If you’re a kid or student who just started learning to code, you may have noticed that all of the possibilities that come with coding seem very complicated. There are many different uses for coding, and hundreds of languages to learn, and it seems like everyone has their own opinion on how you should learn to code. Although it may seem overwhelming at first, you’ll find that once you get into coding it’s a lot of fun! It will be quite challenging at first, but you’ll find that there are tips that will help you improve in ways you never thought possible. Here are the top 5 tips to improve your coding skills as a kid:
- Persevere when learning to code
- Find a mentor to learn from
- Work with others
- Create projects to apply the skills you’ve learned
- Keep your code clean
If you’re ready to learn about these tips and how to apply them when learning to code, let’s get right into it!
Persevere and don’t give up:
Coding is a very technical skill that has a steep learning curve. This means that when you first start learning it may not seem too hard and compared to the amount of time you put into learning, you will advance quite quickly. However, as your skills get more and more advanced, you will find that you need to spend more time learning and your skill level will likely increase much more slowly. This has nothing todo with your skills as a person, but rather has to do with how complex the concepts are. Many people tend to give up coding when they realize that they aren’t advancing as quickly as they used to. However, this is a huge mistake! It is important to persevere when learning to code because if you give up you won’t be able to learn many of the skills that you could have learned if you continued working.
This tip about perseverance also applies to projects you may work on. When working on bigger projects, you will often come across bugs and issues in your code. When you find these errors it often feels tempting to give up and move on to something simpler, but it is important to keep working hard! Many of the issues are likely simpler than they seem, and once you fix the bugs you can continue working on the project. Perseverance even when it seems difficult is one of the most important skills for any programmer to have, and with the motivation and discipline to keep working hard you will be able to learn more and achieve amazing things.
Find a mentor to learn from:
Another important tip to help kids improve their coding is to find someone to learn from. It is very hard to learn to code on your own without someone to look up to and learn from, so finding someone who is older or more proficient than you can be hugely beneficial. You will be able to ask them questions as well as get help from them when working on projects. They will be able to help you and push you to learn more about coding than you would without them. A good mentor is someone who you can learn a lot from, who knows a lot about the subject you’re studying, and who can form a good relationship with you. Mentors will essentially serve as someone you can go to with questions about coding concepts you don’t understand or opportunities you have questions about, and will also just be someone you can look up to as an example and role model.
A mentor could be anyone – an adult who has experience coding, an online instructor, a teacher from school, a coding class instructor, or a friend who knows a lot about coding. Get some resources at our coding for kids article
lessons for kids is a great way to find an amazing mentor. Many instructors are happy to help you out and want to see you grow in your coding skills, so they would love to help you achieve your goals and learn more. Online mentors are great as well, especially for older students who can communicate with others online. If you’re teaching yourself how to code rather than taking lessons, you may find someone willing to help you out and act as a role model to help you. The main point of finding a mentor is to find someone willing to help you grow as a programmer and help you learn all you can, so it doesn’t matter who they are, as long as they are willing to come alongside and guide you as you learn.
Work with others:
Similar to how having a mentor to look up to can help you improve your coding skills by having someone to ask questions to, working with others is another amazing way to improve your coding skills. This comes in especially useful when working on big projects because you will be able to get multiple perspectives on an issue. Working with others allows you to build collaboration and communication skills while also having a second opinion to apply to projects or issues with your code. A great way to find others to work with is to take a coding class for kid in Toronto, or for older students, participate in a hackathon (a multi-day coding competition that involves creating a project to solve a specific problem).These are both great ways to find friends who will collaborate with you and push you to learn even more about coding.
The fourth tip to help kids improve their coding skills is to create projects as a way to apply the skills and concepts that you’ve learned. Oftentimes when learning a technical skill like coding, it can be difficult to make connections between the concepts learned and how they can be applied in a practical scenario. Creating projects allows you to take the material you learn in classes or while teaching yourself and use it to create a product or program. This is an important skill for all kids to learn when coding because it change show you see the concepts you learn. Rather than just being information to memorize and learn, you will come to see concepts as practical ways to solve problems you see in the world around you.
Another important tip to keep in mind is to try a wide variety of projects. For example, if you’re learning Python, try making some simple games using Pygame or Tkinter, as well as some other programs such as web scrapers, or simple data-management projects. Changing the type of projects that you work on will give you a more versatile skillset and will also help you discover what you enjoy. Trying different projects is also great when transitioning to a new language because you can try to remake the same project in the new language as practice. Overall, make sure to work on projects as a way to apply the technical skills you’ve learned, and make sure to try a wide variety of projects to diversify your learning.
Keep your code clean:
Finally, it’s time for one of the most important tips for all kids who learn to code: keep your code clean! This is something that most beginner coders struggle to do, but once you learn to write clean and concise code, you will find that your coding skills improve tremendously. Here are some of the most important aspects to making clean code:
- Comment the code: add comments to tell others (or yourself) what sections of code do. This is especially useful for beginners who may forget what a line of code does. Commenting is also important for collaborating with others because it allows the other person to know what you intended to do when writing a specific code section.
- Name variables, functions, and classes clearly: another important thing to keep in mind when writing simplified and easy-to-understand code is the names of your variables, classes, and functions. They should be named so that it is easy to tell what each one does and they are not confusing to read. For example, if you were working on a project and had a variable called “X”, you wouldn’t create another one with a lowercase “x” because it would be too hard to tell them apart. The names of these sections of code should make it clear what their purpose is and should be easy to remember and type out later.
- Have a clear structure to your code: having a clear layout in your code is important because it makes it much easier to understand and read. For example, try defining variables at the beginning of the code rather than throughout to make it more organized. Or, when working with functions, have their definition code placed somewhere where it make sense, rather than just wherever you feel like putting it.
Keeping all of these ideas in mind while coding will help keep your code simple and easy to understand and will also greatly help when debugging because it will be easier to find errors. Applying this concept to your code will help you improve your coding skills much more quickly and is a great habit to build as a kid learning to code.
Overall, these 5 tips will help you improve your coding skills as a kid. Make sure to keep them in mind as you learn to program and you are sure to improve and grow as a programmer. Hopefully, these tips have been helpful and are something that you can apply to your code to help you improve your coding skills!