Learning to code, whether done through a system like Treehouse or independently, can be a heck of a journey. Much has been written about the early bouts of confusion, impostor syndrome and debugging purgatory that often turn the outwardly ambitious into the seemingly masochistic. No doubt, the above phenomena are quite real and to varying degrees, they can represent useful and edifying phases in the growth of a developer. Certainly, being “stuck”, making mistakes, rooting out answers and good old-fashioned hard work have their place, but often in learning to program, we allow ourselves to wallow too long, simply accepting extended “frustration” or repeating bad habits longer than we should. With that in mind, I submit my first* formal reflection on how I might have better guided and structured my own early coding efforts. Particularly, I’d like to highlight some of the habits I’ve now internalized, which, if I had acquired earlier, would no doubt have saved me loads of time and gray hairs. 1. Look It Up. Everytime. As a kid, I remember seeing some particularly methodical students reading novels, but always with a dictionary at the ready. At what seemed like annoyingly short intervals,
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