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Programming: Is it Hard to Learn?

Thanks to television’s portrayal of coding as a genius-level skill that only the tech geeks can master, programming has become a skill that easily scares away people. But is that really the case?


Let’s clear this up before we go any further: programming is not rocket science. Anyone can become a programmer if they’re willing to put in the time and effort.

With that being said, even going all in will never be enough if you don’t take the right approach — which is following a well-thought-out plan that ensures your success.

Now, before we get into what sort of approach the ideal programming study plan should take, let’s talk about the three most common reasons why people find programming hard.

Why some people believe coding is hard to learn?

Too many programming languages to choose from

When you first dive into the world of programming, it can feel like you’re lost in a sea of endless options. There are so many programming languages out there, each with its own unique syntax, quirks, and applications. It’s enough to make your head spin. Should you start with web development languages like HTML and CSS? Or maybe a versatile language like Python would be better? The choices seem overwhelming.

The key is to take a step back and understand what each language is used for. Some languages, like HTML and CSS, are primarily used for building websites and web applications. Others, like Python and JavaScript, are more versatile and can be used for a wide range of applications, from web development to data analysis and machine learning.

So, think about your goals and interests. If you’re interested in web development, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are a great place to start. If you’re more interested in data analysis or machine learning, Python might be a better choice. Ultimately, the most important thing is to choose a language that aligns with your interests and goals. Don’t worry too much about picking the “perfect” language – the skills you learn in one language will often transfer to others.

It’s also important to consider the learning curve of each language. Some languages, like Python, have a reputation for being beginner-friendly, with a simple syntax and plenty of online resources to help you get started. Others, like C++, can be more challenging for beginners to pick up.

Here is one article that will help you figure things out.

Complex setup of the development environment

Once you’ve chosen a language to learn, the next step is to set up your development environment. This can be one of the most frustrating parts of learning to code, especially for beginners.

Sadly, many programming languages are complicated to set up with many intricate steps involved — which can leave you frustrated before you even get a chance to learn.

It can also often seem like every tutorial you find assumes a different setup. But here’s the thing: setting up your development environment is a skill in itself. It’s not something that comes naturally to most people, and it’s okay to struggle with it at first. The key is to break the process down into smaller steps and tackle them one at a time. Start by installing a text editor or IDE (Integrated Development Environment) that’s well-suited for your chosen language.

For example, if you’re learning Python, you might want to use an IDE like PyCharm or a text editor like Sublime Text. Next, make sure you have the necessary compilers and interpreters installed for your language. This will vary depending on the language you’re using – for example, if you’re learning Java, you’ll need to install the Java Development Kit (JDK). Finally, familiarize yourself with the command line and any package managers or build tools commonly used with your language.

Admittedly, diving into this can feel like being thrown in at the deep end initially. But don’t fall into the trap of thinking that programming is too hard and that it’ll always be a struggle. You’ll see this is not true.

Most online tutorials are aimed at experienced programmers

Since most online tutorials target people who have some programming experience, you can (unfairly) feel that you’re not smart enough to code.

So if you’re overwhelmed by online tutorials quickly, please know that it’s not you but the tutorial itself. That’s one of the reasons we’ve built Mimo – to make coding accessible to everyone. Our platform is very beginner-friendly, so sign up and start learning to code with Mimo for free.

Just like you learned to crawl before you could walk and run, you have to start with the fundamentals first. Only then should you try to follow tutorials aimed at intermediate and advanced programmers.

However, knowing those roadblocks is just the beginning. The next thing you need is a plan that can help you overcome those roadblocks. So let’s talk about the four essential ingredients that make up the successful start of your coding journey.

Ingredients of a Successful Programming Study Plan

Bite-sized lessons

When people try to learn something new, they usually start by mustering up tons of willpower in an effort to push through a long session of learning.

While deep work definitely has its advantages, you’ll be far better served by keeping your studying sessions, both short and sweet. The old saying that you should only bite what you can chew is precisely the mindset you need.

There’s a reason why bite-sized lessons are the future of learning: they’re simpler, more comfortable, and a lot more engaging.

That’s why an ideal programming study plan breaks down large programming lessons into smaller, bite-sized chunks. That way, you won’t need an infinite quantity of willpower and motivation to start learning.

Setting realistic goals and staying motivated

Nothing keeps the fire burning like tracking how far you’ve come, peppered with friendly reminders along the way. But even with tools like Mimo, it’s important to be realistic about your goals. Don’t expect to become a master programmer overnight – it takes time and practice to develop your skills. Set small, achievable goals for yourself each week or month, and celebrate your progress along the way.

Speaking of practice, it’s absolutely essential for mastering programming. No matter how many tutorials you watch or books you read, there’s no substitute for hands-on experience. Ease into it; pick up some coding drills and petite projects tied tightly to whatever concept you’re wrapping your head around right now. As you become more comfortable, challenge yourself with larger projects that require you to apply multiple concepts at once. Go ahead, take some wrong turns. It’s all good. Debugging is an essential skill for any programmer, and the best way to learn is by encountering and solving problems on your own.

A clear path

If a plan does not have a clear path, then it will lead you nowhere. An ideal program always has an outline that clearly states what you’ll learn, and when you’ll learn it.

When you have a clear path with specific targets, you’ll be motivated to achieve your goals. Without one, your desire for learning will fade away quickly.

Effective time management

Learning to code can be time-consuming, especially if you’re juggling other responsibilities like work, family, and/or school. That’s why it’s important to develop effective time management strategies to make the most of your learning time. Start by prioritizing your learning tasks based on their importance and urgency. Focus on the concepts and skills that are most essential for your goals, and break them down into smaller, manageable tasks. Next, eliminate distractions during your learning time. Turn off notifications on your phone and computer, find a quiet place to work, and set aside dedicated time each day for focused learning.

Practice, practice, practice

We know this is a cliché, but it applies perfectly to programming: practice makes perfect.

As a beginner, you should spend as much time practicing your coding skills as you do learning new concepts. After learning a new concept, you want to make sure to go back later to practice what you learned.

Real-world projects

Taking coding lessons and practicing your coding skills is not enough. You also have to learn the art of turning individual ideas into tangible projects.

Any study plan without this last ingredient isn’t worth following.

Now you must be wondering: is there a plan that has all four ingredients? Yes, there is, and you can find it on Mimo.

With Mimo, you get:

  1. Bite-sized lessons you can complete within only a couple of minutes.
  2. A clear path starting from HTML — an easy introduction to coding that will get you to results fast — and going all the way to build complex and interactive websites and apps.
  3. A coding environment to practice your coding skills.
  4. Real-life projects you can complete within only a few days after starting.

We help you pick the right language to start with, remove the pain of setting up a coding environment, and we personalize the course to your level, so you’re neither overwhelmed nor bored. Sign up, start learning, and see for yourself.

In addition, look for opportunities to contribute to open-source projects or build your own applications from scratch. This will give you a chance to work with other developers, learn new technologies, and build a portfolio of work to showcase to potential employers.

Join coding communities for support and growth

One of the best ways to overcome challenges and accelerate your learning is to join coding communities and connect with other developers. Look for online forums, social media groups, and local meetups related to your chosen language or area of interest. These communities are a great place to ask questions, get feedback on your code, and learn from more experienced developers.

And let’s not forget how teaming up with like-minded coders can be the pep talk we all need sometimes to keep pushing forward. You might even find a mentor or coding buddy to help keep you accountable and on track. Once you’ve got the hang of programming basics, it’s pretty exciting to start checking out more complex topics and cool tech stuff.

One great way to do this is by contributing to open-source projects. If you’re keen on picking up fresh skills, making connections, and adding some sparkle to your work history, diving into developer community projects is the way to go. Look for projects that align with your interests and skill level, and start by making small contributions like fixing bugs or improving documentation. As you become more comfortable, you can take on larger tasks and even start your own open-source projects.

Are you ready to start your journey to becoming a programmer? Then what are you waiting for? Sign up or download Mimo from App Store or Google Play and start learning to code.


Learn to code anytime, from anywhere