girl i'd like to become

anonymous asked:

Hi there! I'm a girl and I'd like to become a coder one day. I have great eye for details and form what I've gathered I could be good at it. Now the thing is... what advice do you have for beginners? I want to find out whether this is 100% right for me and I don't even know where to stary. I tried a bit of Python and C++, but there is so much out there that I'm lost. I'm planning to apply for computer science or engineering, but I'd like to start now :) would you have any advice? thanks a lot!

Hey!

First of all, coding is awesome, you’ll love it! Second, for tips on how to begin coding, look at my advice page here, the first category has some posts about that.

Now regarding the “being 100% sure” thing: I understand that you (and people in general) want to make sure you’re doing the right thing and not wasting your own time before you start to seriously get into something. The thing is, though: You’ll never know if something is 100% right for you. You just won’t. There will be times when you’re like “Man, this is so great, how could I ever do something else?” but there will also be times when you’re doubting your decision, your abilities, everything. And that’s normal! Especially compsci is so very frustrating from time to time - you can’t get your code to run, the algorithm is just so complicated, you don’t understand what the damn compiler wants to tell you and none of your friends know the language you use… Ugh. But you learn from these experiences (even if it’s just how to google your errors better) and soon you’ll probably be in the “this is amazing” stage again. So don’t let these setbacks discourage you, especially at the beginning! If you discover that doing this constantly is not something you want, then coding and compsci is probably not for you, but you should give it a change first.

Another point that many young people who are still in school often don’t see or forget, is that you can try things out. You can start studying compsci and after a year switch to physics or economics if you find that suits you better. You can study biology and work in that field for 10 years before going back and studying compsci and you’ll probably be fine. Life isn’t as set as grown-ups would like you to believe. So if you choose compsci and it doesn’t work out, take your experiences and start something else. You didn’t waste your time, you learned something about yourself on top of the “skills” you acquired.

Coming back to “where do I begin”: I’d recommend continuing with Python, because C++ is not as widely used and can be quite hard to understand. Codecademy has free online courses where you do some actual programming during the course, so that’s a good place to start. Then, you should try to come up with a small program/project you want to write and build it from the ground up. The only way to become a better programmer is to program.

Good luck! And don’t hesitate to send me another ask. :)