Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Coding

Coding has been an overall positive experience in my life. It tremendously nurtured my ability to think deeply about problems.

Programming also taught me to break down problems into solvable and digestible chunks.

Here’s what I’d tell my younger self. Use my thoughts and advice to your advantage.

It’s OK to Ask for Help

Programming is extremely challenging at times— especially when starting. Don’t feel bad about asking for help.

Having reliable and friendly coworkers whom you can always ask for support and vice versa. This makes for a great work environment.

A great team is open to exchanging thoughts and problems, as well as solutions too.


Learn to Say “No” More Often — Know Your Limits

Coding is all about solving problems as efficiently and swiftly as possible. It’s easy to overcommit and underestimate how long things will take.

Don’t spread yourself out too thin — it’s nice to meet deadlines and finish projects on time. As a general rule of thumb— underpromise and overdeliver.

Put your feet down, and learn to say no often. But still, keep an ear open for good ideas (you never know).

Some of the best ideas started undoubtedly as crazy ideas — for example, take Airbnb.

When the founders started, it seemed like a terrible idea.

You want to invite strangers to your home to sleep on an air-filled mattress and serve them breakfast? What sounded crazy turned out great for them.


Take Short Breaks to Recharge and Avoid Burnouts

This is something I struggle with a lot. I have the urge to work day and night.

I realized this is not a sustainable lifestyle. It took me a couple of burnouts to finally fix this.

I’ve come to terms with myself, and I’ve allowed myself to take breaks on Saturday and Sunday.

Saturdays I’m allowed to work on side projects, while on Sundays I’m not even allowed to open the code editor.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

People have been programming for decades — there are no shortcuts to becoming great. It takes a long, long time to become proficient and confident.

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