If your Google search results redirected you to this article, it means you are considering making the first steps in programming. There’s a known saying everyone is using here and there, but it applies to your pursuit more than ever – A good beginning is half of success. Hopefully, with our guide, your start will be more than just a good one.
So, you won’t find a person who will deny that the speed at which modern technologies are developing is out of this world. We witnessed a boom long before 2019, but with the rise of the pandemic, technologies started developing by leaps and bounds. With some fundamental fields in the field of technology, employment opportunities are way more attractive. But what to start with? Let’s outline your main steps.
Step 1: Choosing a programming language
The diversity of programming languages and trends is remarkable. Once you’ve decided to join the tech industry, your first question should circle around what programming language to choose and how to start coding. Start with the language choice.
Sorry to disappoint you, but there is no single best coding language or its framework. Some of them are client-focused, while others operate on the server side only. While some languages help to develop web applications, others offer technologies and methodologies to develop a native or cross-platform mobile application. What is an entry point? Check surveys regularly conducted by Stack Overflow, a community-based environment where you can find answers to and contribute your own assistance to technical challenges.
Their regular surveys and reports will allow you to focus on the industry trends throughout the years and decide whether you should go with Python or Ruby for backend development or choose C and C++.
Step 2: Choosing Tools and Software
Having the right equipment is a must. The right tools, computing power, and software are a necessity. Buy the latest version of the device and check if the model is set to be updated regularly.
Remember about text editors that have evolved into must-haves of the coder’s space. All editors are able to handle plain text files. Test and try more than one to discover a preferable tool. Download a code editor that operateі as a word processor with features like built-in debuggers and more.
Step 3: Joining Communities
These are the places to learn coding from real-life examples, expert answers, and professional recommendations. Such spaces are for those who have already mastered the basics and are now willing to concentrate on details. One of the communities is GitHub, where users can join multiple discussions and thus carry on their educational journey.
Some really good communities are:
- Stack Overflow: The list of problems covered and discussed there is so long that whenever you have an issue, be sure there was someone who has already faced it, discussed it, solved it, and even shared a solution.
- Hackathons: They are events focused on bringing tech people together for program creation. Duration is typically a weekend time.
- Reddit’s Learn Programming: An online space that combines anything and everything you need to master a coding language.
Step 4: Don’t Allow Reading Exclude Practicing
Reading about a programming language is great, coding in it is better. Any beginner’s failure is looking at code samples and reading books without writing a single line of their own code to practice. Experts agree that it’s a must-do to get your hands dirty in coding through regular practice sessions rather than reading about variables, databases, loops, and bugs.
Writing a code is not only pressing the laptop buttons. It’s about changing, erasing, optimizing, improving, and trying something new on a daily basis. Moreover, it’s a must to participate in coding-related games and challenges for a change. At times, when extra help is needed, and you need to have your lines checked by a specialist, you can always make use of a programming homework service.
Step 5: Learning with YouTube
Anything and everything can be found on YouTube. Coding lessons and techniques are no exception. There are entertaining tutorials that put 300 pages of a book in a 10-minute video and leave more time for practicing.
In case you are looking for a couple of good channels to start with, these are the suggestions to consider:
- The Coding Train: This is actually a show for those who chose backend development and are considering Python as their programming language. The show highlights coding in action by creating simple software in under a 10-minute time frame. However, the recommendation here is to watch the videos after mastering at least basic coding jargon.
- Crash Code Computer Science: This is a series teaching future programmers about how the hardware and OS work. Short informative episodes provide understandable material about how machines and lines of code communicate in an effective way.
Step 6: Joining Podcasts
You are totally wrong if you think they are only podcasts for movie or book fans, those about history or politics. The post-covid era is generous enough to offer podcasts on anything, including coding.
Any podcast is a perfect way not to interrupt your self-education whenever you are traveling. It’s true that an audio format will not be helpful in mastering the syntax of Swift or SQL, but they’ll introduce you to theory.
These are the three podcasts you can pay your attention to:
- Learn to Code: A series of interesting interviews to help people learn how to code. The interviewer is a learner herself, so you can learn alongside.
- CodeNewbie: The podcast showcases people who entered the IT field, the reasons behind their choices, and the progress they made.
- Coding Blocks: Programmers gather together on a regular basis and have a theoretical discussion about how to code.
Step 7: Starting Your Own Project
Always learn by doing. Remember your time practicing? Back then you were testing your skills and understanding in standalone lines of code. Now, the sense of success has to drive you to the next step – outlining the goals of your own project.
Will it be a web application? Will it have dropdown menus and interactive buttons? Will there be inbuilt forms and videos? Are you building a game with enhanced playability? Or are you developing a mobile app to unite people of different nationalities?
And it doesn’t matter whether you are planning to build it with Matlab or R, JS or HTML/CSS, don’t intend to end it up very quickly, think over every detail, become a sharp editor, and do not get frustrated when not everything works the way you want. It will, eventually.
Step 8: Commenting
Write comments to give an explanation within the lines of code, but make sure these comments do not interfere with the software. Comments are a must-have to describe the choice of algorithms so that users can figure out the mechanisms in their core.
If you Google about the commenting section and how developers talk about it, you’ll run across various opinions. Some see comments as a useful part describing different software parts. Others see comments as something that disrupts integrity and even distracts.