8 Things to Expect in the First One Year of Coding

Andy Charters
.
August 21, 2023
Programming Tips

If you are here, then you probably recently started coding or are strongly thinking of crossing to software development field. Either way, it's normal thinking to anticipate what it'll be like after a year as a coder.

Regardless of your age, venturing into a field that is totally new to you can come with a feeling of doubt and a bit of impatience to be quickly successful because you'd want to be sure you have made the right decision or not. The good thing is, others have made the same move. So here are eight things to expect in the first year of coding.



Where it all began.

Okay, so we’re going to put this one here because of those that are still thinking about going into coding. After all, you are going to start eventually before wondering what it'll be like 365 days later.

Whether you are fresh out of college, with a degree in computer science, or looking to change careers from a field like biochemistry, customer service, or sales, you are going to need to get your feet wet. What better way than to start with free resources? If you don't know any of the basic principles, free CodeCamp and Codecademy might be helpful places to start from.

We know you don't need me to tell you that there's a lot to learn. The life of a coder basically begins with learning. What’s more, learning never stops unless you are not interested in improving. Complacency is one of the enemies of progress in the coding world. There'll always be something to learn.

The more you learn, the better you get. If you are going to learn on your own, chances are, you may not pick up the things that are needed in the software development market quickly.  So, it's best you learn from others. It doesn't have to cost you as there are free resources online, but it may require spending some money if you want to get far in a short time.

Furthermore, if you want to make some progress after a year, you need to develop a coding habit. What do we mean? Don't just code when you feel like or when you are free. In that regard, you can create a structured coding timetable. For example, an hour or two hours per day, which you'll strictly adhere to.

You don't want to skip the Fundamentals.

There's a reason why Newton's law of motion and other fundamentals of science comes first in the physics learning process. Similarly, you don't want to skip the fundamentals of coding. It's natural that you'll feel the excitement in gaining new concepts, like libraries and frameworks.

However, you don't need to rush. It's best not to skip the basics like algorithm and data structure. While you might not see an immediate need for them right away, you are going to need the understanding later on.

Besides, frameworks will come and go, new tech may even become obsolete, but one thing that'll remain the same is the fundamental principles. In coding, you'll notice there are many methods to achieve a task, that's because the underlying principles are fully understood. Once you grasp the fundamental or basic principles of any programming language, you can easily chart your own course or method.



Expect that you can't do it all on your own.

It's hard for some people to ask for help. They feel that people might look down on them or make fun of them, that they are switching careers at a mid-life age, or that they can't understand simple coding principles. One thing that you'll find out during your first coding year is that you can do it all. No one is an island.

It might look like you are not learning fast enough or that coding isn't just meant for someone like you. You'll get to points in your coding journey where it would seem difficult. Write them down immediately and ask for help once you get the chance. Avoid the urge to abandon and move on to something else.

Perhaps, you are wondering how to get coding tips or help. It could be from online forums of software developers. You'd be surprised how genuinely people are willing to offer help. You can also get help from one of the most popular search engines, Google. Simply Google-search the problem.

You'll find that many coders have had the same problems you are currently facing. If you try to run a line-coder setup, you won't learn things quickly. What's more, you may even get stuck for a long time. Over time, you'll start to get more knowledgeable and confident to hack it on your own. Still, you'll need help from time to time.

Mentorship

Talking about not doing it all on your own, not many people will realize the need for a mentor in the journey of coding. Even if someone advised you of the need, chances are, you might downplay the importance. One of the biggest regrets you'll have is overly isolating yourself. A coding problem that you could have solved in less than 10 minutes may take many days or even weeks if you remain a lone-coder. Those wasted time may haunt you years later.

If you look through history, you'll realize the importance of a mentor-mentee relationship, which has been in existence in the form of apprenticeships. It would interest you to know that some of the world's recognized scientists and artists studied under a mentor.

One of the important roles of a mentor is feedback. While you can give yourself feedback from your self-study, the approach has a couple of flaws. First, when you get stuck, you'll need to go to websites to find new ways to approach your coding problem.

Well, it's easier said than done, especially when you are a newbie to coding and you don't know where to go than to Google-search. So, it takes time to hone your programming skills, making it less easy to provide valuable and authentic feedback for yourself.  

Secondly, relying on yourself makes it difficult to understand how the things you have learned fit into a larger picture. Yes, you may have learned a couple of problem-solving techniques, but you may not know the significance.

Sometimes, you may find it hard knowing if the path you have chosen is the best route for you, which could mean wasting  time if it doesn't eventually align with your future goals. Therefore, to avoid these overly self-reliant flaws, you can combine self-feedback and third-party input. So, how can mentors help in your coding journey?

  • Better understanding of learning material
  • Help to create a much solid skill foundation.
  • Mentors will help you see where you have holes in your understanding of concepts and test your abilities.
  • They'll point you in the real gut direction in the tech industry.
  • Mentors can help you get connected with your level of competence when it's time to handle projects.
  • Just as they test your coding ability and hello reveal your flaws.
  • They also help in encouraging you not to give up. If you have an experienced developer as a mentor, trust me, he must have been through all the roadblocks you'll be passing through.



Strive to learn and not just to cover tons of material.

As a beginner, finishing one challenge so that you can jump to the next will naturally be your aim. Trust us, that's not the best way to go. Initially, it will seem like you are making progress. However, if you adopt an excellent documenting practice, you'd realize you've not learned much.

As mentioned earlier, the learning process in the programming/coding world technically never ends. Technologies will keep emerging, and new programming languages will equally grace the tech market. Therefore, it's best to ditch the idea that you want to cover so much in such a short time.

Instead, focus on learning applicable skills that will make you sought-after in the market. If you start by jumping from one online coding challenge to another, a year may go by without being ready to take up freelance jobs or a job position in tech organizations.



Practice.

When it comes to coding, many newbies often think the tons of things to cover before becoming a coding "guru" is the greatest challenge. Yes, there's a lot to learn in the programming world. In fact, you'll never stop learning, as earlier mentioned, because the tech work keeps evolving.

However, once you have the motivation and passion for coding, learning shouldn't be a problem. Unless you don't have enough time, perhaps, you are transitioning from another niche and juggling both worlds together until you find your equilibrium in coding. Whichever way it is, learning isn't the biggest hurdle.

Your biggest challenge is knowing how to apply what you've learned. It's easy to get stuck in what is referred to as tutorial hell. In fact, you may find yourself learning so much, and before you get a chance to utilize what you've gained, you've forgotten and now need a refresher to bring you up to speed.

The point is, all that knowledge of coding means nothing if you can't use it to solve a real problem. Therefore, as you are learning, look for ways to practice. Seek out small projects on your own and complete them quickly.



Document your progress.

An excellent coder doesn't need to have a super photographic memory. However, in your first year, you need to form the habit of documenting everything. Otherwise, you'll learn the hard way. A good documenting habit will help you keep track of your progress, which will help you have a better understanding of your work.

As a bonus, if you are going to draft a resume, you won't rack your brain before you know your strengths. You also want to ensure this documenting isn't done in a book you might lose. You can create a folder on your computer to keep track of your daily work. This way, you'll know how many new things you are learning and when you need to apply the knowledge you have gained.

Adopt non-coding hobbies.

If you are not just in for the money, it's easy to get lost in the coding world since you are truly passionate about it. When many coders first jump in the field, they’re aim is to be ready to take on projects within a short period. They jump on every challenge they can find, consumed every material available, and literarily committed social suicide.

Guess what? Many  burnt out faster than expected because all they did was coding. It's important to create a good balance. So you'll do well to pick up an activity or hobby that's unrelated to coding. Allow this to be your means of escape from the coding world. Also, you want to make sure this hobby is something you enjoy.

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Full-Stack Developer

Cloud Employee is a fast-growing UK-managed offshore recruitment and staffing company in the Philippines. We tackle the growing global IT skills shortage by connecting tech companies based in Europe, the US, and Australia to our pool of expert software developers in the country.

We are now seeking a passionate Full-Stack Developer to join our team of skilled talents. This is an excellent opportunity to join a fun and dynamic work environment and to significantly advance your career.

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Full-Stack Laravel/Vue Developer (Jr to Mid)

Cloud Employee, is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineer teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

We pride ourselves on being supportive and cutting-edge work that continuously invests in staff development, engagement and well-being. We provide security, and career paths, along with individual training programs and mentoring.

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Full Stack .Net Developer

Cloud Employee, is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineering teams and grow their CV and skill-set.We pride ourselves on being a supportive and cutting-edge workplace that continuously invests in staff development, engagement, and well-being. We provide security, and career paths, along with individual training programs and mentoring.

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Full-Stack Node/VueJS Developer (Mid - Senior)

Cloud Employee, is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineer teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

We pride ourselves on being supportive and cutting-edge work that continuously invests in staff development, engagement and well-being. We provide security, and career paths, along with individual training programs and mentoring

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Full-Stack PHP Developer (Mid to Senior)

Cloud Employee is a fast-growing UK-managed offshore recruitment and staffing company in the Philippines. We tackle the growing global IT skills shortage by connecting tech companies based in Europe, the US, and Australia to our pool of expert software developers in the country.

We are now seeking passionate mid to senior-level Fullstack PHP Developer to join our team of skilled talents. This is an excellent opportunity to join a fun and dynamic work environment and to significantly advance your career.

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Full-Stack PHP Developer Tech Lead

Cloud Employee is a fast-growing UK-managed offshore recruitment and staffing company in the Philippines. We tackle the growing global IT skills shortage by connecting tech companies based in Europe, the US, and Australia to our pool of expert software developers in the country.

We are now seeking passionate Lead Full-Stack PHP Developer to join our team of skilled talents. This is an excellent opportunity to join a fun and dynamic work environment and to significantly advance your career.

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Full stack RoR/VueJS Developer

Cloud Employee, is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineer teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

We pride ourselves on being supportive and cutting-edge work that continuously invests in staff development, engagement and well-being. We provide security, and career paths, along with individual training programs and mentoring.

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Fullstack Developer

Cloud Employee, is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineer teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

We pride ourselves on being supportive and cutting-edge work that continuously invests in staff development, engagement and well-being. We provide security, and career paths, along with individual training programs and mentoring.

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Fullstack .NET Developer

Cloud Employee, is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineer teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

We pride ourselves on being supportive and cutting-edge work that continuously invests in staff development, engagement and well-being. We provide security, and career paths, along with individual training programs and mentoring.

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Lead/Senior Frontend Developer (UI/UX) - Brazil

Cloud Employee is a UK-owned business established eight years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent worldwide with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines and Brazil as part of international engineering teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

We pride ourselves on being a supportive and cutting edge workplace that continuously invests in staff development, engagement, and well-being. We provide security, career paths, individual training programs, and mentoring.

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Marketing Specialists

Cloud Employee, is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineer teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

We pride ourselves on being supportive and cutting-edge work that continuously invests in staff development, engagement and well-being. We provide security, and career paths, along with individual training programs and mentoring.

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Backend Developer (Python)

Cloud Employee, is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineer teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

We pride ourselves on being supportive and cutting-edge work that continuously invests in staff development, engagement and well-being. We provide security, and career paths, along with individual training programs and mentoring.

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Senior Full-Stack PHP Developer

Cloud Employee is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineering teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

We pride ourselves on being a supportive and cutting-edge workplace that continuously invests in staff development, engagement, and well-being. We provide security, and career paths, along with individual training programs and mentoring.

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8 Things to Expect in the First One Year of Coding

February 16, 2024

If you are here, then you probably recently started coding or are strongly thinking of crossing to software development field. Either way, it's normal thinking to anticipate what it'll be like after a year as a coder.

Regardless of your age, venturing into a field that is totally new to you can come with a feeling of doubt and a bit of impatience to be quickly successful because you'd want to be sure you have made the right decision or not. The good thing is, others have made the same move. So here are eight things to expect in the first year of coding.



Where it all began.

Okay, so we’re going to put this one here because of those that are still thinking about going into coding. After all, you are going to start eventually before wondering what it'll be like 365 days later.

Whether you are fresh out of college, with a degree in computer science, or looking to change careers from a field like biochemistry, customer service, or sales, you are going to need to get your feet wet. What better way than to start with free resources? If you don't know any of the basic principles, free CodeCamp and Codecademy might be helpful places to start from.

We know you don't need me to tell you that there's a lot to learn. The life of a coder basically begins with learning. What’s more, learning never stops unless you are not interested in improving. Complacency is one of the enemies of progress in the coding world. There'll always be something to learn.

The more you learn, the better you get. If you are going to learn on your own, chances are, you may not pick up the things that are needed in the software development market quickly.  So, it's best you learn from others. It doesn't have to cost you as there are free resources online, but it may require spending some money if you want to get far in a short time.

Furthermore, if you want to make some progress after a year, you need to develop a coding habit. What do we mean? Don't just code when you feel like or when you are free. In that regard, you can create a structured coding timetable. For example, an hour or two hours per day, which you'll strictly adhere to.

You don't want to skip the Fundamentals.

There's a reason why Newton's law of motion and other fundamentals of science comes first in the physics learning process. Similarly, you don't want to skip the fundamentals of coding. It's natural that you'll feel the excitement in gaining new concepts, like libraries and frameworks.

However, you don't need to rush. It's best not to skip the basics like algorithm and data structure. While you might not see an immediate need for them right away, you are going to need the understanding later on.

Besides, frameworks will come and go, new tech may even become obsolete, but one thing that'll remain the same is the fundamental principles. In coding, you'll notice there are many methods to achieve a task, that's because the underlying principles are fully understood. Once you grasp the fundamental or basic principles of any programming language, you can easily chart your own course or method.



Expect that you can't do it all on your own.

It's hard for some people to ask for help. They feel that people might look down on them or make fun of them, that they are switching careers at a mid-life age, or that they can't understand simple coding principles. One thing that you'll find out during your first coding year is that you can do it all. No one is an island.

It might look like you are not learning fast enough or that coding isn't just meant for someone like you. You'll get to points in your coding journey where it would seem difficult. Write them down immediately and ask for help once you get the chance. Avoid the urge to abandon and move on to something else.

Perhaps, you are wondering how to get coding tips or help. It could be from online forums of software developers. You'd be surprised how genuinely people are willing to offer help. You can also get help from one of the most popular search engines, Google. Simply Google-search the problem.

You'll find that many coders have had the same problems you are currently facing. If you try to run a line-coder setup, you won't learn things quickly. What's more, you may even get stuck for a long time. Over time, you'll start to get more knowledgeable and confident to hack it on your own. Still, you'll need help from time to time.

Mentorship

Talking about not doing it all on your own, not many people will realize the need for a mentor in the journey of coding. Even if someone advised you of the need, chances are, you might downplay the importance. One of the biggest regrets you'll have is overly isolating yourself. A coding problem that you could have solved in less than 10 minutes may take many days or even weeks if you remain a lone-coder. Those wasted time may haunt you years later.

If you look through history, you'll realize the importance of a mentor-mentee relationship, which has been in existence in the form of apprenticeships. It would interest you to know that some of the world's recognized scientists and artists studied under a mentor.

One of the important roles of a mentor is feedback. While you can give yourself feedback from your self-study, the approach has a couple of flaws. First, when you get stuck, you'll need to go to websites to find new ways to approach your coding problem.

Well, it's easier said than done, especially when you are a newbie to coding and you don't know where to go than to Google-search. So, it takes time to hone your programming skills, making it less easy to provide valuable and authentic feedback for yourself.  

Secondly, relying on yourself makes it difficult to understand how the things you have learned fit into a larger picture. Yes, you may have learned a couple of problem-solving techniques, but you may not know the significance.

Sometimes, you may find it hard knowing if the path you have chosen is the best route for you, which could mean wasting  time if it doesn't eventually align with your future goals. Therefore, to avoid these overly self-reliant flaws, you can combine self-feedback and third-party input. So, how can mentors help in your coding journey?

  • Better understanding of learning material
  • Help to create a much solid skill foundation.
  • Mentors will help you see where you have holes in your understanding of concepts and test your abilities.
  • They'll point you in the real gut direction in the tech industry.
  • Mentors can help you get connected with your level of competence when it's time to handle projects.
  • Just as they test your coding ability and hello reveal your flaws.
  • They also help in encouraging you not to give up. If you have an experienced developer as a mentor, trust me, he must have been through all the roadblocks you'll be passing through.



Strive to learn and not just to cover tons of material.

As a beginner, finishing one challenge so that you can jump to the next will naturally be your aim. Trust us, that's not the best way to go. Initially, it will seem like you are making progress. However, if you adopt an excellent documenting practice, you'd realize you've not learned much.

As mentioned earlier, the learning process in the programming/coding world technically never ends. Technologies will keep emerging, and new programming languages will equally grace the tech market. Therefore, it's best to ditch the idea that you want to cover so much in such a short time.

Instead, focus on learning applicable skills that will make you sought-after in the market. If you start by jumping from one online coding challenge to another, a year may go by without being ready to take up freelance jobs or a job position in tech organizations.



Practice.

When it comes to coding, many newbies often think the tons of things to cover before becoming a coding "guru" is the greatest challenge. Yes, there's a lot to learn in the programming world. In fact, you'll never stop learning, as earlier mentioned, because the tech work keeps evolving.

However, once you have the motivation and passion for coding, learning shouldn't be a problem. Unless you don't have enough time, perhaps, you are transitioning from another niche and juggling both worlds together until you find your equilibrium in coding. Whichever way it is, learning isn't the biggest hurdle.

Your biggest challenge is knowing how to apply what you've learned. It's easy to get stuck in what is referred to as tutorial hell. In fact, you may find yourself learning so much, and before you get a chance to utilize what you've gained, you've forgotten and now need a refresher to bring you up to speed.

The point is, all that knowledge of coding means nothing if you can't use it to solve a real problem. Therefore, as you are learning, look for ways to practice. Seek out small projects on your own and complete them quickly.



Document your progress.

An excellent coder doesn't need to have a super photographic memory. However, in your first year, you need to form the habit of documenting everything. Otherwise, you'll learn the hard way. A good documenting habit will help you keep track of your progress, which will help you have a better understanding of your work.

As a bonus, if you are going to draft a resume, you won't rack your brain before you know your strengths. You also want to ensure this documenting isn't done in a book you might lose. You can create a folder on your computer to keep track of your daily work. This way, you'll know how many new things you are learning and when you need to apply the knowledge you have gained.

Adopt non-coding hobbies.

If you are not just in for the money, it's easy to get lost in the coding world since you are truly passionate about it. When many coders first jump in the field, they’re aim is to be ready to take on projects within a short period. They jump on every challenge they can find, consumed every material available, and literarily committed social suicide.

Guess what? Many  burnt out faster than expected because all they did was coding. It's important to create a good balance. So you'll do well to pick up an activity or hobby that's unrelated to coding. Allow this to be your means of escape from the coding world. Also, you want to make sure this hobby is something you enjoy.

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