Have you always liked technology, computers, or mobile devices? Or perhaps you’re looking for a change of pace and a new career that could change your life? Maybe you just want to try something new? One way or another, it might be time to learn to code.
Coding, also referred to as programming, is the word used for the process of creating lines of code that tell a computer (or another type of machine) how to perform certain tasks. Without programming, this website would not exist. You’d not have Facebook, Instagram, or Wikipedia. Your mobile phone would be much different, as would many other devices!
As there are so many uses for programming in the modern world, it’s an evergreen career field. It’s also a handy skill and it makes for a great hobby. Moreover, it can be learned by pretty much anyone. That’s right, you don’t need to be a computer pro to learn to code!
Are you ready to learn how to code? We’re here to take you on an adventure that could make your life so much better. Keep reading to find out more about learning programming.
Is Coding Easy To Learn?
The first question many potential coders ask themselves is usually: is coding easy? Despite coding becoming more and more accessible over the years, there is still a common misconception that it’s hard to learn. Many people may tell you that it’s not for you, especially if you don’t come from a technical background. Our advice? Don’t listen to a word they say. You don’t need to be a computer science graduate in order to become a programmer & there’s a way to learn out there for everyone.
Coding is easy to learn for most people that want to do it. You may not find your favorite programming language at first, and you may at times feel overwhelmed with the new knowledge and skills. However, with enough time, persistence, and willingness to experiment, you too may one day be a full time web developer, Android developer, or another kind of programmer.
Many people are able to achieve a complete career change thanks to coding. While it is easy to learn, it can be challenging to master. That’s why you must dedicate yourself to learning and try out many different ways before settling on just one.
What Are The Benefits Of Learning To Code?
There are countless reasons why you might want to start learning how to code. It’s a very useful skill that only becomes more important as time goes on. As the world of technology is increasingly advanced, programmers have become irreplaceable. Fields such as web development keep expanding and there seems to be no end to it.
Here are some of the reasons why learning coding is a good idea:
- It’s a very dynamic field that keeps growing
- It could help you score a promotion or a raise
- Many people are able to change their career through self-learning coding
- It’s a fantastic hobby
- Programming allows you to create and modify all kinds of programs
- It helps you learn logical thinking
- Coding teaches you how things work & makes it easier for you to use them
It’s good to think ahead. You may not NEED to learn programming right now, but it might be essential to you in the future. Get ahead of the curve and learn to code sooner rather than later!
Where To Start If I Want To Learn Coding?
You’ve made your decision — you’re going to work on your coding skills. You have a whole world of knowledge ahead of you. Where to begin? Coding is a vast field and there’s something in it for everyone. This is a great thing, but it may also be slightly offputting to newcomers.
Are you wondering how to learn about coding? To make things easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of things to consider before you begin your coding journey.
Think of your goals
As learning to code requires a whole lot of motivation and dedication, it’s important to keep your eyes on the prize. First, you need to decide some short and long-term goals. Experts often recommend choosing what you would like to work with before settling on a programming language.
Do you want to be a web developer, create websites, style them, and adjust them to your needs? That would make you a front-end developer. Do you also want to work with databases and be able to set up a whole website by yourself? That’s the work of a full-stack developer focused on web development.
Different programming languages come into play when you want to make mobile apps. Then there is the possibility of writing whole programs or even creating games from scratch. Programming is also used in fields such as AI, machine learning, data science, data mining, and more.
As there are many possibilities, it’s good to set yourself a goal. An example could be “I want to create my own mobile app” or “I want to change careers”. From that point on, set smaller goals that will help you achieve this.
Learning to code is a marathon, not a race, so planning things out is going to be crucial for you.
Research the programming languages
If you’ve never coded before, you may think that writing code is all the same, regardless of what you’re trying to do. However, there are many programming languages and platforms that each do different things. If you want to learn coding, it’s good to know the selection before you settle on just one language.
Some programming languages are quite basic, while others are very extensive and feature a whole lot of frameworks. Frameworks aren’t a programming language. Think of them as extensions that provide extra functionalities to the base language. You will always study the programming language first before ever delving into the frameworks.
Some of the most popular programming languages include:
- HTML/CSS — The easiest entry points used in the creation of websites, email newsletters, etc. HTML & CSS help you learn the building blocks of programming.
- PHP, SQL — These languages are often used by back-end developers to create the engine that powers a program or a website. While a front-end dev will work on the user-end of a program, PHP and SQL are invisible to the user but crucial to the software. Web development cannot exist without PHP.
- Python — Often praised for how easy it is for learning how to code, Python is used in back-end development, artificial intelligence, data science, and databases. It can also be used to build all kinds of useful tools.
- Ruby — Ruby and its’ framework Ruby on Rails are often found in web development. Ruby makes it easier to store data once a user has closed the website.
- Swift and C# — These languages are often used to create iOS apps. C#, on the other hand, is also used for programming games.
- Unity — Much like C#, Unity is a great tool for game development
If a career change is your goal, other than simply picking what you like, research the job postings in your area. This helps you make sure you’re picking a programming language that is high in demand.
Prepare the tools you need
There is more than one way to learn to code and we will discuss them all in greater detail below. However, no matter which way you go, there are some basic things that you should have before you get to learn how to code.
A Laptop or Desktop Computer
It is possible to watch programming tutorials on a mobile device (tablet or smartphone), but it’s not ideal when you want to code. Many programmers work on laptops because of the added mobility. On the other hand, if you’re learning at home, a desktop will do just fine.
Your new computer for programming doesn’t have to be very expensive. However, it should be a fast, reliable machine that can handle doing many things at once. ASUS VivoBook 15 is sufficient for a beginner programmer if you want to get a laptop. Acer Aspire is a great desktop alternative if you want to get something bigger.
Many programmers benefit from having two monitors. If you have the desk space to spare, you may want to get a second screen for programming sometime, but it’s not a necessity.
Everything you need to learn to code is right there on the internet. However, if you want to go the extra mile, you might want to start with a book that gets you into the right mindset. Head First Learn to Code is a starter guide that is often recommended to people who are learning how to code. You can also browse Amazon to find books on specific programming languages.
If you’re still only watching videos and not really coding just yet, you can learn how to code pretty much anywhere. However, if you’re starting to spend many hours at the computer, it’s important that you do this in a comfortable space.
Invest in a good computer chair and desk, make sure that you stand up and take small breaks once per hour, and try to sit up straight. Your back will thank you!
What is The Best Programming Language For Beginners?
This is a question that many new developers ask themselves. We all want to start with the easiest one, but which one would that be? The answer is not as simple as it seems.
As many of the coding skills don’t have a lot to do with one another, it’s better to pick your programming language based on what you want to do. However, some languages are considered “staples” or “starters” in their respective fields. If you want to learn how to code, you should check them out.
- HTML and CSS are the first steps for a web developer.
- Python is one of the easiest languages to learn in general. It’s useful for computer science, data work, and more, but it’s highly flexible.
- Ruby and Ruby on Rails have a fairly low curve on learning to code.
Remember that this doesn’t make the other programming languages obsolete — it just means that these are often chosen by beginners.
Where Can I Learn To Code?
As more and more people learn how to code, new programming tutorials crop up like flowers after rain. Most areas also have in-person programming schools or bootcamps. In these, you’re able to learn programming with the help of experienced programmers and teachers.
Let’s take a look at some of the options you have if you want to learn to code.
Online coding tutorials
You may not believe this, but many full time programmers are actually self-taught! You can learn programming all by yourself without spending more than what you already pay for your internet bill. There are many benefits of going down this route. You save money, you’re able to study whenever you want, you get to learn in your pajamas… It’s definitely the most flexible option for new learners.
As there are many fantastic tutorials out there, a lack of knowledge is not going to be a problem for you. The main issue that self-taught coders run into is discipline. If you are going to combine studying with a different full time job or degree, you will need a lot of self-discipline to find the time to learn how to code.
Whether you’ve got a steel resolve or not, online tutorials are a great starting point for everyone. What are some of the best online tutorials for programming?
The Odin Project is a free website that offers highly comprehensive programming courses. It’s one of the most recommended resources that even experienced programmers refer back to at times.
In The Odin Project, you can choose between the following courses:
- Full-stack Ruby on Rails
- Front-end development
Codecademy has some free courses as well as the ability to purchase a monthly subscription. With the monthly subscription, you get the benefit of real-time help, mentorship, performance reports, and more.
Codecademy’s curriculum is really wide, ranging from HTML and CSS, Python, Java, C++, C#, to Kotlin & many more.
While Udemy is not a free website, it’s an endless source of information. Udemy compiles thousands of user-made courses that cover just about any subject. There are many courses that focus on learning how to code. You can pick and choose the best ones, as they all feature a comprehensive description & user ratings. Udemy often has great sales that are worth waiting for.
Programming bootcamps have grown in popularity in the last years. If you want to learn to code, but you find that doing it by yourself is too difficult, a bootcamp may be the right choice for you.
Bootcamps are essentially programming schools. They’re also a fast track to a career change. You will learn your chosen language, work on your projects, and receive help from various mentors.
If you have the money to spare, bootcamps are intensive and offer a lot of support, so they’re often worth the money. However, keep in mind that even the best bootcamp will require a lot of extra work from you on the side, outside of the curriculum. This is especially true if you’re considering a career change.
Many people these days choose to learn coding. The benefits are endless and we predict that there will only be more as time goes on. After all, we live in a digitalized world and that is not about to change.
If you are hesitating, take our advice and simply try it out. Check out the free online resources and get acquainted with programming. You may soon find that you’ve discovered a new lifelong passion!