Advantages and Difficulties
Every learning form has its own advantages, and there are always some difficulties that need to be overcome as well. There are different needs to be met if you want to get to know a programming language from the basics, or if you want to prepare for an exam.
In this article, we’ll talk about the advantages and disadvantages of learning programming with private mentorship and online courses. We’ll also touch on the important roles of mentors and learning communities.
Private Programming Tutor
An undeniable advantage of having a tutor is that they can help us advance, guide our learning experience, and we don’t have to rely only on our self-discipline. This means it is not only on our diligence to learn to program—we also have to respect another person’s time and efforts. There is a prearranged schedule to meet online or in person, and most people probably find it easier to learn this way than if they have to find time for it themselves.
There are many ways to learn independently as well, and you don’t need to have social contacts for some of them. For those who need social interactions, having a tutor can be a fantastic choice. Most people choose online education, so they can form social connections but don’t have to be in the same place physically.
Having a tutor can also provide you with a completely customized learning experience, while courses aren’t customized to our personal tastes. A tutor can also notice and make up for some gaps in your knowledge that you might not even notice.
Tutors can go back to the basics if need be, can teach you mathematical and logical skills that are not in the curriculum, and they can help you develop your English skills as well.
Online Programming courses
Things that some people find helpful, others find difficult—in the case of tutoring, it can be difficult for some to adjust to a specific schedule. If someone’s schedule is always changing, private tutoring can be hard to manage. In this case, individual learning can be the solution as it is much more flexible.
If a course is based on continuous feedback, like CodeBerry’s courses, you don’t have to wait for a teacher to give you feedback or wait a whole week for someone to check your home assignments—you get immediate feedback on your skills and progress. With courses in which you can practice your newly learned skills and answer questions about what you learned, you’ll immediately catch on if you misunderstood something, meaning you can learn the correct information.
With an online course, you get a curriculum you can always access, explanations that are always there, while a tutor’s explanations only stay with you if you write them down. During learning, it can be really helpful to go back to a definition and read it again if you forgot it
Naturally, a mentor can help you when you get stuck and give you customized explanations, just like a private tutor. Mentors are more “energy, time and cost-efficient” than a tutor because they only help when you actually need help. You don’t have to work together on materials you can learn alone. If there are some things you already know and understand, you can complete them independently, fast. A mentor is a teacher you can call whenever you need them, but they won’t stand over your shoulder during the whole learning process.
On advanced levels, where you need to complete complex individual tasks or create projects, mentors can check your work, help you improve with their suggestions, and recommend changes that you might find helpful.
Online Learning Community
Having an online learning community like at CodeBerry’s courses can give you the motivation to get through the harder tasks with your fellow students and can also give you support and encouragement.
Beyond community cohesion, a very important benefit of communicating with fellow students is the opportunity to learn from each other. You can learn from the questions asked and answered by others, but you can also answer your fellow students’ questions. The latter is important because we need to organize our thoughts when we try to explain things, so we can deepen our knowledge by helping others.
What About Prices?
Different learning forms have different advantages, but how much do we need to spend to get these advantages? Independent progress doesn’t cost that much, and we collected some awesome tips for you in our article titled 4+1 simple ways to learn programming for free.
If you want to learn with a private tutor, you have to spend a bit more. Hourly rates start from 10-12 dollars, but the average is $20 per hour. However, there are even pricier options as well. For some tutors, you have to pay $40 for 60 minutes.
Programming courses offer you other financial constructs so their prices differ significantly. An hour can cost anywhere between $5 and $12, but there are courses that are more costly.
At CodeBerry, an hour costs less than $4 if we are counting 5 hours per week for our three-month courses.
Where Can We Find Private Tutors?
Facebook seems to be an obvious choice, we can ask our friends to introduce the mysteries of programming to us. There are also groups on Facebook, where you can search for private tutors:
There are also websites with private tutoring ads—we just have to type “programming” into a search engine, and we can look at everything on offer. Here are the best ones:
Programming With Private Tutors or Programming Courses? Which is More Effective?
In order to answer this, we have to know our own learning style and think through our situation. If we want to prepare for an exam or a job interview, or if we want to get answers to specific questions, a private tutor might be the better choice.
If you want to learn a new programming language or the basics of programming through practice, a course can also be a great choice.
However, we don’t have to worry about the effectiveness of online courses that require individual learning over on-site courses if we have some self-discipline and can concentrate on our tasks to progress.
If you get properly created, easy to follow learning materials, you won’t be less effective learning at home than on-site, and this has been proven by a scientific study as well. In the experiment, a group learned Java programming in a traditional classroom environment, while another group learned with the help of tutorial videos with screen recordings of the programming interface combined with short explanations. The group that learned individually did better during the experiment than the group that learned on-site.
How Much Are My Programming Skills Worth if I Didn’t Get Them at a University?
If we look at the trends of today, we can answer the question above with the following: they are worth more and more. There are many programming job offers that don’t need an engineering degree. Most of the time, it is enough for you to do well during tasks in the entrance exam and having convincing references. Where you got your programming skills is not as important.
We can learn programming with courses, bootcamps, or even individually. If our knowledge is sound and we have enough experience, we have a good chance when applying for most any job.
According to the statistics of the programming forums at Stack Overflow, almost 30% of programmers don’t have a university degree. Another interesting fact is that those with a degree don’t always get their diploma in IT areas: almost 40% have a degree in other fields.
One motto of today is lifelong learning. It is not an empty phrase, but a crucial feature of programmers. Nothing represents this more than the diagram above that shows convincing data about the popularity and success of individual learning.
86,8% of people learned a programming language, framework, or tool by themselves. 60,1% of them took online courses in programming or software development.
If you want to try the opportunities given by amazing online learning materials, student communities and mentors, choose CodeBerry’s courses and be part of our learning group!
If you need more tricks or advice, check out the following articles too – in these, we are writing about our own experiences and ideas that might help you to get really good chances at a job interview or earn some more additional skills to improve your programming knowledge!
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