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10 Things These Developers Wish They Knew Before Learning to Code

Since Northcoders was founded in 2016, we've helped 350+ people learn to code and find rewarding work in software development. During this time, we've also built up a huge network of developers who love passing on their knowledge to the next generation coming up through our coding bootcamps. 

Recently we asked our connections on LinkedIn what advice they wish they had been given when they first started learning to code. Here's what they said...

1. Start with small steps and set goals

Christopher Wright, JavaScript Engineer at Barclays: Everything you don’t understand or want to learn, make a note of it. I personally use Trello to manage this, then use the list as goals to progress and learn new things. But be careful about how much you take on and always start with small steps to avoid fatigue!

2. Code every day

Vitor Correa, Full Stack Software Developer at Binary Forge: Consistency is very important. Make a commitment to code every day.

3. Mindset is key

Bal Shergill, Full Stack Software Developer: Maintain a growth mindset. Approach learning code with the assumption it’s going to be hard, but it can definitely be learned.

4. People come first

Andy Norton, Technical Architect at Graham & Brown: Value people more highly than processes or tools.

5. Don't stop being curious

Laurence Barry, Tech Lead at NETbuilder Digital: Keep learning. Never stop experimenting and improving how you develop code. Also, read this blog post: 97 Things Every Programmer Should Know.

6. Slow and steady wins the race

Joshua O'Brien, Software Engineer at DevEire: What you think is difficult today will be easy tomorrow, but put that curve into years of learning and you’ll be amazed at what you think is easy or difficult by the end of those years.

7. Do your research before accepting a job offer

Simon Hunt, Information Security Consultant: Get a job at a company that provides quality coaching and mentoring for developers.

8. Develop your teamworking skills

Carl Whalley, CEO at OTAMate Technology Ltd: Put as much effort into developing your teamworking skills as your coding ones.

9. Think first. Code later

Greg Perry, Android Developer at Family Insights Group Limited: Fully understand the problem you are trying to solve before trying to explain it to a computer.

10. Errors happen for a reason

Matt Brooke, Software Engineering Manager at Cubic Transportation Systems: The computer is infinitely reliable and is only doing what it's been instructed. If it's doing something incorrect or unexpected it's because someone made it work that way.

Ready to learn to code?

To learn more, check out our latest student testimonials or give coding a go at one of our Introduction to Programming courses in Leeds or Manchester. Held across two weekday evenings, they're perfect for complete beginners who want to get to grips with some coding essentials.

Maddison Griffiths
Maddison is an Onboarding Mentor at Northcoders

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