Putting your Coding knowledge into Words

Hi there :slightly_smiling_face:

Does any of you ever struggle with explaining the coding concepts you learned? Like, with your own words? Without just reading from the lesson. For me it’s something hard tbh, and really, if you can’t put what you think you know into words, then that knowledge isn’t as solid yet.

I would love it if you had some tips for putting coding knowledge into words…so far the only thing I’ve figured out that has really helped me, is to not be afraid to “sound dumb”. And don’t say words you don’t know the meaning of just because they were in the lesson. So every time I go like “The self keyword refers to the instance, not to the class”, I would ask myself “Yeah and what’s an instance?”. You know, like, pretending you’re having a conversation with someone who knows nothing about coding. That helps me discover if I actually know the things I just assumed I knew because “who wouldn’t know that?”.
Sometimes I’m afraid to ask myself those questions, because I know that I don’t really know the answers, and I don’t wanna feel dumb. So I end up with a non-solid knowledge…but hey! I didn’t feel dumb! :roll_eyes: :woman_facepalming:

Please excuse my redundant rambling :sweat:
(Its not as long as I thought though)


I find using real-world examples and metaphors helps when explaining concepts that are difficult to grasp in the abstract. Often, the concepts are more difficult because you are trying to think of them in the abstract.

If you can find a way to relate the concept to something more familiar and tangible, you will feel more confident in your knowledge, and you won’t be met with a blank stare when you describe it to someone else.


Thanks a bunch for your advice. I will put it into practice :slightly_smiling_face:

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This! I had to explain how the * operator unpacks lists to my little sister.
I used the example:
you have a truck full of packages, and you want to unpack them. You would go one by one unloading the truck (you use * for iterators like lists). So now you have all your packages laid out not stored in the truck.

>>> obj1 obj2 obj3
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Oh man :sweat_smile:
I’m gonna guess she got it in the end, cause honestly that was a great example :smile:

Luckily for me, my little sister (yep I also have a little sister XD) is learning to code with me, so it isn’t that hard to try to communicate coding ideas to her :relieved:
The only con is that I loose my patience easily when someone doesn’t understand what I’m trying to say :no_mouth:


Same. I try not to get angry cuz to me it’s such a simple concept and they’re not getting it.

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I think what you bring up is actually a very important topic for programmers, and that’s communication.
Many times we will need to verbalize programming concepts to people such as businesses and professionals.

Metaphors and careful phrasing can be important in doing this.
Instead of explaining your if, else if, else control flow in detail, you can say something like “I’ve programmed a sequence of checks to compare the input data and display the most relevant result to the user.”

Perhaps this is a topic Codecademy may introduce in the future :man_shrugging:.
I’d certainly be interested in learning more about this. :slightly_smiling_face: