Computers have come a long way from simple word processing and spreadsheet features to supercomputers handling millions of daily transactions. Computers can do anything, but only if programmers instruct them.
If you observe, technology’s function has shifted dramatically in the previous 20 years or so. Computers have slowly but steadily infiltrated practically every aspect of our life, from what we buy to how we get about, how we work, and where we eat after we clock out. It is the most crucial reason to start learning to code.
A beginner may think that coding is an elite skill that only specific experts possess. However, it is simply wrong! If you learn reliably, you can be the expert coder too.
You may spend a few months to the rest of your life learning, depending on what you want to learn and how deep you want to go, but everyone starts with the basics. That’s why, in this manual, we’ll break down everything you need to know to begin writing code.
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Why should you learn to code?
Before starting to learn anything, first, you must know why you should learn that or why you want to learn that. The answer you get from this question will act as the fuel to your goal in every step.
It will assist you in deciding which language to study first, the types of projects you want to finish, and what you want to do with your skills in the end. Here are some of the reasons and their benefits:
Helps to build professional skills:
Coding abilities will become more in demand as technology becomes more integrated into our daily lives. Knowing at least one relevant programming language is a prerequisite if you want to make a career pivot into tech or transition to a more technical role within your sector. It doesn’t only apply to web developers but also to any position in the tech field.
Even if you aren’t applying for a strictly technical position, coding experience demonstrates computer knowledge and the ability to grasp abstract concepts and solve complex problems.
Finally, knowing how to code allows you to work as a freelancer and possibly seek a freelancing profession. You’ll have more influence over your career and the projects you accept if you take this route.
You can bring your ideas to life:
The power to bring your ideas to reality is one of the most exciting aspects of learning to code. Do you have an idea for a website, an app, web app development or anything? You may now customize it to your liking and share it with the rest of the world. You’ll have the knowledge and tools you need to commercialize your project, share it on an open-source platform, or simply develop stuff as a hobby.
More knowledge about the technological world:
As I previously stated, technology grows and evolves year after year. Even learning the fundamentals of computer programming can help you comprehend the components of the rapidly changing digital ecosystem, such as the internet, which you almost certainly use every day. You’ll acquire a whole new perspective on the technology in your life, as well as a greater understanding of how they all work together.
Learning to code is a gratifying and pleasurable process. After you’ve mastered the fundamentals and begin working on your unique projects, the process will feel less like studying and more like fun.
Skills a programmer should have
- Writing clean and efficient code.
- Ability to find errors.
- Fixing bugs.
- Problem-solving ability
- Testing applications
- Good communication and listening skills
- Co-operation with team
How to start coding?
The goal of programming is to solve problems. Yes, learning a language takes time, but there are tools available for any learning method, regardless of age or technological skills. Below are some of the guides to lead your path:
Focus on Computer Basics:
To become a skilled coder, it is usually recommended to strengthen your fundamentals. Learn programming fundamentals entirely before attempting to decipher the code by creating and solving your challenges. To begin studying, focus on the following subjects, as they are found in practically all languages:
- Data Types
- Array or Lists
- If Statements
- Conditional Loops
- Classes and Objects
- Exceptions Handling
- Trees, Maps, and More.
Take online courses:
It is no longer necessary to learn code in a classroom setting. Many online programming courses are available now that cover anything from basic HTML to complicated algorithms. Your first course should cover the language fundamentals and include interactive modules and assignments to help you progress. Courses give learning structure, which is vital because computer science topics build on each other. A planned course makes everything easier to understand and guarantees that you learn things in the proper order.
Watch video tutorials:
Watch YouTube videos! While online courses are the most significant way to get hands-on experience, internet videos can help you to start coding complement your learning and keep your mind occupied.
Coding is more complicated than it appears, and there is a significant difference between excellent and terrible code. You won’t be able to tell the difference unless you’ve seen good code. Authors are frequently excellent programmers themselves, and they have written a book on their experiences. So, it will help you a lot if you read books on coding. Reading books also allows you to learn from experiences, which will be helpful too and it will solve your problem of how to start coding.
Build your project:
The most excellent method to study and learn what you’ve learned is to create your unique project. Building a project of your choice would provide you with an extensive learning experience. Furthermore, when you complete your projects, add them to your profile or GitHub account; this will assist you in the future when looking for a programming job. Here are some guides to choose a project:
Choose what interests you:
You must do what interests you the most, whether studying or coding. You must appreciate the project area you select to be enthusiastic about and remain engaged until completed. If you choose something that does not interest you, you may find yourself abandoning the project in the middle because you lack interest. So find something that will keep you occupied, such as developing a video game of your choice if you enjoy playing games.
Start with something simple:
It’s fine to be confident in your talents, but being overconfident isn’t. As a result, it is recommended that you start with modest and straightforward projects to better understand the language before moving on to more sophisticated ones. For instance, tic-tac-toe or a to-do list.
Build valuable something:
Be creative and create something beneficial to you and attractive to the community. Creating something of community interest would allow you to get a lot of downloads or viewers for your project. This, in turn, would give you something to show off and give you an advantage over other job seekers.
Discuss with other programmers:
People most certainly know something you don’t and can teach you. So, it is imperative to talk with other programmers who have a different coding style. Some programmers Favour object-oriented programming, while others prefer functional programming or a hybrid of the two. Each party can identify numerous advantages to their chosen approach and justify why they chose it. OOP has a lot of beautiful ideas, while Functional programming is based on ideas that can make even OOP design more resilient and readable. The ability to listen to others and defend one’s own opinions are precious talents. So, discuss to gain some knowledge and also give some.
Read others’ codes:
If reading books and blogs help you become a better programmer, reading code will benefit you even more. Analyze the code of open-source projects, your mate’s code, your existing proprietary code, and the code from the Java SDK to see their functions. Find patterns, enhance navigation skills, and practice. You will later develop an excellent code sense, which will notify you when you make a mistake and assist you in detecting others’ errors and gaps. It is general for coders to overlook the errors even after checking them thoroughly. However, this code sense will help you frequently look at the mistakes, making you a better programmer.
Read and learn daily:
The most progressive area of the modern world is technology. Our knowledge deteriorates, necessitating the acquisition of new skills. As developers, we must learn every day. It is necessary to keep at least a basic understanding of the IT world regarding hardware, server technology, cloud, programming languages, frameworks, testing tools, etc. You can quickly learn and be updated through YouTube or other paid courses. Learning is an essential aspect of human development and growth, so read daily.
As said, “Practice makes a person perfect.” Coding is a skill set like any other. Thus, writing a lot of code is the most significant way to progress professionally. You can showcase your projects online and then have other developers criticize them and offer suggestions to improve them. Then, put up an impressive portfolio of your best projects that will help you enhance your profile. You can also participate in hackathons or a programming mentorship program to improve your abilities.
Participate in Tech Forums and share knowledge:
Giving something back to the community from where you learned is a positive thing to do. When you gain more expertise and information, it may be beneficial to share some of it. We honed our skills by learning from others’ experiences, so we must give back after gaining some experience. Teaching allows us to not only expand our knowledge but also to communicate it better. Writing articles or making short instructive films are excellent ways to share knowledge and learn with others.
Tips for Beginners
Understand your goal:
Defining your one big goal is the first step toward accomplishing it, just as recognizing “why” is the first step in any trip. It would be best to picture your plan after you have defined it. Take a deep breath and visualize yourself achieving your goal. Consider how you’d feel if you were in that situation. Take a peek at the final product. Visualization may appear foolish at first, but research has shown that simply seeing oneself practicing a skill can help you better it.
Have a clear plan and vision:
Your coding path is similar to any newbie. You’ll be well on your way to a seamless coding adventure if you have a clear plan. If you want to get to your destination, you’ll need a well-thought-out strategy. It’s not enough to know which programming languages to learn, and you must also know which exact aspects to study and when they should be retained.
Break down goals into smaller plans:
When it comes to goals, it’s essential to keep two things in mind. There are two types of time frames: long term and short term. While the long-term objective will initially encourage you, modest victories will keep your spirits up in the long run. That is why it is critical to break down significant long-term goals into smaller short-term objectives.
Code something valuable:
Learning arbitrary coding ideas might get tedious after a while. Think of all the things you’ve always wanted to make to keep your inspiration up. Then put your newly acquired coding abilities to work to make them a reality. Just remember to start with the most basic version possible, and you can work your way up.
Remember, coding is fun:
Don’t let your enthusiasm for coding devolve into a bitter practice. Take a step back and shake things up if you get stuck somewhere or feel caught in a loop, and then look at it when you’re feeling better. The ability of your subconscious mind to solve problems in the background will astound you.
What to do if you are stuck?
Not only a beginner but even an advanced coder gets stuck on their way. So, if you get stuck somewhere, do not get tense. Instead, follow these steps:
Learn to find answers for your errors in Google:
This is a crucial stage that you should master. Searching for and identifying the mistake in your code will help you fix it in a matter of minutes. However, if you aren’t skilled in this area, it will be like looking for a needle in a haystack. So, I would recommend that before searching on Google, enclose the error message created by your compiler in double-quotes (” “). It would allow Google to target the error as the same sentence, resulting in a far more accurate filtered result.
Visit popular websites:
Stack-Overflow and Reddit are at the top of the list for assisting developers worldwide with their code. It’s a full-fledged community of developers from various fortes who join to help one another with their projects. Posting your questions here may take up to two weeks to receive a response. Still, it is worthwhile, even though you may have found the solution to your problem because many others have experienced the same problem. It will also encourage you to answer questions to assist others and learn in the process.
Attend Events and Meetups:
This stage may be challenging to begin with because it takes you to move outside of your comfort zone, but trust me, once you get started, you will enjoy it. So, start by identifying people who share your interests and getting to know or working with them. You might look for “coding events” on Facebook’s event page or go to meetup.com and connect with folks who are interested in learning more.
Languages to learn
Coding necessitates familiarity with at least one coding language, a set of rules and grammar that computers can understand. There are hundreds of coding languages, each with its purpose and capabilities. However, specific languages are more accessible to learn than others, and these are the best to start with because they are the quickest approach to master programming concepts.
Below are some of the fundamental languages that you should learn:
Python is a robust and adaptable programming language for web development and data research. It’s an open-source programming language that’s simple to pick up, use, and implement. Because it is primarily used to construct scalable web pages and applications, it is regarded as one of the finest learning languages. Python is also used to create libraries and frameworks utilized in Machine Learning. So, if you want to learn machine learning, Python is the way to go.
Java is a platform-independent multipurpose language used for programming. It’s a general-purpose, object-oriented programming language that can create Android, desktop, and online applications. For decades, it has been a popular choice of language in numerous organizations, and most businesses have adopted it because of its consistency. It is one of the most important languages to learn for Web development in 2022.
You may be thinking how to start coding C, this guide will help you. C is a middle-level language, whereas C++ is a high-level language. It’s a popular, straightforward, and adaptable structured programming language. It is extensively used and machine-independent, making it so popular and ideal. On the other hand, C++ is speedy and stable. It includes libraries for data structures, arithmetic operations, and algorithms ready to use.
HTML & CSS:
HTML, or Hypertext Markup Language, is the internet’s foundation; it’s used to define the content of web pages. When you visit a website, you are usually presented with an HTML document that your browser has rendered.
If you’re not sure if coding is for you, HTML is the most straightforward language to try out. HTML isn’t a programming language in the usual sense; it doesn’t run scripts or allow you to write programs. HTML is, however, used throughout the internet; therefore, if you want to grasp the internet, you’ll need first to learn HTML.
CSS isn’t a programming language, either, and it’s a collection of guidelines for using HTML. I recommend knowing both HTML and CSS because they are virtually always used together. Otherwise, your web pages will appear uninteresting.
Because HTML and CSS do not require you to think through the computational logic of programming languages, they are simple to learn.
As a programmer, learning more languages is a must. The same problems are solved differently in different languages, and they will considerably improve your problem-solving abilities if you know them. Every programmer aspires to enhance their programming skills, but not everyone succeeds.
- To the best of your ability, complete your assignment.
- Study, learn, and practice.
- Take others’ feedback.
- Check your code thoroughly.
- Gather information and learn something new.
- Select your style.
Everything has already been taken over by technology, and technical roles will soon be incorporated in every job opening. So, you must start prepping for it now. I hope you have liked this guidebook for how to start coding for beginners and enjoyed this article. Also, check other blogs that will help you adapt your programming skill for your reference.