Learning to code without anybody’s help is an arduous task for any newbie. The mere idea of setting foot into the world of coding is scare-inducing for many. However, there is nothing to worry about if you know what to learn and how to learn. The internet is like a treasure for all knowledge seekers, including coding enthusiasts. Since you are a beginner and wondering how to learn to code, here are some effective ways discussed in this article that may help you get started with your learning process.
15 Tips to Follow at the Very Start of Your Coding Career
If you want to learn coding all by yourself, let us tell you one thing: ‘It’s very much possible to learn coding on your own. In fact, the internet is flooded with resources that can help you learn coding with ease. Of course, it will take dedication and a bit of extra effort. But provided that you do things in the right way, you can make your learning experience way more exciting and fun. Do check out the following tips to learn to code efficiently as well as effectively:
1. Identify Why You Want to Learn Coding
The foremost thing you need to do is to put yourself through a kind of soul-searching. Then, invest some time to retrospect and determine your reasons behind all this. Be sure to identify the exact reason that drives you to become a programmer. Do you strive for a job promotion? Or, do you fancy making a quirky, distinctive app? Or, you want to code for the sake of learning new skills?
Your motivation will help you determine the programming language you need to learn. This motivation may also aid you in deciding the hours and dedication you got to invest in the learning process. Now, suppose you wish to develop a powerful alternative to Spotify. It will require more rigorous and formal programming language training. Contrarily, if your principal motive behind learning coding is to advance in your career, it wouldn’t be necessary. In such cases, casual learning could be enough. Also, a temporary coding boot camp might help.
2. Pick the Programming Language that Works Best for You
Now that you’re fully aware of your purpose, you would be able to pick the right programming language for you. For rookies, HTML and CSS are the best options to enter the realm of web development. But one of their major downsides is that one can’t use them to develop anything beyond entry-level websites that display static content.
Once you master a certain programming language, you will find it more comfortable to shift to and learn a new one.
3. Take Advantage of the Online Coding Courses
If you don’t want to go solo and desire a little professional support, you can search for online coding courses. An online course can be of more help than a coding boot camp. There are free as well as paid online tutorials and courses available for a wide variety of programming languages that you can consider to get started.
If you’re comfortable with learning coding alone, The Odin Project can be of great help. The website contains some great content to enhance your coding knowledge and skills. Also, all the content offered by Odin is completely free.
Also, if you want some personal assistance, you can check out the certificate courses at websites like Treehouse, Codecademy, Udemy, etc. Here, you can take help from tutors online and dispel any confusion vis-a-vis coding. It can come in handy, especially if you can’t afford to participate in full-time classes.
4. Master the Art of Computational Thinking
As a programmer, you should always focus on solving problems to achieve a specific goal. Learn more about algorithms, pattern recognition, and so on to make things easier for you. Thankfully, you don’t need a college degree to comprehend the rudiments of computer science. The internet is always a savior in such cases. So grind a little, and you too can find multiple free and paid (but affordable) online classes that can teach you well.
The edX offers many such courses free of cost. You can also perform a YouTube search and watch as many videos as you like to develop your knowledge. Remember this – the more you learn about computer science, the easier it is for you to code.
5. Read More Books
Now, this is perhaps one of the best ways to learn the theoretical aspect of coding. And we can’t stress this enough, read as many books on coding as possible. You will never be able to code right unless you have sufficient theoretical knowledge about it. A good book is more worthwhile than a hundred websites.
Search on Google and compare different books and carefully go through their reviews to choose the one that you feel is best for you. Needless to say, autodidacts can greatly benefit from such books.
You will find a book on almost any coding language that you want to learn. Books like Gates Eugene’s Coding For Beginners and Rob Miles’s Begin to Code with C# are great for newbies. While for more advanced learners, there is Mark Lutz’s Learning Python or Zed A. Shaw’s Learn C the Hard Way. As you proceed with these books, don’t forget to write down the main facts in your notebook. Also, do some practical work if possible. Doing so will help whet your coding prowess.
6. Play Coding Games and Participate in Interactive Classes
Reading a book or browsing websites while trying to learn coding can sometimes get boring. That’s where the coding games and interactive classes come in. When you see the concepts you’ve learned from a book or website in action, you understand them a bit better. Otherwise, the learning process may start feeling monotonous after some time. You may also experience losing the urge to study the subject altogether. Therefore, you should utilize such interactive tutorials and coding games.
Take FreeCodeCamp, for instance. It is a great website that offers interactive tutorials on coding. FreeCodeCamp not only simplifies various concepts in different programming languages but also provides you with some exercises before you can proceed to the next chapter.
You can also give coding games like SpriteBox Coding a try. Such games can easily boost your desire to learn to code.
7. Play with Kids’ STEM Toys
Adults can also utilize kids’ toys to learn to code from scratch. Yes, we are talking about STEM toys. We all know that most kids lack patience. If these toys can keep children enamored of coding without exhausting them, it can help adults too. So don’t feel embarrassed and go to the toy store and get some STEM toys. Instead, rediscover the kid in you.
If you want to hone your knowledge about how software relates to hardware, try getting the Piper Computer Kit. This DIY PC-making kit will help you build a miniature toy computer from scratch. However, the building process and the mechanisms are pretty much accurate. So, it quite resembles the authentic stuff. Using this kit, you can pass your time in a fun way and learn about computers too in the process.
8. Utilize Your Personal Devices in a New Way
If you have a device like Echo, put it into another great use than the generic “set my alarm at 5”. You can test your coding skills by customizing new mini-programs to bring out more of their potential. While Alexa may perform various simple tasks on your voice command, you can make her do more. Utilize your coding knowledge and program your virtual assistant in a way that allows it to fulfill more complex tasks.
If you don’t want to go that deep, you can try modifying your Raspberry Pi computer by utilizing your knowledge. If you are able to modify or recreate an existing device, it will prove that you know your coding well. The idea is simple – the more you engage in practical work, the more your skill gets polished. That’s why it is crucial never to hesitate to take up DIY challenges.
9. Immerse Yourself in an Audio-visual Experience
Studies have shown that people learn better with the use of A/V technology. So, you too should utilize this simple but effective method of learning. Besides reading books and website articles, go to YouTube and watch as many coding tutorials as possible.
YouTube is also full of former employees of many major tech companies and expert people sharing their knowledge and experience. Many of them tend to do livestreams and sometimes even conduct Q and A sessions. You can benefit a ton from such sessions because they try to give answers to most questions asked by viewers in real-time. Such a session can serve as a doubt clearing session for you. There are copious problem-solving videos as well that may help you to fix certain issues with your coding. You can begin exploring YouTube channels like Python Programmer, Intellipaat, Croatcode, etc.
Apart from YouTube, LinkedIn also has a dedicated library of such videos to aid your learning. However, unlike YouTube, these videos are not freebies. In order to watch them, you need to subscribe to the library at the cost of 30 dollars per month.
10. Create Your Own Projects
The number of tutorials you watched or the certificates you earned won’t matter unless you work on a couple of programming projects. It is perhaps the ultimate proof of your coding expertise. While you may not build the next Photoshop, it should be something decent. It should stimulate your inventiveness and engage you regularly.
Keep in mind that you can’t make it big on your first day. Nonetheless, you got to aim for the bigger things to come. Of course, you will design your projects with your existing knowledge and skills. But also try to strive for more knowledge and skills to acquire and design something better.
11. Commemorate Even the Tiniest Achievements
Coding in a proper manner takes a heap more than some rudimentary knowledge. If one doesn’t execute them perfectly, it’s hard for you to succeed. Practice makes one more adept at writing code that actually works and has no errors. So, whenever your code runs error-free, you need to appreciate yourself.
Keep in mind that nobody masters the art of coding overnight. So, the key to learning coding is to be unflappable. Never fold under pressure and be a lot more resilient. Divide your learning phase into chunks and admire yourself when you make a little more headway.
12. Make Google Your Best Buddy
Every coder makes silly errors in their initial days. If you can’t find where you messed up, don’t worry. Just copy the error message you got in its entirety and paste it into the Google search bar. Perform the search, and you would see hundreds of solutions and explanations for the error.
If a Google search doesn’t resolve your problem, you can visit some online forums to request help. Stack Overflow and Github are some online forums full of coding enthusiasts who will be glad to help you out.
13. Reverse Engineer Another Person’s Code
This might sound weird but decompiling another coder’s code can have its share of perks. Back engineering or decompiling a code written by another man/woman can assist you in gaining a better understanding of how logic and app functionalities can be implemented.
Going through another individual’s error-free codes can make you realize your errors and fix them. For such purposes, there’s no bigger friend than the internet itself. Perform a search, and you will discover millions of codes that are open-source and freely available. Now, go through them religiously and observe how the coding sequence has been constructed. Try to construct that exact sequence by yourself.
If you can do it, attempt some different code. Also, you can fix an error you noticed in the coding you’re going through. Nonetheless, hand the fixed coding back to the community as a token of mutual gratitude.
14. Take Help from a Mentor
If you feel confused and want someone to guide you through your coding journey, try to get a mentor online. There are many coding vets and gurus on Github. You can ask them to mentor you. Also, watch out for code learning events and workshops online. You can take part in such events to hone your abilities. In case you want to shift to offline, look for hackathons in your city. These events will bring you in the presence of numerous coding vets and pros and expand your coding dimension.
Once you’re knowledgeable enough, try to be a mentor yourself. Try teaching budding coders online and eliminate their doubts. It will help them a ton, and in the process, your knowledge and skill will also sharpen.
15. Involve Yourself with a Coding Bootcamp
Besides doing all the above things, you may go to a coding Bootcamp. But remember that while they would boost your skills, short-term boot camps don’t guarantee you a job at a reputed company.
Full-time coding Bootcamps, however, can help you gain considerable knowledge and skill. Nonetheless, not everyone can afford such Bootcamps as they’re mostly exorbitant and consume a substantial amount of time. A coding Bootcamp may cost you thousands of dollars, excluding your accommodation charges.
Nonetheless, institutes like The Grace Hopper Program strive to make coding Bootcamps accessible to more people. They could be a stroke of luck to the less fortunate.
Coding is no rocket science. Still, learning it as a beginner can get a little problematic at times. Nonetheless, anybody can teach themselves how to code if they possess the necessary ardor and zeal. Here, we gave you many useful tips that you can follow to learn to code and build a successful career as a coder.
All the best!