The first step into computer programming can be undoubtedly daunting. It gets frustrating and overwhelming, and — if you aren’t motivated enough — easy to quit. But first things first, if you have taken the initiative to learn how to code, you are already in the game!
The good news is that despite not being an easy journey, learning how to code is possible. There are loads of free or very affordable resources to help you out. The community of coders is truly helpful. Programmers discuss development techniques, upload tutorials and share code samples and are ready to help everyone aiming at being a developer.
Whether you are a student looking to learn a programming language for your term paper or an adult desiring to switch your occupation, you can learn coding by yourself. Let’s take a closer look at the steps needed for learning a computer programming language.
- What stands behind your desire to code?
- Choosing a programming language
- Check out online courses and coding games
What stands behind your desire to code?
The first and the most important thing for a self-made programmer is to answer the question honestly. Being frank with yourself is vital to move forward successfully. Why do you want to learn a computer programming language? Is it for the money you can earn? Are you planning to build your mobile app? Take your time to find the answer.
Do you need programming to get a promotion, or do you want to be a developer to impress your parents? It could be that you want to mark your new year’s resolution done, or you are a student who needs programming skills to complete their term paper. Whatever the reason, find the real reasons of what you need coding for.
It is crucial to have your reasons straight to be able to identify the programming language that fits best. You will also know how much commitment and resources you need to realize your goal. According to a study conducted, only 10% complete the free online coding courses they enroll while only 30% complete paid tutorials and courses. The higher percentage could be a result of the money spent.
Choosing a programming language
Now that you have your priorities right let’s get to another vital part in your learning journey. Picking out a computer programming language can be hectic, considering that there are hundreds to choose from. It can be confusing, especially if you know nothing about programming.
As we had mentioned, your reason for learning programming will shape your choice of language(s) significantly. If you are learning programming to get a mere promotion, you will require minimum knowledge. A short or part-time Bootcamp will be enough. You can take on a programming language like HTML or CSS. For a learner who has big plans for creating the next big website, you will need to delve deeply into computer programming. A programming language such as C++ or complex languages like algorithms, memory allocation, and data structures will do you a great deal of good.
Whichever programming language you choose to learn, be careful not to wallow in the pool most newbies find themselves find in. Don’t get caught up in choosing a programming language. There is no single computer programming language that is the “best”. It all depends on what you need it for. Looking through job posts may be helpful as you can see what languages are required for particular positions.
At the end of it all, what matters is whether or not you have understood and mastered the codes, design patterns, and control structures you will learn rather than the language. All the languages complement each other in a way or another as they contain similar concepts and elements.
Programmers recommend starting with Python or C+ if you have not decided on a programming language. You can research on the comparison of different languages to see which best fits your likes and needs. Starting with simpler, object-oriented computer programming languages is advisable.
The important thing is to start learning! Once you have established yourself, you can move to another or learn as many as you want. Programming is fun, just like learning any other language.
Check out online courses and coding games
Although some people may buy a coding book, programming is not a story you need to narrate later. Let’s face it: reading or looking at some lines of code will not take your coding skills anywhere. The practice is everything here. Coding can become pure gibberish until you watch practical tutorials, and it all starts to make sense. Interactive coding tutorials can transform coding and make it something you look forward to all day.
There are different tutorials and online courses you can find online. For instance, some are great for beginners. They break down coding to beginner-friendly chunks that are easy to understand. You will also find an exercise you must complete before moving to the next topic. Finally, they force you to go through everything, not just the fun parts.
There are great free options that provide the best open-source content for beginners. There are hundreds of online tech courses out there offering on-demand or scheduled classes with real-time lessons with a teacher. You only need to decide what format fits you best.
For those being scared by the word “learning”, there is a great format called “play to learn”. Yes, you can play and learn at the same time. Coding games allow you to learn programming languages in a fun way. If you have an hour to get all wet and dirty in programming, you should give Hour of Code a try. It only takes an hour but makes you write lots of code. It is also easy to comprehend using games since your mind is excited.
Many online coding schools use Minecraft Educational Edition to teach learners the necessary programming tricks. Looking for a challenge? You should dive into Codingame if punching code blocks is not exciting to you.
When starting your coding path, keep in mind that Rome was not built on a single day. Do not expect to be able to code and create apps in a single lesson or two. Take one step at a time. Practice every day and devote several hours to programming a week. Becoming a coder is all about patience and dedication.