I am fairly new to programming. I understand that my skills are far from proficient and that I need to improve them. When I was advised to take a Python programming course from Coursera, I thought this the perfect opportunity to improve as a programmer. I set myself the goal of learning every bit of the course, top to bottom. I did not want to have even one topic that I did not understand. Though this meant watching and rewatching all of the lectures, documenting every specific method the instructor used, it proved to be worth doing.
Upon completion of this course, I began to see how much of the material I truly understood, as opposed to the material I could regurgitate. This is when I created an account on Medium. I started to read what others had to say about programming and learning to code. I still spend a couple hours each day reading these blogs. They help to have an outlet to apply my knowledge towards. This allows me to stay on track with my learning. While I do this, I have continued to take other courses through Coursera. I am currently working on the Duke University specialization “Java Programming and Software Engineering Fundamentals”. This specialization has proved so far to be quite beneficial, as it covers the basic materials quite well, as well as expands upon topics that are of interest, such as steganography. These courses provide a fun and entertaining way of teaching me how to program. As I go through the courses, I typically review the section of the course on my blog. This allows me to look back at what information I learned in what section and allows me to see what I enjoy in courses and what I prefer to stay away from. So far, the majority of the Coursera courses I have taken have been wonderful, though there are some that are quite frustrating.
As with learning anything, programming has brought me many “ups” and many “downs”. I sometimes get so frustrated with it that I have to walk away and try again tomorrow. The thing is, whenever I start fresh the next day, I remember why I enjoy it so much. I see the errors in how I was thinking and use these realizations to improve my skills. The positives far outweigh the negatives. Programming feels like exploring an entirely new world. You are given a canvas and told to paint, without being told what to paint in most instances. The “world building” aspect of coding is addictive to say the least. Coding is so accessible that anyone can read a book and begin to create. It is so inspiring to see the little pieces you build get put together to create something fantastic.
Coding is my new hobby and passion. As I go forward in this process, I enjoy looking back and seeing where I have been a week ago, a month ago. I realize I have just scratched the surface, but I am excited to see what new opportunities await me in the future.
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