· 2 min read

How I learned basics of programming.


The following is a beginner-focused essay.

I was a dumb programmer for the most part. I knew syntax and understood solutions to problems but could not solve them myself.

The speed of my progress was slow because there was no need for me to code well. My academic assignments were relatively easy.


For my first programming language (C), I watched YouTube while writing all syntaxes by hand. The video taught me the importance of indentations.

Algorithm and Competitions

I had to prepare for a job interview and coding competitions. So I started practising on HackerRank.

Book: Think Like A Programmer

I knew syntax pretty well but could not write code myself. I always needed a tutorial.

I came across a YouTube series and book of the same name: Think Like A Programmer.

I watched all the videos, read books and tried applying them. I was not good initially thought I had learned some ways to estimate what end program would look.

My thoughts were getting structured.

Book: Automate the Boring Stuff with Python

I knew beginner level Java. I wanted to automate some parts of my computer but found it very difficult to do.

I had learned the syntax of Ruby. Ruby was huge at that time.

I have hesitated to learn Python. I did not want to revisit the same things with different syntax. But the Automate The Boring Stuff book was compelling.

I started reading the book and would often read and try out cheatsheets. I even had cheat sheets printed out.

Python reduced the complexity of development. I was able to focus less on syntax and more on what the code does.

Book: Cracking the Coding Interview

I was getting better. This book improved it further.

I did not solve all the problems. I had read through the theory.


I build all my academic projects myself without asking for help. That helped me a lot.

I was trying to build things for myself. Like

  • a python script that would automatically empty desktop.
  • A python selenium script that would log in to Facebook and wish Happy Birthday to people.
  • A script to download Anime.

It took around four years. I wasted the first three years and got focused on the last one.

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