7 tips to encourage (fill in the blank) to code
Ever tried to convince *someone* to pick up programming and they just end up smiling politely but never actually taking action?
Here are a few tips which I found were extremely effective.
I’ll keep it short and sweet :)
1. S.W.O.T analysis
Guide the individual to conduct a brief S.W.O.T analysis. This will help to identify their personal strengths and weaknesses, as well as assess the current market environment. The main purpose is to help identify what might be interesting for them. This is especially advantageous for those who aren’t too sure where to start.
2. Beginner-friendly Resource(s)
The tech space can be extremely overwhelming given the agglomeration of different niches. Start with 1 or 2 that would be intriguing for the individual’s level of knowledge. Whether that be a Scratch code-along or an Intro to Python course, it’s always good to have a clear direction to start off with.
3. Technical Guidance
Create a safe space where the individual feels comfortable to come and ask you for technical assistance. From learning their first few git commands to elaborating more on why load-balancing is important, be sure to emphasize the fact that “there are no stupid questions”. If you’re not confident that you can provide the answer to their problems, try and seek help from those around you. No one knows everything, but everyone knows something.
4. Emotional Support
Not only does coding require a lot of brainpower, but it also needs a lot of reassurance and motivation. Drop-in a message on a regular basis to check in on them - even if it is not focused on coding progression. We all have other things going on in life, and so other areas of concern may be inhibiting them from progressing in their learning. Always try to share words of encouragement and let the individual know if they are progressing on the right track.
5. Share Expertise and Experience (where appropriate)
When we understand that other people have experienced the same barriers that we are currently facing, it helps a lot in building confidence to overcome these challenges. Though, I kindly ask you to please do not boast about your past achievements as this can potentially in turn have a negative effect. Be mindful of purely sharing facts in a humble manner rather than being arrogant.
6. Accountability Buddy
Research studies have shown that publicly committing your goals to someone gives you at least a 65% chance of completing them. However, having a specific accountability partner increases your chance of success to 95%.
If you notice that their progress is starting to stagnate, give them a little nudge or a fun challenge to solve! The aim is to keep them interested in growing.
And that is all folks - hope you find these tips useful! Leave a comment below to let me know how you get on and if you have any feedback, please feel free to share!