A Guide To Becoming A Successful Self-Taught Programmer

The art of programming befuddles millions of people, for it is no cakewalk. However, it is one common skill that unites some of the most talented people in the world. 


From Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, to Steve Wozniak, every famous tech-powered company probably has a self-taught programmer working at the top-most levels.


Given the career opportunities and the seemingly endless possibilities in this sector, it has attracted the attention of many. Millions of people continue to work towards earning certifications and degrees to build a career in the world of programming.


In such a scenario, how can you set yourself apart from the competition and shine? 


The key to this is to become an expert problem-solver who has a strong foundation in this field and knowledge that goes beyond books. A self-taught programmer is not one who doesn’t go to college or earn the certifications they may need to land a job. 


On the contrary, they are the ones who walk the extra mile to acquire additional skills, conduct research, and explore allied fields to expand their horizons and become valuable assets. 


However, this journey can be pretty challenging. There are a few mistakes that self-taught programmers end up making, which become roadblocks. To help out, this blog takes a quick dive into the dos and don’ts of teaching oneself how to become a pro programmer: 


  • Have patience and believe in your skills:  Imposter syndrome is rampant in this field! Many programmers battle self-doubt and often think they are frauds.


However, you wouldn’t have resolved to become a self-taught programmer had you been one, right? 


Not only in programming, patience and self-confidence will help you in every facet of your life. When you have confidence in yourself and your dreams, you will be resilient no matter what problem gets thrown at you. 


Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, learning programming too, takes time and focus. One cannot become an expert in a day or a week. It is a work in progress, and patience is required while working with code for a wide range of applications. To ensure that you do not give up when the going gets tough, it is essential that you stay calm and work dedicatedly towards your goal. 

  • Begin slow: Many programmers commit the mistake of trying to learn multiple programming languages simultaneously. However, you may end up confused and frustrated if you dip your fingers in too many things at once. 


Work with one programming language at a time and once you develop confidence in it, start understanding the basics of others.

  • Embrace live projects: Besides learning the fundamentals of programming, get hands-on experience by working on live projects. These will improve your problem-solving skills and also enhance your subject knowledge in the long run.


  • Don’t ignore competitive programming: Learning at your own pace is a great idea. But at the same time, it’s essential to keep track of your progress by actively participating in contests. 


These competitions help you cultivate the ability to think on your feet and work collaboratively in teams. While winning one can be great for your career, mere participation allows you to see problems from a different perspective.

  • Don’t get addicted to libraries: Libraries are a blessing in disguise for programmers. These help to get the work done, and at the end of the day, it makes no sense to reconstruct what’s already out there, unless you have a better idea! 


However, while learning, one must ideally stay away from libraries unless absolutely required. Programmers should understand how code snippets work and their concepts if they do not want things to get messy. Failure to do so will result in scammy, poor results. In fact, when you understand coding perfectly, you will be able to choose the perfect libraries as well as use the best ones to your advantage.


Most importantly, don’t give up! Work on becoming better at what you do and learn from your mistakes. That is what makes a good programmer great!