How to learn to code (but also how to learn)

Learning itself is a skill. I’ve noticed a lot of people struggling with the basics of CSS and HTML, but mostly I’ve seen people struggle with learning itself. I was lucky enough to be in an academic environment where I was taught to learn.

A good start is the Read-Search-Ask method.

If you’ve clicked the ‘ask for help’ button, you might notice it mentions the ‘read-search-help’ method. The forum post says,

When you get stuck, remember: Read-Search-Ask.

  1. Read the documentation or error
  2. Search Google
  3. Ask your friends for help

Reading. Now you may be thinking, ‘I know how to read!’. But have you really thought hard about what the question means?

Write down your interpretation of the question and critique it. Does your interpretation ignore previously established coding conventions? Do you understand what each term described in the lesson means, could you explain it to someone else?

As for searching, I notice a lot of people stuck on problems you can easily find guidance to via a search engine. There is nothing wrong with searching ‘what is a html element’ ‘how do I add a class to a html element?’. Bookmark information that is useful so you can refer back to it. W3schools and Mozilla are good places to look for information.

Then you try to solve the lesson. Again. And again. Do not stop at your second attempt, keep asking if you understand the question. Keep researching.

Finally, you ask for help. This should only be done if you’ve done all of the above. Do not ask for help with the intention to get the problem solved for you. When asking for help, provide detail in the ‘tell us what is happening’ section of the forum post (you can type in there by the way, try it).

These are not good descriptions of a problem.

‘I don’t get it’
‘my code won’t work’

This is much better.

‘I can’t get the h2 element to work. I have put the text catphotos in, but it will not pass. It gives [insert error message here].’

The reason to do this is because you’ll learn to code faster and better. It also promotes a better attitude to learning because your focus is on understanding coding, not just chasing the next checkmark.

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this should be a good read for everybody, specially if you’re starting out your coding journey!!

thanks @EllaGriff :slight_smile:

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