Whether it is for a newly emerging language like Dart, Swift or some of the most established ones like Python, R, etc., the process of learning a new programming language is daunting. People learn programming languages for various reasons like getting a certification for a job hunt, building a project, among others. People want to learn a programming language as fast as possible. However, learning a programming language quickly doesn’t mean that there are underlying shortcuts; you still have to practice a lot.
Below are given step-by-step tips to help you overcome the learning curve of a new programming language as quickly as possible:
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Research the Important Concepts
The first thing to do before learning a new programming language is to get a short introduction on it. As you will be going fast and have no time to rethink about it, the first and foremost thing to do is get acclimated with what you would like to do with the language and what the programming language is capable of doing. Also, the various opportunities it produces in terms of the job scenario and the type of work you intend to do with it.
Next is to figure out what kind of resources you are comfortable with to learn these concepts. Some prefer their own unique style with all the sticky notes and creating mind maps, some prefer reading the books, some prefer learning through video, and some learn from just diving right into it. So, when you figure out what ‘type’ of learning you are comfortable with, collect resources according to it. However, one can also learn by mixing all types of resources.
First The Language, Then Comes The Rest
People often make the mistake of trying to get the hang of different libraries first, but that often results in a lot of time getting wasted. First, get familiar with the language, then go for the frameworks.
Practice The Language
The concepts that you have learned earlier are still fresh and have not been internalised in your memory; the best way to make the concepts a part of your memory is to practice them. This enables the essential programming concepts to get installed inside your brain for the long run. Rather than going around each concept of the programming language and wasting time, learn the important concepts first. You can learn other things while practising on websites such as LeetCode, HackerRank, CodeChef, and CoderByte, to test your concepts.
Use Code Reviewing Sites
Now that you have learned some programming and because you are still new to the language, you will need someone to review your code. Reviewing can mean someone suggesting you alternative ways of carrying tasks like opening, closing, and mapping in a more straightforward manner using zip or list or other suggestion to make your algorithm more efficient.
There are numerous websites like StackExchange, which offers CodeReview on their network that is used solely to ask a review on your code.
Going Through Codes, A Lot Of Them
There is only one place where you should go to get production codes for the language you are learning, and that is Github. Production code is a tested and stable code that has no chance of crashing and is made for real-life implementation, so the more you look at these kinds of codes, the more your language will get refined.
What better way to learn and get some confidence in your programming skills than building some projects. Like, if one has chosen data science, try analysing a dataset trying different algorithms.
Try starting from simple projects. For example, for Python, there are basic projects like number guessing, dice rolling simulator, e-mail slicer etc. For SQL start from something fun like creating a database of your friends and their details, student database management system or employee management system. For data science movie recommendation system project, customer segmentation using machine learning, and sentiment analysis model in R.
Learning a programming language is not easy and it depends on your previous knowledge. But, it also varies depending on how fast you can learn and how much you practice. So, you need to figure out how many hours you need to put in a day, based on the skills you already have to cut down the learning time in terms of months.