Study Tips for Neurodeviants Learning to Code (2023)

Learning to code is a very personal and individual process: there is certainly no one-size-fits-all strategy because we all have different thinking styles, skills, and experiences.

You may have heard the term "neurodiversity» is used to recognize that people's brains work in different ways. Part of neurodiversity is recognizing that many people “neurodivergente”, a non-medical umbrella term that categorizes certain mental or developmental conditions, such as ADHD, autism, dyslexia and dyspraxia.

About 10-30% ofpopulationthey have neurodivergent characteristics, and these differences can manifest in the way people learn, work, and communicate. When it comes tolearning to program like a neurodeviant personFor example, there are unique traits and challenges that can help or hinder someone's progress.

"Being neurodeviant can mean many different things to different people; there's a huge spectrum," she says.Nathan Whitbread, founder of The Neurodivergent Coach, an organization that helps individuals and companies create neuro-inclusive workplaces. "It really is about the individual." Understand the learning methods they define.yousuccess is a way to embrace your neurodiversity and alleviate some of the pain points you may encounter in your coding journey.

For Mental Health Awareness Month, we share learning tips based on the experiences of people with neurodeviations. This is not an exhaustive list, and what works for one person may not work for another. We hope some of these ideas can be a helpful starting point for people who are struggling or wondering if coding is for them.


Redefine your strategies

We are constantly compiling strategies that help us in our personal and professional lives. For example, you probably have personal tricks you rely on to help you remember to feed your pet, pay for the car, or get to work on time.

The key is finding ways to transfer the tools we have to other situations, says Nathan, who is neurodivergent. If so, what habits or practices do you use in other areas of your life that could be applied to learning to code? “Think about how we can take the gold we already have and reuse it or reuse it in other contexts,” he says. "It won't be exactly the same, but we can use the lessons we've learned before about what works for us."

For example, let's say you always log your workouts in an app or journal so you can remember the types of workouts you do every day and plan your future workouts. See if taking notes on the coding skills you're learning and practicing helps you capture important information and ideas. You can use your notes to reflect on what you've learned and report what you'll learn next, just like you do in the gym.

Or, if you're someone who lives on checklists, perhaps you could make a checklist of coding concepts or lessons you want to cover in one study session and use it to hold yourself accountable. Do you want to know what others are doing?read this blogto get time management tips from other Codecademy students.

Don't try to do it yourself

Having a strong support system can be a guiding light on your coding journey. Look for trusted mentors to encourage and inspire you and who can provide practical guidance along the way. There are plenty of vibrant online communities where you can connect with other aspiring developers, including the Codecademy community spaces specifically. become a memberdiscussionsin our forums,attend a virtual eventwith other students orexplore local Codecademy chaptersIn your area.

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Whether it's your team leader at work or a fellow Codecademy student you metDiscord, having someone who genuinely cares about your progress and holds you accountable can make a world of difference on your path to success. (read this blogfor some specific advice on how to find a technical mentor).

Treat learning as a project

At its core, coding is a project that involves change, development, and testing. It can also help you structure your learning journey like a project, says Nathan. Don't be afraid to play around to find what works best for you and identify habits that aren't serving you, she says. Perhaps that means experimenting with your schedule or weekly learning objective, trying different forms of practice, or changing your workspace to see if it updates your perspective? Be flexible and maintain a growth mindset as you discover the approach that resonates with you.

Get in the groove

A common challenge some people with neurodeviations face when learning a new skill, such as coding, is feeling overwhelmed with information or like they are learning too quickly. "Some neurodeviant people like to delve into a subject," says Nathan. For example, you may go into great detail about a specific area, but you may not have a comprehensive understanding of the topic as a whole.

Attention to detail and focus can be crucial when learning a new skill, or it can be overwhelming. If you want, try segmenting and breaking topics or lessons into bite-size pieces, says Nathan. focusing on oneshort term goal(such as completing a course on a route or submitting a pull request) will help you prepare. Also use other opportunities to practice your skills outside of the classroom, such asworking on a projectocontributing to the papers.

embrace outsourcing

Some people who are neurodeviant may experience a process calledexecutive function. "Executive function" is like your brain's task manager: it's the set of skills responsible for making sure all the different parts of your brain work together so you can get things done.Examples of executive functionsIt can include things like prioritizing tasks, managing time, filtering out distractions, and controlling impulses. A person with poor executive function may have trouble starting and completing projects, following multi-step instructions, or switching tasks.

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Using organizational apps and tools can be a game changer by allowing you to outsource or automate some of these tougher executive tasks. For example, if you tend to lose track of time while you'rein a state-flow encoding, consider setting calendar reminders to take breaks, communicate with your team, or reply to Slack messages. (On the other hand, some people may need to snooze notifications to focus, in which case, there are apps and resources for that.) Make sure you do.check this blogfor more apps that can help you manage work life boundaries.

These are just a few suggestions that you can try incorporating into your coding routine. But he remembers: "You're the expert on your own stuff," says Nathan. For more inspiration and motivation,read these true storiesabout how Codecademy students launched new careers after learning to code.

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How do you remember everything when learning to code? ›

How to Memorize Codes: 6 Tips to Help You Retain What You're Learning
  1. Remember to Implement. ...
  2. Don't Just Watch or Read. ...
  3. Use Online Coding Tools. ...
  4. Developer Tools. ...
  5. Share Your Knowledge. ...
  6. Be Patient & Confident.
Dec 21, 2022

What is the best way to study for a coding class? ›

Use These 7 Tips to Help You Learn Computer Programming Faster
  1. Focus on the Fundamentals. ...
  2. Learn to Ask for Help. ...
  3. Put Your Knowledge into Action. ...
  4. Learn How to Code by Hand. ...
  5. Check out Helpful Online Coding Resources. ...
  6. Know When to Step Away and Take a Break from Code Debugging. ...
  7. Do More Than Just Read Sample Code.

How do you get answers to any coding questions? ›

Here are the top five best communities full of brilliant people who might have the answers you seek:
  1. StackOverflow. StackOverflow has over 100 million users who are serious about improving their coding skills. ...
  2. Quora. Quora hosts informative content that its users create and share. ...
  3. Reddit. ...
  4. StackExchange.

Why is learning to code so hard for me? ›

The unforgiving nature of code is what makes it such a difficult thing to learn. It is also the reason why it is vital to develop a handful of important skills that both limit mistakes made, and enable you to solve and debug errors in order to move forward from those mistakes.

How many hours a day to learn code? ›

We'd recommend somewhere between five and 15 hours per week. If your goal is “learn to code” in a general sense, it can feel overwhelming, and it's almost impossible to know when you've succeeded.

How do you not get distracted when learning to code? ›

What are the best ways to avoid distractions while programming?
  1. Start Each Day with Three Things. Start each day by getting a clear sense of three things that you're going to accomplish during it. ...
  2. Turn off all notifications. ...
  3. Keep your mobile at a distance. ...
  4. Work on easy problems first. ...
  5. Play Music.
Jan 20, 2022

What should I learn first when learning to code? ›

Python. Python is always recommended if you're looking for an easy and even fun programming language to learn first. Rather than having to jump into strict syntax rules, Python reads like English and is simple to understand for someone who's new to programming.

How much do coders make? ›

The national average salary for a computer programmer or coder is $73,473 per year . However, once you specialize in a certain area of coding , you have the potential to earn a higher wage. Salary expectations differ based on your job location and years of experience.

Does learning to code get easier? ›

No, coding is not hard to learn; however, it can initially seem intimidating. When learning anything new, the beginning can be challenging. Coding gets easier over time with patience and persistence. If you're considering learning how to code, it can be easy to focus on the difficulty.

How do you solve coding questions fast? ›

Let's review them here:
  1. Step 1: understand the problem.
  2. Step 2: create a step-by-step plan for how you'll solve it.
  3. Step 3: carry out the plan and write the actual code.
  4. Step 4: look back and possibly refactor your solution if it could be better.
Feb 4, 2021

What is the fastest way to solve coding decoding questions? ›

Arranging the letters in the alphabetical order. Arrangement of letters in the word given in reverse order. Interchanging each pair of the letters, in the given word. Constant addition and then reversal of the letters to form the final word.

How do you master coding questions? ›

How to make progress while studying for coding interviews
  1. Develop a strong foundation. ...
  2. Get more coding experience. ...
  3. Strategically approach each interview question. ...
  4. Consider different possible solutions. ...
  5. Start with the brute force solution. ...
  6. Plan out the full solution before you code. ...
  7. Keep the big picture in mind.
Mar 9, 2018

What is the hardest type of code to learn? ›

Malbolge. This language is so hard that it has to be set aside in its own paragraph. Malbolge is by far the hardest programming language to learn, which can be seen from the fact that it took no less than two years to finish writing the first Malbolge code.

Can the average person learn to code? ›

Almost anyone can learn to code. The challenge is finding the right resources. edX offers bootcamps and free online courses for computer programming, computer science, and a wealth of subfields such as data science, machine learning, and more.

How long does it take to self teach coding? ›

If you go the self-taught route, you may spend between six and 12 months learning to code. If you are concerned about how hard it is to learn coding, you may want to choose a structured program over teaching yourself.

How long does it take to learn to code professionally? ›

The answer is, it depends. If you're coding in your spare time it could take anywhere from six months to two years to get an entry-level tech role. If you treat learning how to code like a full-time job then you can break into the industry in as little as three to eight months.

How much should I code a day as a beginner? ›

It is very hard to estimate how many hours you should code each day. Some people suggest to keep it short and sweet. 15 minutes is good enough. On the other side of the spectrum, I've also heard people got into the development field within a year or so by coding 9 or 10 hours a day.

Why do I feel lazy to code? ›

If you are a programmer who feels sleepy all the time. It may be due to a mental breakdown and not taking care of your body. As developers, we spend our days mostly stressed by our code, meetings, and family. Stress in the workplace can be enormous due to deadlines.

Why can't I focus on programming? ›

The method's primary way of ensuring focus is to take a short break after periods of working. The method first recommends that all tasks must be visualized and recorded, preferably as a to-do list. When getting started on coding, set a timer for 25 minutes and begin working on the task.

What does learning to code do to your brain? ›

Coding activates the brain's learning centers

Since coding tasks require a range of complex skills, the brain adapts to reinforce associations between distinct parts of the brain. Forming these flexible intra-brain connections is a great workout for the brain, strengthening its ability to learn, memorize, and perform.

Do coders code from memory? ›

Most of their code is not memorized. They said googling, looking up stack overflow is a big part of being a developer. What is important is to remember the concept of the code and how it works rather than trying to remember syntax and code itself.

Do you need good memory for coding? ›

Nowadays a good memory is not necessary to code. It comes handy as in any other discipline, but as my philosphy teacher often said: “if you don't have a good memory, make yourself a paper one”. You could code for years without having to write anything from scratch, just adding to something that's already existent.

Does learning to code change your brain? ›

Coding activates the brain's learning centers

Since coding tasks require a range of complex skills, the brain adapts to reinforce associations between distinct parts of the brain. Forming these flexible intra-brain connections is a great workout for the brain, strengthening its ability to learn, memorize, and perform.


1. What Study Gurus Get Wrong About Learning
(Benjamin Keep, PhD, JD)
2. Tips for Successful Homeschooling of Neurodivergent Youth
(Leon County Public Library)
3. ADD/ADHD Intense Relief - Extended, ADHD Focus Music, ADHD Music Therapy, Isochronic Tones
(Jason Lewis - Mind Amend)
4. How I've Learned 8 Languages with ADHD
(Fluent in 3 Months)
5. ADHD and Motivation
(How to ADHD)
6. AUTISM UNIVERSITY | How YOU Can Survive It! (5 HACKS)
(The Aspie World)


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