Three steps to rapid coding success

There are three things you can do make your learning journey easier: join a support group, create a support group, and find a mentor. But these don't need to all be different things. There's quite a bit of overlap and misunderstanding in these subjects.

Join a support group

First, join a support group. It can be a Facebook group, LinkedIn group, or dare I say a spammy WhatsApp group (though I advise against these as it gives away your personal phone number).

I have a group you can join called Learning to Code on Facebook it has over 50,000 members! Anything you want to learn you can find in there.

But there are other more specific groups around Python, Git, JavaScript, etc. Whatever you're learning, make sure you join a community that's learning with you where you can ask questions.

But more importantly... you want to join a group that's active so you can read other peoples questions. Learn with other people. When someone asks a question you don't immediately know the answer too, do a little research to figure out the answer and come back with the answer — be the hero the group needs, not just a silent participant.

Make a support group

Don't create a support group the size of Learning to Code! Create a SMALL group of 4-5 people. Have a private Slack channel, or WhatsApp group, or Messenger chat. Just the 4 or 5 of you, nobody else.

The idea here is about learning while other people learn. If you are learning Vue.js, and someone else is learning React.js, when you have to cross frameworks you can ask someone in your support group about it. And vice-versa.

This means you don't have to learn everything, you just need to know who to ask questions. And these people in your small group can act as mentors in areas that you're not familiar.

Find a mentor

If possible, and it's not always possible, but if you're able to: find a mentor. A dedicated mentor.

You will not likely find a good mentor for free, however. So my suggestion is to find a mentor at your day job. And if your company doesn't do "mentoring", do pair programming sessions with someone more senior than you. You'll learn more in an hour of pair programming than you will when you struggle on your own for 8 hours.

A good mentor will challenge you, challenge your thinking, and push you to do more. They may not be nice about it, but they'll keep you focused.

But remember: you don't NEED a mentor. I taught myself web development starting in 1999 and there were no mentors around for me to learn from. There were no groups. There were almost no tutorial websites. I had to learn everything on my own — I'm walking/living proof it can be done. Don't try to use "I need a mentor" or "I need a support group" as excuses.

If you're looking for a mentor, I would suggest keeping an eye on my latest bootcamp called — I offer mentoring, coaching, and fullstack web development education, along with several other things like how to find a job.