How To Make Programming Interesting | 3 Things To Keep In Mind

Written By: Grant Darling
March 7, 2022

If you’re struggling to figure out how to make programming interesting, you’re not alone. Back when I was taking computer science courses at my University, I found it very hard to stay focused and interested in my work.

It wasn’t until I eventually dropped my comp sci courses and started to self-teach myself how to code that I finally fell in love with the craft. Although it was a long and complex road to becoming the programmer I am today. I found out that there are a few key ways that you need to reframe programming in order to really enjoy it and find it interesting.

That’s why today, I want to break down the 3 ways you can make programming more interesting. Hopefully helping you fall in love with the art and get you job-ready faster!

Also, if you want to check out the characteristics you should have to be a good programmer, you can check it out here.

Three Ways To Make Programming Interesting

1. The More You Know The More Fun It Becomes

This first point is really just a way to see the light at the end of the tunnel. When you first start learning how to code, it isn’t going to be fun. At least not for the majority of the time.

Hopefully, you get some enjoyment from solving the various simple problems you will come across. Such as finding a way to sort an array of unordered numbers. However, your skillset will make it impossible to build any type of interesting software and even the simplest of tasks will be frustrating challenges.

I remember the days that setting up and running code in my IDE was a challenge. Not to mention actually writing code!

As you progress as a developer, these challenges become less and less frustrating. You will eventually build the confidence to code up anything you could possibly imagine. Each time you plan a new coding project you’ll find it increasingly easier and you will become noticeably better. Programming eventually becomes an extension of your thoughts and abilities and that is when programming becomes incredibly interesting and powerful.

You start seeing things a different way, you stop fighting the language to do what you want, and you have the creative freedom to build whatever you want. Not to mention getting paid to do it!

Once I started building my own projects, like an online chat app, algorithm visualizer, and blog, I started really falling in love with coding. It is quite literally like building a work of art.

Just for fun, here’s one of the first real coding projects I finished and made myself. It’s a basic chat app with socket.io.

Hush Chat App Example
https://hush-chat-app.herokuapp.com/

*If the gif doesn’t load, you can click the image to load in a new window.

So before you give up on programming forever and decide it is not interesting, remember that the more you know the more fun and less difficult programming becomes.

2. Make Coding A Hobby

I actually wrote an entire article about the benefits of making coding a hobby. Among the top of those reasons is that you will continuously learn and grow as a developer researching and building projects in avenues you’re passionate about.

The learning process in school can be incredibly boring. Mainly because the focus is on teaching you the basics of programming in a generic way that all students might find interesting. Not what you personally find interesting.

What made programming interesting to me was learning about the things that interested me in the field of programming. One of my first projects was to build a basic pong game to understand the basic physics used in 2D video games.

Here’s a quick video of how it looks.

Pong Game Example
Pong.py

*If the gif doesn’t load, you can click the image to load in a new window.

After that, I spent some time figuring out logic gates and how programming works from the ground up in this course.

When I felt like I had a good base understanding of programming, I used my knowledge to build 3D graphics on the web with three.js

threejs example

These projects really just scratch the surface of what I had built and done with my programming knowledge.

The important thing to note here is that programming is only interesting if you follow the paths you want to learn more about and create from. If you only learn to program in school, you probably will never find programming to be as interesting as it could be. Your job is to really ask yourself what you find interesting and how coding can help you build it.

Whether that is creating a blog like this one to help others, building crazy visuals with code, or learning how code is built from ones and zeros to higher-level languages.

Programming is a huge domain, finding the parts of it that interest you is the only way you can make coding interesting.

3. Reach And Maintain A State of Flow

Finally, if you want to find programming fun and interesting, you need to reach a state of flow when you’re coding.

Programming is a lot like playing a video game. It’s easy to lose track of time and if you know how to do it, it is very possible to get into a state of flow while programming. Where time will pass by quickly and you will feel excited and enjoyment from what you’re doing, similar to playing video games.

The problem is that most people will either challenge themselves too much, building a project they are not ready for. Alternatively, they will not challenge themselves enough and barely learn anything. If you can pick and choose your projects to be the right level of difficulty I promise, programming will begin to be a lot more interesting.

There have been times I was so invested in a coding project that I forgot to eat and spent the whole day coding. It reminded me of being a kid and being too excited to play a video game to do anything else.

Summary

So that’s really it! How to make coding interesting really just depends on three things. The first is building up the skills to create cooler and more interesting projects. If you don’t invest the time to have the skillset, it’s going to be difficult to find programming interesting.

The second is to build projects you are passionate about. Don’t just code at school or at work. You may have some creative freedom in your courses or job. However, you are robbing yourself of learning about the things you really find interesting. Who knows, it might also help you find a new career path!

Finally, try to find projects with the right level of difficulty. If you build projects that are challenging but fun, I guarantee you that you will start looking at programming much differently and enjoy it a lot more.

If you’re a new programmer and don’t know where to start, check out these free resources for web development.

Trying to find some ideas for projects you’d like to build? This is a good place to start.

As always, happy coding!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.