# 3 Tips To Improve Your Programming Skills
Often time when we think of improving our programming skills, we often turn to the “absorbing” knowledge and forget the “applying” knowledge. I believe learning programming or anything, you need both. Let me define them for you.
Absorbing knowledge: is where you read books, watch tutorials, and/or listen to audiobooks. Essentially it’s the activities where you seek knowledge. You’re trying to absorb the knowledge.
Applying knowledge: is where you take that knowledge and do something about it. Often this is the one that cements your knowledge. You’re applying what you've learned.
If you really want to understand a programming concept. You need to do both. You need to know what you’re doing and you need to do it.
Now that we distinguish the difference. In this article, I’m going to talk about the latter — how can you improve your programming knowledge by solidifying what you’ve learned.
⭐️ Here is my advice ⭐️
- Build Stuff
- Help Others
# 1. Build Stuff 🔨
We all know if we want to learn programming, we watch tutorials or we can read books. But one thing that many forget is to actually build something with it. It’s like learning how to drive. You can read all the books you can find. But to really learn how to drive, you need to actually jump in the car and start driving. Same thing with programming. You can learn everything about, for instance, Vue.js. But if you really want to be good at it, you have to build something with it!
Here are some communities where you can join and start building
* Note: this is a challenge I started to push myself to start building. It’s a challenge where you build an app within 24 hours. It’s a great way for you to experiment with new tech and showcase it to the community. By the way, did I mention it’s a great way to build your portfolio 😜
# 2. Help Others 🤝
After I graduated from my programming bootcamp, I worked as a teacher assistant where I helped students with their assignments and projects. At first, I was super hesitant to do it. Because I was just a programming newbie. Yup, that’s the infamous imposter syndrome kicking in. But then I realize, of course, I can do it! I graduated the bootcamp. Even if I’m a complete newbie, I still have more programming knowledge then the new students who just started out. Of course, I can help them! Here’s another thing, even if you don’t know the answer, you can work with the students to figure it out.
That’s the thing about programming, you won’t know everything. The real skill of a programmer is being resourceful to figure out the solution. That’s the REAL skill you’re teaching. It’s about problem-solving! And let me tell you, the students just need a guiding hand. They don’t want the answer, often time they need another pair of eye to guide them through it.
Here are some fantastic places where you can start helping others:
Join Online Group: You can join a Facebook group or Twitter community to answer questions. People are often there asking for help. Dive in there and start answering the questions.
Volunteer: An awesome way to help others is to volunteer at a local programming meetup or event.
- Canada Learning Code
- Women Who Code
- These sites are great to find events: Meetup, Eventbrite, TechEvents
# 3. Teach Others 👩🏻🏫 👨🏻🏫
This is the Godzilla of it all. The best way to learn is to teach. Why does it work? Well because it forces you to really learn your craft. You have to be able to regurgitate it and explain it. And to explain something, you need to first understand it yourself. But Samantha, you say, I’m not an expert on it. Well good news Debbie, you don’t have to be! If you understand something you can teach. And I’m going to say beginners are actually some of the best teachers. Why? Because of empathy. They are wearing the same shoes as other beginners. So they know the common pain points and struggles of other newbie programmers. And when you can empathize with your students, you will be a fantastic teacher!
Places you can start teaching:
Do a Lunch & Learn at your current company. I’ve conducted a Less workshop for my team. I feel this is a great starting place because it’s with people you already know.
Guest lecture at your school. This is really fun. The students are always eager to learn. It’s a fantastic place to show off, *cough, I mean share what you know 😂
# One more thing...
Let me share with you one more quote. Cause I know this process of “applying” your knowledge can be intimidating.
You don’t need to be an expert to share
Everyone offers their own unique perspective. And that may be the “click” for someone who is struggling. So never be afraid to share your knowledge. I can’t wait to start learning from you! 🤓