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In an increasingly complex digital world, junior students majoring in computer science are finding it challenging to master coding. Despite prior experience in languages such as Java, C++, and MARIE Assembly, concepts like GitHub and industry jargon often prove difficult. Struggles with initial coding problems such as those found on LeetCode amplify their apprehensions about the competitive internship landscape.

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Key Takeaways:

  • Computer Science is a vast, ever-evolving field that necessitates lifelong learning and can invoke self-doubt among learners.
  • Project-based learning and internships significantly enhance coding understanding, complementing theoretical knowledge.
  • Utilizing resources like Codecademy, GitHub, and LeetCode can bolster a beginner coder’s journey, aiding learning and development.

Among those grappling is Brian Taylor, a junior at an esteemed university. Once a passionate gamer,  Taylor now contemplates enrolling in a coding bootcamp, hoping to enhance his resume and skills.

The Inevitability of Knowledge Gaps

The realm of Computer Science is a vast and continuously expanding one, where even seasoned professionals find themselves in perpetual learning mode. According to an experienced developer, feelings of not fully grasping the field’s expanse are not uncommon, even after several years in the profession. In a similar vein, one user cited a professor’s assertion that any expert claiming to grasp more than a minuscule fraction of the discipline is likely overestimating their knowledge. The conversation revolves around the reality of the field’s scope and how it perpetually pushes its practitioners to learn.

“In CS, there is so much to learn that you will always ALWAYS feel behind. Eventually, you do just get in the flow of it though,” revealed a professional developer.

Project-Based Learning

According to multiple users, the key to gaining proficiency in coding is to apply the theoretical knowledge through hands-on projects. However, finding the right project—one that strikes a balance between being challenging enough to foster learning and manageable enough to not incite discouragement—is not an easy task. One prominent suggestion included starting with straightforward projects and incrementally introducing complexity to them. Another user recommended targeting a specific skill or concept to master in each project.

A common recommendation is to create a CRUD (create, read, update, delete) web application. A CRUD app provides a beginner with an all-encompassing experience, combining aspects of a back-end server, a front-end interface, and database management. Moreover, users advised leveraging tutorials to aid the process rather than blindly following them, promoting a deeper understanding of the subject.

“The project itself may be simple, but the practical experience of coding is what you really need. No school can teach you this,” remarked a seasoned coder.

Overcoming Self-Doubt through Continuous Learning

Coding learners of all levels frequently grapple with feelings of self-doubt and imposter syndrome. One user, who began coding in their late twenties, candidly shared their journey from feeling overwhelmed and incompetent to becoming a successful programmer. These shared experiences normalize feelings of inadequacy, painting them as an integral part of the learning process rather than a unique failing.

Another participant likened CS classes to being handed tools without any blueprint, underscoring the importance of hands-on application for real understanding. This sentiment was echoed in the strong advocacy for internships, which provide learners with invaluable real-world experience and the opportunity to apply their theoretical knowledge in a practical setting.

One seasoned developer, with over a decade of experience in the field, reassured that feelings of not knowing enough are universal, even among industry veterans. They urged students to strive for a balance between theoretical knowledge and practical experience and emphasized that the constant desire to learn is a characteristic of successful software engineers.

A confused girl

“You will never feel like you know enough about coding. When I was an intern, the people I looked up to as engineering wizards confessed that they still felt they had a lot to learn, and made many mistakes,” the veteran developer revealed.

10 Essential Resources for Beginners

In the digital era, coding has emerged as an essential skill. For novice coders, navigating the seemingly endless resources can be overwhelming. So, here’s a list of ten indispensable tools and resources that can simplify the learning curve for aspiring programmers.


This platform offers interactive coding lessons in various languages, including Java, Python, and JavaScript. It is ideal for beginners looking to grasp the basics of coding in a user-friendly environment.


More than a version control system, GitHub is a hub for collaboration and code sharing. It’s an excellent resource for learning how others structure their code and a critical tool for team-based projects.

Stack Overflow

A lifeline for many programmers, Stack Overflow is a Q&A platform where you can find solutions to almost every coding problem imaginable. It’s a community where professionals and enthusiasts share their knowledge.


This free online platform offers self-paced coding challenges and projects. It’s perfect for those who learn best by doing, allowing users to apply and test their knowledge.


A must-visit for those preparing for coding interviews, LeetCode offers problem sets to improve coding skills. It also includes a discussion forum to learn different problem-solving approaches.

MDN Web Docs

Maintained by an open community of developers, the Mozilla Developer Network provides detailed documentation and tutorials on web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Sublime Text

A popular text editor among developers, Sublime Text offers a range of features, including syntax highlighting and auto-completion, that make coding more straightforward.


Home to a variety of comprehensive computer science courses from renowned institutions, Coursera enables beginners to dive deeper into specific programming languages or concepts.

Visual Studio Code

An open-source code editor, Visual Studio Code offers features like debugging, syntax highlighting, intelligent code completion, snippets, and code refactoring. It’s highly customizable to suit individual needs.


This online coding editor is perfect for experimenting with front-end development. It provides instant feedback, enabling beginners to learn and understand how HTML, CSS, and JavaScript interact.

The Final Words

Remember, while these tools and resources are valuable, the best way to learn to code is by doing. Theoretical knowledge is crucial, but it’s the practical application that truly cements understanding. As you engage with these resources, don’t shy away from challenging projects. They’re the testing ground where coding concepts come alive.

Read more:

Everyday Employees Automating Work With No Coding Skills Needed

How AI is Redefining the Concept of Computer Programming

Coding for Life: This Month’s Best Coding Tips

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