Jan 29, 2022
Before rolling your eyes at the old cliché, "practice makes a man perfect," spend a moment on the two p-letter words used in this phrase. Practice and perfect. What is the relationship between these two words? It is defined by causality—practice causes perfection. While this is true for almost any skill you want to learn, it is particularly vital for coding. Whether you are learning how to code in Python, C++, or any other programming language, practice will help you climb the ladder of perfection. Here are three reasons why practicing is vital in gaining the skill of coding:
Take a programming course. Check. Get the minimum grade to pass. Check. But what do you do outside the classroom? How do you use your knowledge of abstractions, lists, and graph structures to send personalized emails to a large audience? You practice. Learning your basics is one thing. Applying the learning and solidifying your concepts by solving real-life problems through coding is another, and this is only achieved by practicing basic code rules as much as possible.
Think of it this way. A teacher can probably teach you how to hit the ball with your table tennis racket. But how do you learn how to smash or spin if you do not learn this basic? Furthermore, how do you build your game by learning how to smash or spin if there is no prior learning to build on? Practice thus allows you to perfect your basics and then solve complex issues.
Efficiency in this context refers to coding in minimal time and meeting deadlines in an extremely time-constrained environment. When your brain becomes used to imagining complex programming problems abstractly, writing a code becomes as easy as a reflex and/or an instinct. It helps you become an efficient programmer, which acts as an asset in your coding career.
In this sense, practice is essential in learning the skill of time management regardless of whether you want to pursue a career in coding or not. This skill is vital in developing timely solutions in a competitive market.
When you initially learn to code, you make many mistakes. These mistakes include formulating a longer code, running into loops, not using correct commands, and using repetitive codes. The only way to avoid making these common mistakes is by making many mistakes. When you make plenty of mistakes during your practice, you allow yourself to learn, re-learn, and fix them repeatedly. This repetitive process makes your coding impeccable and accurate.
A similar case is with mathematical problems. As you solve more and more problems, your brain begins to internalize the error-free way of solving those problems, which eventually reduces the number of mistakes you make in your problems and calculations.