Tag Archives: bootcamp

How to learn to code – other people’s advice /4

I still have quite a lot of other programmer’s advice so here is the 4th post about it.

I do hope that you find this serie (other people’s advice) useful and that you can learn from it. Because previous answer was too long I am posting the second part of the answer here, which makes it advice No. 4 already.

I started with Project Euler and did 50 problems on it.

The wonderful thing about Project Euler is they have discussion forums where programmers from around the world post over 200 solutions to the same problem, in 20+ languages, from 20+ countries. You may only go into the discussion forum for a problem when you get the right answer. After you do that, you learn SO MUCH from seeing how other people solved your same problem in much better, faster, and more efficient ways than you, in multiple languages. Then you rewrite your solutions to incorporate those coding and algorithm tricks you learn from others.

Spending weeks solving Project Euler was extremely frustrating but incredibly stimulating for my mind and really valuable later on. Those are some of the toughest problems you can do, and you can use any language you wish (or multiple languages). The specific languages DOES NOT MATTER. What matters during job interviews is HOW YOU THINK AND ANALYZE PROBLEMS. That’s what companies seek—people who can adapt quickly, in any language, to any programming challenge a job throws at you. You can hone your coding skills by doing tough programming challenges like those sites I listed above.

Once you can do tough challenges like Project Euler, everything else in programming (building websites, etc.) will seem easier to you. It’s like doing pushups for your mind. Or running a marathon. Once you can do that, then running a kilometer is easy.

How this guy used Project Euler to learn how to code:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/06/how-i-failed-failed-and-finally-succeeded-at-learning-how-to-code/239855/?single_page=true

The problem with bootcamps is they don’t focus on hard coding challenges, which teach data structures and algorithms. Those skills are the toughest parts of software job interviews, where people will ask you to code on a whiteboard with a marker. No computer or Internet. Just using your brain and standing in front of some engineers, talking about your code solution extemporaneously.

Bootcamps are good at teaching you limited skills about how to make specific kinds of websites, but they aren’t good at teaching how to deal with fundamental computer science (data structures and algorithms), which teaches you how to respond to completely new challenges you’ve never seen before. Doing problems from code challenge websites teaches you that. Also, post all your solutions on GitHub. Your GitHub will become your resume for software jobs.

Ooh, I just saw your blog: http://teacod.com/. Wonderful! Many of my Flatiron classmates also wrote blogs about their learning experiences. Nisha Batra wrote one of my favorite, detailed blogs about learning to code: http://nishacodes.tumblr.com/archive

This guy in LA, Daniel Greenfield and his wife Audrey Roy are Python/Django experts. They travel around the world giving talks on these subjects. They wrote the book “Two Scoops of Django”: http://twoscoopspress.org/products/two-scoops-of-django-1-6

Ask me if you have any technical questions.

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How to learn to code – other people’s advice /3

I strongly believe in sharing the information and knowledge. This is why I started with series of posts: How to learn to code – other people’s advice /

As you already know I am posting some parts of the e-mail answers from some of the programmers that I have asked for advice when I started learning to code.

I do hope you will find useful information in this post:

Hi Aleksandar, I haven’t heard of The Firehose Project before: http://www.thefirehoseproject.com. Their website has no information on their curriculum and what languages/technologies they teach, however.

One of the people in my group is going through The Odin Project (http://www.theodinproject.com/courses?ref=home_b), which is free and may be something you’d like.

I’d gone through the first 2 courses in Tealeaf Academy before I did my live Flatiron School bootcamp: http://www.gotealeaf.com/

There are different sites that compare different web development bootcamps. Here are some online ones:

http://bootcamper.io/t/type/online

http://www.skilledup.com/articles/online-alternatives-coding-bootcamp/

http://www.bootcamps.in/

You have more and more choices now. Notice they have live bootcamps in Europe too.

If you pick an online bootcamp, you should also try to meet software developers in your city (Ljubljana), which you can find from sites like Meetup.com. Join Meetup.com and look around. You may be surprised from the groups you find near you! You need to meet people in person who would like to study together. Perhaps you could start your own Meetup group (which I did) to find study partners.

Let me know what you finally decide. There’s no right or wrong choice. 

Also, Udemy has been having lots of discounts on their online courses. Keep an eye out for future discounts.

Also, see what Jennifer Dewalt did. She was a San Francisco artist who taught herself to code by building 180 websites in 180 days. Crazy, but she achieved her goal of making 1 website per day. She taught herself everything—-HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Ruby, Rails, databases, etc. See her blog about each site, with her links to every site. She used this ambitious schedule to teach herself and practice as she went along.

http://blog.jenniferdewalt.com/

http://jenniferdewalt.com/

Now she’s running her own restaurant review business, based on a site she created.

The important thing for you is to start coding every day. It’s like learning multiple foreign languages and new ways of thinking at once.

Create a GitHub account and learn to use Git to put all your code online for everyone to see. All software developers in the world have GitHub accounts, and that’s how we share code, learn from each other, and build on top of other people’s code. The best way to learn to code is to just start doing it, trying different code challenges, learning from reading others’ code, then rewriting your programs to improve them.

Start trying different code challenges from sites like https://projecteuler.net/http://www.codewars.com/abouthttps://www.hackerrank.com/https://www.interviewcake.com/https://code.google.com/codejamhttp://community.topcoder.com/tc?module=Static&d1=tutorials&d2=alg_index.

Code challenges are really tough and let you compete against some of the best programmers in the world. They can be more mathematical, but their questions are typical of what companies ask you in job interviews. Doing well on code challenges is what will help you get software jobs. They are tough but very intellectually stimulating and fun, if you like math and solving puzzles.