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  • Writer's pictureTim Buchalka

Fear of Coding and How to Overcome It

Let’s talk about code fear, what it is, and how to overcome it to become a great programmer.

Today’s topic is all about code fear what it is, and how to overcome it. Now, there’s no one sort of standard way to explain what code fear is because it really does depend on a few things and it means different things to different people. But in general, it’s a fear of coding. So you’re worried about making a mistake or you know you just basically can’t overcome and get into code the coding. So you’re just basically worried about finishing things and worried about how good you’ll be as a programmer.

Now I want to start by using an analogy of learning to swim as an example but also learning how to drive a car if you’re someone who’s got a licence. So both of those things, I’m sure, you would agree were probably fairly scary when you first started out. Now, the first time I got into a pool, I distinctly remember being quite scared of the water because I didn’t have any control over what I was doing. In other words I hadn’t learnt the basics. And the same with driving a car, I’m sure you’ll agree, the first time that you started driving a car you probably know if you were driving a manual car you were stalling the car, or you were just stopping and starting, you had difficulty remembering everything. You know went to put your foot on the brake and knocked the accelerator by mistake, those types of things. In other words, things were outside of your control and you were worried and feared because you weren’t in control because you didn’t really have the understanding.

So one of the big ways to overcome code fear is to just code and just to program. Getting back to driving and swimming, how did you get better? You actually spent time doing it. So as you spent more time driving, as you spent more time swimming, and you got the correct instruction. If you’re swimming someone taught you how to swim and helped you, you became more confident because you were doing it. So again getting back to coding, the best way to overcome coding fear is to actually just immerse yourself in it and know that you will be making mistakes.

It’s a reality. All programmers at all levels from beginners through to gurus make mistakes. It’s a reality, it’s something we do as humans. Humans make mistakes. So you’re never going to get to the stage of being someone who never makes mistakes even experts/guru programmers make mistakes. The difference is, they don’t fear making mistakes and they understand that’s part of the early process of becoming a programmer or being a programmer, is making mistakes. They know if they do make a mistake that they’ll just brush it off and oh okay I made a mistake and of course I better fix it. They’ve then got the confidence and skills with experience because they were immersing themselves on a regular basis programming to know that that’s a mistake it’s just part of programming and they get on with it and actually make the fix.

So in general, overcoming code fear is usually as simple as just continually programming, immersing yourself in coding and knowing that it’s a natural part of coding that you’ll overcome with more experience. I hope that helped. If you’ve got any questions feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.

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