How to start Coding?

How to start coding

Ask yourself: Why do you want to learn to code?

Your answer can help determine which programming language(s) you should master, as well as what sort of commitment (in time and money) your goal may require. For example, if your dream is to create the next great operating system or a killer alternative to PhotoShop, you would benefit from a formal computer science education that teaches you C++, as well as more complex topics like data structure, algorithms and memory allocation.

Choose the right programming language

Once you figure out why you want to code, you can more easily pinpoint which programming language you should tackle. While there is no single “best” programming language to learn, some languages are more user-friendly than others. HTML and CSS are considered the easiest entry points into the coding world, but they are only really useful for developing basic websites.

For more interactive websites involving payment systems or databases, you’ll need to know Javascript, PHP, SQL, and Python to make all the components sing. Mobile app makers use Swift or C to make iOS apps, and Java or Kotlin for Android apps. Video game developers will turn to Unity, or even C#, to bring their game ideas to life.

Focus on learning computational thinking

Instead of hyper-focusing on learning a specific programming language, you can also learn to problem solve in a way that a computer will understand. In other words, improve your skills at concepts like pattern recognition, algorithms, and abstractions. There’s also lingo, like loops, which are bound to pop up in any language you use. The better you understand these principles, the easier it will be to learn the next language (and design better products or projects as a result).

Get a book

The best way to learn to code may involve you getting up-close-and-personal with some dead trees—a real book that you can follow along from beginning to end. In a perfect world, this will give you a more comprehensive introduction to coding than jumping around from topic to topic on a website.

Check out some interactive tutorials or coding games


Let’s face it: reading lines of code on a screen or in a book can look like gibberish. When you see an example in action, that abstract concept suddenly makes perfect sense. That’s the beauty of interactive coding tutorials you can find around the web.

Practice with personal projects


No matter how many certificates and coding workshops you complete, or how many programming languages you learn, the proof of your coding skills will be in your programming project. While your personal project doesn’t have to be as ambitious as creating the next Google Maps, it should be something you’d want to work on 24/7 to constantly improve and expand its scope.

Google your error messages


This is our best piece of coding advice: If you can’t figure out why your code is broken, you can always look for solutions online. You’re probably not the first person to make your mistake, after all, and someone on the internet has surely already found a solution to your issue. Just “copy and paste” your error message into Google (or your preferred search engine), add a pair of quotation marks around the entire phrase so that you’re not just searching for keywords, then hit “Enter.” Hopefully, this little trick will lead you to the correct answer.

Hack someone else’s code

When you reverse-engineer someone else’s code, testing each line to see how it works, you get a better understanding of the big picture. Thanks to the tons and tons of open-source code that’s out there, you can learn just about anything by examining someone else’s (flawless) work. Just remember to share your code back with the community if inspiration strikes and you improve a part of the program you were fiddling with.

Get a mentor 

 Whether you’re just starting to learn to program for the first time or you’ve been working as a developer for years, having a mentor is one of the most effective ways to continue improving and ensure you’re constantly expanding your skillset. Studies show that learning one-on-one with a teacher can drastically impact your performance and ability to improve.

Check out our one-on-one tech mentorship program.

 

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