Written by a Paysa user, Tim Park, and Paying it Forward to you.
My first step into the world of Software Development — and what you can learn from it.
As a budding student of computer science, there’s a disconnect between what you learn in class and what you see in the real world. You learn all there is to know about loops of every variety—for, while, do while. You can write a command line based tic-tac-toe game like it’s nobody’s business. And you write so much fill-in-the-blank x86 assembly that it makes your head spin.
But you haven’t the slightest clue how something like Facebook works. Or Reddit. Or YouTube. You don’t even have an inkling of where to begin. When you Google “companies that use python,” since Python is the only language you know, you find people saying things like “Reddit…uses python for their backend.” Backend? What does that even mean?
There’s this giant gap in your knowledge between writing tic-tac-toe for the command line and building a “real” application, and nobody is telling you how to fill it in. Even though you’ve learned all about how to think logically, you have no idea how to apply what you’ve learned in order to build the things you want to build.
Here’s the thing: it takes initiative to get to where you want to be. You won’t always have professors giving you templates and boilerplate for all your projects, leaving you to fill in the blanks. You won’t always have a lesson plan telling you “This is what you need to learn next.”
Nobody has more influence over your personal development than you. It’s up to you to decide what you want to learn, without someone spoon-feeding you the next step every step of the way. This self-directed learning, what Dan Luu might describe as a meta-skill, is one of the most important skills you’ll pick up in your journey towards becoming a software developer.
We learn by understanding, not by mindlessly following instructions. Get used to learning instead of giving up when you don’t understand something, and you’ll see that seemingly impossible tasks are really just greater opportunities to grow—it’s only a question of how long it takes.
Learning takes practice. Just like any other skill, it needs to be honed. And just like any other practiced skill, it can become a habit. Seize every opportunity you have to learn. Remember: success begets success. Make learning a habit, and not only will your personal growth skyrocket, but your desire to learn will grow as well.
See the full article on Medium.