The Struggles of Self Teaching Code

Wherever you are right now, take a look around and count how many pieces of technology are in your view. From the electric billboard outside the window of the coffee shop you may be at to the watch on your wrist silently dinging in the background of your conversations — We live in a world where we are surrounded by technology most of our days. Because of the speed exciting new tech is coming out, the need for developers continue to skyrocket across the board.

But this isn’t a secret. When looking at the numbers of massive tech companies like Google by themselves, it puts the entire industry into perspective. It’s also far from a secret how national salary averages are very rewarding for developer roles. Because of the large job market and high pay, it’s easy to have the average amateur tech guru picturing themselves in one of the many career paths the industry offers.

But how do you even start with something like that? Well, at the beginning, of course! By obtaining the hard and soft skillset desired to land one of the many developer roles. Luckily because of the size of coding communities and the developer job market overall, the ease of access to learn how to code in this modern age won’t leave you searching for long to find the countless options available to you online. One of those avenues that novice developers may travel down is the self-taught route between a wide range of YouTube videos to free introduction lesson plans on course websites. But before diving straight into this method of learning how to code, let’s first take a step back and have a better understanding of the challenges you may easily face when attempting to self-teach such a complex set of skills.

What are the challenges of self-teaching code?

Lack of Accountability

Just like learning anything new, you need to have a certain level of self-discipline in order to continue your path forward. There’s a handful of programming languages that are beginner friendly. But when it comes to some of the most used coding languages in the world, especially the majority you will likely need to expertly understand in a professional developer role, are much more complex and the work is larger in scale.

If you don’t have a strong foundation laid for the basic coding languages, then you’re going to run into hurdles quickly. This is where accountability comes into play.

If things become overwhelming in the learning process, it’s sometimes easy to put it off or walk away from it completely without the right accountability in place. As a self-learner, you don’t have that guaranteed accountability in place to keep you going when you have doubts on if you can. Overcoming difficult challenges early in learning how to code will often shape a more confident and stronger developer in the long term. So having accountability in place to get to the other side of those hurdles is a huge deal.

Low Quality and Inaccurate Knowledge Could Be Taught

Whenever you self-learn a new skill online, one of the largest factors to consider is if the concepts, lesson plans, and technology is up to date with industry standards and accurately taught. It’s difficult to confirm that whenever you are in the learning process. It’s much harder to unteach yourself bad habits or incorrect processes compared to learning the correct way the first time and building off of it.

It’s also crucial to remember that being a good developer is much more than knowing how to write the code. Having a solid mix of soft and hard skills is the formula for success in the technology industry. So, keep in mind that even if you’re taking a verified lesson plan with accurate and updated knowledge on how to write code, you’re still could only be learning about half of what it takes to become a well-rounded developer.

Examples of developer soft skills:

  • The review processes
  • Documentation
  • Cross team collaboration
  • Learning to learn
  • Strong communication skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Analyzing
  • Flexibility

You may be able to mark off a few of those soft skills listed above from past roles you’ve held. But if you’re still missing a few or starting from scratch, it can be a grueling task to pick up the set of soft skills you need while self-learning.

False Sense of Progress

Something else you should keep in mind during your self-taught journey with code is how much you’ve truly progressed versus how much you think you’ve progressed. It could seem that you’re picking up quickly and you are grasping concepts with confidence. But it may come as an eye-opening shock to you if you are at a standstill when attempting to use what you learned in a real-life coding scenario for the first time.

Having an understanding of what you’re learning is one thing. But being able to walk away from the lesson being fully equipped with the skills to do it correctly independently across a wide range of languages and situations is entirely different. Especially in a professional developer role where you are expected to handle whatever comes your way. Which is even more of a reason to have an accurate measuring of where you are at in the learning process is a huge step that shouldn’t be looked over.

No Strong Support System in Place

Similar to accountability, having a support system to guide and motivate you during the learning process is critical. A strong support system not only cheers you on when you need an extra boost of inspiration, but is also there to answer questions or offer advice when you are struggling. When tackling a brand-new skillset as difficult as learning how to code, you shouldn’t have to do it alone.

As we’ve mentioned at the start of this blog, there’s countless options to pick from when pursuing the technical skills needed to launch a career in tech. But you should always pick the option that offers the most benefits toward you during that path. If you are self-learning, then losing the support system in your corner is another key element absent from the start. Which may not seem like a big deal now. But it is a massive benefit to help shape you early on for long-term success.

What Is an Alternative to Self-Teaching Code?

Online coding bootcamps have quickly become a serious point of discussion whenever someone has considered higher education routes to take in the last decade. Which makes sense when comparing it with the other options available. With a 4-year college degree, online coding bootcamps can offer you the same end results in only a fraction of the time and cost. But when putting a coding bootcamp up against self-teaching code, the obvious benefits outshine with ease. 

At devCodeCamp, our students are taught how to be developers starting on day one. We do this by teaching the relevant hard skills needed to launch a career in today’s ever-changing tech world. All in an engaging classroom setting with live and flexible options to best fit your schedule. Our immersive students learn in a live classroom setting led by one of our expert instructors. Our flex students gain access to our full on-demand video library, including career service workshop recordings. Our courses are built in-house from the ground up and constantly updated to keep up with the pace of the industry. But along the student’s journey, soft skills are developed the entirety of the course, too. Designed for you to excel after graduation with whatever team you join in your career. While learning how to code in our bootcamp, you’re also molded into have a strong working knowledge of things such as daily stand-ups, the review process, unlocking your analytical mind, clean and precise documentation, and one of the most important skills any developer should have – learning how to learn.

Why self-teach yourself how to code when there’s better options with proven results available at your fingertips right now? Our online coding and data analytics bootcamp have graduates working right now in large companies such as Amazon, HubSpot, Deloitte, IBM, JPMorgan Chase, Rocket Mortgage, and many more. Don’t waste more time than you have to. Get the skills you need to launch a career in code the first time you try. Reach out today if you’re ready to fully see what devCodeCamp can do for you.