• Tim Buchalka

Best Way To Go Through an Online Programming Course

What’s the best way to take an online programming course? Let’s talk about that today.


The question again was, “What is the best way to take an online programming course?” Now, this is the question that I get quite often from students and in my opinion, the best way to take a course, is just basically to go through each video from start to finish, watch the videos fully, follow along with the instructor and actually type in the examples. Now, that’s if you have never had any programming experience before but if you have had some programming experience, that’s in the sense of taking another video course you know the basics like you know things like what a variable is for example, then you might decide to skip some aspects of a course or perhaps skip to some of the sections that are of interest to you.


For example, if you’ve taken a basic course in computing, and then you’re taking a Java course you might decide to skip to the Object-oriented programming section of the course, if you wanted to learn about that. But be careful when you do that. The reason for that is often the course is designed based on previous sections. So in other words if you’ve got section 6, section 6 of the course will probably assume that you’ve learnt the material in section 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. So if you’re skipping straight to section 6, you might find that you’re missing key principles. So for that reason I suggest that even if you’ve got some experience, to still go through the videos but you might decide to maybe play them a little bit faster than the normal speed, play them at 25% faster. Just try and see whether there’s anything there.


You might decide also, in the case of having existing experience, that you can avoid having to type in the code for that for those basic introductory lectures such as what is a variable. Just skip straight to those other parts. One other thing I would point out that it’s very important to take the challenges, in my course I’ve got challenges which is basically a way for you to solve a particular challenge which confirms that you’ve understood the material. But doing that that’s really your way to your benchmark to know that you’ve learnt the material, the materials made sense, and to actually start using that, and by doing that you find that you can basically get a better understanding.


Just the process of doing rather than watching, is where you will really learn and so for that reason I’m gonna wanna make it clear that you should definitely be typing along with the instructor’s code. So don’t just watch a video, unless you’ve had some experience and you’re just trying to fast-forward to another section, If you are starting out and you really wanting to understand programming, in my opinion what you need to do is you need to watch the videos, and type along. Type along with what the instructor is typing, because that process of doing again, rather than just watching will be where the experience will really come in, and you really sort of solidify your understanding. Again with the code exercises, the challenges and so forth, if you’re doing those as well, that will stand you in good stead.


Now, just another quick point I wanna make is that, it is normal to get frustrated and to be you know stuck in particular points in time. If you think back to any worthwhile skill that you’ve learnt in the past, It hasn’t always been a breeze. I’ve used this analogy in videos before, but learning to drive a car, the first time you get in the car, it’s overwhelming. Now, you’ve gotta understand where the accelerator is, if it’s a manual you need to understand where the gear stick is, you know, you have to work out, you need to look in your mirrors, you need to know where the indicator is, you need to know where the brake pedal is, and it’s all really hard to get together and consequently, particularly if you’re driving a manual car it’s very common to stall the car. That’s because you haven’t put enough acceleration on or you let the car, basically stall. So and that’s really because you don’t really understand how to use all the components, because it’s too much, it’s just it’s too overwhelming.


The same is true in programming. Stick to that and keep going, and basically the more you work with programming, the better you’ll be. So I’ve got a whole video on that so check this video up here on the best, or the number one skill you need to succeed as a programmer.


This is something that is really important so watch that video up there after this one. Because that will really help you out as well, but basically again, the best way is to just go through a course, from video 1 to video 2, your last video in the course, try not to skip anything, and it will ultimately make you learn the material better, and of course that will then mean that you’ll be a better programmer.


I hoped that helped. If you’ve got any questions feel free to leave a comment, and I’ll get back to you.

© 2019 Tim Buchalka