The demand for skilled programmers is on the rise and maybe you’ve decided to take the plunge and learn to code. Whether it’s to pursue new job opportunities or just for fun, learning to code can be frustrating at times. If you have been feeling overwhelmed by code recently, here are some tips to help you keep calm and stay on track.

Focus on Learning Concepts You Enjoy

Learning to code is an endless process. There is always a new language to learn, or room to improve on the ones you already know. It is easy to become overwhelmed by the constant influx of information. To avoid this, try focusing on the concepts and technologies that you enjoy learning. Being passionate about your work is the key to staying focused. If you are not motivated to work on your project, it can quickly feel like a chore. The reality is that as a web developer you may have to work on projects that don’t always entertain you. Having one lined up for later that you know you will enjoy can give you the motivation to work through the other projects you need to get done first.

Take Breaks

Working on a project for hours on end can be exhausting. A simple solution is to take a break. Often you might find yourself thinking if you could just get a little more done that you will be better off. However, studies show that even taking a 15 to 20 minute break will help you stay concentrated and keep you energy levels up. It is important to give your brain a rest, especially if you’re frustrated with your learning.  Have a coffee and come back with a clear head; this can make you more productive. Do not make the mistake of thinking that the longer you work without stopping, the more you will get done.

Ask For Advice

The reality always is that someone else out there probably knows more than you do. Sometimes you need to let someone else take a look at your work, but always try to figure it out yourself.  A good rule of thumb is to try to find an answer for 15-20 minutes, then ask for advice from others. A fresh set of eyes may be what you need to solve that nagging problem that has been the source of overwhelment.

Make a Plan

The process of planning can make or break a project. It is always good to have an idea of what you are going to do when you begin coding, but plans can always change. When you find yourself overwhelmed by coding take a look at your old plan and modify it, or make a new one. Having your next step on paper can help keep you focused.

Clean Up Your Working Environment

After working for a while on programming you accumulate a lot of open tabs, open files, and a huge amount of code. It can help to clean up your working environment to eliminate distractions. Close windows, tabs and files you don’t need anymore. Mercilessly delete commented code. Start a brand new file for your current task. Get rid of the cruft so you can focus on what you are learning right now.

Use Virtual Mentors

If you find yourself stuck and Google or a colleague cannot answer your question, try seeking  virtual mentors. Find authors and developers on the web who you really like and read everything they write. Subscribe to their blogs. They may be able to help you when no one else can, and you may learn some useful tips and tricks along the way.

Remind Yourself Why You’re Learning to Code

What was your motivation for learning to code? Sometimes you need to take a step back from the project that you are working on to remind yourself why you were interested in learning to code in the first place. At the beginning it might seem frustrating and overwhelming, but nothing can beat the feeling of solving a problem. Focus on what you love about coding to get through overwhelming times.

Remember that you are continuously learning when coding. You might make mistakes or run into problems that seem unsolvable, but do not let this discourage or overwhelm you. This is all a part of the process.

Image Source 1, 2