How to help a beginner (part 1)

When you're a developper, there is a lot of chance that you will, one day, face this question : How should I start programming ? Recently, I got answered this question 3 times and each time I got a little bit confused. Even if you know some things, it's really hard to put yourself in the mind of a beginner when you've been doing this for years. So I figured out that it would be a good idea to write down the experience that I got from this question. I hope it will help me when I will face it again, and maybe will help you too if one day someone asks you the same !

What do you want ?

The first step is to precise what does the person want. Every time I've got the same things : I want to learn python, I want to learn fullstack web dev, I want to learn cybersecurity. And each time, I realise that the person doesn't really know what they want. So first, let's make it clear : what do you want ?

This question includes some others :

By answering these question, the person will help you know :

What do you know ?

The next big step is to dig a little bit into the current skills. What do you know ? stands for :

These questions are crucial to make you aware about your ability to help this person or not. Maybe you have the requiring skills for teaching data science to a person that does not know anything about the subject, and at the same time can't teach someone who already know some things about it. It's really important to be honest with yourself and with the person that you want to teach.

If you have enough skills to teach this person, it's know time for the big question : Where to start ? I'll try to answer this question in the next part of this article, that I will write soon :)

02/03/2024