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6 Proven Ways to Learn Programming for Free

6 Proven Ways to Learn Programming for Free

You have tried to learn programming from scratch. But every time you think you are making a substantial improvement, you find yourself back at the starting point. It is not your fault. Learning to code is a complicated path on which it is easy to get lost. With unlimited resources to learn coding, it is easy to find yourself lost. But, you can utilize the initial struggle in many ways and transform it to grand success. When it comes to programming, there is no sure shot path. So, what does a beginner do?

A beginner can follow proven ways to learn programming for free. It doesn’t matter which aspect of programming you are interested in; the proven techniques will always help you to improve your skill. So, without much delay, let’s get started.

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1. Broadcast your learning process.

With Internet and technology moving at a rapid pace, it is not surprising to see people broadcasting their product development on Livecoding. For example, Inkblotty from Denver, Colorado, in the US, broadcasts her learning process to her channel followers.

As a beginner, you can also take advantage of the website and share your learning process with the whole world. Livecoding boasts a community from 194 countries worldwide. Furthermore, you can get feedback from experienced, professional engineers working at Google, Facebook, SAP, etc.

2. Practice, practice, and practice!

Learning to program is not an easy task.The number one proven way to learn programming is to practice a lot. Programming requires patience, resilience, and a ton of practice to become good. Initially, you will find yourself struggling to do the simple problems. But with time, you will come to solve problems on your own.

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Eventually, you will be able to think of the solutions by yourself without any help from Google and this is where you will start transitioning into the intermediate level. This is where you can finally move to the next stage of programming.

3. Do tons of projects.

When you start online, you will find small problems to solve. They will surface at that particular moment, but you need to shift your focus to projects. It doesn’t depend on which type of project you are working. It can be simple, complex, small, big—it will help you garner your skills.

Always try to find projects that interests you. For example, you can use a project discovery tool to find projects based on different technologies. Fiddling with the projects will help you build something that has real value. It is also vital to find a motive in your learning. Always look out for real-world problems that you can solve through your programming skills.

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4. Get on the collaboration train.

Developing a project is not a one-man job. It requires collaboration on multiple levels, including design, development, testing, and documentation. When you start to learn programming, you would probably handle one project yourself. But, with time, you need to find team members to help you manage the different aspects of the project.

Also, it is vital to get feedback from other beginners or peers who are more experienced than you. It doesn’t matter which stage of learning you currently are; you can always find people with whom to collaborate on your project, and even learn a thing, or two, from them. Inversely, you can teach them something new. Livecoding, a social hub for engineers, allows you do just that. You can watch other broadcasters, and also start your own broadcasting.

It is also a good chance to meet other beginners who are learning in collaboration with others. For example, Kreskow from Poland, is building an iOS mobile apps with Santi from San Francisco, and Karmarr from Germany.

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5. Open source contribution.

Open source contribution adds tremendous value to your programming skills. To get started with open source, you need to get familiar with GIT, and then choose an open source project on which to work. Most of the open source projects come with a guide on how to get started. If you are not familiar with open source contributions and the approach to get started, read through this amazing Quora post to get an idea.

6. Competitive programming.

Competitive programming is an excellent way to explore your love for programming. Competitive programming platforms such as HackerRank, HackerEarth, TopCoder, etc., lets you try out problems for free, and also gives you the opportunity to engage with world class programmers. With competitive programming, you can improve your algorithmic and problem-solving skills.

Anyone can become a master programmer with the help of the Internet. The resources are free for everyone, but it is up to the individual to take advantage of it. The six ways above will surely help you to master programming and become a professional software developer.

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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