Only forty-five percent of American schools teach coding on campus. So, it is no surprise that learners come to SoloLearn for free coding courses. However, often when students get over the initial energy boost that comes with embarking on a new coding learning journey, motivation can dwindle.
Imagine deciding to train to run a marathon. At first, your goal is shiny -- filled with thoughts of new running shoes, playlists, and innovative apps to help you along the way. However, the newness soon wears off, leaving the daily work of waking up early, tying your sneakers, and hitting the pavement. Coding, like running, can feel like a lot of work -- important to practice daily, but sometimes requiring a lot of motivation.
However, the runner who ultimately crosses the finish line feels accomplished and has improved their health. Similarly, the user who sticks through a complete coding course feels that same accomplishment paired with increased job prospects. Read on for tips and tricks on maintaining your motivation to learn.
Remember Your Why
Regardless of your reason, something likely drew you in. Simon Sinek once famously said, “Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion.” In other words, if you don’t know why you’re working through coding lessons daily, it will feel like just that -- work. Take a moment to remember your ambition to learn to code. Once you have reinvested, move forward, re-invigorated toward your new goal.
Interact with Those Around You
SoloLearn has an important feature noticeably absent in many other learning platforms: a discussion board. Peer support keeps you motivated in a number of ways.
For example, advice-giving creates a boost in performance. Additionally, if you’re skilled at using a programming language, you’re more than likely to continue practicing! Similarly, discussing the work with those around you helps to improve your skills.
One SoloLearner, Hatsy Rei, says, “I have three students who I help on the site and I feel a responsibility to help them become all that they can be. This cycle of teaching and learning keeps me motivated.”
Begin a Project
While you should certainly chunk your learning in order to give yourself brain breaks and deepen your understanding over time, sometimes, learning skills in small, isolated pieces can make it hard to stay motivated.
Consider beginning a simple website build where you can directly apply your skills as you learn them. You can begin with simple HTML, which will allow you to manage most blogs, and eventually Java, which will allow you to code your own site. If you begin a site from scratch and slowly practice your skills by adding to it, bit by bit, it will be easier to remember what you’re working for.
Learning a programming language is not easy! Prioritize consistency over speeding through the course. Consistency optimizes the chances you complete your projects, small pieces at a time, while retaining what you learn.
Consider completing one lesson each day, and really taking the time to digest it. Practice the skills you learned that day rather before moving on to the next checkpoint. This will ensure that your learning sticks.
Define and Track Your Goal
Set a tangible learning goal for your coding journey so that you can remind yourself when things get tough. Your goal reminds you of where you are headed and what the payoff is for successfully completing the work.
Track your goal during your work using charts or other goal trackers. SoloLearn has many tracking features built in as you progress through the course. Track your progress and stay the course in order to stay motivated to learn to code.
Mind the Bigger Picture
Are you learning to code because you hope it will help you earn a pay increase at work? Are you learning to code because you plan to switch careers altogether? Maybe you are learning to code because you’d like to start a website for your business and don’t want to bother with the high costs of a web developer or advertising agency
Keep the bigger picture in mind while doing this work, in order to stay motivated. Consider placing visual or written reminders around your work area of what you eventually hope to accomplish with your newfound skills, so that when things start to feel too challenging, or you are tempted to take an unscheduled break from your learning, you’ll remember why it’s important to stick with it.
Organize Your Workspace
Education and motivation experts alike agree that workspace plays a tremendous role in the individual’s decision to stick with a new task. Think about your workspace. Is this a place you like to spend time? Is it a place where you can clear your head and get down to work?
If you love your workspace as is, that’s wonderful! Keep up the good work. If your workspace doesn’t spark motivation, then consider some changes. Find a way to bring in more natural light, through opening blinds, or obtaining a light simulating lamp. Organize your space with all of the materials you need on a regular basis -- a spare charger, a notebook, pencils, and whatever else you may need in easy arms reach. Create a space you love to be in to keep motivation high.
Set Frequent Deadlines
Organize yourself by setting frequent dates for check-ins and sticking to them/ Let’s say you’re starting with our HTML fundamentals course. This course contains forty-four lessons housed in four modules. Think about a way to break these up that makes the most sense to you.
Perhaps you have chosen to divide your work into two lessons per day. In the case of the HTML course, that means you’ll need twenty-two days to complete it. At this rate, you are working through anywhere from four to eight questions per day.
Should you choose this as your goal, mark the expected end deadline in your planner or set a reminder in your phone or Internet calendar. Miss a lesson? It’s okay, it happens to the best of us. But rather than setting your goal back entirely, commit to completing four lessons the next day in order to meet your overall deadline. Repeat this process for each course, and you’ll work through anything you need to in order to achieve your goals.
You’re working hard! Don’t be afraid to reward yourself when you reach goals that you have been actively working toward.
Consider aligning your rewards to your deadlines -- if you need a challenging deadline, reward yourself with a favorite self-care item or a benefit designed to help yourself along on your journey. Think about rewarding yourself with resources on coding or additional supplies that may bring you to your end goal faster.
Stay Motivated with SoloLearn
Although SoloLearn’s free coding courses offer a wealth of benefits to learners, staying motivated to learn any skill independently is not without its challenges. Follow these tips to keep yourself motivated and driven on your journey, and you’ll be coding like a pro in no time.