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February 4, 2019

How to THINK like a developer

What makes a developer truly a developer?

I’ll give you my answer in a second.

But think about that as you read this…

So, I got this email question from Mike:

“I’m stuck at a beginner level. I’ve followed tons of tutorials and did a 3 month full time web dev boot camp. But I cant seem to get past the hurdle of being able to write a program myself. I consistently fail interview tests as my programming logic skills are low. I seem to be stuck at this beginner level. I need to learn how to think like a programmer…. Any ideas or tips?”

Think about that.

It actually doesn’t make sense, does it?

How does someone spend that much time learning and still not be able to sit down and crank out an application? Shouldn’t be that way. And, I’ll just tell you from the emails I get… he’s not alone.

Is this something YOU have struggled with?

If so, let me tell you how this happens.

It’s one of the “dirty secrets” of the coding tutorial industry.

I know that sounds a bit “Ok, whatever”…

But, I really, truly believe this.

It’s the problem with project-based courses, which I absolutely think have their place, BTW. But, when you follow along as someone else builds a program, you don’t have to solve all the little programming problems that come up.

They’re solved for you.

It’s very rare that an instructor even mentions those problems…

Let alone makes YOU solve them.

They just run through the code and show you what to type.

A good one might mention them off-hand.

But, almost nobody labors over those points.

Because, frankly, coding students don’t like it.

They don’t think they need it.

When they absolutely DO.

So, what happens is you never learn how to connect problems to applications and vice versa. That’s WHY you can go through a crap-ton of training, but feel lost when you sit down to write an application.

If all you’ve ever done is project-based courses…

Or, haven’t specifically learned application design…

Then, you’ve actually never done this part of it.

And, here’s the kicker… that’s the most important part.

This is the analogy I use…

Imagine a painter who learns all the technical parts of painting a landscape. Trees, mountains, water, grass, etc. That’s good. You need to know those. But, will knowing those make you good at composition?

At putting all those things together into a painting…

That elicits emotion?

That makes people say “WOW”?

That has a perspective?

Does a well-executed tree make someone a true ARTIST?

It’s part of it, but it’s not all. It’s not the main thing. It’s the ability to capture moments and elicit emotion. To have a point-of-view AND THEN be able to execute on that point of view.

It’s having an “eye” for it.

It’s similar with web development.

What makes you a developer…

Is your ability to identify problems.

Come up with new ideas for solving them in better ways.

AND THEN, execute on those solutions.

And, that’s what you miss with most project-based courses. To me, the answer is to learn application design. To understand how to connect problems to their solutions and how to design applications from scratch.

This is precisely why I named my OOP course, Build Professional Applications With Object-Oriented Programming. Object-oriented programming IS the/a method for application design. And, a damn good one.

When you understand it…

And, how it connects to object modelling.

And, database structure.

The code almost literally writes itself. Again, I know that sounds hypey, but that’s WHY so many people swear by OOP. Because, it gives you a way forward for designing your applications.

You don’t have to guess.

Or wonder.

Or stare blankly at your code editor.

You know where to start and how to proceed at every step.

There’s still problems to work through.

Always.

But, you have a road map for how to get your application built.

Anyway, all this is what Lesson 11 in my object-oriented programming course takes on. Teaching you how to design applications in the most scalable, modular and efficient way possible.

If you’ve found yourself dealing with “blank screen” syndrome…

I truly believe this will help to cure you.

In any case, you can take the course for nothing over on SkillShare. All the details on the course and how to get free access are here: https://www.johnmorrisonline.com/oop

Later,

John

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