The humble concept of coding has seen tremendous growth over the past few years. Being perceived by many as the language of the future, coding continues to help pave the way for digital acceleration and industry growth.
As coding already shapes the way that we live and interact in today’s modern world, now is an excellent time for beginners to learn the basics of coding. While this may look daunting given the seemingly complex technical processes to undergo, it is not actually as complicated as we think, and the process of learning new techniques is excitingly worth the while.
Whether you are a student or a kid hoping to get a grasp of the basics of coding, an adult wanting to get a career in the tech industry, or a hobbyist who just wants to understand how coding works, fret no more. All you need is a device and internet access to begin your programming journey.
Coding is a creative process wherein computer programmers command a computer or machine how to perform a task. It involves writing executable scripts using programming languages so computers can interpret. Some perceive coding as a way for humans to communicate with computers.
People who know how to code can create applications, computer software, games, websites, and other digital content.
Guide to coding 101
To help you get started on your coding journey, here are some crucial points to remember.
1. Choose a programming language
Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is the basic and standard markup language used to structure web pages and content. Should you want to get into front-end web development, HTML is the way to go.
Python is a high-level, general-purpose, and versatile language that’s progressively becoming known even among beginners. It provides better code readability, has simple and intelligible syntax, and offers an easy execution process.
This is a crucial low-level programming language that’s worth learning. Known as the enhanced version of the C language, this is a general-purpose, free-form, and case-sensitive programming language that supports generic and object-oriented programming.
2. Choose the best e-learning platform for you
Another good way to learn to program is through searching for the right e-learning platform and programming course. In addition to university and Bootcamp opportunities, there are free to paid online coding courses you can explore via e-learning platforms. Identify your purpose for learning and what topics you specifically want to deepen your knowledge on.
If you want your kid to learn to code, there are also online coding courses for kids you can explore.
3. Practice with the right text editor
If you already have a basic working knowledge of your chosen language, it’s best to put your knowledge to the test by trying to create your own program or project. While this seems like a herculean task, what’s important is that you make even a little progress.
Get a text editor, a tool where you write your code, to be able to start practicing. To know which editor is right for you, it’s best to do your research. Meanwhile, here are a few editors to consider:
This is one of the fastest, most basic, and most lightweight text editors. It supports various languages so you can try some out.
Developed by Microsoft, this editor comes with many useful features. This can be used to code in Java, C++, and even Python.
4. Play coding games
Trivia: some games teach coding! And nope, no computer science degree is required to try them out. With coding games, you have the common point to sharpen your problem-solving skills, develop your programming concept knowledge, and savor the fun learning process as well.
Some coding games include CodeMonkey, Flexbox Froggy, CSS Diner, Code Wars, CodeCombat, Ruby Warrior, among others.
5. Engage with the online community
It may be extremely challenging for a beginner to navigate the complexities of learning coding. This is why having a community to support you and answer your coding-related queries is a plus.
In the field of programming, information exchange plays a crucial role in helping professional and aspiring developers expand their knowledge horizons. So, it helps to find the right community for your programming language. Consider reading blogs, writing blogs, attending meetups, and many more.
If you want to be fluent in your chosen programming language, the best way to do this is to practice using your chosen language (consider the tips above too!)
However, rather than always using the same coding patterns and syntax, make sure to also explore new techniques and methods. Try to make it a habit to learn one thing about coding every single day. This may be in the form of a new syntax piece, another way to write a line of code, or better program debugging.
Keep making progress until you find yourself creating the biggest software or any project of your life.