have progressed in your coding journey. Maybe you have been learning to code for several months or even a year. You have already invested much time, energy, and money into learning Java. You can't give up now, you have put too much effort into it.
Restructure Your Goals If Needed
That being said, be realistic about your goal and restructure it if needed. We are typically extra-motivated when we start something new and believe we can do anything. In other words, we may set very high expectations and overestimate the difficulty of the learning process. As a result, you may lose motivation and desire to learn when you don't see the results you have expected to reach within a tight timeframe. To avoid this, you may restructure your goals mid-process. For example, did you not create your first mobile app and upload it to the Google Play Store during the first six months of learning? No worries! It's nearly impossible without a prior experience with code.
Write your goals down on paper, take an in-depth look at them, and break them down into smaller milestones. For example, instead of writing "I'll launch an Android app on the Google Play Store in half a year
," divide it into more real achievements like "During the next month, I'm going to get familiar with an IDE. Then, I'll learn everything about variables" and so on. Also, you can set the time frames for every minor achievement on your way and adapt them accordingly to your schedule. Importantly "Don't bite more than you can chew
," and that's the next tip on how not to give up.
Choose consistency over speed. It's a big mistake to try getting everything at once, spending long hours each day dedicated to studying. Too much work may quickly destroy your learning. As we are in a CodeGym, remember that the brain is also a muscle, and just like the other muscles in our body, it gets tired from lifting "heavyweights
" too. Start slow but be consistent. Practice small and move to the next complex topic only when you feel ready for this challenge. Even small efforts combined with consistency will lead to significant accomplishments.
Control Yourself. Build a Plan
To continue the next topic, we recommend you figure out how much time you can realistically devote to learning each day and stick to that. Even if it's only 30-60 minutes daily (granted that you learn each day), you'll get 3.5-7 hours per week. And the best way to stay organized and achieve your goals faster is to create a clear learning plan targeted toward your needs. It may be App development, games, QA automation, software, and anything else you will tie your career in with. By sticking to such a plan, you'll be able to study regularly and get the correct information step-by-step. As soon as you feel you're already familiar with the basics of Java and have completed Level 15 on the CodeGym course, we recommend you start a project that will excite you.
Create Your App
Of course, your first application will not likely benefit humanity. However, it can help you sharpen your skills, put your knowledge into practice, and keep yourself super-motivated. The best way is to take on simple projects like games (Minesweeper, Snake, 2048, Tetris, and more, management s systems (for schools, libraries, sports, etc), billing systems, currency converters, or small apps (calculator, wish list, or to-do list). You have got the idea.
Once you finish your first creation, play around with it, improve it, and share it!
Stay Curious and Enjoy the Process
One of the most important things while learning is to desire to learn something new without being overly hard on yourself. Don't be too focused on the outcome, and don't forget to enjoy the present moment and achievements. Praise yourself for how far you have come, and have fun. How do you make yourself a little happier on the road and avoid burnout? Get rest and leave some time for hobbies and the things you like. It's vitally essential to shift your focus from coding sometimes. You may go for a walk, listen to music, or focus on another activity you enjoy. It could be a sport, photography, music, cooking, interior design... whatever you like, preferably a hobby that doesn't involve computers. The main task is to clear your head and take a little break.
Enter the Communities and Get Involved with Local Meetups If Possible
The last but not the least tip to stick to is communication. When you attend actual courses, you're learning in a real classroom and speaking to real students who are typically doing the same thing as you. Also, you have a teacher to whom you can ask questions. Unfortunately, even though our course includes a mentor to help you, you don't have the luxury of talking to fellow students like you offline. However, there is a solution — you can find peers on the Net in coding communities. Being a part of some community can make you feel that you're alone and help you find solutions even to the trickiest tasks due to like-minded people. Reading about other students' experiences, who may have already overcome the same issues that you are struggling with now, can be very motivating and encouraging. You can ask questions on Quora
, while Java Code Geeks
, and StackOverflow
can help you find friends.
Our CodeGym forum
can also come in handy since it combines the best of both worlds and lets you get answers to the programming questions and find coding friends as well.
After you enter coding communities, don't forget about networking in person! If you live in a big city, you'll find meetups or other events related to programming in your area that can be very fun and beneficial for your learning path and future career.
No denying that learning to code can sometimes be damn hard. But remember that it's ok to be confused and not know the answer. Don't Give Up! Remember the reason you started learning and keep turning up. Look back at everything you've already accomplished (any progress, no matter how big, is valuable)! Embrace the learning process! One of the best characteristics of us programming geeks is that we are curious about how things work and new technologies. Programming is entertaining! So, let's discover it with CodeGym and remember that today's beginner is tomorrow's master.