In this post I am trying to put together my top ten recommendations for learning software programming languages in an effective way.

1. Overcome The English Barrier
The technical professional software development training material is in English. If you are still having problems with reading technical material in English you must overcome this difficulty. The sooner the better. You cannot expect finding translations for each and every technical document. You can find translation for very few of them only. It isn’t about learning English. The technical language is very limited. It isn’t difficult as it might seem in the beginning.

2. Improve Self Learning Skills
Good software developer is a an autodidact one. You must constantly improve your self learning skills, learn how to find answers by your self searching the web, learn how to read technical documents and find the answers on your own and learn how learn new material by reading books and practice the code. Unlike 20 years ago, it is impossible to learn everything there is to know in a course. You are expected to learn much more on your own.

3. Writing Code is The Only Way
Unlike other subjects, learning software programming must be involeved with writing code. Learning a software programming language without getting into the water is impossible. The more code you write the more understanding you get. Learning a programming language without writing code doesn’t work.

4. Coming Ready to Class
If you are taking a programming course make sure you come ready to the meetings. Make sure you read the material in advance. Make sure you run some code samples in advance. The more prepared you come the more understanding you get. If you don’t prepare yourself to the lessons you won’t be able to keep up with the teacher and at some point you will lose him. Going over the material before each and every meeting will save you time at home. Come ready with questions and exploit your teacher!

5. Effective Time Management
We are limited in our time. Unless you learn how to manage your time in an effective way you won’t be able to keep the pace. Make sure you have friends from whom you can get immediate assistance. Having friends from class in your skype can be a good practice. If you find your self in a loop wasting time on one specific programming assignment it might be a good moment to take a break, move forward with other exercises (maybe a more fundamental ones) and return back to the problematic one at a later time.

6. Identify The Main Technical Site
Each and every software programming language has its main technical web site. The .NET framework has the msdn.microsoft.com web site, Java has the java.sun.com web site, PHP has the www.php.net web site, Scala has the www.scala-lang.org web site and so on. Each programming language usually has the main documentation pages. Java has the well known API, .NET has the well known MSDN and so on. Usually, those documentation pages is actually a sub set of the main web site. Make sure you have the main technical site as well as the documentation it self handy on your end. You will find them highly useful during the course of your studies.

7. Technology That Fits Best
There is no such thing the best programming language or the best platform. Each and every case might have the programming language and the programming platform that fits best. Keep away of those who claim for having one specific technology better than the other. The motive behind those claims are usually commercial ones. Stay open minded. Be Curious. Explore. Try. Don’t remain stagnant.

8. Insist on Understanding Everything
Don’t settle with a shallow understanding. Insist on understanding everything there is. Exploir your teacher. Raise the questions. Learn on your own at home. The deeper you get the better understanding you achieve. Many programming languages and many programming platforms have their own professional certification exams. Learning for those exams and taking them afterwards will usually assist you with getting the better understanding you want to achieve. When getting error messages avoid the temptation for trying a quick fix. Insist on reading the error message and understanding it. Once you understand the error message you will be able to fix the problem in no time.

9. Use Code Samples
When doing your first steps learning a new programming language or a new technology it makes things simpler running ready code samples, debugging them, and manipulating the samples step by step watching out at the outcome and checking whether or not it is the expected one.

10. Community Help
You will be surprised of how many forums and how many communities are out there on the web ready to assist you with overcoming the technical difficulties you face. Whenever you get into a technical difficulty try to google or bing your question over the web. Most likely you will find an answer.

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