How to Code for Beginners
If you’re reading this, chances are you are new to programming. In this lesson, you’ll master creating a road map for your programming journey, and further, understand how to learn coding online.
How programming is different from coding?
Before we advance further its good to know the key difference between these two.
We all know computers understand binary (combinations of one’s and zero’s). Which is far away from human understanding. So we use a human-readable set of instructions to make machines understand what do we actually mean. Hence, “programming” is referred to as developing a computer program that achieves a certain desired output. It can involve various steps like building an algorithm, optimization of solution and choosing a programming language to execute the algorithm.
Coding boils down to a simple set of instructions that are fed to a machine in a particular language e.g. Java, C# or Python. Programming languages following language protocols are interpreted by the machine to produce machine code. The machine runs this code to generate certain output. Hence, coding is the act of writing commands in computer understandable languages.
How to carve a road-map to begin coding?
By far you’re familiar with programming and coding. Let’s take a deep dive into how to get started!
Define a clear “objective”
Before you begin, you need to be well researched on what skills are in demand and what aligns with your interest. It’s highly emphasized that your goals should reflect your interests or what appeals to you the most. If you’re embarking on this journey under the influence of someone else and don’t know if you like it or not, maybe you should think twice. This highly valuable skill of coding requires months and sometimes years of learning and practice. If you have a clear objective to achieve for example to build something of your own, acquire a certain designation or launch your website it’s highly likely that you will achieve that too. But the absence of your career path can lead you nowhere.
Pick your power tool (the right programming language)
Choosing the right programming language can majorly impact your learning curve. Professionals suggest to start with learning Java, C++ or Python because they are comprehensive and provide complete documented support. Once you achieve professional-level skill, the language won’t bother you anymore. It will be like driving some other car where basics remain the same. You might have some issues while shifting from a manual to an automatic car. But we can’t say you don’t know how to drive. So the core of programming is to be good at problem-solving and generating optimized algorithms. You can pick any language to learn next once you master one language.
Determine what platform to use?
To be able to live in these times has its own perks. One of them is you can literally learn “rocket-science” online. So why not coding! You can start learning any language online today, where you don’t even need to set up an IDE or editor natively on your machine. You can easily learn Java online right away! However, different people have different preferences, there are always options open for a regular college degree, following a book, hiring a tutor or any other you might wanna choose. But the easiest, cheapest and most convenient is to start online. An expensive degree worth no skill is of no value. So choose wisely to invest in the right place.
Set a schedule
Having a specific time allocated for learning a language will program your mind to form a routine. You can’t achieve anything great without being consistent. If you’re serious about it to take it as your career, we recommend devouring 18-20 hours per week to learn.
What IDE/Editor to use?
After you choose a model and platform, you will need to practice what you learn. Again, choosing editors can be a total personal preference. You can try a bunch of editors that provide support for the programming language you choose. And pick up anyone you like. Some of the famous ones are VisualStudio Code, Sublime Text and Notepad++.
Practice is your new partner!
Coding is a skill that won’t develop so easily if you don’t practice consistently. Initially, you can get a tough time while learning the syntax. As any language takes time and practice, computer languages take effort too. In the end, it only comes to those who are willing to give whatever it takes.
Let’s create something!
Depending on your goal, after you’re comfortable with the syntax start creating basic modules of what you aspire to be. It’s completely fine if you get blocked, fail to execute, getting a lot of errors, forget to debug or thoroughly test. It’s all part of this messy business in the beginning. But by shooting for it regularly, will take you there eventually.
Communicate with the pros
The languages we suggested above have well informed and very active communities online. You can join these communities (e.g, CodeGym, Stackoverflow, Reddit e.t.c) to get in touch with highly talented developers.
After you connect, learn about what problems others might have and how they are seeking help. Most probably the queries you’ll have in the beginning will already be posted on these forums earlier. That’s how you can use your resources smartly.
Never cease the hustle
After years of practice and developing multiple efficient software you can still not claim to be a “know-it-all”. Professionals with 20+ years of experience still learn new things every day. So be open to learning and growing your career while you are there.
By the end, we’d like to re-affirm the significance of following the plan. You can be a highly talented person and still fail due to the lack of ambition and execution. So whatever you decide, practice it consistently to attain your goals.