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By Chloe Fisher

Why is learning to code so hard?

Since I started working at reInteractive earlier this year, I’ve gone from having absolutely no development experience at all, to now having a pretty good understanding of how it all works. I’ve got a long way to go before I can call myself a developer, but being surrounded by Rails devs and running events to get new developers started has helped me understand a lot! I’ve realised that learning to code can be difficult, but there are certain habits we can pick up to help us along our journey.

So, have you started learning Rails too? Let me guess, you either breezed through the first lesson, and then either skipped the next lot because these weren't “things that you needed to know” or you hit a steep learning curve and called it quits. Did you really do enough?

Learn the basics first

Did you do our "15 minute blog" tutorial guide, publish your blogging engine online and think, "this was easy, I think I’ll create my own app now", only to realise that you’d missed a bunch of important introductory concepts that you now need to move forward. Did you really understand all of the basic concepts of the language and framework before moving forward? I’ve seen many new developers do all of these things! Learning the basics may not be as exciting as building something of your own, but I’ve now realised that you need to understand these concepts before you go out there and build your own app.

Learning on your own takes dedication and persistence. You’ll need to made a decision to schedule time to work on your code and to practice. I created a habit by doing just one lesson a day to get myself started and then stuck with it! While distractions do get in the way, picking it up every now and then will not make it easy for you. Just like learning anything new, it has been practice and patience that has helped me develop my skills and get further.

Once you’ve completed the basics steps of learning Rails, what should you do next? This is a question that I get asked all the time, and whenever I ask our Developers for advice they always come back to me with the same answer - opensource work and build your own project! Now that you understand the basics, there are no more step-by-step instructions for you to follow, it’s time to build something real for you!

Building your own application will force you to try new things, learn more information, and get in contact with the community to figure out how to overcome these hurdles. This will be that much easier now that you have a really good foundation of Rails to build on.

Don’t give up, tomorrow is another day

While things can get tough and you can run into problems, don’t give up! If you’re learning Ruby and Rails, you are lucky enough to be surrounded by a very passionate and helpful community. So, share your frustrations with them, and someone will give you hand in coming up with the solution!

While there may not always be specific instructions for you to follow, you are never alone. There is a passionate community of Rails Developers out there waiting to help you! This why we created Development Hub!

What I’ve learned is that we should put time aside to work on developing these skills, take time and ask questions to understand every concept, work on a project, break it down, delve into the code, make mistakes, solve these problems and we’ll soon be Rails developers after all!

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