How To Learn To Read

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Learning how to code isn't all that different than learning how to read. You wouldn't hand a kindergartner (or hopefully anyone, no offense) a copy of Infinite Jest and expect them to just figure it out. So why should you expect yourself to understand the most complex programming topics or build the coolest apps without taking the time to learn the basics?

One of the most common questions students will ask me when we're introducting fundamental programming topics like conditional statements or string interpolation is: "When will I use this?"

A question like this tells me you're putting pressure on yourself to know all the things before you understand the foundational components that will make it possible for you to know all the things.

In order to learn how to read, kids first need to learn the letters of the alphabet and how to pronounce them. But why should you learn a bunch of meaningless letters? Understanding and individual letter all by itself isn't reading, right?

In the English alphabetic system, the individual letters on the page are abstract and meaningless, in and of themselves. They must eventually be linked to equally abstract sounds...blended together and pronounced as words, where meaning is finally realized. ––

If you're reading this, then you already know how to read (congratulations!)

That means that you can apply the same concepts to learning how to code. Accept that you need to learn "abstract and meaningless" individual letters first. Trust that you will build those letters into words, and realize meaning.