December 9, 2020

We Asked Our Engineers What Advice They Would Give to New Coders:

We rounded up our engineers and asked them to share the best lessons that they learned on their code-learning journeys.

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Every professional coder has an origin. Behind each engineer is a story of growing pains and obstacles to overcome.

We rounded up our engineers and asked them to share the lessons that they learned in their code-learning journeys. Here's what they had to say:

1. Start Yesterday

“Start as soon as possible. As soon as you are interested in programming, start learning it on your own.

I wish that I had started Unity in high school. There wasn’t a class available, so I thought I should wait.

There’s so many resources out there to learn outside of the bell schedule.”    

— Rich Conti

2. Imposter Syndrome is Normal

“Don’t worry about not knowing things! Software development is a field where nobody knows everything. Keep pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and keep making cool stuff. Imposter syndrome is a good thing to get once in a while because it shows that you’re doing something way out of your comfort zone. Sure, it doesn’t always feel the best, but getting used to it will only make you challenge yourself and push you farther along your path”    

— Justin Punzalan

3. Be a Copycat

“Don’t be afraid to copy. I learned by copying, and I still do that. When there’s something I don’t know how to do, I look at how someone else did something similar and make adjustments to fit what I need. I’m the kind of person who likes to do everything on my own and likes to know how every single thing works, but I’ve found that I have learned a lot more from looking at code and dissecting it and copying it than I ever did learn from just staring at a blank code file and trying to come up with something that was beyond my skill level.”  

— Jobana Westbay

4. Use Your Passions

“Learn coding through a strong passion that you have. For me, that was gaming. Building games with code was SO much more satisfying to me than learning to code through building simple non-game programs. Being able to apply concepts to use within gaming felt more fun and rewarding. It also allowed me to further interact with and share what I have built!”    

— Rich Conti

5. Assemble a Team

“Find like minded people who are trying to learn programming, and learn along with them. You can make more progress learning as a group compared to learning by yourself.”    

— Antonio Castro

Working in a team allows you to teach each other new things, ask each other for help, and even keep each other motivated!

6. Plan Your Projects

“Plan your projects before you code. Having a diagram or a list of requirements will help you determine what things are high priority versus what features are nice-to-haves. You’ll get to a presentable result a lot quicker, even if it isn’t perfect. Focus on a few things that make your project work- and do those. Don’t work on anything else before that’s done. There’s nothing worse than an unfinished project.”    

— Juan Erazo


Olivia has background in behavioral ecology and data analysis. She develops and implements SEO, CRO, social media strategy, and authors multi-disciplinary content for our blog, & our social media sites. She's contributed to many of the STEM tie-ins within our curriculum, authored our SEL course, and is a specialist in neurodiverse learning strategies.

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