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Advice To New Developers From Wes Bos and Scott Tolinski

October 16, 2017

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I recently listened to an episode of Syntax where Wes Bos and Scott Tolinski give their advice to new developers.

They're both two of my favorite coding teachers and this was a good one to listen to. Here are some of my notes from the episode.

I only cover a few things they said, so if you want to hear the rest, check out the episode!

Don't write yourself off as 'not that type of person'.

Use your personality traits to strengthen your programming ability. Wes talks about how some people new to programming will struggle to understand something and then say, "Well, I just don't think that way" or "I don't understand that because I'm not that type of person." Instead of working through something that's hard to learn, we often write it off because we believe our personality just isn't meant for figuring it out. "I can't understand that programming concept, I'm just not a math person." Yet as Wes and Scott point out, we often use this as an excuse not to power through something. In reality, you can learn anything you commit yourself to.

Instead of labeling yourself the kind of person who can't learn to program for X reason, Scott says, "Look at your character traits and see how they can improve your learning. See how your unique perspective can help you."

Realize it's a marathon, not a sprint. 

Wes and Scott make the point that being a developer means being a lifelong learner. You will always be learning, whether you're a junior developer or a senior developer. Wes says, "Stop worrying about if you're skilled enough right now, and start chipping away at it." Keep going and in a year you'll look back and be amazed at what you can do. And remember, you'll always be learning. Let go of worrying if others are learning faster and enjoy your process of getting better each day.

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Hi, I'm Madison. I'm a self-taught software developer currently working @Mediavine. Sign up to my email list to get tips on learning how to code that I don't share anywhere else.