A novice welder can do a few simple things to make stick welding easier, including making sure the surface is free of scale and dirt, maintaining a standard speed during the weld, and remembering that if he is having trouble seeing, he should adjust his body position, not the angle of the weld. The key to good stick welding is to stay in control of your weld pool or puddle at all times.
The most common problem for novice stick welders is spatter. Spatter can result from a variety of problems, including holding the electrode too far from the surface of the metal being welded or having too high an amperage. Spatter does not necessarily indicate a weak joint, but it does mean something is not functioning optimally, and the welder should check his current settings, adjust the angle he is holding the stick at and consider increasing his speed.
A novice stick welder should remember to carefully watch five things: current setting, length of arc, angle of electrode, manipulation of electrode and speed of travel. Current setting refers to having the correct amperage, neither too high nor too low. Length of arc means that the stick should be close enough to smoothly transfer to the metal without quite touching it. Angle of electrode should generally be less than 15 degrees away from perpendicular to the surface being welded. Manipulation is the actual movement of the electrode, and speed is how fast it's moving the arc across the weld.